Information Security Policy Template

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Information Security Policy Template In today’s world, it’s essential to keep your business information safe. Even one slipup is enough to put your company at risk. Around 43% of all data breaches target small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and the number of breaches increased by an astounding 424% in 2018 alone. With breaches on the rise, it’s crucial for SMBs to create and implement a security policy to protect their data. Follow this information security policy template to prevent breaches from affecting your business. An information security policy is a set of rules to protect your company’s internal and external assets. It should include all security measures and procedures that ultimately come together in a guide for employees.

The Importance of Security Policies

A security policy protects a company from data breaches and also creates a roadmap in the case of a breach to ensure minimal damage. The average data breach costs $3 million, enough to shut down 83% of small to medium-sized businesses after one security incident (Insurance Bee). You can’t overestimate the importance of an information security policy.

Your IT Security Policy Template for Small Business

Many elements make up a successful information security policy, and it can be challenging to keep them all straight. If you want your policy to resist cyberattacks, follow these steps.

1. Set Clear Objectives

The first step is to think about your goals. Possible goals could include the following:
  • Securing the business environment
  • Securing customer data
  • Protecting client data
  • Maintaining regulation and compliance
  • And more.
Set a clear mission and create steps to reach your goal. These objectives will inform the rest of the process.

2. Analyze Your Environment

Analyze your current environment and identify any gaps or vulnerabilities. If you need assistance analyzing your IT infrastructure, a professional security risk assessment can expedite the process and identify security issues you might have missed. After identifying the gaps create a plan to address them and remediate those areas of weaknesses.

3. Permissions

Information security is all about access. Good information security policy examples include both a permission hierarchy and a security policy:
  • A Permission Hierarchy: Permissions based on employee need and level within the company with a senior manager in charge of adjusting user permissions.
  • A Network Security Policy: To strengthen your network security, require employees to enter credentials—including passwords, ID cards, biometrics, etc.—to access data.
Don’t forget about your Wi-Fi networks. They’re an easily overlooked entrance point for hackers.

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4. Use Safe Login Practices

Basic passwords make it easy for hackers to access your sensitive information. Using strong passwords is a simple yet effective way to prevent a security breach. The following would be a part of a strong sample information security policy:
  • Use of strong passwords
  • Changing passwords regularly
  • Multifactor identification
  • Digital signatures
The more steps to access your system, the better.

5. Implement Data Classifications

Create classifications and organize your assets based on informational value and importance. Most information security policies include three levels of classification:
  • Top Secret
  • Confidential
  • Public Information
Once you classify your assets, you’ll see where to spend time and resources. For example, protecting a top-secret asset is a higher priority than public information.

6. Utilize Security Software

Security software is the first line of defense against a cyberattack. Utilize security software to protect multiple points in your system:
  • Firewalls
  • Data Encryption
  • Anti-Malware Protection
Install security software on all your devices, including devices with remote access like laptops, tablets, and cell phones.

7. Create an Action Plan to Track Control Measures

Once all the pieces are in order, it’s time to put them together. Consider your assets and create a plan to implement your security measures. Be as detailed as possible and include a timeline for each step. Your action plan will help you stay organized during the implementation process. You should also include trackable metrics in your action plan. The following metrics offer a good starting point:
  • Intrusion Attempts: How many times has someone attempted to access your systems?
  • Mean Time to Detect (MTTD): How long did it take you to identify an intrusion?
  • Mean Time to Contain (MTTC): How long did it take to contain the files accessed?
  • Mean Time to Resolve (MTTR): How long does it take to respond to a threat once detected?
Keeping track of these metrics can help you monitor, control, and improve your security processes over time.

8. Continuously Update Your Information Security Policy

Information security policies aren’t static documents. They’re meant to change and evolve. By keeping up with your security metrics, you’ll know where your plan is strongest and where it could use some work. Update your security policy regularly to make sure it can keep up with ever-evolving security threats.

Get Your Workforce Involved

Even the most perfect information security policy will fail without your employees’ support. Train your employees about proper cyber security best practices to raise their security awareness and eliminate vulnerabilities through emails, password-sharing, and any other threats brought on by human error. Include the following in your employee training:
  • Password management
  • Document shredding
  • Mobile device and laptop security
  • Online threats such as social media
Implement a series of disciplinary actions to enforce your data security policies. Without punishment, employees could get lazy and leave your business vulnerable to threats.

Outsource the Creation of Your Information Security Policy to an MSP

With so many elements to consider, creating a security policy can overwhelm even the most competent IT department. For many SMBs, the best option is to outsource the creation to a managed service provider (MSP). Managed service providers like Vermont Connections, have experience implementing security policies. They’ll quickly identify assets, determine the best security strategy, and implement an information security policy that’s customized for your business. If you’re interested in learning more about what an information security policy can do for your business, contact the experts at Vermont Connection’s. We can help you design and implement a security policy that fits your unique business.

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