How Often Should You Update Your Cyber Security Policies

cybersecturity policies

cybersecturity policiesThe rate at which technology changes and evolves is staggering. But that means that new security threats are constantly being introduced. And organizations of all sizes are tasked with the challenge of addressing short- and long-term cyberthreats.

Going through the risk assessment process can identify threats at a given point in time. But there is no room for error; cybersecurity is an ongoing, ever-evolving process. And that means that your cybersecurity measures must keep pace with the rate of technological change – both in terms of hardware and solutions and in your processes and policies.  This challenge is especially difficult because the vast majority (nearly 94%) of malware detected is polymorphic, which means that it can continually change its code to evade detection.

The bottom line is that organizations must continually monitor their equipment and procedures to reflect what is required to keep the organization and its data safe and secure. This continuous evolution leaves many leaders wondering how often they should update their cybersecurity policies. Unfortunately, there usually isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Many companies should review and update these policies based on changes specific to the organization.

At a bare minimum, many IT experts recommend reviewing and updating your policies at least once a year. While a lot can change in a year, it at least allows your company a method to evaluate and update these policies on a regular schedule.

And while the decision to update these policies annually gives many a reason to put it on their calendar and ensure it gets done, the process might be good practice at other times throughout the year, as well. There are some events or changes that would require that cybersecurity policies be reviewed and updated, such as:

Process or Workforce Changes

This type of change is one that many managers and leaders experienced firsthand recently. The pandemic forced many companies to change their processes, strategies for collaboration, and service delivery methods to a remote model. And while a quick transition to a remote environment was feasible for many companies, it did not come without introducing new security risks. It also required many employees to adopt new habits, technologies, platforms, and applications. When an organization undergoes any transformation that impacts how it operates and conducts business, it is a good time to update and revise cybersecurity policies.

Legislative or Statutory Changes

Another element that may give you good reason to revise your cybersecurity policies would be legislative changes. And data privacy and protection is one area that seems to be attracting more legislative interest on a federal level and in many states. Non-compliance with data security laws introduces risk to your organization. When new laws or regulations are passed, it is always a good idea to review your cybersecurity policies to ensure that they support compliance with the new law. If they do not, it would be time to revise and update them.

After a Breach

While a data breach is never a good thing for any company, it often demands that an organization’s leaders pay greater attention to their cybersecurity resources and processes. Cybersecurity policies often cover the process for dealing with high-risk scenarios, such as the use of mobile devices or personal devices while working, encryption of sensitive data, and other unacceptable behaviors. Once a breach occurs, it is up to the company to get to the cause of the breach. If the employee was acting in a manner aligned with company policies, then an update may be required to address deficiencies in the policy. The best time for increased training and cybersecurity policy updates is before a breach occurs. However, the second-best time is after a breach. This major event can prompt the company to take its policies more seriously and arm employees with the information and training to keep the data safe.

When Implementing New Technologies

Most companies must adopt new technologies to keep up with the pace of business. And while these tools frequently enhance a business and make it more efficient, effective, and competitive, they also have certain security requirements. Therefore, it is a great time to ensure that your policies are updated to reflect the technology and use it to minimize risk when implementing new infrastructure and platforms.

These events give us an idea of the types of circumstances that require a cybersecurity policy update, but they are certainly not the only ones. Other events, such as a dramatic change in the amount of business, or new management, could also present an opportunity to update the policies.

Updating the cybersecurity policies to reflect incremental change may sound like a ton of work. Still, in many instances, it is much easier than conducting a massive overhaul of your policies long after they are outdated. And at the very least, review the policies once a year during a scheduled evaluation to ensure that they have not become outdated.

If you find that there is an issue with employee compliance and adoption even after an update, then it is worth taking another look at the policies to make sure that they are not hard to understand. If they are, it might be good to take another stab at drafting something easier to follow. If the policies already seem clear, you may not have to make any changes. In this instance, it might be more fruitful to focus on employee training and education.

Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in protecting all companies and safeguarding profits. With the number of cyberattacks growing every year, there is no room to be lax with cybersecurity. And a regular review and update of your policies is one of the best ways to ensure that your team, processes, and hardware can face the incredible amount of threats they face every day. To learn more about updating cybersecurity policies, contact Sagacent Technologies today. Our experts can help you determine if an update is necessary and help you craft policies that prioritize security and enhance productivity!