An IT security policy is one of the fundamental elements in a business’s IT infrastructure system to ensure the integrity of data security and preservation. It encompasses a wide range of policies, standards and guidelines that protect the business from IT related incidences that could harm the business.
Policies for People who work in the business
When considering people, an IT security policy should consider who has access to information, what they can do with this information and why they have access.
When addressing people, important considerations need to be made to intellectual property and how this can be protected in the event an employee leaving the business.
- Does your company restrict access to valuable information, based on an employee’s position within the company?
- What is preventing them from copying all of your data to a USB and taking this information home?
- Is confidential information protected with passwords and administrative limitations?
A good security policy should protect your data without inhibiting the workflow or productivity of your people and a fine balance needs to be met.
Policies to stop intruders from getting into your business
This is probably the most common problem people think of when we talk about it security – hackers. From software that is actually more annoying such as spam to Trojan horses that can invade your computer and access your vital data, we want to keep people out of our IT infrastructure.
Commonly these come from the internet, either through an email or an innocent looking download. The solution is to ensure you use a robust scanner that reviews the websites you visit, checks any downloads for suspicious files and constantly runs scans of your system to identify any infections. However, scanners and programs are susceptible to being overwritten by humans – a fact hackers rely on to get around anti-virus software.
If you are giving your information away online, you are making it easier for hackers to get into your systems. If you are opening suspicious emails or clicking on links that take you to dodgy websites, you open up your entire business IT to attack. Usually if it doesn’t feel right avoid it.
Some Key elements of an IT Security Policy
While a robust, tailored IT policy can take up many pages, there are commonalties across many businesses that you should at least consider yourself, if you do not have an IT infrastructure plan already.
Email is one of the common points of entry for viruses, Trojans and malware. Usually these infect a computer and its network through an unsuspecting user clicking on an attachment which is actually a malicious program.
Adobe release an annual list of commonly used passwords– such as password, 123456 & qwerty. These are so easy for hackers to guess that they may as well not even exist. A good password should be at least 8 digits in length, have a series of capitals and lowercase and if possible numbers and special characters.
How do you know if your data has been compromised? Your IT security policy should be able to identify anomalies in your system and alert you to investigate further.
Back-Up, Back-Up, Back-Up
With the most robust security in place all systems have vulnerabilities – so a regular back-up is integral in protecting your data. Offsite back-ups are even better as they protect your business from virtual attacks but physical damage as well – such as storms or other natural disasters.
These are only a fraction of the considerations that go into a robust IT security policy. If you have any question about IT Security feel free to contact us.
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