Your workplace has reopened, and workplace security is top of mind. With more employees on-site, your office is busier than ever. However, more foot traffic means heightened security threats–both from inside and outside of your organization.
Today’s workplace and security leaders must ensure their security policy is top notch if they want to protect their employees, business, and information. That includes security policies that cover the physical office, such as ID scanning. It also includes more hidden workplace threats, such as cybersecurity. It can often feel overwhelming to know where to start when putting your workplace security policy together. To help, we’ve put together this post. We’ll explore:
- Why are workplace security policies and procedures important?
- How to create a workplace security policies and procedures
- Types of workplace security policies and procedures
Why are workplace security policies and procedures important?
Everyone in your organization must follow your workplace security policy. It includes important information and procedures designed to safeguard your organization against internal and external workplace threats. Your workplace security policy also plays a crucial role in keeping your employees safe and secure. Some examples of a typical workplace security policy might include mandatory password changing, unique WiFI codes, or going badgeless to secure workplace access as people return to work.
How to create workplace security policies and procedures
Writing your workplace security policy can feel like a daunting task. What should it include? How do you make it understandable for your employees? How can you ensure it covers every security threat? Here are a few steps to get you started when drafting or upgrading your security policy.
- Audit your existing workplace security. This will highlight any gaps or weaknesses in your current security measures. Identify a team to complete this assessment and score accordingly. This could be internal security personnel or an external auditor.
- Clarify the scope of your workplace security policy. Understand what your policy should cover and stick to that. For example, are you focusing on the physical workplace or creating policies for cloud-based data security?
- Write your security policy clearly. Make your policy easy to understand. Use language and structure that helps people navigate through your final policy. Once finalized, ensure to store it somewhere folks can easily find it.
- Update your workplace security policy regularly. Security never stops. Threats to your workplace are continually getting smarter and more sophisticated. It’s important to update your security policy and procedures at least annually, if not more regularly.
5 types of workplace security policies and procedures
Each organization will have a different workplace security policy that covers a variety of topics. This might be based on factors such as the size of the organization, the location, or the industry. Here are a few common security topics that should feature in your workplace policy.
1. Physical workplace security
Your physical security is often the first line of defense for employee safety. It revolves around the security of your physical office locations. It should cover everything from access control, ID verification, and alarms and surveillance. It should also incorporate fire prevention, visitor and employee tracking systems, and any physical assets you have in the office. This includes laptops, monitors, desks, and more.
Creating your security policy requires planning, detail, and attention. You must ensure it covers everything you need. For example, if you have different office locations around the world, your policy should cover how to track visitors and employees in every office. One easy way to do this is through a visitor management system, where you can see who is in and where. Features like blocklists also help to keep unwanted intruders out of the building.
65% of organizations worldwide have reported an increase in cyber attacks. Security teams must dedicate significant time to protect their business from hackers, phishing, insider attacks, and more. That’s where your cybersecurity policy comes in. Your policy should protect you against any breach of your organization’s critical company data. This includes data stored across devices, networks, and the cloud. Safety measures within your policy will also help keep out unwanted guests and potential hackers. Two-factor authentication, encryption, and backups are all great examples of safety measures organizations should use.
But what’s your policy without the right tools to help combat any cyber threats? This might be security apps like Okta or Authenticator. It might also be a unique WiFi password provider like Aruba Central or Cisco ISE. Your cybersecurity policy should also cover your workplace compliance–something that can vary by location and different laws. For example, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) covers Europe and the UK. SOC 1 & SOC 2 (System Organization Controls) cover US compliance standards. All reports are designed to cover private individual data and data security compliance for organizations.
Pro tip: Remember, as much as your technology helps to protect you from cyber threats, it’s a constantly evolving battle. Hold regular training sessions with your employees to teach cyber awareness, such as spotting scam emails or using a VPN in public domains.
3. Infrastructure security
Your infrastructure security policy is crucial for the protection of business continuity. It also helps to safeguard your business against service disruptions and external threats. Your infrastructure policy should cover areas like web application firewalls (WAF), virtual private networks (VPNs), application programming interface security (API), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and wireless security. It should also cover cloud security, including data storage and cloud-based processes and systems.
Ensure your infrastructure workplace security policy offers procedures for people to follow. Including security standards to protect your organizational infrastructure is also important. For example, your policy should outline the measures you have in place to protect your organization in case of a fire. It should also include different workplaces security procedures for people to follow, such as which fire exit to use and where to gather outside.
4. Health security
Health and safety is still important when considering your overall workplace security policy. Your health security policy should cover everything from vaccine verification, health checks, touchless technology, first aid, and more. Depending on the type of organization, you might also have a strict policy around chemicals or drugs on the premises.
Organizations will have different health benefits that keep employees safe and healthy. For example, you might have a policy in place that provides folks with a monthly budget for exercise. You might also provide healthy meals for people onsite each day. Whatever it is, your health policy should always prioritize your employees health and safety at work.
5. Crisis management
Your crisis management security policy should prepare and protect employees from unexpected crises in the workplace. This might be a disaster recovery policy in the event of a natural disaster. It could also be an emergency response policy in case of an attack. Your policy should also include business continuity plans in the event of any unexpected crisis. This might be working from home or an automatic leave of absence following an emergency.
Remember to also include security procedures for employees to follow should a crisis occur. For example, in the event of an emergency, employees should leave all belongings and leave through the fire exit.
When done right, your workplace security policy will help safeguard your organization against internal and external threats. Your policies and procedures arm your employees with the know-how and help them to deal with situations accordingly, without putting your organization or others at risk.
Keeping your workplace safe, secure, and compliant takes time and regular assessment. But it doesn’t have to be hard work. Once you have the foundations in place, simple and regular updates will help keep your organization safe from harm. Want to know more about workplace security? Check out our hybrid work security ebook.