Writing An Effective Cybersecurity Policy: 5 Essential Steps

2020 made significant adjustments to how most we work. The shift to online and often forced digital transformation brought many new risks that companies were simply not ready for. The consequences of cyber-attacks, technical malfunction of services, or human error can seriously damage a business.
 
It should be remembered that non-compliance with the rules of “cyber hygiene” can lead to various but almost always unpleasant surprises. Many modern companies, although being aware of various cyber threats, still sometimes choose to pay little to no attention to building robust online security, creating an operational plan to deal with numerous digital threats.
 
Some modern enterprises believe that cybersecurity is something that should be done on paper but needn't be upheld. We're here to reveal the falseness of these ideas and provide some practical guidelines to help you stay secure online both in and outside the office.  

Cybersecurity: challenges of 2021

It is estimated that cyber crime will cost the world $6 trillion a year by 2021, which is doubled if we compare it to $3 trillion in 2015.  These costs include: 
 
● Data damage and destruction;
● theft;
● performance loss;
● intellectual-property theft; 
● fraud; 
● disruption of business;
● investigation costs;
● recovery/removal of compromised data and systems;
● company’s reputation damage.
 
Roughly 80% of companies have experienced a cyber attack in the past 12 months, while cyber attacks are among the top global risks that every organization faces, in accordance with the 2019 World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report.
 
Evidently, informational risks are no joke. Identifying cyber risks at an early stage is one of the most important, difficult tasks a company faces when writing corporate cybersecurity. Simply studying several articles on the Internet while implementing two-factor authorization is often not enough – you must know and understand what cyber dangers you may encounter and develop an effective plan that will ward against them.  

Creating a robust cybersecurity policy in 5 easy steps

Cybersecurity policy is the company’s official plan of actions that are implemented to ensure information security online. A cybersecurity plan should outline the company's security objectives and components, creating a general framework a business can use to build up its informational security. 
 
This policy can consist of various documents, such as general provisions, glossary, technical specifications, applicable standards, etc. - depending on the firm’s security needs. Here is a brief 5-step guide to writing a comprehensive cybersecurity policy every company can use.
 
1. Review You Company’s Security & Compose Basic Clarifications.
 
All companies operate in their own way, deal with different data, and therefore need their own personalized cybersecurity policy. Before such a document can be drafted, the company’s management and IT specialists should review the company’s potential risks, vulnerabilities, determine which data the company deals with, how it’s obtained and reserved. 
 
When working on cybersecurity clarifications, it's essential to include a comprehensive glossary to clarify the necessary terms and state the contact information and details concerning the persons who partook in compiling the document – for ease of possible future reference.  
 
2. Write Informative Security Statements.
 
This part of the document contains detailed information regarding cybersecurity, going into detail about the information that will be protected, which measures and actions are to be taken to uphold corporate information security. This section of the document is a most substantial one, so it should be composed with great attention to detail. It can include as many provisions as necessary for the specific company.
 
3. Align Your Policy Document With  US Federal & Relevant Local Requirements.
 
It’s important to state that many companies don’t write cybersecurity policy from scratch, but follow guidelines of industry standards in this regard. This allows not only to make the process of adopting cybersecurity easier but ensures that all the crucial nuances are accounted for and that the final document complies with general standards and requirements set by governing bodies.
 
4. Define Data Infrastructure & Protection.
 
In this section of the document, one must specify in detail which channels are used to transfer data, back it up, which tools or other digital solutions that company uses for information's storage (remote servers, cloud storage, etc.) as well as data protection solutions and their maintenance.
 
5.  Designate A Response Team & Establish  Accountability
 
In case of a cybersecurity breach, a company will need to act immediately. So, employees responsible for data protection must be assigned beforehand. Their roles and responsibilities, their authority and subordination as well as contact details must be strictly determined. 
 
Conclusion  
 
If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to compile an effective, easy to adapt, and operational cybersecurity policy that will make your life much easier if a security event should happen. Companies that took time developing such policies can assess security breaches at a moment's notice, taking appropriate action, significantly cutting back on their losses, and we advise that you follow in their footsteps. 
 
About the author: Jessica Fender is a professional writer on topical issues in sales & marketing at PapersOwl.
 
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