Important IT security policies that your company should implement

28 Dec 2022

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Are you an owner of a growing tech company? Or perhaps you’ve been newly appointed as general manager to an established mid-sized company? Whatever your management position, you’ll be required to make decisions to ensure the business succeeds. 

Part of these decisions will be related to company policies—this is where we advise you to take policies, especially IT security policies, seriously. Many businesses make the mistake of skipping policies, leading to unforeseen issues. 

For instance, a company may not feel things need to be so formal, so they’ll tell staff what’s expected of them when it comes up. Using this informal route can cause misunderstandings between the company and employees or even cause harm to the company. 

Why are IT Security Policies Important?

Now you have a better idea of why general policies may be crucial, but let’s focus on why IT security policies shouldn’t be overlooked.

Having clear and concise IT policies in place can help prevent security breaches, data loss, and other IT-related issues that can seriously affect a company. IT policies can also ensure that employees use company resources appropriately rather than for personal or inappropriate activities.

Speaking of personal activities on a work device, did you know that 77% of employees access their social media accounts at work? Further, 19% of them average one full working hour daily on social media. In some cases, employees ignore company policy. But in others, there is no specific policy for them to follow.

After all of that, you probably have a better understanding of the importance of IT security policies. But, if you’re stuck on where to start, we’ll get you on the right track by explaining some of the most critical IT security policies your company should have in place.

6 IT Security Policies Your Company Needs Now

1. Password Security Policy

Another shocking fact for you: Around 77% of all cloud data breaches originate from compromised passwords. In fact, compromised credentials are now the number one cause of data breaches globally!

By implementing a password security policy, you’ll reduce the risk of data breaches and let your team know how to handle their login passwords. This policy should talk about requirements such as:

  • Password length
  • How to construct passwords (e.g., using at least one number and symbol)
  • Where & how to store passwords
  • Use of multi-factor authentication (if it’s required)
  • How often to change passwords

2. Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

The Acceptable Use Policy is an important all-encompassing policy that outlines a wide range of topics, including appropriate use of company resources, security measures, data protection, and acceptable online behavior.

The AUP is where you advise employees if they need to keep their devices updated or where it is acceptable to use company devices. You could also restrict remote employees from sharing work devices with family members.

3. Cloud & App Use Policy

If your company doesn’t want data or files on online apps like Dropbox or Google Drive, it’s time to implement a Cloud & App Use Policy. Many employees use cloud apps to transfer files between co-workers or different workstations. Especially if they have a workstation at the office and then continue to work on a personal setup when they work from home. 

They don’t know that they could be going against the company’s wishes or that using unapproved cloud tools for company data is a significant security risk. This use of “shadow IT” has grown to be a considerable problem, ranging from 30% to 60% of a company’s cloud use.

A cloud and app use policy will tell employees what cloud and mobile apps are okay for business data and let them know about unapproved applications.

4. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy

If you’d rather your employee picks out the tech they want to use, you’re not alone! Approximately 83% of companies use a BYOD approach for employee mobile use. Not only does this save money, but it can also be more convenient for employees because they don’t need to carry around a second device.

But if you don’t have a policy that talks about the details of your BYOD program, there can be security and other issues. That’s why it’s important to make a formal policy as soon as possible to outline required updates and compensation structures!

5. Wi-Fi Use Policy

Public Wi-Fi could very well be public enemy number one—that’s how dangerous it can be. Knowing this, it’s scary to hear that 61% of surveyed companies say employees connect to public Wi-Fi on company-owned devices.

Many employees won’t think twice about logging in to a company app or email account on a public internet connection. However, this could expose those credentials and lead to a breach of your company network.

Your Wi-Fi use policy explains how employees can ensure they have safe connections. For instance, do you require a company VPN? Or are there restrictions to the activities employees can do on public Wi-Fi?

6. Social Media Use Policy

Social media is everywhere—even at work, even if you don’t want to admit it. You can’t ignore the implications of social media either! Otherwise, endless scrolling and posting could steal hours of productivity every week.

Include details in your social media policy, such as:

  • Timeframes for personal social media use
  • What employees can post about the company
  • “Safe selfie zones” or facility areas that are not okay for public images

Let Us Help Improve Your IT Policy Documentation & Security

Understanding the ins and outs of IT security policies and how to ensure IT security compliance can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to reach out to professionals that can help!

Swift Chip specializes in helping address IT policy deficiencies and security issues in organizations. With more than 10 years in the industry, we have the experience you need to make the right IT policy decisions. 

Get started today by contacting our knowledgeable team to schedule a free consultation!

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Swift Chip provides managed IT and cybersecurity services for a wide variety of companies in fields with stringent privacy and compliance requirements.

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