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Only 32 percent of small businesses have cybersecurity measures and formal policies in place (compared to 61 percent of large firms)

Just 19 percent of small businesses provide cyber security training for staff; and small businesses are less likely than large firms to seek guidance, information, or advice on cybersecurity concerns. 

Whether your business is big or small, IT security breaches aren’t an ‘if’ but a ‘when’. That means your business can no longer afford not to secure itself with a policy, at the very least. 

Why though? What does an IT security policy do?

It clarifies your security practices

When it comes to security, informal ideas are not enough. Your business needs a written policy because it will better organize and regulate your security processes.

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You can assign colleagues specific responsibilities, meaning they’ll know what to do and when both in the event of an attack and as part of a regular IT security health check, dramatically reducing the risks to your business.

It tailors your data protection

To know how to protect the various kinds of data your business handles, you need to classify each kind and tailor your protection to fit. Your IT security policy is an opportunity to do exactly that, making it a hugely valuable exercise for your business and your stakeholders.

It educates your team

Do all your colleagues know how to write a strong password? Do they know how to detect a phishing scam? Are they aware of the warning signs to look for on a compromised website? Can you be sure of that?

The cyber attacker’s toolkit contains scams that deliberately try to trick your less tech-savvy employees. Thus, you must give those employees written guidelines and they’ll be informed and ready to face the threats your business faces.

It minimizes downtime

If an attack manages to breach your business, you’ll have a written plan ready to deal with it. Moreover, your team will know whom to alert, how to respond and how to minimize any disruptions their colleagues might face.

It helps you stay compliant

If you want to avoid fines and business setbacks, you must pay attention to regulations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  Use your IT security policy to nail down the specifics of these regulations: outline your requirements, set out how you’ll fulfil them and guarantee your business’s continued compliance.

This focus on compliance will also help you to secure business. Big clients like assurances that you comply with regulation and have processes for securing their data; your policy will show that.

It prepares you for the future

A good security policy is essential for your business’s growth because it safeguards your security now and well into the future. Put your security process in writing, review it regularly and you’ll dramatically reduce your business’s security risks.

Also, don’t worry, creating your policy doesn’t need to be difficult. Here are some useful links to help get you started:

https://www.freeprivacypolicy.com/blog/it-security-policy-template/

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/sme-web-hub/

https://www.techdonut.co.uk/staff-and-it-training/your-it-policies/free-it-policy-templates