A Clean Desk Policy is a physical security measure requiring employees to avoid leaving any paper on their desk in plain sight, and instead place it in a locked cabinet when they leave their desk.

The motivation behind a clean desk policy is to make it more difficult for passersby (for example: after hours cleaning staff) to steal or photograph sensitive information such as employee records, customer records, login credentials, or intellectual property.

A clean desk policy is also a key component of any security training program since it is an easy way to build awareness of sensitive information handling among employees from all departments.

The SANS institute has a sample Clean Desk Policy available for free use.

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