A cybersecurity policy is a living document that needs to be updated regularly to include changes in your business, in technology, and in compliance regulations. Here are some things to do when updating your company’s cybersecurity policy.

Cybersecurity To-Do List:

  • Set a date to re-evaluate the policy.
  • Determine how you will self-audit the policy.
  • Review your current security guidelines.

Consider these common cybersecurity issues to address:

  • Which industry regulations do you need to comply with?
  • What data do you need to protect, and how should it be stored and transferred?
  • What business software needs to be maintained and updated to stay secure?
  • What do you expect of all employees in terms of choosing passwords, appropriate internet use, remote network access, email guidelines, etc.?
  • What is your bring your own device (BYOD) policy?
  • Who will manage and maintain the cybersecurity policy?
  • How will you enforce the guidelines (what is the penalty for willful non-compliance)?

Four Most Common Cybersecurity Policies

A comprehensive cybersecurity policy covers computer, email and internet usage in specific detail. Depending on your company, a password protection policy and a social media policy may be added as well.

  1. Computer and email acceptable use policy – covers unauthorized access, software licenses, harassment and pornography issues, and establishes the company’s right to monitor.
  2. Internet acceptable use policy – establishes the company’s ownership of data transmitted over its computer systems; establishes the right to monitor.
  3. Password protection policy – covers the standards for creation of strong passwords, the protection of those passwords and the frequency of change.
  4. Social media and blogging policies – outlines how an organization and its employees should conduct themselves online. It helps safeguard your brand’s reputation and encourages employees to responsibly share the company’s message.

Educate Your Employees

Did you know that 43 percent of data loss is from internal contacts, this includes employees, vendors and contractors. Half of this is intentional—disgruntled or opportunistic employees – and the other half of it is simply negligence.

Continuously communicate your cybersecurity policy to employees, and make sure they understand the relevant details: what they are expected to do; how to do it; and what could happen if they don’t. Remember, things that seem obvious to you—like how to change a password—might not be known to everyone in the company.

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