Effective Date: [Insert Date]
This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) outlines the terms and conditions for the appropriate use of [Organization Name]'s information technology (IT) resources, including but not limited to computers, networks, software, and data. By accessing and utilizing the organization's IT resources, all users, including employees, contractors, and third parties, agree to comply with this policy. Failure to adhere to this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment or contract, and may also lead to legal consequences.
2. Purpose of the Acceptable Use Policy
The purpose of this AUP is to ensure the secure and responsible use of our IT resources to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information and prevent unauthorized access, data breaches, and other cybersecurity incidents. It aims to safeguard the reputation and operations of [Organization Name] and protect its users from potential harm arising from misuse of IT resources.
3. Applicable Security Controls (NIST 800-53)
This Acceptable Use Policy is aligned with the security controls and guidelines outlined in NIST Special Publication 800-53 - "Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations." The following NIST 800-53 controls apply to this policy:
3.1. AC-1 Access Control Policy and Procedures
[Organization Name] implements and enforces access controls to ensure that only authorized individuals can access the organization's IT resources. Users are granted access based on the principle of least privilege. Each user is assigned unique user identifiers and must authenticate before accessing any system resources.
3.2. AC-2 Account Management
User accounts are created, modified, and removed in accordance with established procedures. Users are assigned only the privileges necessary to perform their job functions. The organization regularly reviews and updates user account permissions to maintain the principle of least privilege.
3.3. AC-3 Access Enforcement
[Organization Name] employs technical controls to enforce access decisions and prevent unauthorized access to its IT resources. This includes using firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and role-based access controls to limit access to sensitive information and critical systems.
3.4. AC-17 Remote Access
Remote access to the organization's IT resources is permitted only through secure methods, such as virtual private networks (VPNs), and is subject to additional authentication measures, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA). Users must use organization-approved remote access solutions to connect to the network.
3.5. AU-2 Auditable Events
[Organization Name] defines and reviews auditable events to capture user activities and system changes. Auditable events may include logins, logouts, file accesses, system configuration changes, and security-related events. The organization ensures that the necessary audit logs are generated and retained for an appropriate period.
3.6. AU-3 Content of Audit Records
The content of audit records includes information such as user identities, timestamps, activities performed, and the outcomes of events. The organization ensures that audit records are comprehensive and include sufficient information for effective analysis during incident investigations.
3.7. AU-6 Audit Review, Analysis, and Reporting
[Organization Name] reviews, analyzes, and reports on audit records to detect and respond to security incidents. The organization establishes processes to regularly review audit logs for suspicious or unauthorized activities. Any anomalies or security incidents are reported and appropriately addressed.
3.8. IA-2 Identification and Authentication (Organizational Users)
Users are required to authenticate themselves through multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access the organization's IT resources. User identity and access credentials are protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.
3.9. IA-5 Authenticator Management
[Organization Name] implements processes for managing authenticators (e.g., passwords, tokens) to ensure their integrity and confidentiality. This includes enforcing strong password policies, periodic password changes, and secure storage of authentication tokens.
3.10. MA-1 System Maintenance Policy and Procedures
[Organization Name] establishes and enforces system maintenance policies to ensure the timely application of security updates and patches. Routine maintenance and system updates are scheduled to minimize disruption to business operations.
3.11. MA-2 Controlled Maintenance
Maintenance activities are performed in a controlled manner to prevent unauthorized changes to IT resources. [Organization Name] ensures that changes to system configurations, software, and hardware are approved, documented, and tested before implementation.
3.12. PE-6 Monitoring Policy and Procedures
[Organization Name] monitors the use of its IT resources to detect and respond to security incidents. Monitoring activities include reviewing logs, network traffic, and system activities to identify unusual or suspicious behavior that may indicate a security breach.
4. Acceptable Use
4.1. Authorized Use
Users are permitted to access and use the organization's IT resources for legitimate business purposes only. Authorized use includes but is not limited to:
Conducting official work-related tasks and responsibilities: All users are expected to utilize the organization's IT resources primarily for work-related activities and tasks in support of their roles and responsibilities within the organization.
Accessing and utilizing approved software applications and services: Users may use the organization's approved software applications and services that are essential for their job functions. Installation of unauthorized software on organization-owned devices is strictly prohibited.
Sending and receiving work-related communications via official email accounts: Users should use the organization's official email accounts for all work-related communication. Use of personal email accounts for official business is not allowed.
Accessing approved websites and online resources relevant to work duties: Users may access and use the internet for work-related research, learning, and information gathering as it relates to their job roles and assignments.
4.2. Compliance with Laws and Regulations
Users must adhere to all applicable local, national, and international laws, regulations, and industry standards when using the organization's IT resources. This includes, but is not limited to, laws related to data privacy, intellectual property, copyright, and computer security. Users are responsible for understanding and complying with these legal requirements.
4.3. Data Protection and Confidentiality
Users must handle sensitive and confidential information in accordance with the organization's Data Classification Policy and applicable data protection laws. Sharing, storing, or transmitting confidential data outside the organization's authorized systems and networks is strictly prohibited. Any accidental exposure of confidential information should be reported immediately to the appropriate personnel.
Users are required to apply security measures, such as encryption and access controls, to safeguard sensitive data from unauthorized access and disclosure.
4.4. Respectful and Professional Behavior
All communications and interactions using the organization's IT resources should be conducted in a professional and respectful manner. Harassment, discriminatory behavior, or any form of abusive conduct is strictly prohibited. Users must treat their colleagues, customers, and external partners with respect and courtesy in all digital interactions.
4.5. Password and Account Security
Users are responsible for safeguarding their login credentials and must not share their passwords with others. Passwords should be strong, regularly updated, and not stored in plain text. If users suspect that their account credentials have been compromised, they must report it immediately to the IT department or designated personnel.
4.6. Reporting Security Incidents
Users must promptly report any suspected security incidents, data breaches, or unauthorized access to the organization's IT team or designated personnel. Reporting incidents as soon as they are identified allows for quick response and mitigation measures to
minimize potential damage.
5. Prohibited Activities
The following activities are strictly prohibited when using the organization's IT resources:
5.1. Unauthorized Access
Users must not attempt to access, modify, or tamper with data or systems without proper authorization. This includes trying to gain unauthorized access to other users' accounts, files, or sensitive information.
5.2. Malicious Software
Introducing, spreading, or using any form of malware, including viruses, worms, ransomware, or spyware, is strictly prohibited. Users should refrain from downloading or executing files from unknown or untrusted sources.
5.3. Data Theft or Misuse
Copying, downloading, or sharing confidential information or sensitive data without proper authorization is strictly prohibited. Users should only access and use data necessary for their job responsibilities and should not disclose sensitive information to unauthorized individuals.
5.4. Network Abuse
Engaging in activities that disrupt or harm the organization's network is strictly prohibited. This includes unauthorized port scanning, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, or any actions that negatively impact network performance or stability.
5.5. Unauthorized Monitoring
Users must not monitor or intercept network traffic or communications without proper authorization. This includes eavesdropping on network conversations or attempting to access private communications between other users.
5.6. Phishing and Social Engineering
Engaging in phishing or social engineering attempts to deceive others into disclosing sensitive information or login credentials is strictly prohibited. Users should be cautious when interacting with unsolicited emails, links, or attachments.
5.7. Illegal Activities
Using the organization's IT resources for any illegal activities or to facilitate unlawful actions is strictly prohibited. This includes activities such as distributing copyrighted material without permission or engaging in online fraud.
5.8. Personal Use
While limited personal use of the organization's IT resources may be permitted within reasonable bounds, excessive or non-work-related personal activities are prohibited. Personal use should not interfere with work responsibilities or consume significant resources.
Failure to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy may result in disciplinary actions, which may include but are not limited to:
Verbal or written warnings: For minor violations or first-time offenses, a warning may be issued to remind the user of the policy.
Temporary or permanent suspension of IT resource access: In more severe cases, access to the organization's IT resources may be suspended temporarily or permanently.
Termination of employment or contract: Repeated or significant policy violations may result in termination of employment or contract.
Legal action, if applicable: In situations where policy violations lead to legal consequences, appropriate legal actions may be pursued.
The severity of the disciplinary action will be determined based on the nature and extent of the violation, as well as any prior history of non-compliance.
7. Policy Review and Updates
[Organization Name] reserves the right to modify or update this Acceptable Use Policy at any time to reflect changes in technology, regulations, or organizational needs. Users will be notified of any significant changes, and it is the responsibility of all users to review and comply with the latest version of this policy.
By using the organization's IT resources, users acknowledge that they have read, understood, and agree to comply with this Acceptable Use Policy.
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