Four Strategies for Designing an Effective Security Policy

Four Strategies for Designing an Effective Security Policy

Organizations should take a comprehensive approach to implement a truly effective security policy, which includes gaining upper management support, ensuring end users are on board and understand the importance of adhering to security policies, providing continuous education, and enforcing policies aggressively.

While security tooling and processes are becoming increasingly automated, maintaining a strong posture still necessitates human awareness, intelligence, and agility.

Businesses can begin to notice patterns of dangerous conduct by increasing security awareness through administrative controls. Businesses can then generalize and adapt to new threats quicker than security firms can develop software to counteract them.

Here are a few practical approaches that businesses can use to build effective security policies.

Give security policy a K.I.S.S.

Even by IT standards, acronyms and jargon have taken over security. That’s fine among security professionals; for practically everyone else in the organization, it’s not very exciting. The same can be said for any technological subject that approaches complexity. Although most aspects of IT security are not rocket science, the industry is rife with jargon. Businesses should stick to common words and phrases for clarity’s sake.

People will not read or understand policies if they are difficult to read or comprehend. The K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) philosophy is the best. When organizations begin to establish policies, they must keep in mind that a policy should be a brief statement stating the regulations in plain English. They should be written in such a way that the policy is flexible.

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Concentrate on the most important issues

Too frequently, security leaders and teams get caught up in trying to cover every situation or circumstance as a matter of policy. This is one of the reasons why organizations wind up with voluminous, complex, and tedious documentation that people, at best, skim.

Trying to cover every situation in security policy is a common pitfall for security teams. Businesses should be concerned about things like overly generous administrative access in their cloud accounts, rather than the boat race and other outliers.

Draw attention to what and why

When it comes to policy writing, there’s a lot of “do this, don’t do that” advice. That is necessary, yet it is insufficient. Explain what and why. The ‘what’ is to satisfy an employee’s rational thinking while also providing direction to the company. They are energized and motivated by the ‘why.’ Businesses require both for safe behavior.

When the “why” is missing, people are unable to comprehend the risks and benefits of password hygiene.

Policies and standards all too often fail to explain why they are vital or what would happen if they are not followed. Businesses should explain why regulations and standards are necessary and how individuals and teams will benefit from adhering to them. if they wish to gain participation.

The consequence for not following security policies is usually stated, but not the opposite option. There is no advantage detailed for doing so properly. Humans, according to anecdotal evidence, require a decent combination of both to change and retain new behavior.

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Then show them how to do it

After establishing what and why, most people, particularly that outside of IT, will require assistance with “how.”

Motivation may not necessarily equate to appropriate behavior. Companies should provide context and examples of how to act ethically.

Many companies and security teams have made the terms policy and procedure synonymous, causing a lot of confusion between good and bad policy. A strong policy statement should not only spell out what enterprises will do but should also be accompanied by a detailed procedural document outlining how they will achieve it. Non-technical stakeholders can and should also be involved in policymaking at a higher level.

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