It is not enough to have a resilient traditional plan to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. You need an all-inclusive business continuity plan (BCP) that encompasses the restoration of your business operations and technology in the event of an unplanned incident. Your BCP or incidence response plan should include rapid response to security breaches and business restoration in case of a natural or man-made disaster.
With the growing dependence on cloud technology, it is becoming more critical that organizations secure every aspect of their online information and data. Since the pandemic has already had negative impacts on the global economy, the question now is whether organizations should redesign their network security policy post-COVID-19 pandemic or not.
A shabby network security policy is of no use to your organization. It merely renders your security an ad hoc process regulated by the network administrator at that particular moment. A solid network security policy keeps malicious operators out and also exercises control over likely dangerous users within your organization. Thus, you need a Certified Network Defender (CND) to assist with the construction and implantation of a well-rounded network security policy.
What is a network security policy?
Network security policy is a complex document that outlines the organization’s expectations regarding its security goals, scope, and responsibilities. The document itself is typically formulated by a committee and it is usually more than a few pages long. The network security policy summaries the organization’s security processes, mission statements, attitude to risks, and the penalties to be faced when the policies are flouted. However, this security policy goes beyond the mere notion of “keeping the bad guys out.”
It is a multifaceted document intended to regulate data access, applications of passwords and encryption, web-browsing behaviors, and email attachments, among others. The security policy stipulates these rules for persons or groups across the organization. These policies could be conveyed as a set of instructions that could be recognized by special purpose network hardware designed to secure the organization’s network.
Network security policies can be divided into two broad categories:
Generally, user policies outline the boundaries of a user or group of users concerning the network or computer resources within the office environment. For instance, this policy states what employees are permitted to install in their computers and whether they can operate removable storages or not within the workplace.
IT policies are generally constructed for the IT department and it outlines their limits towards the network resources in the organization. This security policy aims to secure the functions and procedures of IT departments.
Why is a network security policy important?
When working over the internet, LAN, WAN, or other internet-connected systems, network security is one of the most vital things to consider regardless of the size of your company. It is the responsibility of your organization to secure the physical assets, users, and data that operate within or travels across your networks.
Furthermore, the task gets more demanding as networks become more complex. According to some Gartner analysts, the more networks increase, the more difficult it is to implement the correct security policies at the appropriate network control points. Network security policy management helps your organization increase its visibility across all distributed environment. It also systematizes and regulates these policies to expand business security.
What is the purpose of a network security policy?
The purpose of a solid network security policy includes:
- Defends users and information
- Outlines steps to follow in case of a security incident or breach
- Authorizes employees to check, review, and investigate
- Describes the form of technologies to apply and those that cannot be included in the network.
- Serves as a standard for the next step in the development of network security
- Designs the guidelines for expected behavior
- Outlines the penalties of violations
What should be in a network security policy?
Creating and supervising a security package is a process that most businesses grow into after a long while. The first step is often to assign an incident responder or an employee that would oversee cybersecurity issues. Cybersecurity issues often follow the top-down method. This suggests that the security expectations are deliberated, outlined, and sanctioned by the top management committee.
Most often, a single document may probably not resolve the demands of the whole users within a large organization. You need to ensure that the components of your network security policy are consistent with the needs of your audience. The fundamental requirements for network security policies are listed below:
Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)
Acceptable use policy (AUP) or appropriate use policy, is one of the most common security policy components. AUP outlines what users are permitted or not permitted to do on the many components of the system within an organization. This covers the kind of traffic that is permissible on the networks. For instance, an AUP may itemize the groups of banned websites.
Incident Response (IR) Policy
An incident response policy is a prearranged procedure to how the organization will tackle an incident and mitigate its impacts. The objective of this policy is to define the procedure for managing an incident with regards to restricting the harm to consumers, business operations, and minimizing recovery costs and time.
Access Control Policy (ACP)
An access control policy (ACP) stipulates the access obtainable to workers as regards the company’s information and data systems. ACP also outlines issues such as the complexity of corporate passwords, network access controls, specifications for user access, and operating system software controls. An example of ACP is IAPP, also some ACP topics are stated in the NIST Access Control and Implementation Guide.
Information Security Policy
The information security policy of an organization is intended for workers. This helps them realize that certain regulations are in place that would hold them ransom when IT infrastructure and other sensitive corporate information and data are compromised.
Business Continuity Plan
A business continuity plan (BCP) is a unique business plan, which each organization exploits to communicate how they will respond in case of an emergency. The BCP will direct all endeavors throughout the organization and will implement the disaster recovery plan to reinstate data, hardware, and applications considered vital for business continuity.
Change Management Policy
Change management policy is a formal procedure for amending software development, IT security, and other security operations. The objective of this policy is to upsurge the consideration and responsiveness of the projected amendments across the organization. A change management policy also makes certain that all amendments are handled systematically to lessen any unpleasant effect on consumers and services.
Disaster Recovery Policy
A disaster recovery plan is generally designed as part of the grander organization’s continuity strategy and it covers both the inputs of cybersecurity and IT teams. Here, both the incident response plan and business continuity plan might be required.
Remote Access Policy
A remote access policy describes a document that describes and summaries the appropriate guidelines for employees to remotely connect to the organization’s internal networks. No one anticipated the COVID-19 pandemic and now most businesses are forced to operate remotely. The move to the cloud is not without its risks. Insufficient cybersecurity policies can render an organization’s network vulnerable and exposed to risks.
What is network security policy management?
IT teams and network administrators apply network security policy management to regulate their network situations and defend their businesses against growing risks. Most businesses are faced with widespread security policies or even manifold policies, which are almost impossible to sustain and hard to implement manually. Overly complex businesses and those that operate in a deeply controlled industry experience this difficulty more intensely.
Even smaller companies tussle with locating the right time and resources to authenticate policy compliance. However, the fundamentals of a network security policy are to provide more visibility and control into system environments and user endeavor. This can only be reached if you have an operative process to accomplish your security policy.
The most effective means of ensuring that your network security policy is up-to-speed, meet your policy expectations, and identifies and corrects anomalies rapidly, is to give your staffs’ network certification training or employ the services of a certified network security administrator.
How can network certification training help you?
If you want to secure your network against attackers, you need a solid network certification training. A well-organized network security training will expose you to the numerous routes and methods cybercriminals exploit to compromise your network and computers. You will also get hands-on training that allows you to think beyond the regular security techniques to the advanced security techniques.
About CND: Certified Network Defender
The Certified Network Defender (CND) is a certification program that creates savvy network administrators who are well-trained in identifying, defending, responding, and mitigating all network-related vulnerabilities and attacks. The CND certification program involves hands-on labs constructed through notable network security software, tools, and techniques that will provide the certified network administrator with real-world and up-to-date proficiencies about network security technologies and operations. Click here, for more information on EC-Council’s CND program.