Managers often expect staff to remember an instruction issued verbally during a staff meeting. This is clearly not procedurally fair. To maintain security of company information, one of your greatest tools is training. Exposure of staff to workshops will enable them to discuss the need for a security policy and enable them to assimilate procedures towards the same. This might be best achieved during an afternoon training session or even a weekend getaway.
Once your staff is in agreement as to the necessity of safeguarding assets and information, a written policy document should be handed to each staff member for their signature. By signing, staff agrees to adhere by the security procedures outlined. The consequences on contravention of procedures should also be included within the policy document. There are many companies which undertake their own security awareness training and offer security awareness tools which are to be used. Online websites has a delightful stock of fun, colorful posters which can be downloaded. The messages on the posters are, however, very serious ones. Fun calendars sport messages such as protect sensitive information. They even offer memos for supervisors to paste on an unattended PC which has been left switched on.
These humorous messages will remind employees of the policy document they have signed; and the consequences of contravening this policy. Other important tools can be found in the form of official company signboards such as no unauthorized access beyond this point. These signs are noticed even if one walks past them everyday. Constant reminders of policy assist staff in adhering to the same.
Supervisors and managers could make use of screen saver messages to remind staff of their responsibilities; these could even have an accompanying audio track such as Switch me off if you are leaving the office.
Managers and supervisors should stay abreast of ever-changing threats and constantly update anti-virus software. Visit the Microsoft website for security information, tips, tools, and free downloads. Be aware of the dangers of opening strange emails, downloading images and music from unknown sites and make sure your company has the tools to prevent staff from unwittingly inviting viruses onto your computer system. There are many software packages such as Net Nanny to prevent visits to many dubious and so-called nefarious sites.
There are many training manuals available for use by companies which are designed to raise staff awareness of security issues. Staff members should be exposed to workshops on these manuals and a hard copy of each made available for staff to review as needed.
The greatest of all the security awareness tools is effective communication. All staff members need to understand why such security policies are important. Including the value of intellectual rights in the companys vision would certainly reinforce its importance. Management needs to reinforce security concepts by having follow-up of shorter training sessions at least once a year to keep employees up-to-date with any developments that might necessitate a change in the companys security policy. All changes must be in writing and authorized. Safeguard your companys most valuable asset - information.