Information Security Policy – Free Template
In today’s digital landscape, protecting sensitive data and preventing data breaches are paramount for businesses. An Information Security Policy (ISP) serves as a crucial framework for organisations to mitigate risks and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their systems and information. Arc Systems explores the significance of an ISP, its key components, and how it can help businesses safeguard their valuable data.
Understanding the Information Security Policy
Definition and Purpose of an ISP: An ISP sets guidelines and procedures to address information security risks and protect data from unauthorised access.
Role of an ISP: It establishes a general approach to information security, detects and deters compromised security, and ensures compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
Importance of Regular Updates: An ISP should be regularly reviewed and updated to address evolving threats and meet the changing needs of the company.
Scope and Objectives of an ISP
Identifying Sensitive Information: An ISP should cover all sensitive data, including systems, facilities, programs, and third-party access.
Objectives of an ISP: Preserving confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems and information through controlled access and robust security measures.
We’ve created this free download to help your organisation develop its ISP.
An Information Security Policy (ISP) defines the risk associated with information security and the rules and procedures an organisation must take to mitigate risk.
Information security policies exist to protect and restrict data distribution to those with authorised access.
Authority and Access Control Policy
Balancing Access and Data Protection: Define the level of control and access for each role to ensure proper authorisation and protection of IT systems and data.
Hierarchical Control: Implement a hierarchical pattern where senior members have the authority to authorize data access to relevant parties.
Data Classification and Protection
Differentiating Data Sensitivity: Classify data based on sensitivity levels, such as low, medium, and high, and assign appropriate protection measures.
Ensuring Compliance: Identify data protected by legislation that could cause significant harm if breached and implement stringent security measures.
Security Awareness Training
The Importance of Employee Awareness: Provide employees with comprehensive security awareness training to educate them about potential threats and their role in maintaining information security.
Addressing Cybercrime Targeting Employees: By raising awareness, employees can become the first line of defense against cyberattacks.
Responsibilities and Duties of Personnel
Assigning Roles and Responsibilities: Appropriate members should be assigned to carry out access reviews, implementation, training, incident response, and periodic updates.
Collaboration for Effective Security: Encourage collaboration among personnel to ensure a coordinated approach to information security.
Implementing an Information Security Policy is crucial for businesses to protect their valuable data from unauthorized access and potential breaches. By following the guidelines and best practices outlined in an ISP, organizations can enhance their IT security posture and mitigate risks effectively. Prioritising information security safeguards the reputation of the business and instills confidence in customers and clients.
What should be included in your ISP?
An effective information security policy should:
- Establish a general approach to information security.
- Detect and deter compromised information security.
- Be both enforceable and practical.
- Observe the rights of customers and clients.
- Protect the reputation of your business.
- Be regularly updated in response to the company’s needs and new and evolving threats.
- Comply with legal and regulatory requirements like NIST, GDPR, HIPAA and FERPA.
Where is data stored, and who has access? Your ISP should address all sensitive information, including systems, facilities, programs and third parties.
Defined objectives will enable you to measure the success of your security policy. ISP objectives are to preserve confidentiality, integrity and availability of systems and information used by a company’s members. These three principles are known as the CIA triad.
Confidentiality: Controlling access to data to users who are authorised. Additionally, some users may have limited access to specific types of data.
Integrity: Ensuring data hasn’t been tampered with or manipulated. As a result, the data can be considered correct and authentic.
Availability: For data to be accessible, systems, networks, and applications must work effectively.
Authority and access control policy
There is a fine line between many users accessing data, streamlining job processes and having robust procedures in place to protect data. Your ISP will need to define that balance.
A typical security policy uses a hierarchical pattern – whereby a senior member has the authority to authorise access to data to relevant parties. The ISP should outline what level of control and access each role has to their IT Systems and data.
There are different data types; data can be classified by levels. Each classification can be assigned an appropriate level of protection, for example:
Low Sensitivity: Data is openly accessible to the public and can be freely distributed.
Medium Sensitivity: Data intended for internal use. Such as non-identifiable personal data.
High Sensitivity: Data protected by legislation that could cause significant harm to an individual or organisation if breached.
Security awareness training
Your security policy shouldn’t be a document created and then filed. An essential part of the success of your ISP is your organisation’s understanding of it. Your ISP should include a plan to provide employees with awareness training.
Your employees are often the most outward-facing members of your business. And as such, they are commonly the target of cybercrime. You will be better placed to prevent a data breach by providing your organisation with awareness training.
Responsibilities, rights and duties of personnel
Appropriate members should be assigned to carry out access reviews, implementation, training, incident response and periodic updates.
Protecting your organisation
At Arc, we understand that not every business has the time, resources or technical ability to maintain business backups. However, disaster recovery and business continuity planning should be paramount to all businesses. Please speak to us about securing your data.