Many small businesses make the mistake of skipping policies. It feels like things don’t have to be so formal. They tell their employees what is expected of them and think that’s good enough. However, this mindset can cause problems for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
Employees don’t care about readers. What you take for granted may not be to them. If you don’t have a policy, you may also end up in a lower legal position if things go wrong. For example, lawsuits alleging unauthorized use of company devices or email accounts.
Did you know that 77% of employees access their social media accounts while at work? Furthermore, 19% of them spend an average of 1 hour a day on social media. In some cases, employees ignore company policy. However, other countries do not have specific guidelines to follow.
IT policies are an important part of IT security and technology management. So no matter the size of your business, you should have them. Here are some of the most important IT policies a company should have.
Do You Have These IT Policies? (If Not, You Should)
Password Security Policy
About 77% of all data breaches in the cloud are caused by compromised passwords. Leaked credentials are also the leading cause of today’s global data breaches. A password security policy tells your team how to handle login passwords. It should contain something like:
• Password length • Password creation method (for example, use at least one number and one symbol)
• Where and how passwords are stored
• Use of multi-factor authentication (if required)
• Password change frequency
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
The Acceptable Use Policy is a comprehensive policy. Proper use of technology and data in business is required. This policy covers things like device security.
For example, you may need staff to keep your devices up to date. If so, it should be included in this policy. Another thing to include in your AUP is where company devices are allowed to be used.
You can also prevent remote workers from sharing work devices with family members. Data is another area of the AUP.
You need to specify how data is stored and processed. Your policy may require an encrypted environment for security reasons.
Cloud & App Use Policy
Employee use of rogue cloud applications has become a major problem. This use of “shadow IT” is estimated to account for 30% to 60% of an organization’s cloud usage. Employees often use cloud apps alone because they are not familiar with them.
They don’t realize that using unapproved cloud tools on corporate data poses significant security risks. Cloud and app usage policies inform employees which cloud and mobile apps they can use for their business data.
The use of unapproved applications should be restricted. It should also provide a way to suggest apps that improve productivity.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy
About 83% of organizations have adopted a BYOD approach to employee mobile usage. Businesses save money when employees can use their smartphones for work. It’s also convenient for employees because they don’t have to carry a second device.
However, security and other issues can arise if there is no policy mandating the use of BYOD. Employee devices can be vulnerable to attacks if the operating system is not updated. There can also be confusion about compensation for personal device use at work.
The BYOD policy makes it clear that employee devices are used for business purposes. Includes security required for these devices. You can also check the required installation of the endpoint management app. It should also cover coverage for business use of personal devices.
Wi-Fi Use Policy
Public WiFi is a problem when it comes to cyber security. 61% of companies surveyed said their employees connect to public WiFi from company-owned devices. Many employees think a lot about signing in to company apps and email accounts.
Even on public internet connections. Doing so exposes those credentials and can compromise the corporate network.
The company’s Wi-Fi usage policy explains how employees can ensure a secure connection. You may be required to use a corporate VPN. Policies can also limit what employees can do on public Wi-Fi networks. For example, do not enter passwords or payment card details in forms.
Social Media Use Policy
Social media use in the workplace is so common that it’s important to address it. Otherwise, endless scrolling and posting can cost you hours of lost productivity each week. Include details in your social media policy, such as:
• Limit the number of time employees can access personal social media
• Restrict what employees can post about the company
• Be aware of ‘selfie safe zones’ or facility areas where public images are not allowed
Get Help Improving Your IT Policy Documentation & Security
We can help your organization address IT policy deficiencies and security issues. Reach out today to schedule a consultation to get started.
What is an IT policy?
An IT security policy establishes rules and procedures for everyone who accesses and uses an organization’s IT assets and resources. An information technology (IT) security policy establishes rules and procedures for everyone who accesses and uses an organization’s IT assets and resources.
What should be in an IT policy?
Network Access – What procedures are in place regarding device passwords, firewalls, network hardware, and wireless network usage, and what must be done to ensure security when connecting mobile devices to employees and guests.
Why do you need an IT policy?
IT policies and procedures provide clear information to everyone in your organization regarding IT. IT policies are designed to counter threats and manage risks while ensuring efficient, effective, and consistent operations.
How do you create an IT policy?
Steps to create an IT policy
State your purpose.
Define the scope of the policy.
Define IT policy components (purchase and installation policies). Device, Web, Email, and Social Media Acceptable Use Policy. IT security – physical security, network security, cyber security and audits. data security. Policy Enforcement and Sanctions.