Understanding Key Definitions
Before we explore our top five Anywhere Operations policies, let’s unpack some key terms:
Policy vs. Standard
- Policy: The regulations that govern actions and guide decision-making in organizations.
- Standard: The acceptance criterion for information security.
We use policies and standards to create the framework for critical business processes:
Process vs. Procedure
- Process: A description of what needs to occur for the creation, storage, analysis, and transmission of information.
- Procedure: The step-by-step instructions to implement a process. We apply training and tools to execute procedures.
The relationships across these components are outlined in this diagram:
Top 5 Anywhere Operations Policies
Remote work offers several benefits for organizations and employees, from increased productivity to more profitability due to greater engagement and flexibility. A successful Anywhere Operations model requires that critical policies are in place:
1. Acceptable Use Policy
A greater reliance on remote teams means a greater focus on data security.
An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is a document that outlines the constraints and practices that each user must accept before getting access to your corporate network or the Internet.
An AUP provides critical guidelines for employees who work from home (or any other location) to maintain confidential and proprietary data security. Your company’s Acceptable Use Policy should tell your employees how to:
- Identify the records and data essential for your organization’s survival and the internal and external forces that can impact them.
- Manage your business assets, processes, and staff access to files and data.
- Oversee employee-generated content, the communication channels, and connected devices.
- Evaluate cybersecurity risk evaluation and implement solutions.
- Monitor and enforce the AUP via data security technology and human oversight.
- Provide employee training to recognize risks (such as phishing) and apply cybersecurity best practices.
2. Remote Work Policy
The ability to work from home or any other location is an attractive option. A Remote Work Policy is crucial for the smooth operation of your remote teams.
A Remote Work Policy is an agreement that outlines when and how your employees work from locations outside of the office.
Such a policy can be temporary or permanent. A good Remote Work Policy should describe:
- Who qualifies for remote work.
- Legal rights of remote teams.
- The hardware and software that will be provided for cyber-secure remote work.
- Work from home rules (such as on-call hours).
- Team collaboration and social activities.
- Compensation and benefits structure for remote workers.
3. Secure Communications Policy
A Secure Communications Policy protects your organization’s network information, supports information processing, and maintains the data security of internal and external information transfers.
Your Secure Communications Policy should:
- Comply with industry-specific regulations.
- Establish a robust network with cyber-secure access points.
- Advise employees that their work emails may be monitored.
- Outline all personal use restrictions.
- Define content that can be communicated via the company’s channels.
- Prohibit unauthorized transmission of confidential and proprietary information.
- Require data encryption tools.
- Describe tools for monitoring and enforcement of the policy.
4. Media Disposal Policy
A Media Disposal Policy ensures that your organization’s data is completely erased when you dispose of old storage media.
This policy applies to a wide range of storage media such as computers, smartphones, tablets, hard disks, flash drives, memory sticks, CDs, DVDs, etc. A good Media Disposal Policy addresses critical elements such as asset life cycle management, chain-of-custody guidelines, and safe e-waste disposal of end-of-life devices.
Recommended Read: Creating A Media Disposal Policy for Remote Workers
5. Clean Desk Policy
A Clean Desk Policy (CDP) is a document that outlines how your employees should leave their workstations at the end of each business day.
The CDP also applies to remote teams and should include:
- A detailed IT security checklist.
- Automatic lock-screen after a few minutes of inactivity.
- Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
- Network access via a VPN.
- Regular security updates and reminders.
Implement Anywhere Operations
Anywhere Operations is the new normal as we rely on more remote work and telecommuting. This model relies on the deployment of critical business services across distributed infrastructures. By the close of 2023, 40% of organizations will have implemented Anywhere Operations to deliver an optimized combination of online and face-to-face experiences for their customers and employees. However, Anywhere Operations requires a foundation of core policies for its smooth implementation.
Net Friends is a leading Managed Services Provider with the expertise and resources to help you deploy Anywhere Operations in your organization. We offer our suite of managed IT services at affordable and predictable monthly rates. Get in touch with us to explore our high-performance remote work solutions so your employees can work safely and efficiently. We will help you leverage the benefits of Anywhere Operations to boost your marketplace competitiveness and dominance.