As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, the need for robust security protocols and reliable managed IT services providers has never been more vital. Unfortunately, many employers are navigating the world of remote work without much experience or infrastructure in place. Implementing acceptable use protocols and security policies is an essential step for businesses of any size. Ensuring compliance with these safeguards allows companies to preserve their data, technology, and other assets. With the help of a managed IT services provider, businesses should create security and compliance policies for their employees to follow.
Trends in Managed IT Services: Security Policies Are More Important Now Than Ever Before
With the rise of remote work, professionals in managed IT services are tasked with securing more endpoints (and more widespread devices) than ever before. When employees take their work home with them, they can unknowingly open themselves up to a slew of vulnerabilities. Viruses, phishing scams, and other costly consequences can wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line if its employees are not careful; broken computers and leaked information can be incredibly expensive problems to fix. Fortunately, comprehensive security and compliance policies can help mitigate a company’s risk.
Consider Physical Security, Cybersecurity, and Other Concerns When Drafting Company Policies
When it comes to drafting effective employee policies, the word count of said documentation is not always an indicator of its effectiveness. Employers must consider all kinds of risks that their staff members may encounter or present themselves. Comprehensive documentation should include acceptable use and baseline security policies, among other things. By holding employees accountable and making them aware of rules, risks, and consequences, business owners can ensure that their staff members are taking security seriously.
Common Solutions and Policy Examples
There are various standard concerns that a company’s security policy may address, and you should consult with a managed IT services professional to discuss what may be the most beneficial for you. Here are some examples:
- Passwords and accounts – Policies can run the gamut from password character minimums to two-factor authentication requirements. Company-wide password change prompts on a quarterly or yearly basis can also prove successful.
- Acceptable use – These policies dictate what employees can do when they use company devices — laptops, phones, and software subscriptions are company resources, and there may be strict limits on using them for personal reasons. Blocking or filtering inappropriate websites for end users protects company time and resources.
- Employee training requirements – Some employers require that their staff members undergo training in basic cybersecurity principles, phishing awareness and best practices to keep data secure.
- Baseline security – What is the minimum level of protection needed for each device and network? These policies can dictate what antivirus programs, firewalls, or other security tools are necessary to use company devices or networks. Reviewing current security and future goals with your leadership and Howard Tech team on a quarterly or yearly basis allow for a planned and successful way to secure your business.
- Security incident response – What happens if your device is stolen or damaged? Do you have bitlocker disk encryption deployed? Security incident response policies help give a framework for disaster response while also ensuring containment, reporting, and mitigation of potential security threats.
- Mobile device access and management – Company-owned mobile devices can be tricky to regulate, and thorough protocols are often helpful to maintain secure remote access.Howard Tech can provide guidance on standards to implement.
- Encryption and data protection – Finally, to what extent are end-users allowed, encouraged, or required to encrypt or otherwise protect their data? Two-factor authentication and bitlocker disk encryption are some ways to secure data on stolen devices.
No matter the size of your business or the extent to which you rely upon technology, instituting a standard security policy for office tech is a good idea. While some companies may need a pages-long appendix to employee contracts, others simply need a brief document detailing acceptable use and baseline security. Either way, consulting your managed IT services professionals is a great place to start!
Need a Managed IT Services Provider? Choose Howard Tech Advisors.
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.