Tips to implement acceptable net usage policy at the workplace

Advanced technology, smartphones and fast internet has completely transformed how communication takes place in the office setup. Employees are empowered to load quickly web-based email, peer-to-peer file sharing clients, instant messaging, etc. However, there are also several risks associated with using internet at the workplace. It includes increased security risks, legal liabilities, productivity loss and chances of intellectual property leakage. Hence, organizations belonging to all domains are compelled to enforce granular policy controls concerning internet usage policy.

Tips to follow to set up acceptable net usage policy

  • Review existing policy: Audit the current net usage policy. Compare with what is sought in the new policy, based upon specific needs concerning every element in the organization. Do consider how much policy enforcement is desired. Stringent policy controls may be sought by many organizations while other companies would like to provide warnings to end users.
  • Network traffic visibility: Web traffic assessment software can help identify as well as monitor net traffic. Specific groups or areas engaging in excessive or inappropriate web usage are identified. It allows evaluating the time amount users groups and users spend browsing the web during any ‘average’ workday. It also helps determine the policies to be implemented.
  • Difference between employees and departments: Net access requirements, these days, dictate applying diverse policy controls to departments, individuals or enterprise network segments. Net usage policy is mandatory to protect business.
  • Work along with all departments: It should have companywide net usage policy, especially IT and human resources. No mismatch should exist between the established policies and network infrastructure ability to support them.
  • Consider potential loopholes: It may be that users with diverse discrepancies concerning usage rights could try switching computers or desks. This could be to overcome barriers as well as to access inappropriate applications.
  • Policy test exercise: Key users should be provided an exercise to perform with the policy at draft stage. It ensures the policy being practical to achieve its set objectives. It will also be flexible to accommodate emergency situations or changes.
  • Involve legal team: The legal team should review the policy’s elements very minutely. They should also form part of the policy auditing team to identify periodic adjustments.
  • Consider remote connectivity consequences: Employees are compelled to work from their respective home. Hence, the policy is to provide adequate coverage to remote locations and address the company property’s personal use.

It is these reasons that compel organizations to come up with an acceptable net usage policy for their employees to follow.

Christopher Campisi