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How Important is a Cybersecurity Policy: Here Is What Experts Say

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Cybersecurity

The majority of small and midsize companies underestimate the importance of a well-designed cybersecurity policy. The failure to draft and adopt the policy is often a result of limited resources, a lack of awareness, or procrastination by the leadership.

Cybersecurity is undoubtedly a major issue affecting businesses of all sizes. It impacts C-level executives and information technology departments alike. More importantly, cybersecurity issues should concern the entire organization, given the rise in breaches globally.

A well-designed policy takes a holistic view of preventive measures. It encompasses password policies, access restrictions, and robust data encryption. A McAfee data exfiltration report revealed that up to 43 percent of data loss incidents are due to insiders’ negligence. Cybersecurity policies can mitigate risks posed by insider negligence through awareness training and other measures.

IT experts recently shared their opinions on this critical matter. Here are their views.

What Is a Cybersecurity Policy?

This type of policy enables organizations to outline a wide selection of data protection controls. They help determine the handling of various data categories. A company can also use the policy to establish a working group responsible for reviewing any shortcomings.

According to Nick Allo of Semtech IT Solutions, a cybersecurity policy defines wide-ranging guidelines and protocols regulating data protection measures. These protocols and guidelines cover security measures, training guidelines, remote work protocols, and confidential data access or use policies.

For Don Baham of Kraft Technology Group, information security policies play a critical administrative control role in cybersecurity matters. He pointed out that the policies act as a baseline for enhancing data protection capability for enterprises. The policies make it easier to implement both technical and functional controls, which bolster organization-wide adherence.

Failing to implement these policies compromises the leadership’s ability to adopt effective cybersecurity strategies. Cybersecurity policies enable the management to use the IT budget more effectively and assign critical security responsibilities.

Why Is a Cybersecurity Policy Important?

Ross Siroti of Rekall Technologies said that a cybersecurity policy plays a crucial role in ensuring accountability. In addition, he highlighted the importance of training users to avoid disastrous security events. To Siroti, training complements the purpose of the policy. Every employee needs awareness training and must receive a cybersecurity handbook.

When it comes to an example of how the policies benefits organizations, Siroti mentioned the use of mobile device monitoring services. Rekall Technologies offers specialized tools to wipe, lock, and unlock devices remotely. Its clients can take advantage of the service to monitor and control employees’ devices.

One of Rekall’s clients once declined an offer to use the mobile device monitoring service. Ironically, the client faced a tricky situation involving a lost device a few weeks later. The device lacked password enforcement and, as a result, sensitive company data leaked. As expected, the client subsequently decided to purchase mobile device monitoring services. This example highlights the need to adopt a proactive approach to IT security as guided by cybersecurity policies.

As an experienced information technology expert at Rekall, Ross emphasized the need to encrypt all devices that store sensitive data. The combination of device encryption and a lock policy is vital to maximizing data protection.

On the other hand, the Kraft Technology Group uses well-designed information security policies to gain a competitive edge in the managed IT space. Don Baham said his firm meets the requirements of the annual third-party audits it undertakes voluntarily. In turn, the IT firm showcases the audit results to new and existing clients to demonstrate its operational security capability. It is no surprise that the firm’s revenue has increased in recent years.

Nick Allo of Semtech IT Solutions said the policy is vital because it enables organizations to hold negligent employees to account for their actions. Without the policy, it can be difficult to hold employees liable due to the lack of clearly defined cybersecurity rules.

What Should Be Included in the Cybersecurity Policy?

The development of the policies requires a multi-layered approach. As such, companies need to pay close attention to policies included in the document.

Here are some items that experts recommend integrating into the cybersecurity policy document.

  • Password policy
  • Guest access restrictions
  • Mobile device management that prohibits access to company data using personal devices
  • Email policy that includes encryption
  • Physical security measures
  • Acceptable use policy
  • Network security guidelines
  • Incident response protocols
  • Restrictions on the use of social media

The guidelines and protocols mentioned above represent the fundamental policies needed to bolster cybersecurity for small and midsize businesses.

According to Don Baham, one of the key aspects of information security policies is data location. He urges organizations to include guidelines for data location. In doing so, it becomes easier to comply with specific regulations or client requirements. Some clients may be sensitive to the location of service providers’ data centers. Information security policies compel organizations to maintain storage in specified locations at all times.

Do You Have a Template For a Cybersecurity Policy?

Nick Allo stated that Semtech IT Solutions does not have a cybersecurity policy template. He attributed this approach to customization requirements for individual clients and their risk tolerance. Small and midsize businesses have varying information security needs and risk tolerance.

Some organizations have to consider several regulatory requirements when drafting cybersecurity policies. Types of data handled by a company, industry, and location typically determine whether compliance is a major factor to consider during this process.

A company handling customers’ sensitive information must implement robust security measures to prevent breaches. Social security numbers and credit card details are high-value targets for cybercriminals.

IT experts recommend assessing current cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities before selecting an information security policy stance and template. The assessment makes it easier to address specific issues facing the company. Some small and midsize businesses grapple with confidential information leakage and inappropriate resource usage by employees.

Also Read: Behind the Curtains of Facial Recognition Technology

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Understanding the PRINCE2 Project Management Technique

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PRINCE2

PRINCE2, or PRojects IN a Controlled Environment (PRINCE2), is a common technique used in over 150 countries for project management. It’s a process-based technique that focuses, from start to finish, on coordination and control across the entire project.

This means that each project begins with a comprehensive project plan, each stage is clearly organised, and any loose ends are wrapped up after the project is completed. But in reality, what is PRINCE2 Project Management?

Keep reading for information about this common project management approach’s fundamental concepts and 7-step method.

7 Main Principles of PRINCE2 Technique

The PRINCE2 technique is based on the following seven main principles:

  1. Projects must have a business rationale, including a compelling need, a specified client, practical benefits, and a rigorous cost evaluation.
  2. Continuous learning is important. At every step in the process, lessons are sought and recorded, and used to strengthen future work.
  3. There are clearly defined roles and duties so that everyone knows exactly who is responsible for what.
  4. The job is divided into stages. Large projects are split into stages, with time to revisit and reflect on lessons learned in between to ensure that the project is still on track to achieve its objectives.
  5. Project boards create baseline requirements for critical elements such as deadlines, expense, risk, and scope, and then assign day-to-day management to a project manager.
  6. Teams use a quality register to equate deliverables to specifications.
  7. The PRINCE2 approach should be customized to each project’s particulars, with the amount of supervision and preparation tailored to the scope, number of people involved, and so on.

7 Processes Involved in PRINCE2 Methodology

These 7 stages are followed by the PRINCE2 process:

  1. Starting a company. A proposal for a new project is made in the form of a project mandate, which specifies the proposed project’s business case. A more comprehensive project brief that covers resources, deliverables, etc. will be generated if accepted.
  2. Taking on the role of manager. The project board approves project briefs and decides what is needed to complete the project.
  3. Startup. A detailed project schedule, including baselines for time, expense, quality, scope, risk, and benefits, is appointed and generated by the project manager. Work starts after the project board has given its approval.
  4. Supervising. The project manager splits the project into smaller “job sets” that the project team is responsible for completing.
  5. Managing the Product Distribution Process. The project manager ensures that the project is progressing as expected and that standards are met by deliverables. To either accept or order additional work, the project board then reviews completed work packages.
  6. Managing Stage Boundaries is an ability that can be mastered. At the end of each stage, the project board reviews and determines whether to move to the next stage, or abandon the project. Project managers hold a retrospective for their team to document lessons learned and develop procedures in preparation for the next phase of work.
  7. Closing. After the project is complete, the required reports, performance, and monitoring are done by the project manager.

Conclusion

Understanding the PRINCE2 Project Management Technique
Prince2 Training

The bulk of your focus as a project manager goes to finding the best project management approach for your team. Usually, a technique offers you a structure that includes processes, procedures, values, and beliefs to guide the direction the project wants to go forward.

PRINCE2 has proved its worth and has become a well-known project management technique. You should determine if PRINCE2 is the best choice for their projects and teams, with the above points in mind.

It is the decision of the project manager whether or not to go with any specific strategy and that decision can be best taken after reviewing the criteria of the project, the resources available, and the willingness of the project team to stick to the methodology.

Also Read: Why You Should Choose Silicone Roofing For Your Business

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Your Five Common Questions About eChecks Answered

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eChecks

As a business, you need to be flexible with the payment options that you offer to consumers. This will not only give you the competitive edge over other businesses but it will also help you speed up payment collection.

Aside from credit card payments, you can also use electronic checks or eChecks as a form of payment from customers. Some high risk merchant account holders prefer eChecks because they are safer.

Here, we answer five of your most common questions about eChecks and how they can benefit your business:

What is an electronic check?

In its essence, an eCheck or an online payment option where you can withdraw money from a customer’s checking account, move it to the ACH network and deposit it to your checking account.

To make this possible, you will need to apply for an ACH merchant account and the customer must authorize the payment by accepting your Terms and Conditions, signing a contract or through a recorded voice conversation.

What is an ACH merchant account?

The ACH network is a platform for funds to be distributed electronically among users. It is regulated and recognized by the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) and the Federal Reserve (Fed), and it’s especially beneficial for businesses because it allows for faster transactions as compared to accepting traditional paper checks.

What are the steps to processing an eCheck?

Processing an electronic check is almost similar to paper check processing, only a lot faster. The first step is to request for authorization from the customer through a signed order form, recorded phone conversation or online payment form.

Once this is completed, you can then input the payment information into the software and submitted for processing of the ACH transaction.

The ACH network then withdraws the amount from the customer’s bank account and the software sends a payment receipt to the customer to confirm the payment.

Then, the network deposits the payment into your bank account, which takes within just three to five business days after the transaction was initiated.

Where are eChecks commonly used?

Electronic checks can be used in almost every type of online transaction, but they’re mostly utilized for big-ticket purchases and recurring payments such as rent, car, mortgage or even fitness gym memberships.

They are most popular in real estate where property managers usually ask tenants to fill out a recurring eCheck rent payment form that authorizes them to deduct the rent automatically from the tenant’s account every month.

What are the Benefits of using eChecks?

Electronic checks offer a lot of benefits both for customers and businesses. For one, they help reduce processing costs by as much as 60% and processing time is also a lot faster than collecting payments through paper checks.

You can also guarantee that transactions are processed safely with minimal errors and fraud because payment processors use heavy encryption and authentication before a payment could get through. Of course, you can save yourself the paper clutter by going for this paper-free option.

Though some industry, such as marijuana dispensaries, cannot use eChecks yet, this form of payment is highly sought after, even in today’s increasingly digital landscape.

So if you’re looking to expand your payment options for customers, an eCheck is definitely a good method to try.

Also Read: The Four Types of Payment Gateway to Choose for Your Online Business

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