How to Create Cybersecurity Policies for Your Company
If you’re in business today, there are three words that are critical for you keep in mind: Cybersecurity. Is. Important. As such, every business needs to have taken the time to put together a cybersecurity policy--a set of guidelines that instruct the business how to proceed with the highest level of security possible. We’ve taken the liberty of suggesting a few guidelines for your business to follow as you do so.
When you’re putting together a cybersecurity policy, there cannot be any uncertainty in what you are referring to at a given time. It is important for you to make it clear: if one of your policies references a “cyber incident,” what kind of situations could that apply to specifically?
This makes it imperative that you clearly establish what certain terms you use in your policies refer to, relatively early on. Take the “cyber incident” example: does that refer to an attack by a cybercriminal, or does it refer to an internal mishap or equipment failure. If it does refer to an attack, does it describe a limited scope, or do all attack vectors (phishing, man-in-the-middle attack, et al.) fall under its umbrella?
Remember, the person referencing this document will be a relative layman, so you need to make sure that these definitions make it clear to them what situation they are encountering and how to proceed.
When you are putting together a cybersecurity policy for your business to follow, the fundamental idea is to make sure everyone is on the same page in the event of some major issue, event, or need. Therefore, you need to make sure you create standards that apply to a variety of circumstances, such as the need for remote work to take place, what qualifies as acceptable use of the Internet, and the modern demand for improved passwords and other forms of authentication. You also need to remember that various regulations and other compliance requirements could come into play, and adjust your standards accordingly.
As you document them, these procedures themselves should include:
- What protections are in place (and what they protect against)
- What backup policies are in place
- What the updating/patching process looks like regarding your protections
... among other key pieces of information that would come in handy if recovery from a cybersecurity issue was ever a concern.
Once your processes are devised, refined, and finalized, you need to make sure that they are properly documented and that your staff is trained to follow them… otherwise, the effort you made to put them in place is rendered redundant.
The importance of this particular aspect cannot be emphasized strongly enough. In fact, part of your new policy should address how much harm an employee can do to the business’ well-being and outline how your employees need to conduct themselves as they go about their work. There are many ways that you can--and should--do so.
Education is going to be key, of course, as your established protections will only do so much if one of your employees doesn’t recognize a threat when presented with one. Phishing is incredibly popular for a reason.
Just as important is to keep in mind that accountability can often be shared, especially when a cybersecurity issue has transpired. Sure, an employee may have fallen for a phishing scam, but could that have been because the training they received to avoid them was inadequate or outdated? When was the last time you held a training session? In order for your business to properly secure itself against threats, the whole business must be involved.
ISC can get involved, too. Our professionals have the experience needed to ensure that your business has the security it needs, with the policies in place to support that security. Find out more by giving us a call at 502.292.5097.