How to Create a Flexible and Effective Cybersecurity Policy 

team creating cybersecurity policy in conference room

With October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, many businesses rightly took a step back to examine their own cyber hygiene. But, cybersecurity shouldn’t just be a focus for one month–it should be a year-round endeavor! 

Every organization is different, and therefore, has different needs when it comes to protecting their data and systems. However, one important step that all organizations can take to improve their cybersecurity posture is to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity policy.

A well-crafted cybersecurity policy can provide a roadmap for how your organization should approach cyber threats and can help ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page when it comes to security. 

But creating an effective cybersecurity policy is not always easy. Here are some tips to help you get started:

What is a Cybersecurity Policy?

A cybersecurity policy outlines the procedures and guidelines that a company uses to protect its electronic information from unauthorized access or theft. This includes both physical and digital cybersecurity measures. 

Having a cybersecurity policy is not only imperative in case of a data breach, but helpful for your employees as it gives them a clear understanding of what is expected of them when it comes to handling company data.

Why Your Policy Needs to Be Flexible

With the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats, it’s important for your policy to be flexible. The cyber threats we have today are different from the ones that plagued us a few years ago. Hackers change methods often, and a flexible cybersecurity policy focused on security fundamentals can handle these changes effectively. 

A few of the threats that have increased exponentially in the last couple of years include:

  • Ransomware: Experts consider ransomware the biggest, worldwide cyber threat, as attacks continue to happen more frequently. 
  • Phishing: Phishing attacks are responsible for more than 80% of security incidents. Because everyone in your organization uses email, it’s a huge target for hackers. 
  • Supply Chain Attacks: Supply chain attacks target third-party software providers or services your company uses and trusts. These attacks have increased by 600% in 2022
  • Social Engineering: Social engineering is the practice of preying on people’s emotions to trick them into falling for cyber traps. Although it’s a tactic behind other threats like ransomware and phishing, it’s important to mention because it highlights the need for employee education. 

How to Create Your Policy 

When creating your policy, there are a few key things to keep in mind:

Set Password Requirements

In order to keep your data safe, you’ll need to set strong password requirements for all employees. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. 

And don’t leave your passwords unprotected without multi-factor authentication. MFA makes up for the gaps in password effectiveness; it’s a must-have security measure.

Outline Email Security Measures

Email is your organization’s kryptonite—it’s important to have measures in place to protect your company’s email from being hacked. This includes using secure email services, encrypting messages, and only opening emails from trusted sources.

Explain How to Handle Sensitive Data

If your business deals with sensitive information (and most do), you’ll need to explain (verbally and in written policies) how this data should be handled. This includes storing it securely, encrypting it, and only sharing it with authorized personnel.

Set Rules Around Handling Technology

You should set rules for how employees can use company devices and systems. This includes preventing them from downloading unauthorized software, accessing sites that could pose a security risk, connecting to public WiFi without a VPN, and using strong passwords.

Set Standards for Social Media and Internet Access

Social media and the internet can be a great way to connect with customers and promote your business. However, they can also pose a security risk. Be sure to set standards for how employees can use social media and the internet while at work. This includes only accessing trusted sites, not sharing sensitive information, and not clicking on links from unknown sources.

Prepare for Any Incident

No matter how well you prepare, there’s always a chance that an incident could occur. Be sure to have a plan in place for how you will handle it. This includes having a team of people who are responsible for handling the situation, having backups of all data, and having a communication plan for alerting employees and customers.

Keep Your Policy Up-to-Date

As the landscape of cyber threats changes, so should your policy. Be sure to review and update your policy on a regular basis to ensure that it is always effective.

No matter the size of your business, you need to have a cybersecurity policy in place. This is the best way to protect your company from the ever-growing threat of cybercrime.

Write Your Cybersecurity Policy with Weber TC 

If you’re looking for help creating or updating your cybersecurity policy, the experts at Weber TC are here to help you!

We have a team of experienced IT professionals who can work with you to create a customized policy that meets the unique needs of your business and industry. Contact us today to get started on your cybersecurity journey!