Every organization, regardless of its niche, scope, and size, now boasts a digital footprint. While having a digital front improves a business’s outreach, it also makes the business vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. This is why IT security has taken center stage among the set of concerns discussed in board meetings. An organization with digital infrastructure and contains valuable/sensitive data must develop an IT security policy and implement it.
What Is IT Security Policy?
Before we discuss the importance of implementing an IT security policy, it is imperative to know what it essentially entails. IT security policy outlines the set of measures, internal and external guidelines that an organization needs to act upon for securing every last bit of its digital assets. IT security policy ensures that a business meets the data privacy and cybersecurity standards applied to its particular sector.
Implementing IT Security Policy: A Challenge
When setting up the company or building its digital front, decision-makers also take experts on board to devise a relevant IT security policy. However, having a security policy doesn’t mean anything if the organization is not implementing it. As the initial diligence regarding the cybersecurity wears down, businesses stop keeping a check on how IT security policy is being followed.
Therefore, in many cases, an organization only learns about IT security policy implementation failure when they experience a cyber attack or get penalized by relevant regulators for failing to protect consumer data.
The implementation of IT security policy often fails because organizations don’t have professionals to administer it. You need a team of experts that proactively ensures the implementation of security policy constituents.
Why Is IT Security Policy Implementation Important?
Devising and then implementing an IT security policy is essential for an organization for multiple reasons.
It Prevents Loss-Bearing Downtime
The first and foremost benefit of effective IT security policy implementation is that it improves the organization’s capacity and capability to successfully survive nasty cyber attacks. Nearly every IT security policy entails meeting the latest cybersecurity standards and data protection protocols. When an organization successfully implements that security policy, it enhances its cyber resilience.
In other words, an organization with the implementation of IT security policy will see through a cyber attack more efficiently than an organization that doesn’t take care of its security policy. The former will experience minimal penetration of the malicious code, quicker recovery, and lesser downtime.
It Protects Business Reputation
Implementation of IT security policy also helps businesses save their business reputation in the wake of a cyber attack. Especially if an organization deals in the public domain and handles a lot of consumer data that includes confidential information, they must implement IT security policy in light of the compliance measures apply to them. Otherwise, cyber attacks and their fallout can inflict irrevocable damages to its reputation.
Suppose an organization suffers from a data breach. The organization has to make this public. If the investigations find out that a data breach happened due to the organization’s own security lapses or faulty working mechanism (failure of IT security implementation), most customers affected by that data breach will never want to do business with the organization again.
Suppose the investigative finding reveals that the affected organization was on top of its IT security policy implementation, and the attack succeeded due to the lethality and innovation of the attack. In that case, customers are less likely to attrite, and this is why famous e-commerce marketplace eBay and one of the largest credit bureaus Equinox have managed to protect their business reputation despite undergoing one of the largest data breaches of history.
IT security policy also obligates organizations to tell consumers upfront about how their data use and risks of cyber attacks. This honesty prescribed by the IT security policy also proves to be a face-saver following a security breach.
It Enables Organizations to Avoid Penalization
If your organization deals with user data, IT security implementation becomes crucial for avoiding fines and penalties from the regulators. A robust IT security policy covers requirements that legislation and regulatory bodies have prescribed for organizations working in different sectors.
For instance, The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) act passed by the US congress protects patient data. It imposes fines up to $50,000 to healthcare establishments failing in data protection.
Moreover, Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) is an information security standard laid down for all those businesses who handle credit cards to protect users’ confidential financial information. Not meeting PCI-DSS standards can cost a company up to $100,000 per month.
In the European Union, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes hefty fines on EU-based companies failing to protect consumer data. These fines can be as high as 20 million Euros.
Implementation of IT security policies ensures that organizations meet the compliance requirements outlined in relevant acts, security standards, and legislations. Compliance will also ensure the organizations avoid hefty penalization.
It Improves B2B Working Relationship
An organization has a good IT security policy implementation record likes to work with partners boasting a similar history. Without focusing on security policy implementation, you can miss out on working with many potential business partners. An e-commerce entity that complies with PCI-DSS standards would only like to work with businesses containing a clean sheet of PCI-DSS fines and penalties.
It Helps Improving the Organizational Culture
When an organization implements its IT security policy, it involves every employee and not just the IT staff. The implementation of IT security policy demands responsible online behavior of every employee. Therefore, some cybersecurity experts also conduct training and awareness sessions for employees when tasked with implementing the IT security policy. A better sense of cybersecurity and data protection among employees improves the overall work culture of the organization.
Implementation of IT security policies is crucial to the operations and existence of the business. When spearheading a small business with no in-house IT team, you should hire third-party experts to oversee the implementation of relevant IT security policies for all the benefits and reasons discussed here. The expertise of Microsys can come in handy in this regard. Our experts can devise and implement an IT security policy customized for your business operations and your compliance requirements.