Having proper security policies and procedures is important for all businesses, especially those that must meet compliance standard requirements. It is a common belief that maintaining policies is one of the easiest aspects of meeting compliance. However, checking the “policies” box off your list of compliance requirements requires more than merely downloading policy templates off the internet.

Meeting compliance requires more than just checking off a list of requirements. It’s an ongoing, iterative process.

Soteria values the use of policy templates to save firms time and money in establishing procedures. What many firms do not consider is that policy templates will outline best security practices, not taking into account a company’s size or availability of resources. In the event of an audit, your firm will be held to the policies you have set in place.  For this reason, security policy customization is critical to all businesses. Having policies you don’t follow is viewed similarly to not having policies in place at all. It is often preferred that a firm have tailored policies that are less stringent, yet enforced than template policies that are never adhered to.

In order to work towards meeting compliance without holding your company to burdensome standards or risking a failed audit, Soteria recommends reviewing and revising security policies on a regular basis. Because these policies need to be enforced and carried out by all personnel at a firm (not just the IT or security departments), personnel from every department at your firm should be a part of security policy customization activities that directly impact their daily workflow.

Soteria recommends companies take the following approach to security policy customization and maintenance, regardless of the size of your firm or the level of establishment of your current security practices.

  1. Identify the security needs your company has and determine what is required by your compliance standard(s).
  2. Find templates that outline best security practices for your specific security needs.
  3. Set up an internal team of representatives for all departments at your firm to edit the policies template in order to meet the needs of your firm.
  4. Educate your employees on the policies that most directly impact their work and enforce their adherence.
  5. Schedule a regular review of the security policies and make edits based on changes that have taken place in your firm.