With cyber-threats on the increase, maintaining a cyber-secure network should be one of your organization’s top priorities. It will prevent cyber-crimes such as data theft, denial of service, fraud, and so on. In addition to performing penetration and network vulnerability tests, your organization should have preventive measures that protect your network from cyberattacks.
These cybersecurity measures will not be effective unless they’re clearly communicated to your employees. This is why cybersecurity business and technical report writing is essential. You need a guide to writing policy and procedure documents.
A cybersecurity policy is a set of guidelines that ensures your organization maintains cybersecurity best practices. Your policy should be drafted from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
You should also follow industry-specific regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and expert recommendations when writing your policy.
Procedures are the specific ways you implement your cybersecurity policy. They describe who carries out what aspect of the policy in your organization and how. Policy and procedures are critical to getting all your employees to understand cybersecurity best practices.
Read on to learn more about cybersecurity business and technical writing best practices.
Why Are Policy and Procedure Documents Important?
According to Cybint, 95% of cybersecurity breaches are due to human error that creates loopholes and provides weak links for hackers to exploit. A Clark School study at the University of Maryland found that hackers attack every 39 seconds. Cybersecurity policies and procedure documents inform your employees how best to minimize these errors so hackers won’t take advantage of them.
Cybersecurity policy and procedure documents also assure regulatory bodies and consumers of your commitment to keeping data safe. Policy writing is vital for your organization regardless of its industry. Effective policy writing ensures that you follow cybersecurity best practices in your organization.
Here are some reasons why cybersecurity policy and procedure documents are essential:
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1. Data Breaches are costly
Data breaches have the most devastating effects on individuals and organizations. Apart from the loss of data, lots of money, and customer trust, data breaches incur high compliance costs for your organization. Customers could sue your organization for violating their privacy. You’ll need to spend money on network repairs, and your organization will lose its hard-earned reputation. To prevent this, you need cybersecurity policy and procedure documents for your organization.
2. You show compliance to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Cybersecurity policy and procedure documents prove to your customers and the regulatory bodies that you’re CCPA or GDPR compliant. While being CCPA compliant or GDPR compliant shows that you care about your customers’ fundamental right to privacy. It also provides your organization with a secure personal data environment. This improves your data security risk management, gives you practical incident response training, and increases customer trust and organizational reputation.
You’ll also avoid noncompliance penalties.
3. You enforce cybersecurity best practices in your organization
Employees are targets through which hackers and other cybercriminals can infiltrate your organization. They’re susceptible to phishing attacks distributed via links and email attachments. They may use unauthorized applications or forget to use email encryption and cloud encryption. They may also create weak passwords or connect to open wireless networks. Cybersecurity policy and procedure documents give your employees guidelines on your organization’s cybersecurity best practices.
4. You increase customers’ trust
Customers are constantly worried about what happens to their data. Many of them know about their privacy rights. They’re also aware of how devastating data breaches can be. With cybercrimes like identity theft and credit card frauds on the rise, people need assurance that their personal credentials are safe with your organization.
What better way to show your commitment to securing customer’s data than well-written policy and procedure documents? Proper documentation of your procedures will show your customers in clear language what you’re doing to ensure that their data are safe. This increases your customers’ trust and encourages them to keep doing business with you.
What Should Cybersecurity Business Technical Writing Address?
Policy writing can be daunting if you’re unsure of what cybersecurity business technical writing should address. First, you need to identify your cybersecurity needs.
Alongside CCPA, GDPR, and other industry regulations, you should assess your organization’s cybersecurity practices. If you‘ve suffered a data breach, you should pinpoint the cause and reflect that in your cybersecurity policy. If you’ve carried out a vulnerability test for your network, you need to go over your report, identify your risks and ways to mitigate them. That will help you create your cybersecurity policy.
Your cybersecurity policy should address issues relating to:
- Strong passwords
- Wireless networks
- Confidential Data
- Personal information
- Phishing attacks
- Social media
- Mobile devices
Your cybersecurity procedures are a breakdown of your cybersecurity policy. They should outline detailed ways to ensure that your employees can encrypt their email, use cloud encryption, and create strong passwords. They should also advise your employers to minimize browsing on open wireless networks. They could explain how they could use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if they have no alternatives.
Furthermore, they should outline what kind of sites your employees cannot visit and the social media actions they cannot take while they are on your network. Your cybersecurity procedures should point out how to spot malware and phishing attacks from a mile away. They could also define the different access and authorization levels and discourage your employees from letting unauthorized users log on to your network.
Tips for Creating Effective Cybersecurity Policy and Procedure Documents
Effective policy writing ensures that you create documents that help your employees understand their job descriptions and what to do to achieve cybersecurity best practices. In this section, you’ll learn how to develop effective cybersecurity policy and procedure documents.
- Use simple English – Policy writing is effective when you state your policy’s aims and objectives in simple terms. The Do’s and Don’ts in your policy and procedures need to be written in everyday language so that your employees can understand and follow them to the letter.
- Include penalties for noncompliance – Effective policy writing communicates the need for compliance. Your employees should comprehend how vital your cybersecurity policy is. They should also know that there are penalties for non-compliance. These penalties should be stated clearly, and their severity should depend on how much potential harm the noncompliance can cause.
- Explain what to do when proper procedure is not followed – In your policy, you should clearly state what employees should do when proper procedure isn’t followed. If there are issues that they can resolve without technical assistance, your procedures should state and outline them clearly. They should also know who to contact when they encounter problems that they cannot fix.
Effective policy writing creates policy and procedure documents informing and guiding your employees on cybersecurity best practices. To get the best out of your policy and procedures, you need to enforce them. You must know that writing business and technical reports aren’t a one-time affair. You need to review your policy and procedures from time to time. One great way to do that is to carry out regular network vulnerability and penetration tests to see how effective your policy and procedures are.
To learn more about writing cybersecurity policy and procedure documents or to request our cybersecurity technical writing services, contact RSI Security today.