According to Cybersecurity Ventures' 2022 Official Cybercrime Report, cybercrime will cause global damages estimated at $8 trillion in 2023. This alarming statistic proves that having appropriate security measures to protect data and systems is crucial for any organization.
The first and foremost step toward ensuring that your business has the necessary protection is creating and implementing effective cybersecurity policies. However, it's not enough to just have these policies in place. It's essential to regularly review, update, and enforce them as well so they remain a valid and reliable source of protection.
What are Cybersecurity Policies?
Cybersecurity policies are detailed documents that explain how your organization should manage, store, and protect its data. They typically include rules and guidelines for the usage of internal resources, such as computers, networks, and other systems. They also outline technical security controls to ensure the safety of your data and systems from malicious actors.
Basic policies should cover employee behavior and access rights, data storage, secure passwords and authentication methods, as well as measures for protecting against malware and other cyberthreats. A comprehensive security policy should be tailored to your business's particular needs and encompass all aspects of your IT infrastructure.
Why is it Important to Keep Security Policies Current and Relevant?
Technology is inherently dynamic, so much so that the tools and solutions you use today might become obsolete in the near future. Similarly, the level of protection offered by security policies can become outdated over time. This is why it's essential to regularly review your organization’s security policies and update them as needed.
Outdated security policies can be a significant liability for organizations, as these may not address current threats and the latest technologies. Updating your security policies involves ensuring that the provisions are accurate, concise, and reflective of your business's current operations as well as any new legal or industry regulations.
When Should Your Business Update its Security Policies?
There are certain situations that necessitate revisiting and revising your policies. Here are seven occasions when your business should update its cybersecurity policies.
1. When implementing new technologies
Whenever a new technology or system is introduced into your environment, you should review and update your security policies to reflect its use. This ensures that the new system is adequately protected and that its usage is in line with your organization's security standards.
2. When internal processes change
Process changes can affect how your organization handles data and should be taken into account when updating security policies. For instance, if you move from an on-premises server to the cloud, your policies should be adjusted to cover the new environment.
3. When hiring new staff
Whenever you bring in new personnel, review and update your security policies to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to information security. This includes setting clear expectations for data access and usage.
4. When working with third-party vendors
Your security policies should also cover any data that your organization shares with external organizations or contractors. This includes outlining the security measures that must be taken by your vendor and the consequences of failing to comply.
5. When security incidents occur
Security incidents can help you identify gaps in your existing policies and regulations. When you investigate and assess how such incidents occurred, you can use the information to make adjustments and strengthen your security policies.
6. When legal or industry regulations are implemented or updated
Regulatory changes can significantly impact how your organization stores and uses data, so you should update your security policies to make sure you remain compliant. Not only will this help protect your data, but it can also prevent costly fines and penalties.
Even if no major changes or incidents occur in your business, it's prudent to review and update your security policies at least once a year. This will save you the headache of having to do a complete overhaul of your cybersecurity policies every few years. You can use these annual reviews to check how well your current policies are working and make small changes as needed.
Related reading: How to Assess and Manage Your Business’ Security Vulnerabilities
With cyberthreats continuously growing in complexity and sophistication, it's crucial to ensure that your organization's security policies remain up to date. By following the guidelines above, you can ensure that your policies are properly reviewed and adjusted to reflect the current needs of your business.
Our team of experts at Charles IT can help you review and update your business's cybersecurity policies. Contact us today to learn how we can help keep your organization secure!