Why are policies and procedures so important?

Policies can secure your environment, protect your team and prevent ransomware attacks.

Policies and procedures protect us from ourselves.  This is one reason why we recommend our network and security assessments as tools to help create a baseline for your organization. 

Most of our customers have neither the capability to identify the weaknesses in their policies, nor do they have the experience to create the necessary documentation for the procedures to follow. We bring that expertise to the table.  

Simple policies like password changes, password strength, patching and updates are basic tenants of securing your environment and keeping your data safe

Many of us hear of the rapid rise in security threats and risk of IT vulnerability in the workplace, but often don’t think it can happen to us. Simple policies are not always followed and that creates problems for the rest of us. 

For example, I’m a pet lover at heart.  And, so it seems, are many of my neighbors.  

We all have different reasons for having pets – companionship, unconditional love, protection –first child starter kit – but one thing is for sure – everyone has a different view of responsible pet ownership policies and procedures.  Most of it is common sense, but there is a reason why some say “the only thing to fear from a dog is its owner”.   Or in I.T terms – the only thing the company should fear is the end-user.  

Last Friday morning, I was driving through a familiar neighborhood with a school zone.  The city has a policy that the speed limit in this area is 20 mph.  My procedure is to apply my brakes and slow down when approaching this area. Years of driving this route have conditioned me to follow this procedure autonomically – even when school is not in session which is a good thing.

Because, on this day, all the sudden out of the corner of my right eye, I caught a glimpse of something brown, four-legged and running for its life.  Fido Jr. sprinted out the open front door of the house, bounded off the porch, through the open gate in the front yard and into traffic with Fido Sr. hot on his trail.   Senior got a paw or two off the curb and turned around -survival instinct from past experience, I reckon. 

Fido Jr. survived this time but a note to the owner - if you are going to have dogs and you want to see them when you get home from work you may want to implement a policy of keeping the front door shut and the gate to the front yard closed.  

What good are policies and procedures if they are not enforced?  How do you enforce them?

My neighborhood is made up of all different walks of life.  We may come from different backgrounds and speak different languages, but our love for our dogs binds us together.  Funny thing is, I've noticed lately that we think our dog speaks our native language.  

Walking my dog this past weekend, we found ourselves in a very popular spot - a park with creeks, trails, trees, flowers, fishing - in a very nice neighborhood and this neighborhood has policies and procedures for the dog walking type. 

Well documented ones too – they are listed by the very nice trash cans with well stocked plastic poop picker upper bags.  

Curb and keep your dog on a leash, and pick up after your dog – Maximum $500 fine
Don’t litter - $500 fine
To protect the innocent and the guilty, the following names are fictional. 

We will call him "Bentley" for that was his owner's ride of choice that day.  Bentley is well groomed and leads a life of leisure.  He doesn't even have to walk as his owner was carrying him around most of the time - I guess so Bentley wouldn't mess up his matching coat and hair ribbon.  The dog has a wardrobe.  

Bentley’s owner carried him around in one hand will discussing the night’s plans on the phone in the other hand.  Exacerbated with the person on the other end, she plopped down on a bench, set Bentley down, and began to rub her feet that had been squeezed into stilettos – not the optimal dog walking shoes.  

Needless to say, Bentley wasn’t on a leash and decided to wander off…

Sun Tzu, on the other hand, was a puppy dog surrounded by 3 or 4 generations of family.  It was a great day for a picnic, fishing, taking pictures of the picnic, taking pictures of the fishing and playing with the dog. 

Well, Sun Tzu wasn’t on a leash either and when Bentley came up, Sun Tzu chased Bentley across the park out into the street where the red Italian sports car guy was cruising with the top down.  Out for a leisurely Sunday drive, he didn’t have to slam on his brakes but I can attest that the Italian Stallion can brake from 20 mph to 0 mph in about 2 feet.   

Meanwhile, Bentley’s fashionista is yelling at him in English to “stop, Bentley stop” and Sun Tzu is getting a lashing in his native tongue.  

Unfortunately, the hipster driving the car behind the Italian Stallion was not following the “don’t use your cell phone policy while driving” and rear-ended the poor guy who was paying attention and following the policies and procedures of civil society. 

The ensuing fender-bender and histrionics all could have been avoided if the “curb and leash your dog” policy was being followed.  

The good news about our I.T. solutions is that we can track when policies and procedures are not being followed by your end-users.  So, give us a call and schedule a network and security assessment so you don’t end up with “dogs off the leash” in your organization.  

P.S. I must apologize to those involved for my moment of schadenfreude (pleasure derived by someone from another person's misfortune) for I was in a state of writer’s blog-block and the incident inspired me.   

View all blog posts »