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Security awareness and training policy

Originally Published:
Oct 2016

This policy is designed to help your IT staff guide employees toward understanding and adhering to best security practices that are relevant to their job responsibilities.

From the policy:

Summary
A security policy is only as valuable as the knowledge and efforts of those who adhere to it, whether IT staff or regular users. Understanding the importance of computer and network security and building accountability for these concepts are critical for achieving organizational goals. With this in mind, establishing principles for security awareness and conducting subjective security training are integral endeavors for any business regardless of size. Security awareness ensures that users are familiar with potential threat mechanisms, while training teaches them the strategies they must employ to prevent or respond to these threats.

Appropriate security/IT staff should be identified and tasked with developing, maintaining, and updating security programs for users. Management must enforce the required behaviors mandated by these programs.

A meaningful security awareness and training program explains areas of caution, identifies appropriate security policies and procedures that need to be followed, and discusses any sanctions that might be imposed due to lack of compliance. Accountability originates from a well-informed, well-trained workforce.

It is said that “security is a journey and not a destination.” Because new vulnerabilities, risks, and hacks arise on a regular basis, new technological developments require continuous updating of security awareness and training guidelines.

Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to describe the necessary requirements for users to receive contextual security training that relates to the scope of their duties and responsibilities. This policy contains tips for IT staff on creating the related programs and instructions for users on how to adhere to them.

Those designing these programs should remain focused on the fact that the overall purpose of security training is to help make users aware of actions they can take to keep information safe, such as correct password usage, using security software to block viruses and spam, repelling social engineering attacks, backing up data, and setting appropriate channels to report suspected incidents or violations.

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