How to implement an information security strategy in your company

Aug 01, 201914

According to surveys, small and medium-sized enterprises account for more than 90% of the country's business, totaling more than 6.4 million establishments operating in various sectors.

 

In addition to all of the physical and financial infrastructure, many SME managers are skeptical of how security policies can make businesses more profitable. They do not rely, for example, on systems to secure the data of their companies, nor do they care about empowering employees.

 

The first step before explaining what the advantages are in applying information security standards is to understand, in fact, what "information security policies" are. It is not necessarily a document with more than 300 pages, with complicated rules that no one will read or put into practice. On the contrary, it is much simpler than you can imagine. You can use existing templates and guides that communicate the company's commitment to protecting sensitive data and empower employees to avoid risks that may affect the company.

 

After studying and evaluating which materials are useful for best practice, the next step is to adapt them based on factors such as: what types of confidential information and intellectual property are stored in the company, eg financial information, product designs, customer lists and patented software. Just like, which employees are most exposed to the threats or which would be the most attractive targets for crackers, such as executives and travel salesmen, customer service representatives, financial and engineering personnel.

 

Of course companies must comply with specific standards. And depending on the industry they work for, they will need broader policies, such as healthcare providers and companies dealing with credit card data, for example. Yet the basic principles are the same: to focus on a limited set of policies that can be understood and applied on a day-to-day basis (as opposed to trying to embrace a broad set of rules covering every conceivable eventuality), and empowering your people periodically on the evolution of technologies and vectors of infection of emerging threats.

 

Legal liability

 

Information security can also be useful in cases of need to establish legal liability of a company in an action. If a data leak occurs, the company will be less exposed to demands and penalties if it can demonstrate that it has taken reasonable precautions to protect the information.

 

Small and medium-sized enterprises should not trust that because they have smaller operations they do not run the same risks as those of large companies. They may be subject to an audit or they may have to pay fines for noncompliance with related standards or incidents; or can fall more easily into malicious hacker traps and crackers.

 

If policies are documented and compliance is monitored, this is a way to demonstrate to auditors that the company has made a major effort to protect customer and employee data. Information security policies can be used to communicate to customers that the company is considerate in implementing best security practices.


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