It’s a given that your employees are online at work – for professional, and often personal, reasons. But are they aware of what’s an acceptable use of the Internet? Do they realize the importance of a good password? Do they know how to respond in the event of a data breach?
If your business doesn’t have a comprehensive IT security policy, you could be putting your company at greater risk for downtime, data breaches and other compromises of your IT infrastructure.
An IT security policy should contain easy-to-follow guidelines covering:
- Acceptable use – It’s one thing for employees to visit Facebook on their lunch hour – and it’s another for them to download unfamiliar external files using their work computer. The former is a generally safe use of the Internet; the latter can expose your system to computer viruses or hacking opportunities. Your IT security policy should clearly outline the acceptable use of company computers – and the consequences of violating the policy.
- Passwords – Even with numerous warnings from Internet experts, many users persist in creating easily hacked passwords (like “password”). Secure login and password procedures help deter outside influences. Your security policy should explain why it’s important to create a strong password and how to craft one.
- Training by example – Your employees needn’t be IT experts to understand how their online actions – such as sharing files between their personal devices and their work computers – can affect your business. Train the members of your workforce on good security measures, using examples from real-life breaches and issues.
- Contingency plans – Should data breaches or interruption in service due to natural disasters (tornadoes, etc.) bring down your system, your security policy should cover the back-up plan to restore your computers and protect your data. Just as important as having a contingency plan is communicating that plan to all in the company.
Your IT policy can protect your business from threats both internal and external. Working with a Managed IT Services partner, you can create a security policy that addresses the general and specific needs of your organization.