An elaborate information security policy is proactive in securing an enterprise as well as establishing a reliable communication channel to external auditors and third parties.
Security policies should be practical and easily enforced, aligned with business objectives, secure the organization from end to end, and easily updated or revised.
Defining An Information Security Policy (ISP)
An ISP is a collection of guidelines and rules that regulate the use of IT assets in an organization. Companies create ISPs to ascertain that every employee or user sticks to the stipulated security protocols. An up-to-the-minute Information Security policy makes it easy for any authorized authority to access sensitive information.
Writing An Effective ISP
There is no room for mistakes when developing a security policy, given the sensitivity of threats to any modern organization. Below is the step by step process of writing an effective ISP:
1. Conducting A Thorough Assessment
A risk assessment reveals any underlying loopholes in the organization’s entire operation. Also, it maps out all sensitive information, whether private or proprietary, personal customer data, financial records, or corporate records.
After the assessment, a record of all systems, company technology, and devices should be listed. Other essential aspects to list include how and where organization data is accessed, existing security systems, and potential weak points that could act as entry points for hackers.
Understanding the scope of risk factors helps write a flexible policy that strikes the perfect balance between enhancing productivity and maintaining high-security standards.
2. Factor In All Applicable Laws In Your Jurisdiction
Various jurisdictions have their unique local, federal, and state laws as well as stipulated industry standards for information security. An excellent illustration is that healthcare providers must abide by HIPAA standards to ascertain that their IT security protocols are per with emerging security trends.
3. Combining Security Elements
It can get confusing when choosing security elements to include in the information security policy. Here are the essentials for writing a comprehensive ISP: An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), Acess Control Policy (ACP), rules and procedures for governing password security, Antivirus Software, Remote Access regulations, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) regulations, Auditing and Policy Review, Enforcement procedures, Disaster Recovery, Security Profiles, Monitoring, and Intrusion Detection and Physical Security procedures.
4. Developing A Communication And Implementation Strategy
The security policy should not be disruptive to the organization’s daily operations. The policy needs an elaborate communication strategy to be seamlessly integrated among the workforce.
The employees should participate in the change and clearly understand the short-term and long-term objectives for the ISPs. A support system should be put in place for consulting when they face any difficulties.
Lastly, an ISP should be complemented by frequent security training to ensure that the workforce is security-aware at all times.
The workers also need to understand the consequences of breaking the set regulations. Writing an ISP specialized to the organization’s operations and ensuring all staff are on board goes a long way to running an air-tight enterprise.