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At this point, it’s hard to believe that anyone needs to be told that cybersecurity is important, but some organizations are still doing the bare minimum to protect their network and data. That can’t go on forever. Today, we thought we would discuss how to put together a cybersecurity policy that covers all the bases, and will give you the peace of mind that you are actively combating today’s most present threats to your network, infrastructure, and data.
It is important to first identify what you define as a cyber incident. Do you limit that to simply some threat coming in from outside of your network? Does it include malfunctioning hardware or corrupted software that is on your network? You will need to define what your aims are. All cybersecurity is in place to protect your data and network against threats. By identifying those threats you will be able to more succinctly strategize what protections you will need to put in place.
You will also want to make an effort to document everything in a manner commensurate with your internal staff’s cybersecurity competency. For organizations with cybersecurity novices, using layman’s terms to describe these definitions will make it simpler for them to understand exactly what the plan is.
Once your threats are defined, you will want to start educating your staff. The best way to do this is to establish easily defined processes that work with the express purpose of keeping threats off of your network. That means making standards that apply to all types of situations. This includes a remote worker contingency, what qualifies for acceptable use of company bandwidth, and how to establish the authentication protocols that will dictate access to the systems you are aiming to protect. It should also be noted that your business may be mandated to provide a certain degree of proof-of-security or increased transparency because of federal, state, or industry regulations so you should alter your processes to fit those demands.
As you document your cybersecurity policies, you will want to ensure that you have the following information:
You will also want to make sure that any documentation has your continuity information in case your staff will need to recover data as a result of a cybersecurity problem.
Once your processes are implemented and documented, you will need to make sure that your staff is given the training they need to properly understand what you are trying to accomplish. This step is extremely important. Your staff needs to understand how their actions could have negative (and positive) outcomes for the entire business.
You will want to go over most of the threats they will encounter, like phishing messages, and how to spot and eliminate the threats. You will want to describe the steps you have taken to keep the business safe. Most won’t understand the firewalls and the antivirus solutions that you use. They will shrug off monitoring and react impulsively against solutions that impede on how they use their personally-owned devices.
Most employees will take a cue from a manager that takes these things seriously, and react in turn. Some won’t, and need to know that there will be consequences for actions taken out of negligence, or worse yet, animosity. If you know that you can trust your staff to carry out their duties without putting the whole business at risk, giving them every reason to trust that your cybersecurity initiatives are there to protect their jobs, your clients, and your business technology you can trust that they will react with diligent action.
If you are looking to implement cybersecurity procedures and need help finding solutions, training staff, and documenting your plan, call the IT experts at KT Connections today at 605-341-3873.
Rodd Ahrenstorff is the Director of Business Operations for KT Connections, as well as a member of the company’s ownership team starting in 2014. Rodd has been working in the computer and telecommunication fields for over twenty years—a term during which he has held a number of leadership positions. In the past, he has served as a broadcast television engineer, an systems architect, and most recently Director of Information Technology, including a role as a HIPAA Security Officer for behavioral health and multi-specialty medical providers.