7 Information Security Procedures Every Organization Should Implement

February 1, 2024
Natalie Thorburn

 

Data breach is one of the biggest security threats many organizations contend with. With hackers always prowling the shadowy alleys of the internet, there’s no telling if your company will be their next victim.

Having sensitive company information slip into malicious hands can cause massive revenue losses directly through unauthorized access to your finances or indirectly through lost productivity. Statistics suggest cybercrime accounted for 6 trillion in damages to businesses globally in 2021.

Even if a breach doesn’t result in direct financial loss, it could still cause data damage and intellectual property theft, subjecting your company to a publicity nightmare.

Fortunately, you can minimize the risks of unauthorized data access in your organization by implementing specific information security procedures. Below are some of those policies.

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1. Acceptable Use Procedures

Acceptable use procedures, or acceptable use policies (AUPs), are policies designed to prevent data breaches resulting from misuse of company resources.

One way to implement these information security procedures is to bring your employees up to speed on properly using company technology resources. That includes controlling access to the organization’s data centers and carefully disposing of sensitive documents.

AUPs may also outline guidelines for safe internet usage, including regulating remote access to the company’s network, email and social media communications, and software installations. The objective is to prevent your company’s data from falling into the hands of potential hackers.

2. Data Management Procedures

As the name suggests, data management procedures spell out the proper handling of an organization’s data. These regulations focus on data collection. They specify what data your company can collect from third parties and how that information should be gathered, processed, stored, accessed, and eventually deleted.

Data management procedures are key for e-commerce companies that occasionally conduct surveys to understand how their customers perceive their products. Polling organizations may also use these policies, for instance, during electioneering periods, to test the popularity of various candidates.

Having robust data management procedures ensures employees do not engage in data malpractices that could violate existing privacy laws.

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3. Network Security Procedures

One of the most common ways hackers access sensitive information is by breaching internet connections. That’s a huge concern, especially for companies that use public networks.

A network security procedure establishes guidelines for secure computer network access. If diligently followed by your employees, the policy can cushion your company’s sensitive data from cyberattacks over the internet.

To make all stakeholders understand your company’s network security procedures, start by defining all computer hardware and software components approved within the organization’s precincts. Then, lay down the rules for accessing the company’s internet, including where such connections should be made and when passwords should expire.

4. Personal and Mobile Devices Procedures

The emergence of cloud technology has democratized access to digital information. Authorized employees can access company data from any device or location.

On the one hand, enhanced accessibility implies that an organization’s employees can work from decentralized locations. This reduces downtime while commuting to and from work, improving overall productivity. But on the other hand, accessing sensitive company assets remotely via personal gadgets poses grave data security risks.

You can minimize those risks by creating a policy on the personal computing devices that your employees must use to log into the company. That also entails recommending the use of remote access software for such connections.

5. Removable Media Procedures

USB devices were designed with convenience in mind. They allow you to play important audio-visual information during PowerPoint presentations or to share crucial information like survey findings.

However, the removability of USBs designates them as a potential security threat for any organization. And that’s what makes removable media procedures necessary. These guidelines outline acceptable rules for connecting USBs and other removable devices to a company’s computer system.

Removable media procedures ensure that the connected gadgets do not introduce malware to an organization’s computer networks. The guidelines also regulate the nature and amount of data that can be exported to such devices.

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6. Access Control Procedures

Nearly every organization implements some form of access control. These information security procedures determine who’s authorized to access your company’s data and systems and to what extent they can interact with such information.

Some employees may be authorized to view only certain information, whereas others may have editing and deletion privileges.

Unlike most information security procedures, access control doesn’t focus solely on digital information. It also spells out which employees can venture into certain organizational quarters. For instance, a bioengineering company may choose to keep its laboratories out of reach to certain cohorts of staffers.

7. Remote Access Procedures

Remote access falls within the larger domain of access control. The difference is that it dictates distant access to an organization’s data and systems.

First, organizations will define the hardware to log into their servers. As already hinted, some companies may intentionally prohibit personal and mobile gadgets and insist on using official laptops.

Software is another critical aspect of remote access guidelines. Most organizations will dictate the specific remote access software that their employees can use to log into their servers. That may include prohibiting virtual private networks (VPNs) and any other IP-masking program to ensure all log-ins come from familiar locations.

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Summary

 

The above procedures can make a massive difference in warding off cyberattacks. Remember to engage an IT professional to help your organization implement robust information security policies.

 

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