Are Your IT Security Policies Up-to-Date? 20 Oct 2020
As technology is advancing at such an intense rate, the policies that govern them are getting left behind. And, more seriously, IT security policies are rapidly becoming outdated. It is crucial, therefore, that your company’s IT security policies are regularly reviewed and updated to help to ensure the safety of your corporate information and data. Read on for more information on the importance of keeping your IT security policies up-to-date.
There are other factors which can also affect the efficiency of your company’s security policies: such as changes in business structure, regulation, the value of your data, the speed of data collection and increased malicious activity. However, out of date policies often causes companies the most problems.
Outdated software not only leaves your organisation’s sensitive data at risk; but, it can also fail to comply with recent changes in laws and regulations too. Therefore, it is vital your company reassesses their policies every one to three years; most experts would even suggest an annual review without fail.
What is IT Security Policies?
IT security policies are first and foremost about keeping your corporate information safe from cyber threats. These policies are designed to protect your information from any disclosures, unauthorised access, loss, corruption and interference, in accordance with the relevant legal requirements.
Security policies are, consequently, defined by three factors: confidentiality, integrity and availability.
For example, all information must remain confidential and, therefore, not disclosed to unauthorised individuals entities or processes. Similarly, the integrity of the information must remain intact; no data can be amended or destroyed in an unauthorised manner, and regardless of revisions, data accuracy and consistency must be preserved. All this information must be made available and accessible to all authorised entities, in a useable form. The Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) and Network and Information System Regulations (NIS) are both well-known organisations that offer guidance to businesses about their IT security policies.
The importance of IT Security Policies
Information and communication technology is vital in the start-up and day-to-day runnings of businesses. Most organisations rely on this data to support their business systems, whether that be financial, logistical or customer relationships. With more firms heavily reliant on the online channel, information technology is depended upon for customers to make purchases and payments for their goods and services electronically.
Due to these reliances, it is paramount that organisations have policies in place to ensure these systems are used and managed efficiently and effectively. In addition to providing consistent operations within the business, it also guarantees the organisation is meeting legal, regulatory, and statutory requirements when holding this data. Various regulations include Data Protection, GDPR, Computer Misuse Act 1990, Freedom of Information, for example.
In order to stay in line with these regulations, a company’s security policies must define and communicate not only its uses of these systems but, also, its expectations of what constitutes appropriate uses. By maintaining documentation, the company is less likely to come under any disrepute as all their IT systems are only implemented for business purposes.
Standard Security Procedures
The main aim of IT security procedures is to address all threats and to implement successful strategies on how to mitigate these threats. These security policies are also in place to help recover information that has been exposed by such risks.
The most successful security procedures adopt a multi-layered approach. These workplace security policies are developed, taking into consideration nine topic areas:
- Acceptable Use Policy
- Confidential Data Policy
- Email Policy
- Mobile Device Policy
- Incident Response Policy
- Network Security Policy
- Password Policy
- Physical Security Policy
- Wireless Network and Guest Access Policy
In order to start building a robust IT security procedure, the first step is to complete a thorough risk assessment of your organisation’s current network, highlighting its risks and vulnerabilities. The most meticulous assessments learn from their peers. Take a look online at competitors’ resources and recommendations, and learn from their experiences. However, it is just as important to ask closer to home too. Set up meetings and encourage discussions from key members across all departments. It is also recommended to have a vulnerability assessment carried out by an outside consultant, as this will guarantee an objective evaluation.
How often should policies be reviewed and updated?
Most organisations need to improve their IT security policies for their cybersecurity strategies to be a success. However, reviewing and updating your policies doesn’t have to be a daunting task. There is policy management software which can help to set up meetings where members of your committee can gather feedback and track any improvements. Alternatively, companies can outsource their IT management to industry experts.
If your business needs to update its policies, we can help. At Global EMEA, we provide dedicated asset management services to our clients, offering the sourcing and maintenance of their IT infrastructure.
Managing your IT systems in-house can result in being very costly to your organisation, especially on top of maintaining a specialist headcount, maximising resources and ensuring investments are made in all areas of your business.
That is why, here at Global EMEA, we offer Managed IT Services. Our industry experts are on hand to reduce the costs of your IT system through effective management without economising on performance or security. Reliability is a given, as well as a system that is flexible to your company’s needs. Crucially, we can manage your IT systems upgrades, changes and all replacements of IT assets. If you would like your business to benefit from Global EMEA, send us an enquiry form on our website, or speak to a member of our team on +44 (0) 844 251 0471.