Improper use of information technology by users puts your organization at risk of cybersecurity threats and causes undesirable distractions. Acceptable use policies (AUPs) are excellent tools to provide users with clear expectations of how they are expected to use technology safely and appropriately in the organization, but if they are not properly enforced your expectations will be forgotten or outright ignored.
When properly enforced, AUPs provide an added layer of security that will help keep your organization and users safe. Whether your users are students, patrons, or employees, these 5 tips will provide the basis you need to enforce your AUPs.
If you have not yet developed your organization’s acceptable use of technology policies such as an internet policy or information technology policy, you can visit this article by GetApp for helpful tips.
To effectively enforce your acceptable use of technology policies, you first need to ensure that your users understand what is being asked of them. The policies need to be written with your audience in mind – the word choice for young students or the general public is going to be conveyed far differently than those for adult professionals within the workplace.
Acceptable use policies are not intended to be a ‘set it and forget it’ measure – they’ll simply be forgotten or ignored that way. If you want your AUPs to be truly successful, you need to keep the content and intention of your policies fresh in the minds of your employees by making policy engagement a normal practice in your organization.
The sensitivity of the data that your organization handles and the related regulations that apply to it will heavily influence your policy awareness planning. Is your AUP a legally binding document intended to protect personal health information or is it a general policy in your employee handbook?
Corrective action is a necessary component of policy enforcement; a policy without enforcement is simply a hopeful thought that will ultimately be neglected. Do not create policies that you do not intend to enforce – the inconsistency of enforcement will lead to confusion and frustration among your employees.
If you’ve ensured your due diligence by clearly communicating the technology use expectations of your workplace, your employees should never feel surprised by your policy enforcement measures. By making policy awareness a priority, you can ensure that corrective action measures are an expected consequence when addressing an employee’s misuse of technology.
Depending on the sensitivity of the data and systems managed by your organization you will need to determine the degree of corrective actions.
Employee computer monitoring software is an excellent tool for technology policy enforcement as it allows consistent oversight into how employees are using technology in the workplace.
Software for monitoring computer use will provide you with tangible insights into the effectiveness of your information technology acceptable use policies. These tools will identify the employees that require further attention, providing the resources needed to ensure that the misuse of technology goes properly addressed.
Your employees will not agree with every policy they are expected to follow. That said, making a genuine effort to foster employee buy-in will make the enforcement of your policies significantly easier as employees will be less motivated to be actively non-compliant with your expectations.
With an acceptable use of technology policy that is understandable, accessible, reasonable, and backed up with industry-standard computer monitoring software, your organization will be better equipped to enforce the safe and respectable use of technology of your users. The five tips above provide an excellent start for creating an environment where AUPs are respected and properly enforced, providing your organization with an added layer of security against cybersecurity threats and other vulnerabilities caused by the negligent use of technology.