Cyber Security

What is a Cybersecurity Policy and How to Create One


Building a robust cyber defense requires a robust human defense. A new report says 82% of data breaches result from human error. Protect your data and technology infrastructure with a strict cybersecurity policy.

What is a cybersecurity policy?

Using organizational IT assets and company data securely is the goal of a cybersecurity policy. It usually includes behavioral and technical instructions so employees can keep themselves safe from cyber events, like virus infections and ransomware.

Additionally, a cybersecurity policy can serve as a countermeasure to limit the damage if a security breach occurs.

Examples of security policies include:

  • Remote access policy – provides guidelines for remote network access
  • Access control policy – defines access standards for network users and system software
  • Data protection policy – ensures that confidential data stays in a secure manner
  • Acceptable use policy – governs IT usage at the company

There are many purposes for cybersecurity policies

Cybersecurity policies ensure that company systems, private networks, and customer data remain safe from threats.

Threats to security can compromise business continuity

Security threats can affect businesses. Sixty percent of small businesses fail after a cyber attack. Data theft is expensive for a company. IBM research indicates that the average cost of a ransomware attack is $4.62 million.


Creating security policies for small businesses has become a necessity to spread awareness and protect data.

Is it necessary to have a cybersecurity policy?

Your cybersecurity policy should include the following elements:

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1.     Intro

Introductory sections introduce users to the threat landscape your company faces. It warns your employees about data theft, malicious software, and other cybercrimes.

2.     Purpose

This section describes the policy's purpose. How does the company plan to implement its cybersecurity policy?

Cybersecurity policies often serve the following purposes:


  • Ensure the security of company data and infrastructure
  • Provides guidelines for using personal and company devices at work
  • Inform employees of disciplinary actions for violations of policy

3.     Scope

Who your policy applies to is in this section. Does it only apply to on-site employees and remote workers? What's the deal with vendors?

4.     Confidential Data

The policy defines confidential data in this section. The IT department of the company provides a list of confidential items.

5.     Security of company devices

Setting clear guidelines for the use of mobile devices or computers is the best way to ensure their security. Antivirus software is essential for preventing virus infections on any computer password-protect all devices to stop anyone from accessing them.

6.     Safeguarding emails

Most ransomware attacks start with infected emails. Keeping emails secure is part of your cybersecurity policy. Your policy should also provide periodic security training to spread security awareness.

7.     Transfer of Data

You need policies and procedures for transferring data in your cybersecurity policy. Secure and private networks are the only way to transfer data. Encrypting customer information is essential.

8.     Disciplinary Measures

A violation of the cybersecurity policy will trigger this disciplinary process. Violations that result in a verbal warning may lead to termination.

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Here are some additional resources for cyber security policy templates

Cybersecurity policies are not one-size-fits-all. It is necessary to develop a cybersecurity policy for each application. Understanding your threat landscape is the first step. Prepare an appropriate security policy and security measures. Cyber security policy templates can save you time when creating them. 

Cybersecurity Policy Development Steps

You can quickly develop a cybersecurity policy by following these steps:

Password Requirements

The use of weak passwords causes 30% of data breaches, so you should enforce a strong password policy. Strong passwords should be created in your company's cybersecurity policy and stored safely. Additionally, employees should not exchange credentials over instant messengers.

Protocol for communicating email security

An important cause of ransomware attacks is email phishing. Identify suspicious emails and delete phishing emails in your security policy.

Providing training on handling sensitive data

Security policies should clearly describe how sensitive data should be handled, including:

  • Sensitive data identification
  • Team members' secure storage and sharing of data
  • Deleting/destroying data after it's no longer needed

In addition, employees shouldn't save sensitive stuff on their phones.

Establish guidelines for the use of technology infrastructure

Set clear guidelines for using your company's technology infrastructure, such as:

  • Connecting to the company's systems requires scanning all portable media
  • Using personal devices to access the company's server isn't a good idea
  • It's always a good idea to lock your computer when you're not using it
  • Computers and mobile devices should have the latest security updates installed
  • Avoid infecting removable media with malware by limiting their use

Establish social media and internet access guidelines

Social media policies should specify what information employees shouldn't share. Establish guidelines for using social media apps at work. Ensure that employees always use VPNs to access the Internet as part of your security policy. There's no point in connecting a system to the Internet without good firewalls and antivirus software.

Prepare a plan for responding to incidents

An employee safety policy should explain how to mitigate the risk of cyberattacks. Maintaining a strong defense against cyberattacks requires clear roles for all employees.

Maintain a current cybersecurity policy

Security policies do not exist in stone. Statistical data show that cyber threats are constantly evolving.

You should review your cybersecurity policy periodically to ensure it addresses the current security risks and regulatory requirements.

Is there software for making cybersecurity policies?

Cybersecurity policies don't require specialized software. You can write a security policy with any document creation tool. Save time by downloading a cybersecurity policy template and customizing it.

Next Steps

Your next step is to make a cybersecurity policy for your business and enforce it.