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  • Writer's pictureSara Millis

The risks of poor IT policies on your business

IT policies are crucial in ensuring your company's IT systems are used appropriately and securely. They guide employees on using technology resources ethically and responsibly and help protect the organisation from security breaches. 


Inadequate IT policies can lead to potential risks, including data breaches, unauthorised access to sensitive information, and legal liabilities. 


In this blog post, we will describe those risks so that you can understand why the right IT policies are crucial.


Hacker working on computers. There is code and a padlock graphic in view.


Risk 1: Security Risks

Poor IT policies can lead to data breaches and cyber-attacks, compromising or losing sensitive information, such as customer data or financial records.


Security risks can severely impact businesses, resulting in financial losses, damage to reputation, and legal disputes.



Risk 2: Legal Risks

Legal risks are a significant concern for businesses that rely on IT systems to store, process, and transmit data. Non-compliance with GDPR or PCI DSS regulations can result in hefty fines, legal penalties, and negative publicity.


In addition, businesses that fail to protect sensitive data adequately can be held liable for data breaches and face lawsuits from affected individuals or regulatory bodies. These lawsuits can also result in financial penalties, reputation damage, and loss of customer trust.



Risk 3: Productivity Risks

Inefficient use of technology and lack of communication are two common examples of productivity risks. For instance, if employees still use outdated software or hardware, they may take longer to complete tasks or make mistakes, resulting in reduced productivity.


When employees are not informed about critical updates or changes within the organisation, they may become confused or make assumptions that can lead to errors or inefficiencies. This can also result in a decline in productivity.


Productivity has knock-on effects to your profitability and operational targets.



Risk 4: Outage Risks

When a business is hit by a disaster (natural event, rogue employees, system failure, or cyber attack), it experiences an outage—a period when it ceases operations. That downtime means no production, sales, customer service, or contractor collaboration. As a result of an outage, it will likely see a drop in income and reputational loss with customers and contractors.



Best Practices for Developing IT Policies

At this stage, you'll understand why we recommend IT policies. If they are clear, comprehensive, and aligned with your goals, objectives, and values, you should be able to mitigate risks.


The critical components of any effective IT policy include:

  • Defining policy scope and purpose

  • Identifying stakeholders' roles and responsibilities

  • Specifying acceptable and unacceptable behaviours

  • Defining the consequences of non-compliance

  • Establishing the procedures for reporting violations and resolving disputes


It's crucial to involve IT, legal, HR, and other relevant departments and seek feedback and input from employees and other stakeholders to ensure the policies are practical, realistic, and enforceable.


Regular reviews and updates will ensure the policies reflect the latest best practices, compliance requirements, and emerging risks and threats.



The essential IT policies every business needs

Here's a handy list of some of the policies you can create:



While this list isn't exhaustive, it should give you a healthy place to start.


Contact us today if you need help creating your IT policies!

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