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A cyber security policy is a set of guidelines and procedures that an organisation uses to protect its digital assets from cyber threats.  A cyber security policy typically covers access control, password management, network security, data protection, incident response, and disaster recovery.

Why do you need a cyber security policy?

First, it helps to protect your business from cyber attacks that could result in financial loss, damage to reputation, or legal liability. It ensures that everyone in the organisation understands their role in protecting its digital assets and helps establish a security culture.

Second, regulations and standards such as GDPR or ISO 27001 often require a cyber security policy. This helps to demonstrate to customers, partners, and investors that your business takes cyber security seriously and is committed to protecting their data.

Finally, a cyber security policy helps ensure that everyone in the organisation is on the same page regarding cyber security by establishing clear guidelines and procedures. In addition, a cyber security policy makes it easier for employees to understand their responsibilities and reduces the risk of confusion or ambiguity.

What should your cyber security policy cover?

> Risk Assessment: The risk assessment should consider the type of data the SME handles, the systems and networks used to store and process that data, and the potential impact of a cyber-attack.

> Access Control: A good cyber security policy should specify who has access to what data and systems and the procedures for granting, modifying, and revoking access privileges.

> Password Management: A good cyber security policy should include guidelines for password creation, complexity, expiration, and storage.

> Employee Training: A good cyber security policy should include regular training on cyber threats, phishing scams, and other common attack vectors.

> Incident Response: A good cyber security policy should include procedures for detecting, reporting, and responding to security incidents, as well as for documenting and reporting them.

> Backups and Disaster Recovery: A good cyber security policy should specify backup and recovery procedures and procedures for testing and updating disaster recovery plans.

> Compliance: An excellent cyber security policy should ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and industry best practices.

The Cyber Resilience Centre offers a range of Cyber Security Policy templates as part of our paid memberships. You can also learn more about cyber security policies here.

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