Mandatory Vacations

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Personnel Policies – Mandatory Vacations

If you plan on taking the Security+ exam you should have a good understanding of the various personnel policies that organizations implement including a mandatory vacations policy. These policies are used to define and clarify issues such as personnel behavior, expectations, and possible consequences. Personnel learn these policies when they are hired and as changes occur. This blog is an excerpt of acceptable use topics from the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

Some of the other policies directly related to personnel are:

 

Mandatory Vacations Practice Test Question

Here’s a sample mandatory vacation question for the Security+ exam from the CompTIA Security+: Get Certified Get Ahead: SY0-401 Study Guide.

Q. Employees in the accounting department are forced to take time off from their duties on a regular basis. What would direct this?

A. Account disablement policy

B. Mandatory vacation policy

C. Job rotation policy

D. Dual accounts for administrators

Ideally, you should not only know what the correct answer is, but also why it is correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect.

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Mandatory Vacations

Mandatory vacation policies help detect when employees are involved in malicious activity, such as fraud or embezzlement. As an example, employees in positions of fiscal trust, such as stock traders or bank employees, are often required to take an annual vacation of at least five consecutive workdays.

For embezzlement actions of any substantial size to succeed, an employee would need to be constantly present in order to manipulate records and respond to different inquiries. On the other hand, if an employee is forced to be absent for at least five consecutive workdays, the likelihood of any illegal actions succeeding is reduced, since someone else would be required to answer the queries during the employee’s absence.

Mandatory vacations arent limited to only financial institutions, though. Many organizations require similar policies for administrators. For example, an administrator may be the only person required to perform sensitive activities such as reviewing logs. A malicious administrator can overlook or cover up certain activities revealed in the logs. However, a mandatory vacation would require someone else to perform these activities and increase the chance of discovery.

Of course, mandatory vacations by themselves won’t prevent fraud. Most companies will implement the principle of defense in depth by using multiple layers of protection. Additional policies may include separation of duties and job rotation to provide as much protection as possible.

Remember this

Mandatory vacation policies require employees to take time away from their job. These policies help to reduce fraud and discover malicious activities.

Mandatory Vacations Practice Test Question Answer

Q. Employees in the accounting department are forced to take time off from their duties on a regular basis. What would direct this?

A. Account disablement policy

B. Mandatory vacation policy

C. Job rotation policy

D. Dual accounts for administrators

Answer. B is correct. Mandatory vacation policies require employees to take time away from their job and help to detect fraud or malicious activities.

An account disablement policy specifies when to disable accounts.

Job rotation policies require employees to change roles on a regular basis.

Dual accounts for administrators help prevent privilege escalation attacks.

Personnel Policy Comparisons

  • Mandatory vacations policies require employees to take time away from their job. These policies help to reduce fraud and discover malicious activities by employees.
  • An acceptable use policy defines proper system usage for users. Users are often required to read and sign an acceptable use policy when hired, and in conjunction with refresher training
  • Job rotation policies require employees to change roles on a regular basis. These policies help to prevent employees from continuing with fraudulent activities.
  • Separation of duties policies separate individual tasks of an overall function between different entities or different people.

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