Documentation is often seen as a burden by many organizations, regardless of their size. They may think that it is too time-consuming, boring, or restrictive. Below are six of the best reasons to build out professional security policies.
A security policy is a document that defines the rules and guidelines for protecting the information technology (IT) environment from various threats. It is essential to develop an effective security policy that aligns with the organization's goals and objectives. By doing so, the security team can establish a security process that hardens the IT environment against attack and reduces the risk of data breaches, malware infections, unauthorized access, and other incidents. A security policy also helps to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations, as well as industry standards and best practices. However, compliance should not be the only motivation for writing a security policy. The process of creating the policy forces the security team to evaluate the systems more rigorously and address issues that might be overlooked in day-to-day operations.
Phishing links, zero-day vulnerabilities, and resource constraints are some of the challenges that IT and security teams face in protecting their organization from cyberattacks. Even if they follow the security policies and best practices, they may not be able to prevent all breaches. In such situations, executives may try to find someone to blame for the incident and target the IT or security staff. To avoid this, IT and security teams need to document their compliance with the security policy that was approved by the executives. This way, they can show that they did their best to mitigate the risks and defend themselves from unfair accusations or job losses.
Creates Leadership Peace of Mind
Development of effective security program management should result in processes by which important information can be shared with non-technical executives to build confidence in the IT and security teams. Policies can support the creation of reports and metrics that make the status of security processes understandable and accessible to leadership team members from all backgrounds.
Accessible and concise reports also facilitate smooth communication amongst the senior leadership of an organization, and can help build confidence in—and therefore support for—security initiatives. Quality communication and reporting demonstrates a commitment to security within the organization, and will often result in proper allocation of funds.
Freedom From Fines
It is uncommon for an organization to be penalized for negligence related to security program management if the organization has demonstrated its commitment to security by formally developing and maintaining official security policies. Of course, it is important for the organization to follow the policies as well! However, legal standards generally look at “reasonable efforts,” the assertion of such can be supported with the documentation from effective security policies and related reports.
Organizations having no formal policies and reporting processes will be in dire straits following a breach, rushing to figure out how to avoid the claim of negligence. If your organization has already designed formal documentation and related processes, the chances of being penalized will likely be significantly reduced.
Simplification of Compliance
An effective security policy is a set of rules and guidelines that define how an organization protects its assets, data, and personnel from internal and external threats. A security policy also supports the compliance requirements of an organization, which are the legal, ethical, and contractual obligations that it must follow.
Compliance requirements may vary depending on the industry, location, and nature of the organization, but they often include standards such as ISO 27001, PCI DSS, HIPAA, GDPR, and NIST. By having an effective security policy, an organization can demonstrate its adherence to these requirements and avoid penalties, fines, or reputational damage. By building out policies with compliance in mind, organizations can ease their burdens during audit seasons.
An effective portfolio of security policies is a set of rules and guidelines that define how an organization protects its assets, data, and personnel from internal and external threats. A well-designed portfolio of security policies can provide several benefits to an organization, such as:
Enhancing the security posture and resilience of the organization against cyberattacks, natural disasters, sabotage, and other risks.
Improving the compliance and accountability of the organization with relevant laws, regulations, standards, and best practices.
Reducing the costs and liabilities associated with security breaches, incidents, and losses.
Increasing the trust and confidence of the stakeholders, customers, partners, and employees in the organization's security capabilities and performance.
Supporting the strategic goals and objectives of the organization by aligning the security policies with the business needs and priorities.
Contact Webcheck Security today to discuss the benefits described above and how we can help your organization realize them.