Many businesses are operating today without documented IT policies. Most of those businesses wish they had policies in place but with the busy schedules that we all keep today, this task never seems to bubble to the top. Faced with this challenge I am reminded of a book I read many years ago called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. To paraphrase one of his habits, while most people spent their time putting out fires (quadrant one activities – urgent and important), effective people spend their time working on important things like planning that help to prevent the fires (quadrant two activities – important but not urgent). The development and updating of IT policies falls into the category of a quadrant two activity, meaning it is important but there is no immediate urgency to getting it done. If you wait too long, the day will come when a situation arises when you need or wish you had those policies in place. Dealing with that crisis becomes a quadrant one activity and not effectively managed.
Here are some valid reasons to have documented IT policies:
• Protection of the business
Let’s start with the obvious and face the facts. Today’s world has risks and cyber risks are at an all-time high. Ransomware attacks increased over 400% this year over last. The number and severity of risks are ever increasing. Having good policies can help protect the business by preventing actions that may inadvertently (or purposefully) harm the business.
• Protection of employees
Documented IT policies can also protect employees. Having a clear set of guidelines can help prevent an employee from making a mistake that costs the business. Policies can make it clear to employees what the business offers in terms of expectations, privacy and more.
Do your employees know what to do when facing a malware attack? Having documented and communicated policies can help an employee react appropriately and efficiently to a scenario. Keeping unnecessary third party software off of employee computers can also help to keep them running more efficiently.
At Colden Company, we can help if your company does not have documented IT policies. Policies like:
• Internet Acceptable Use
• Mobile Device Management
• Virus Response
We feel so strongly in the importance of these policies, we are offering our readers a 25% discount on services to develop or update these policies through the end of 2016. Keep in mind, it is important to update your policies periodically as well. Your policies must keep up with the times. One area we see businesses falling behind is in mobile device management. Do you have company information on personal devices? What is your company policy when that employee leaves? What is the procedure for protecting your information if a personal device is lost or stolen? These are concerns that should have clear, documented policies.
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