Technology is rapidly changing and evolving. With this type of fast-paced change, don’t be ‘behind the eight ball’ in effective security policy, instead be ready to manage it and make sure your employees are on board.
Having an effective security policy is important; however, more often businesses fail to be successful at such managerial duties. According to the 2014 Protiviti IT Security and Policy Survey, “one in three companies don’t have a written information security policy (WISP).” Further, “46% of organizations have an incidents response policy.” Security is clearly not on the mind of most business professionals – only about half to be exact -, but it should be with more and more data breaches occurring like the recent Equifax Data Breach.
The same goes with your security policy. Without a current security policy, you can remain vulnerable to outside and inside security threats. As an article by Computer World stated, “[the] appropriate use of the network inside a company is a management issue.” In other words, firewalls and antivirus software will only get you so far. At the heart of an organization’s security policy lies the employees.
Often this is the problem, employees fail to engage and follow security procedures. This is usually due to the following reasons as stated by the writers of InfoSec Today:
- Poorly worded policies
- Badly structured policies
- Out-of-date policies
- Inadequately communicated policies
- Unenforced policies
- Lack of management scrutiny
How can we be more effective in managing a security policy? One of the first steps – and maybe obvious – is creating policy and procedures that can be clearly understood by employees. No one enjoys dissecting legal texts that run for paragraphs with little breaks and fancy words. Instead, an effective security policy is written and directed towards employees. It should motivate and encourage active participation in following important policy procedures. Furthermore, these types of policy documents are usually given to employees when beginning employment. Instead, employees should be reminded and encouraged on a regular basis to meet this policy. A quick idea, brainstorm with the marketing team on creative and innovative ways to reinforce and engage employees on these policies through email and social media.
Using an employee monitoring software is a further way to help manage and track if employees are following security policy. Teramind offers user-based software that integrates into the work processes of your employees, recording everything from website visits to specific text entered on the screen. Monitoring is a quick way to detect if employees are following policy and to reinforce good behavior when they’re acting accordingly. Further, monitoring can help a company better understand where potential risks can come from.
Having good and tangible data is a further step in insuring that you can effectively manage your security policy. Changes and improvements can’t be made; unless, management has data to analyze and interpret. This data tells us where employees aren’t meeting policy, or where there might be confusion on the interpretation of a policy. However examples can’t be produced and data-supported strategies implemented, if software tools aren’t establish to gather and interpret this data. Teramind software has the capability to produce these types of results.
Lastly, train your employees effectively and include them in the policy development. Training your employees on the procedures and policy is maybe one of the most overlooked and underappreciated strategies out there. It not only helps reinforce the policy, employees can comment and provide insight into ways to improve the policy based on their own experience. Further if the policy is well communicated between employees and management, employees will feel better connected and invested in company data security. Including them in all points of the policy development can help ensure long-lasting and effective security.
An organization’s security policy is usually one of the most overlooked and underappreciated policies in the organization. This should change. Use these ideas to help your organization continue to effectively manage it.