Building Easily Understood IT Policies for Stronger Cyber Security

Steve Macmillan

IT security policies are a vital part of the foundation of your business, they help you manage cybersecurity risk and in turn minimise business, financial and reputational damage. However, they can be quite tricky to write. Building a set of IT policies that encompass everything your business requires, while keeping things understandable, can be a big challenge.

Before starting you should carefully consider the contents. Any new policy should begin with a definition of its scope and purpose. It’s essential to first think about what you want the policy to achieve, and why having it is necessary for your business. Think about the intended audience for the material - who will be reading and abiding by this policy.

Typically there are 3 key groups of people involved – Senior Executives to support and fund the initiative, Stakeholders within the business (who will be providing input and feedback during the exercise) and the Staff/user population who will ultimately be required to accept and abide by the policies.

Keeping the content simple is key, with due consideration for not just the structure of the material within the policy, but also its context in relation to any other IT policies that have already been approved or may be written in the future. Ensuring statements across different polices are not contradictory can be a time consuming process. The language used should be simple and easy to understand, and the intent of the document should be clear to everyone in the organisation with no ambiguity or technical jargon. Remember that an easily understandable and effective IT policy document is also one that is going to be easier to maintain as technology and business requirements change.

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If you’re looking for guidance on how to make your IT security policies as simple and usable as possible, speak with one of the trained professionals at Protocol Policy Systems. Along with our comprehensive suite of policies, we have the consulting expertise to implement them for you and ensure they are following (aligned with) best practice – in a fraction of the time you could implement them in-house.  

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