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The Benefits Of Implementing Information Security Policies For Your Business

Cyber security 06/19/2020 - 13:34 by Swami Nathan

Does your company have a robust information security policy to defend your data and network effectively against possible cyber attacks? Have you checked what security measures you already have in place, and whether or not they are enough to protect your organization against advanced threats, such as Ransomware?

IT companies that are required to build processes that protect their customer data’s security and privacy can incur costs in doing so, but it must understand that information security policies can have major benefits.

What is Information Security?

Information security is the amount of the individuals, procedures, and technologies introduced for the defence of information assets within an organization. This also prohibits unauthorized release of these information properties, damage, access, usage, alteration etc.

What is an Information Security Policy?

An Information Security Policy is a document, or a document set, intended to direct the actions of employees with respect to the protection of company information and IT systems etc. Such security policies endorse the CIA triad and identify who, what and why with respect to the desired actions, and they play a significant role in the overall security posture of an organization.

Benefits of Implementing a Security Policy –

1. Information Security Policies Keeps You Away from Penalties and Fines

IT organizations need to be aware of the existing compliance laws that apply to their particular industries. Legislators are increasingly implementing regulations in North America, Europe and around the world that ensures the security and privacy of personal data obtained by private entities and organizations. Violating these laws can lead to substantial Fines and Penalties, but even companies with strong security enforcement processes have the ability to mitigate these issues by protecting the data they are gathering appropriately.

Some of the Security Enforcement Frameworks most common include:

HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted in the United States in 1996 and imposes a number of regulations on companies in the healthcare sector who handle patient data. It is the duty of all organizations handling healthcare data in America to protect the information gathered in compliance with HIPAA. Penalties for failure to comply will range from $100 to $50,000 per violation, with a maximum penalty of $1.5 million a year.

GDPR – The European General Data Protection Act (GDPR) extends to all businesses handling the personal data of people residing in the European Union, and firms geographically located outside Europe. The law was designed to protect European citizens from data breaches by requiring businesses to demand consent to collect data, anonymize data, inform their consumers of data breaches and implement the ‘right to be forgotten.’ Companies that fail to comply may face large fines which can be equivalent to 4 % of their global revenue, or EUR 20 million, whichever is greater.

PCI-DSS – The regulations laid down in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DDS) apply to all companies handling credit card information. The PCI Security Standards Council, an agency established by the Visa, Mastercard, and other payment companies, administers and enforces this regulation. When retailers refuse to comply with the PCI-DDS, they may be fined by their payment company between $5,000 and $100,000 per month, sums which can cripple a small business.

In order to prevent substantial fines and penalties, IT companies must comply with the security requirements and regulations specific to their business.

2. Information Security Policies Secure Your Reputation for Doing Business

In 2020, Data Breaches are becoming even more common. Data breaches damage the reputation of a company, undermine the trust between the organization and its customers and send a message that the company is untrustworthy and does not take appropriate steps to protect its customers’ privacy and security. In addition to the tremendous costs and fines associated with data breaches, businesses are in a position to alert clients of the violation and eventually fix the relationship. IT organizations that offer priority to data protection will maintain their organizations’ reputation for trustworthiness and best practises in protecting client privacy.

3. Information Security Policies Strengthens Your Skills in Data Protection

Maintaining policies with data protection requirements starts with keeping track of what confidential customer information they possess and having the ability to access and change that information in a seamless manner for most IT organizations.

For example, businesses subject to the European GDPR must support their customers’ right to access data they have collected. The GDPR allows compliant organizations to have all sensitive information stored about the user, as requested by the customer, along with information about how the data is being used and where it is being stored. That means the company needs to know where the data is stored and be able to access the data in a timely manner.

Under the GDPR, businesses will have to collect data from users who opt-in to the data collection process and have the ability to “forget” a user when requested, delete all of their personal data and decide to discontinue the dissemination of such data.

Such criteria lead IT departments to update their data processing systems in a way that not only respects privacy but also improves operational performance. IT organizations should start by auditing their current data systems to ensure that clients have opted into their data collection program. After an audit, organizations should delete non-opt-in data files for clients — files that actually have little business value — and introduce organizational structures to index and scan the data. Such tools may be used to classify the data further, adding extra value and also identifying new marketing opportunities.

4. Efficient Information Security Policies Strengthens the Culture of Businesses

Organizations that receive data from their clients in 2020 have a unique opportunity to improve their organizational culture by implementing state-of-the-art security compliance policies that meet or exceed relevant requirements or regulations and demonstrate market leadership in Information Security.

Organizations can build an internal organizational culture and an external brand image around the importance they provide to the privacy and protection of customers.

At a time when so many major multinational companies have been forced to reveal data breaches to millions of their customers, organizations will gain loyalty from their workers and promote a mutual sense of pride by taking reasonable measures to protect consumer information. This sense of pride in a strong security mission and culture can translate into better internal compliance with the requirements of daily security compliance and stronger adherence to company policies which support data security and limit risk.

5. Information Security Policies Promote Transparency and Access Controls

An effective IT security policy system ensures that only people with the appropriate credentials can access secure systems and databases containing sensitive customer data. IT departments implementing security management systems must ensure that access to such systems is controlled at an organizational level and that system activities are documented in such a way that they can be tracked back to their source.

Such method of monitoring is a critical measure to avoid occurrence of opportunistic data breaches. An organization should maintain a list of approved individuals in the business who can access the data, and the list should be periodically checked to account for changes in the position and status of the employees. IT companies should also incorporate the elimination of security clearances into off-boarding procedures for all business personnel, ensuring that no former workers have access to the company’s networks in ways that may result in a data breach.

These mechanisms are effective in protecting the security of both customer data and proprietary data owned by the organization that it may want to avoid publicity. In addition, for the security and maintenance of software licence agreements (SLAs), the concept of a single user being assigned specific access credentials for a secure application on their machine applies as well. Organizations should use their enforcement criteria about security to facilitate and implement enforcement with SLAs software.

6. Information Security Policy Offers Perspectives Supporting Organizational Benefits

As IT companies adopt security technologies and frameworks to meet their industry’s privacy requirements, they frequently disclose poorly controlled staff, equipment, or other resources that can be redeployed to increase operational performance.

A business that is trying to comply with the European GDPR may begin by auditing the customer data it collects. An organization may have data around 100,000 visits to its website, but it is apparent that only 20,000 people have actually opted for the data collection process. By purging the rest of this data, the organization can reduce the cost of storing data regarding this list. It may also compare the demographics of the opt-in list with that of the original list to decide, if the variations between them justify a change in marketing strategy when promoting the company to the opt-in list. By concentrating its attention on its core customers who have been established by their opt-in status, it may be able to save money on promotions and remarketing activities.

Security surveillance tools can also be deployed on the internal network of the IT organization. These tools may detect networked people, processes, or applications that are inadequately managed or poorly configured to drive outcomes.

Teceze Supports IT Security for Business Firms –

Your IT security policies should be a part of the overall governance system for your company, which gives the credibility to security technologies and procedures, which offers transparent accountability, and audit oversight and transparency. So, how is it that you start?

Experienced security specialists from Teceze have enabled many organizations, such as yours, to develop a robust security policy.

The only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build is to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from managed services, just give us a call, we are here to help.

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