Cybersecurity, Simplified: Technology Acceptable Use Policy

You probably already have clearly defined policies on things like paid time off while at work, but do you have a policy that sets expectations for use of company data and technology resources? These are the things we interact with most and carry considerations around confidentiality and security, yet are not always clear—for employers or employees.

Who is a Technology Acceptable Use Policy for?

All businesses should have a Technology & Data Use Policy in place to easily establish a culture of cybersecurity and ensure that policies and guidelines are understood, shared, and consistently enforced.

What is a Technology Acceptable Use Policy?

A Technology Acceptable Use Policy outlines how employees use technology and data in the workplace. It’s a crucial cybersecurity tool, setting a clear and strong baseline for employee behavior and training. And since every business is different, not every Technology and Data Use Policy will look the same. A few items frequently seen in a Technology and Data Use Policy:

  • Personal Devices: Share your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and whether personal devices connect to company Wi-Fi.
  • Email and Communication: Specify how employees are expected to use their email and communicate on behalf of the company (e.g. don’t share sensitive data, don’t harass others, don’t sign up for personal accounts, etc.)
  • Reporting an Incident: Cover what employees should do if they think they have fallen victim to a cyberattack, criminal activity, malware, ransomware, or breach.

When does a Technology Acceptable Use Policy matter?

The sooner you get a Technology Acceptable Use Policy in place, the sooner your employees can start following it and reducing risk to the business. Having a policy in place before an incident or issue arises is always the best-case scenario including helping with employee retention and onboarding, but it’s never too late to add one. Once you’ve got a Technology Acceptable Use Policy in place, don’t be afraid to update—your policy should be a living document that changes with your business needs. And in the event of an incident it’s often more effective to treat it as an opportunity for improvement rather than punishment.

Where does a Technology Acceptable Use Policy apply?

To get started, take a comprehensive look at your computer and network systems and obligations, and begin to make some cybersecurity and technology-minded policy decisions. When your policy is complete, the most important step is to ask employees to read and sign it! And when you do, be sure to explain why the changes are important—for them and for the company. Make the policy a central focus for new and existing team members, and encourage questions and discussion.

Why is a Technology Acceptable Use Policy important?

A Technology Acceptable Use Policy sets the stage for how everyone should think about and use technology and data at work—both in the office and for remote work environments. Good, simple, understandable tech and data use policies work to reduce the chance for human error while also mitigating insider threats. Ultimately, these key cybersecurity policies help reduce risks associated with a cyberattack by establishing clear procedures, expectations, ownership, and communications around behavior and remediation, driving improved cyber posture including:

  • Culture: From day one, set the stage for a cybersecurity-first mindset with a simple, but holistic policy that provides clear direction.
  • Consistency: Having and sharing cybersecurity guidelines and rules allows for employers, employees, and even partners, to get on the same page and work toward a common goal.
  • Best Practices: It’s not only important internally, but customers, partners, vendors, and government bodies want to see that you’re taking cybersecurity policies seriously–some even institute requirements and compliance around it.

Set it, but don’t forget it

Getting a Technology Acceptable Use Policy in place for your business may sound daunting and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. By simply addressing a handful of key cyber-safety and security topics, you can start to build a custom Technology Acceptable Use Policy for employee security behavior.. And once that is done, schedule regular updates and perhaps a well-deserved vacation—just don’t forget to follow the PTO policy!

Resources & insights

Why You Could Be Denied Cyberattack Insurance Coverage
Why You Could Be Denied Cyberattack Insurance Coverage
As you’re working toward achieving robust cybersecurity, the subject of cyber attack insurance coverage and cybersecurity insurance requirements is sure to enter the discussion.
Cost of a Cyberattack vs. Cybersecurity Investment
Cost of a Cyberattack vs. Cybersecurity Investment 
Detailing the cost of a cyberattack versus the ROI of a cybersecurity investment enables leadership to see cybersecurity solutions are worth it.
Defendify Listed as a High Performer in Six G2 Grid Categories
Defendify Listed as a High Performer in Six G2 Grid Categories
The Defendify Cybersecurity Platform has been listed as a High Performer in six Summer 2022 Data Security Software Category Reports on the technology review site G2.

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