If you’re a small business, you might not have paid much attention to IT policies, thinking that was something that only larger companies needed to worry about. But password security, acceptable use of company mobile devices, and how data breaches are handled are something that every company needs to have guidelines for.
Without small business IT policies in place, you have zero guard rails for use of technology at your business. This can leave you open to cybersecurity risk, business data loss, and problems with uninformed employees not knowing any better. Even if your policy is just a page or two long, it’s still important to give your staff guidelines for how different areas of your IT infrastructure are to be handled and the expectations you have. We’ll help you get started! Below, is a list of some of the core IT policies that your Singapore small business should create if you haven’t already.
A majority of companies use a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach when it comes to mobile use at work. 87% of surveyed businesses state that they depend upon their employees’ ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphones. If a company hasn’t provided ground rules for how company data is to be stored or used on employee devices, they can easily be at risk of a data breach. A BYOD policy will include things like:
- The need to keep mobile devices patched & the OS updated
- Use of any MDM (Mobile Device Manager)
- How company data is to be protected
- What network security is needed when accessing a company cloud account
- What employees are paid as compensation for using a personal mobile device for work
Cloud Use Policy
The use of unauthorized cloud apps is thought to be 10x that of a company’s approved applications. This use of shadow IT often occurs because employees don’t know any better and there is no company cloud use policy in place to instruct them. A cloud use policy will mitigate the use of unauthorized cloud apps for business data by dictating what applications can be used and how to recommend other non-approved apps for consideration.
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
The Acceptable Use Policy is a larger list of technology guidelines that cover a wide range of technology use. This can include how employees are expected to secure devices they are issued as well as guidelines on what types of information cannot be sent via email (such as a password). Your AUP will also dictate how equipment is to be maintained, who to call for an IT issue, and who is authorized to make changes to company network architecture. This policy can also be an umbrella policy that encompasses the other guidelines for cloud use, password security, etc.
Incident Response Policy
An incident response policy guides employees should any type of technology crisis occur. This could be a data breach, a hard drive crash, a ransomware infection, or something else. Having this type of policy in place increases your resilience after a downtime incident. It can also significantly reduce the costs associated with a cyberattack or crisis.
Password Security Policy
Compromised login credentials were the biggest cause of data breaches in 2020. This type of security breach accounted for 20% of breaches with an average breach cost of SGD 5.93 million. A critical policy to provide for employees is a password security policy. This will include details on how passwords should be used, stored, and secured. It can also include details on additional security precautions like the use of multi-factor authentication. Some of the things you may want to include in a password security policy are:
- Passwords should be 10+ characters in length
- Passwords should use upper and lower-case letters
- Passwords should include one symbol and one number
- Use a company-approved strong password generator
- Passwords cannot be stored in unsecured spreadsheets or documents
- Passwords must be unique for all accounts
Remote Work Policy
One of the IT policies that have now become a priority for many companies is a remote work policy. More employees have had to work from home in the past 18 months than ever before and companies have realized that for this to work successfully for all, guidelines need to be in place, so everyone is on the same page with expectations. Your remote work policy should include details on modes of communications, and work hour expectations. The use of business equipment at home should also be addressed, such as not allowing anyone else to use work devices. A good place to start building your remote work policy is by having a conversation with your work-from-home staff. They’ll know exactly where they have questions or need clarity, and those will be things you include in your policy.
Get Help With IT Policies, Remote Team Security & More
We are laser-focused on helping small businesses! Managed IT Asia will assist your Singapore business with the structure you need for smooth and efficient technology infrastructure. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. Call +65 6748 8776 or reach us online.
MANAGED IT ASIA, we are an IT Support, IT Solutioning and Managed IT Service Provider specializing in serving Small Businesses across Asia. Call us at +65 6748 8776 and let us manage your Small Business IT today!