Data security policies need teeth to be effective
Bottom line: If you have a data security policy in place, you need to make sure that it’s up to date and contains all of the necessary elements to make it effective. Here are 10 essential items that should be incorporated into all security policies:
1. Manage employee email
Many data breaches occur due to an employee’s misuse of email. These negligent acts can be limited by laying out clear standards related to email and data. For starters, make sure employees do not click on links or open attachments from strangers because this could easily lead to a ransomware attack.
2. Comply with software licenses and copyrights
Some organizations are pretty lax in keeping up with the copyrights and licensing of the software they use, but this is an obligation. Failing to do so could put your company at risk.
3. Address security best practices
You should be addressing the security awareness of your staff by ensuring that they are aware of security best practices for security training, testing and awareness.
4. Alert employees to the risk of using social media
All of your staff should be aware of the risks associated with social media, and consider a social media policy for your company. For example, divulging the wrong information on a social media site could lead to a data breach. Social media policy should be created in line with the security best practices.
5. Manage company-owned devices
Many employees use mobile devices in the workplace, and this opens you up to threats. You must have a formal policy in place to ensure mobile devices are used correctly. Requiring all staff to be responsible with their devices and to password protect their devices should be the minimum requirements.
6. Use password management policies
You also want to make sure that your staff is following a password policy. Passwords should be complex, never shared and changed often.
7. Have an approval process in place for employee-owned devices
With more employees than ever before using personal mobile devices for work, it is imperative that you put policies in place to protect your company’s data. Consider putting a policy in place which mandating an approval process for anyone who wants to use a mobile device at work.
8. Report all security incidents
Any time there is an incident, such as malware found on the network, a report should be made and the event should be investigated immediately by the IT team.
9. Track employee Internet use
Most staff members will use the Internet at work without much thought, but this could be dangerous. Try to establish some limits for employee Internet use for both safety and productivity.
Consultant Robert Siciliano is an expert in personal privacy, security and identity theft prevention. Learn more about Carbonite’s cloud and hybrid backup solutions for small and midsize businesses.