Does Your Company Have a Technology Use Policy?

While Fort Collins business owners and managers are usually aware of threats to their network and computer systems from outside the organization, they often don’t think about how their employees use their computers and if there are any risks that should be addressed there.

A thoughtful technology use policy, however, can minimize very real security concerns. And, while even comprehensive policies may not stop an employee bent on violating them, they will minimize opportunities and provide a basis for disciplinary actions.

Policies about using email are pretty common, but there’s more to be considered. First, there are issues with malware; including viruses, worms and other hostile code. Policies to counter those problems include: educating your users to potential threats; installing antivirus software; regularly updating the antivirus software; specifying procedures that minimize infection potential; and installing all security patches for operating systems, web browsers, email clients, and applications.

The second area of concern is the amount of time employees are using the internet inappropriately—spending time on social media sites, downloading pornography, and pirating software. Even the smallest companies are vulnerable to losing many hours of productivity and many dollars of wages for time employees spend not doing their job.

A third area of concern is illicit access to and theft of the company’s information and intellectual property by employees. From accounting and payroll data, to customer lists, project data, and trade secrets; there’s great risk a business could lose critical information. All businesses need a clearly-stated Technology Use Policy and controls on who has access to data, who owns information, privacy expectations and confidentiality.

A Computer Crime and Security Survey conducted by the Computer Security Institute and the FBI reported that 55% of the respondents reported unauthorized access to information by persons inside the organization, compared to just 30% who reported intrusions by outsiders. A quarter reported theft of proprietary information and 69% reported theft of laptop computers. Ninety percent (90%) reported virus contamination and a staggering 97% reported systems abuse by insiders (i.e. pornography, pirated software, inappropriate email usage).
It may be impossible to completely guard against all data security threats, but implementing a comprehensive Technology Use Policy will certainly minimize potential threats. All users should be provided a copy of the Technology Use Policy and be required to sign a statement that they understand and agree to abide by this Policy. This applies to new employees, current employees, contractors, temporary workers, etc.
NoCo Technology Solutions of Fort Collins, Colorado can help you develop a Technology Use Policy and procedures to protect your business. Give us a call at 970-223-1885 if you’d like to know more.

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Bill Locklear is the COO of NoCo Technology Solutions of Fort Collins, Colorado.

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