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Tips for writing easy-to-understand security policies

For the amount of writing required of IT professionals in leadership roles, serious writing skills are relegated to low bandwidth electives in IT degree programs surprisingly frequently. At best, an aspiring IT security professional may get some solid technical writing experience in school - and if they’re smart, some business writing training as well.

Without decent exposure to journalistic writing, adult learning styles and all-important information design, IT leaders may find themselves struggling to effectively convey important information like security policies and awareness.

Effective Infosec policy writing

A well-written security policy statement:

  • Communicates high-level ground rules and consequences thoroughly yet succinctly
  • Explains both the problem and the solution
  • Emphasizes the degree of importance and relevance
  • Is accessible to employees at all applicable levels of responsibility and reading skill
  • Engages readers through relatable wording and real-world examples
  • Persuades and motivates readers to take ownership of and apply their new knowledge

Elements of engaging technical content

It’s the job of the policy writer to do the work for the reader - keep their attention, deliver the message, and compel them to adapt their behavior. The best way to meet this responsibility is to incorporate five elements of writing:

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Written for BrainTrack External link as a guest post on TechRepublic's IT Leadership External link blog

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"What a great piece!" said Toni Bowers, TechRepublic editor

 
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