What Should Be Included in Your IT Policy

What Should Be Included in Your IT Policy

posted in Disaster Recovery ● 6 Feb 2014

A well-designed IT policy is a critical weapon in the arsenal of any organisation that conducts any business operations digitally. Yet many organisations do not have strategies in place to cater for both the protection of their business-critical data and the threat of its loss, but instead rely on haphazard or out of date technologies to protect their most vital asset. Designing an IT policy that protects your data from both external and internal threats is a task that relies upon the inclusion of methods and technologies that must work in conjunction to provide robust protection from the variety of threats that could undermine your organisation’s operations. Here are a few factors that should underpin your IT policy. 

Protection against viruses 

Viruses pose a particularly malicious threat to the security of an organisation as they can often go undetected and only be discovered when it is too late and vital business data has been lost or compromised. It is therefore critical to ensure that adequate protection is provided from trusted anti-virus software solutions that possess the ability to prevent viruses from entering a machine or network both from the internet as well as from physical devices plugged into the network. They must also be able to completely remove any such viruses or software present on a user’s machine before any data has been compromised. 

Protection against hackers 

Any organisation with an internet connection faces the threat of malicious attackers gaining access to important organisational data. Businesses that suffer the injustice of having their data compromised by hackers face serious repercussions including, not only loss of data and clients, but legal ramifications if sensitive personal client information is exposed. It is critical that adequate measures be put in place to ensure that outside attacks are both prevented and reported on. Implementing a robust security firewall is key to preventing attacks from hackers as well as ensuring that users are unable to access sites that may compromise the security of the organisation and network. 

Bring Your Own Device policies 

Many organisations are reaping the benefits of introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies as part of their IT strategies. It allows their employees the freedom to access information from devices of their choosing and at places and times outside of the office and the standard operating times. However, while these policies offer many benefits to users and the organisation, if the correct measures are not in place, the organisation faces various potential threats to the safety and security of vital company data.

It is therefore critical that if a Bring Your Own Device policy is embraced by an organisation, that stringent security measures are implemented to control the amount and types of data that will be accessed. All devices used to access the company network must be able to adhere to the security policies of the organisation and must be visible on the company firewall and be protected by up-to-date anti-virus software.

A comprehensive disaster recovery solution 

No organisation’s IT policy can be considered complete or sound without a comprehensive disaster recovery solution that caters for day-to-day operational backups to protect the organisation from total data loss. Once the restore point and restore time objectives (RPO and RTO) have been established by the organisation, a disaster recovery solution must be implemented that not only fits into the RPO and RTO objectives, but provides complete and secure data protection, whether the data is housed onsite or off-site. Consider a software suite that provides robust data protection covering both servers and workstations in cloud-based online backups and onsite hosted or hybrid implementations. FIPS-compliant encryption standards also ensure that all backed up data remains safe and secure both in storage and in transit.
 
A sound IT policy is vital to the ongoing operation of any organisation, and must rely on a robust set of technologies that seamlessly integrate together to provide complete protection.

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