Many methods exist to protect a company’s data, and one of the most reliable of these is an information security policy. Constructing the policy often falls under cybersecurity, since the data of today is moved between and stored inside computers. Now, even though cybersecurity is the preferred field in which to make a security policy, it does not follow that a policy only affects cybersecurity.
After a policy has been created, it becomes the responsibility of the entire business to uphold the standards contained in the policy. Rules are laid out and are required to adhere to the policy, employees are expected to fulfill their duties, including promises to keep sensitive data safe, and if need be, enforcing the policy rules in the case that people violate any part of the agreement. Think of these types of policies as part of the process of NDAs (nondisclosure agreements). An NDA is meant to keep, among other things, industry secrets safe; with it, employers can be assured that their employees can be trusted.
What do information security policies look like?
The federal government, and specifically the U.S Department of State, is familiar with information security policies. It works commonly with security clearances ranked as Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Each rank allows access to different kinds of security information. Candidates go through rigorous interviews before being granted access. Should a governmental worker reveal a secret, they will have their clearance revoked.
This goes similarly with other companies. Once a security policy is agreed to, it has to be followed according to its terms. See, on paper, the difference between matters of national security and those of company data is of little concern—the information is the point, not the field to which it belongs. An important element during the government’s process is a Continuous Evaluation Program. This program carries out reinvestigations into whether follow-through is taking place. This strategy could prove useful for companies that cycle through different versions of security policies, updating them, perhaps annually.
What is the purpose of information security policies?
A well-made information security policy is direct and comprehensive, the answer to frequently asked questions, however complicated they get to be. That does not mean, though, that one policy is for new employees, another for experienced members of the team. Questions come with experience, which is to say that questions never stop. The policy accounts for this fact, or it fails at its purpose.
For example, with its security policy, the Environmental Protection Agency gets its purpose, scope, and audience out of the way in the first three pages. It explains its rationale and lists the elements that the information security policy will cover, as well as designating responsibilities for different employees. The valuable thing for companies is to reflect on the information. Such a group may include everybody, or on the other hand, it may exclude the employees who work in an area where security is less of a priority and is in competition with other aspects of the workplace formula. As long as the policy reaches the right people, it will get the right kind of attention, with the support to match it as well.
Everybody Has A Role To Play
In every policy, the need for a united effort seriously affects the outcome of an information security policy. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, it is in the employees’ best interests to uphold the policy because it also protects them. The moment they start their jobs, they are a part of the data. Every task completely changes its form. From that perspective, regulating access pertains to personal privacy and intellectual property. The human element adds depth to these policies. In the absence of it, any sign linked to the mission statement or the extrinsic goals advancing the company declines in importance.
Above all, an information security policy needs a sturdy foundation, preferably made of laws and standards that can evolve as they climb with the construction. It is best to maintain a realistic outlook during this work; an earlier focus on practicality makes the jump to idealism that much more sensible. The information security policy needs to fit inside the regular parameters before it extends its reach. For example, big picture thinking ought not distract from detail-oriented thinking. This is the latter of indisputably higher importance in technical work. If the reverse is true, the foundation stays. It converts into a “big picture” model for risk assessment.
How do you deal with the process?
When dealing with any new process, the slow approach, as seen in instructional scaffolding, is easier to handle. Approaching one concept a day lets employees combine experiences with education and help peers. Peers might be struggling to understand a key facet. Ideally, the writing style is economic and structured around questions and concerns common to the company. The audience knows what it wants, and there are expectations for the product. So, the audience is more likely to pay attention to the details.
Companies start mitigating risks in two ways for post-analysis. One, they implement the new policies and deliver them via email, meeting, or memo. This makes it easier to send out the message. Two, they remind employees of their duties at regular intervals.
We Are Here For You
At Essential Data Corporation, we also believe that the audience knows what it wants. We treat our projects as responsibly as you do your company, and we ensure your specifications. An information security policy keeps a company safe as the other work continues. Why not hand the policy over to us? You have enough things to worry about already. We can guarantee that the completed policy will be better than you expected.
How EDC can Help
Whether you need a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation or a single technical writer for a brief project, Essential Data’s Engagement Manager will lead the project from start to finish. At Essential Data Corporation, the quality of our work is guaranteed. Contact us today to get started at (800) 221-0093 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Will Boswell