6 Valuable IT Policies to Have That Protect Your Business IT Infrastructure
Whether you have a large company or a small business in Sydney, there are certain guardrails you need to have in place to keep your technology secure and operating smoothly.
In smaller businesses, these policies tend to be neglected as people just expect everyone to know what to do. But then the company gets some new staff and without specific rules for things like mobile device use at work or how long to retain digital files, problems can quickly crop up.
Your company network is the nerve center of your business, and if it’s vulnerable to cyberattacks or being misused by employees, your bottom line can suffer. Putting certain key IT policies in place helps you ensure that everyone is on the same page and your tech infrastructure remains optimised and secure.
Policies are simply a set of guidelines for a particular area of your operations. They are helpful references for employees and alleviate confusion over how a certain function is handled.
Which policies should you get started with first? Here are some of the most valuable that will positively impact your cybersecurity and productivity.
Password Security Policy
Compromised passwords are responsible for approximately 77% of all cloud data breaches. You can’t assume that employees will create long, strong, unique passwords on their own, in fact, the opposite is usually the case if there is no policy on password security in place.
Some of the things that you may want to include in a password security policy are:
- Passwords should not be shared
- Passwords should not be emailed
- Passwords should be at least 10 characters long and be unique
- Apps that allow restrictions should be set to require “strong passwords”
- Company cloud account access should be protected with multi-factor authentication
Incident Response Policy
Companies that have an incident response plan in place experience fewer costs and negative impacts from cybersecurity or other incidents than companies without this type of policy.
An incident response policy will outline the various incidents that can occur and cause downtime (natural disaster, major power outages, pandemic, ransomware attack, etc.). It will also dictate steps that are to be taken by staff should one of those events occur.
Having a policy like this in place protects your business continuity and helps you bounce back quickly should a major work-stopping incident occur.
Acceptable Technology Use Policy
Without an acceptable technology use policy in place, you can end up with employees visiting dangerous or unsavory websites while at work or saving sensitive business documents on unprotected mobile devices.
This policy dictates how all types of business IT is to be used and puts restrictions on misuse.
Some of the things this policy can include are:
- Sites that can or can’t be visited when at work
- How to handle business data, how it’s shared, stored, etc.
- Types of business information that can be shared over social media
- How to take care of company-issued devices
- What constitutes proper workstation security (i.e. signing out at the end of the day, using a passcode-protected screen lock, etc.)
Mobile Device Use Policy
Mobile devices are used for business emails and accessing all types of business apps. Some employees do more work from mobile devices than they do their desktop computers.
Using a bring your own device (BYOD) approach is common in companies, as it saves the business money and is more convenient for employees. But without a mobile device use policy in place, your company security can easily be put at risk by unsecured mobile devices.
A mobile device use policy will dictate how company data and apps are to be used on employee devices, as well as provide restrictions for activities that employees can perform on company-issued phones.
Cloud Use Policy
The use of unauthorised cloud apps has run rampant due to the pandemic causing employees to need to work from home. 80% of workers say they use apps for business data that haven’t been officially approved by their company.
This is a big security risk and can cause a data breach or data loss should that employee leave the company and make it impossible for the company to retrieve their data from shadow IT app.
A cloud use policy provides guidelines for employees on what cloud applications they can or cannot use and how to recommend applications for consideration that they would like to use.
Data Retention Policy
Without a data retention policy, you can end up losing vital files that you needed for future reference. You could also have a disorganised cloud storage system with old and unneeded files getting in the way and causing file searches to take more time.
Your data retention policy dictates how long you will keep certain types of data (emails, documents, meeting notes, etc.) and when they will be deleted or archived. It should also include a process for deletion and archiving and who will be responsible for that.
Get Expert Help Putting Your IT Policies in Place
GKM2 can help your Sydney area business put helpful IT policies into place and keep them updated as your technology infrastructure evolves.
Contact us today to learn more. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.