Policy Awareness

How to Define and Enforce Cybersecurity Policies

How to Define and Enforce Corporate Policies

*Post Updated in April 2021

If you read our last post, you are now familiar with what cybersecurity policy compliance is and why it’s important. As a next step, let us guide you through how to define and enforce cybersecurity policies.

How to Define a Cybersecurity Policy

Developing a cybersecurity policy aims to lay out relevant direction and value to individuals within an organization concerning security. It is to create something that the employees can refer to when unsure how to proceed and need guidance on matters related to cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity policies look different for different companies. However, there is usually a general template that every company can follow and which characterizes a good cybersecurity policy. 

These documents usually start with an Introduction and Purpose. The introduction can be kept general and serves to introduce your company and the scope of threats that it faces. The purpose section is mainly there to highlight why it is you’re forming a policy.

Following this, the next step is to move onto the Scope of the policy. The scope refers to how far the policy would extend, whether it covers only C-level executives, reaches out to the whole company or a specific department. In addition to this, it also talks about what the policy will focus on.

A Cybersecurity policy must also define what the company considers to be Confidential Data. This can vary from company to company, but usually, this includes financial information, customers, partners, employees, patents, and new technologies. 

After this, the policy can list instructions and/or steps to be followed when undertaking specific procedures. For example, if the employee has to access company data from their device, they could have instructions on how to do so safely and what the employees must not do. There can also be a section to highlight the consequences of breaching the instructions. 

Overall, it is essential to note that not all policies will look the same. The above serves as a guideline for what companies can do to improve their policies or make one if they don’t already have an existing one. 

How to Enforce Cybersecurity Policies

When it comes to enforcing policies, keep in mind that employees are so busy with the daily tasks that they will hardly ever pay attention and absorb information on PDFs that are multiple pages long. A valuable tip for organizations would be to keep policies as short and concise as possible, making them easily digestible. By doing this, they can increase the chances of actually educating their employees.

Including a section on consequences for not following the policy guidelines helps to ensure that employees are taking up the information. They would want to strive to avoid the punishments and try to adhere to the policy’s guidelines.

To ensure take-up, a vital element of a cybersecurity policy compliance program is to raise policy awareness. It would go a long way in imbibing the policy into the minds of the employees. Furthermore, all policy documents should be easily and readily available for the employees to access and view anytime. Read our next post to learn how to raise cybersecurity policy awareness amongst your employees.

Read our next blog post to learn 4 Tips for a Successful Cybersecurity Policy Compliance.

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