Without clear, structured processes outlining what action to take in the event of an incident, businesses are exposed to a variety of risks. Firstly, there may be some disagreement amongst management about the appropriate course of action to take, staff may be confused about what their responsibilities are, and there may be some disarray due to there not being clearly outlined policies describing what course of action to take. This is certainly true when it comes to a company’s information security practices, which must uphold the businesses data security, prevent unauthorised access, and ensure that staff are trained on pertinent IT matters, such as password protection, how to identify potential scams, and so on. For these reasons, it is imperative that organisations develop a structured information security policy.
What is an information security policy?
An information security policy is a set of documents developed and maintained by the business that helps it achieve several goals, including cataloguing the scope of information security resources that the business must maintain, the set policies regarding maintaining them, including issues such as incident handling, the chain of command, and so on, and identifying potential threats, both intentional and unintentional, to these goals.
It is important that businesses work towards achieving these goals in a clear, structured manner. By certifying to the internationally recognised ISO 27001 Information Security Standards, organisations will be in a good position to start working towards this goal. Through ISO 27001 certification, companies will develop and maintain an Information Security Management System, which will provide them with proven successful strategies for meeting the scope of the organisations information security requirements.
ISO 27001 clearly outlines what a business must include in their information security policy, such as ensuring it clearly meets the objectives of the organisation, that there is no ambiguity regarding applicable terms, and that the business strives for continual improvement through the periodic review of the policy, and whether it is meeting its stated objectives.
An information security policy comprehensively documents all potential IT risks the company may be exposed to, and clearly explains business policy regarding matters such as:
- Restricted access to work files, password protection, and so on: With an increased number of staff either working from home or using public Wi-Fi networks to conduct their work, it is crucial that the business has protective measures in place to prevent unauthorised users accessing their data. The policy should clearly state what security measures are in place, such as two-factor authentication, the responsibility of staff in protecting their work information, and so on.
- What the business will be doing in the event of an incident: In the event of a data breach, a business must take immediate action to mitigate the damage, secure their information, and continue the operations. To avoid staff confusion, the policy should clearly outline exactly what steps will be taken in the event of an incident, where responsibilities lie, and what actions the organisation will be taking to secure their networks.
- Training staff on how to recognise suspicious emails and other correspondence: There has been a significant increase in phishing scams over the past few years. Phishing emails are designed to look like genuine correspondence from a business and are designed to trick people into providing confidential information, such as their password. The policy should clearly outline how staff will be trained to recognise suspicious correspondence, what they should do upon receiving one, what action should be taken in the event of a staff member accidentally providing confidential information to a hacker, and so on.
Our information security specialists can help with this process
After reading this article, you may have some questions about the specifics involved in developing a comprehensive information security policy, how long the process takes, and whether any complementary information technology services exist to help companies further safeguard their data.
Please contact our information security specialists today by filling out this online Contact Us form, or by calling them on 1300 802 163, for a quick, no-obligation consultation. By talking them through some of the information security challenges your business is experiencing, they can explain to you how ISO 27001 certification can help it secure its data, and achieve a range of other information security goals. Also, they can talk you through any other information security concerns you may have, and discuss what strategies your organisation could be implementing to keep its data secure, and ensure that all risks are mitigated.
Please click here to read more about some of the information security services Anitech offers.