Tips For Information Security Policy
Information is a vitally important aspect of any organization. The key to success is protecting your information from outside attacks. Without care, your business information can be leaked, or even misplaced. The problem is big enough in itself. Therefore, it is crucial that you adopt policy that complies with the legal requirements, and make sure to provide assurance that your data is held safe and secure, and only processed when you want to. Here are some tips for what to look for when creating an information security policy template.
Information Security Policy Template
There are a number of reputable organizations that provide information security policy templates. For instance, the SANS Institute collaborated with a number of information security leaders and experts to develop a set of security policy templates for your use. You can get them from the SANS website.
Further, if youre working with a security/compliance advisory firm, they may be able to provide you with security policy templates and specific guidance on how to create policies that make sense .
Keep in mind that templates are the starting point for developing your own policies they must be customized to fit your organizations processes and needs.
Information Technology Purchasing Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define standards, procedures, and restrictions for the purchase of all IT hardware, software, computer-related components, and technical services purchased with company funds. Purchases of technology and technical services for the company must be approved and coordinated through the IT Department.
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Information Security Policy Template Support
After you have downloaded these IT policy templates, we recommend you reach out to our team, for further support. Our experienced professionals will help you to customize these free IT security policy template options and make them correct for your specific business needs. Reach out with any questions on the templates available for download or supporting your business with custom documentation.
Your business is only as good as your policies.
It is essential that you find a trusted partner to create an internal security policy that will keep your business safe for the future.
Information Security Policy Faq
What is the purpose of the Information Security Policy?
The purpose of the policy is to set out the information security policies that apply to the company to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data.
What is the scope of the Information Security Policy?
The scope of the policy is all employees and third-party users. This includes permanent staff, contractors, consultants and third party supplier employees working for your business.
What is the principle of the Information Security Policy?
Information security is managed based on risk, legal and regulatory requirements and business need.
Does an Information Security Policy Include Leadership Commitment?
Yes. Having a statement in the policy from the Chief Executive is a good way to record leadership commitment.
What is an Information Security Policy?
An information security policy sets out what you do for information security. It covers the what you do not how you do it. How you do it is covered in process, procedure and operating documents. It sets a clear direction for the organisation.
Does ISO 27001 require an Information Security Policy?
Where can I get an Information Security Policy template and best practice?
A copy of the information security policy template and best practice can be found here:
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End User Encryption Key Protection Policy
Certain documents and communications inside your company or distributed to your end users may need to be encrypted for security purposes. Have a policy in place for protecting those encryption keys so they arent disclosed or fraudulently used.
This policy should outline all the requirements for protecting encryption keys and list out the specific operational and technical controls in place to keep them safe. This includes things like tamper-resistant hardware, backup procedures, and what to do in the event an encryption key is lost, stolen, or fraudulently used.
Data Security And Protection Policy Template
Having a documented data security policy is a best practice for every organization, especially those that are subject to todays increasingly stringent data privacy laws, such as the EUs General Data Protection Regulation .
Here is a data policy template for access control that you can adapt to meet your organizations unique legal requirements.
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Prepare A Business Case To Present To The Board
Theres no way around it: implementing a governance framework is going to cost money, so its important to demonstrate why its a worthwhile investment.
Business Case Talking Points
- IT security is not the same as IT.
- Security is meant to enable business.
- No longer simply a cost, but a necessary protection.
- Not necessarily a massive overhaul, but a fine-tuning, development, and formalization of processes already in place.
- Helps to cement organization’s internal culture, interests, and politics around security.
- Removing red tape so the CISO can act in the best interest of the company.
- Design security policies to meet compliance obligations.
- Above all: managing risk .
Consider using these talking points to structure your business case presentation.
Security controls can restrict business operations. In today’s cybersecurity landscape there are too many threats to not have some protection. A business cant operate without security and security must enable business operations. The two need to cooperate to ensure an organization’s success.
Resolve The Tension Between Business And Security
It is true that business leaders and security professionals have different ideas about what an organizations ideal state is, but this difference can be overcome with a little understanding.
The ideal business state:
- Adequate budget to enable comprehensive security.
What both parties must understand:
- Without adequate security, the business takes serious risks that may have serious consequences.
- Without smooth business operations, there would be no jobs for security professionals.
- Therefore, security goals are business goals and business goals are security goals.
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Network Security And Vpn Acceptable Use Policy
The purpose of this policy is to define standards for connecting to the companys network from any host. These standards are designed to minimize the potential exposure to the company from damages, which may result from unauthorized use of to the companys resources. Damages include the loss of sensitive or company confidential data, intellectual property, damage to public image, damage to critical company internal systems, etc.
What Are Good Resources To Consult When Developing An Information Security Policy
Developing an information security policy can be a large undertaking. The following frameworks offer guidelines on how to develop and maintain a security policy:
- COBIT COBIT focuses on security, risk management and information governance, and is particularly valuable for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
- NIST Cybersecurity Framework This framework offers security controls aligned with the five phases of risk analysis and risk management: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. It is often used in critical infrastructure sectors like water utilities, transportation and energy production.
- ISO/IEC 27000 This series from the International Standards Organization is one of the broadest frameworks. It can be adapted to organizations of all types and sizes, and various substandards are designed for specific industries. For example, ISO 27799 addresses healthcare information security and is useful for organizations subject to HIPAA compliance. Other standards in the series are applicable for areas such as cloud computing, digital evidence collection and storage security.
In addition, various organizations publish data security policy templates that you can edit to meet your needs rather than start from scratch.
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Visualize Governance As The Keystone Of Your Security Program
These three basic elements: governance, management, and strategy create an arch that secures business operations, enabling them to run smoothly.
In this model, governance appears to be the smallest element of the arch. However, this does not mean it is the least important. Rather, governance is a framework that works in the background of the more active elements: management and strategy. Governance is also the keystone of the security arch, meaning that it is the essential component holding the arch together by ensuring that the other elements are adequately supported.
Notice The Need For Security Governance
Boards who actively participate in developing security strategy:
Security governance is a component of enterprise governance.
- Build structure, authority, process, and membership designations in a governance framework.
- Ensure cybersecurity department is aligned with business goals.
- Influence the direction of the business to ensure business success.
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To Coordinate And Enforce A Security Program Across An Organization
Any security program requires creating a cohesive information security policy. This helps prevent diverging departmental decisions, or worse, departments with no policies at all. The policy defines how the organization identifies extraneous tools or processes that dont perform useful security functions.
What Are The Key Elements Of An Information Security Policy
In general, an information security policy should include the following sections:
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How To Govern Information Security
The ISO position is evolving from a primary technical position to one that combines both technical and managerial functions. Today IT security is an institutional imperative with critical policy and operational aspects with attention dedicated from the CIO, general counsel, internal auditor and executive leadership. While the list of tasks for the ISO continues to grow, unfortunately the authority and challenges to that authority of the role are often institutionally handled with senior administrators, legal counsel or law enforcement. The ISO must rely on institutional policy and legal compliance in order to effectively control IT security. Building a relationship and consensus with many groups on campus is a key to having security policy compliance. One progressive step is the growing recognition of department managers to accept responsibility for their data and its protection. Shifting the role of the ISO from compliance dictator to offering assistance realizes the concept of security as a service .
Governance frameworks, COBIT, ITIL, the ISO 17799 information security management standard, and the ISO 9000 quality management standard – are used in the IT governance processes and structures. ITIL and ISO 17799 are the most common frameworks in use.
IT governance-related committees include :
Governance structures depend on desired outcomes
CERT GES desribes structure based on desired outcomes.
Information Security Governance Structures
Discard Your Preconceptions About Security And Business Being At Odds With Each Other
Ultimately, both the security and business ends of the organization are interested in the same goal: the organizations continued success.
Its true that both groups have different ideas about what the organizations ideal state is, but security and the business have more in common than they do in conflict. They just arent used to seeing it that way.
Business goals and security goals are related and have a tendency to affect each other, making business-security alignment an iterative process that takes ongoing effort. This effort is well worth it as it leads to maximum cooperation and thus maximum efficiency.
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Hardware And Electronic Media Disposal Policy
The company owned surplus hardware, obsolete machines, and any equipment beyond reasonable repair or reuse, including media, are covered by this policy. Where assets have not reached end of life, it is desirable to take advantage of residual value through reselling, auctioning, donating, or reassignment to a less critical function. This policy will establish and define standards, procedures, and restrictions for the disposition of non-leased IT equipment and media in a legal, cost-effective manner.
Edit The Information Security Policy Template
No matter if you’ve created blank PDF or opened a template, it is time to edit the information. Of course, you can edit the document according to your needs. You can go to the “Edit” tab and there are multiple options like “Edit Text” “Edit Image” “Link” etc. Choose the feature you need.
As said earlier, make sure that the executive management clearly agrees and defines the objectives of your security program.
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Reassess Your Governance Framework
Follow your metrics. The numbers won’t lie as long as youre honestly tracking metrics and performing regular audits.
Now that your governance initiative is up and running, it will need be maintained .
- Using what you learn from your internal audits and metrics tracking, reassess your governance framework every 12 months to see if there are any recurring problems that tweaking the framework may help to correct.
Reassessing your frameworks success may reveal the need for additional end-user training and awareness. Use Info-Techs Humanize the Security Awareness and Training Program blueprint to help you meet these needs.
Info-Tech Best Practice
Review your metrics to ensure that your security controls are not too tight or too loose, and verify if they need to be updated to address changes in business operations not accounted for the last time the governance framework was updated.
Appreciate The Practicality Of Nist
NIST uses the following subcategories in its framework. Use these suggestions as guidelines for developing the more granular aspects of your organizations governance initiative.
Excerpted from NIST Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity
- ID.GV-1: Organizational cybersecurity policy is established and communicated.
- ID.GV-2: Cybersecurity roles and responsibilities are coordinated and aligned with internal roles and external partners.
- ID.GV-3: Legal and regulatory requirements regarding cybersecurity, including privacy and civil liberties obligations, are understood and managed.
- ID.GV-4: Governance and risk management processes address cybersecurity risks.
Following this blueprint will set you up to meet these goals!
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What Should Be In An Information Security Policy
An information security policy can be tough to build from scratch it needs to be robust and secure your organization from all ends. It should cover all software, hardware, physical parameters, human resources, information, and access control. It also needs to be flexible and have room for revision and updating, and, most importantly, it needs to be practical and enforceable. Wishful thinking wont help you when youre developing an information security policy. You need to work with the major stakeholders to develop a policy that works for your company and the employees who will be responsible for carrying out the policy.
Here are a few of the most important information security policies and guidelines for tailoring them for your organization.
Easily Create Your Iso 27001 Information Security Policy Using This Customisable Template
As part of your ISO 27001 project, your organisation must develop and document an information security policy.
If you are unsure what your information security policy has to include or where to start, this template, created by our ISO 27001 practitioners, can help you create one in minutes, enabling you to fulfil the requirements set out in Clause 5.2.
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Support Your First Line Of Defense With A Security Governance Center Of Excellence
A Center of Excellence is a department-like entity embedded within an organization to provide specific knowledge about a process or topic an organization is trying to develop in the interest of efficiency and organizational development. Unlike a department though, a COE is usually less centralized and might incorporate people from several different departments or silos.
- Using a COE allows first-line defenders to consult experts whenever they are not sure how to make risk-related decisions.
- The COE helps to support security controls by ensuring managers are observing those controls.
- This reduces the need for second- and third-line defenders to police the first.
Maximize efficiency with a Security Governance Center of Excellence
Disaster Recovery Plan Policy
This policy is different from a data breach response plan because it is a general contingency plan for what to do in the event of a disaster or any event that causes an extended delay of service. This policy should describe the process to recover systems, applications, and data during or after any type of disaster that causes a major outage. This disaster recovery plan should be updated on an annual basis.
The contingency plan should cover these elements:
- Emergency outreach plan. Explicitly list who needs to be contacted, when do they need to be contacted, and how will you contact them?
- Succession plan. Describe the flow of responsibility when normal staff is unavailable to perform their duties.
- Data classification plan. Detail all the data stored on all systems, its criticality, and its confidentiality.
- Criticality of service list. List all the services provided and their order of importance.
- Data backup and restoration plan. Detail which data is backed up, where, and how often. Also explain how the data can be recovered.
- Equipment replacement plan. Describe which infrastructure services are necessary to resume providing services to customers.
- Public communications. Document who will own the external PR function and provide guidelines on what information can and should be shared.
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