Information Security Policy

How To Write An Effective Information Security Policy In 8 Steps?

An effective information security policy is vital in keeping your organization’s cybersecurity status well boosted.

However, this documentation is also often misplaced.

So how can you effectively write an information security policy?

In this post, we will:

What is An Information Security Policy?

An information security policy or ISP refers to the “set of rules that guide individuals who work with IT assets”.

But, why is this important?

First, it ensures that your employees follow the rules and protocols that work with your business goals and security controls.

Also, it makes sure that private data are only made available to those who should have access. Moreover, the policy is governed by the CIA triad of IS. Namely, confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

4 Things to Keep In Mind When Developing an ISP

What should you make sure of when writing an information security policy?

Consider the following, for example:

  • It should cover end-to-end security solutions across the organization
  • It should be enforceable and practical
  • The policy should be open for revisions and updates, in case of changing circumstances
  • Most of all, it should be in line with the organization’s business goals

8 Vital Steps In Developing An Effective Information Security Policy

Here are 8 basic elements and steps in creating an information security policy. However, there’s no clear format in writing this. But this should provide you with the basic principles of doing so effectively.

1. Purpose

First of all, start with your ‘why’. For example, this should state the overall reason for imposing this set of rules.

For example:

  • To have a holistic approach with information security 
  • Maintain respect for customer’s rights
  • Keep compliance with the law
  • Prevent misuse of data by any means possible

2. Audience

Specify who the rules are for. Also, you may state who may exclude the rules imposed, for instance, it applies.

3. Objectives 

State the objectives. Perhaps develop your objectives with the CIA triad in mind. The CIA Triad includes the following, for instance.

  • Confidentiality. Data access should be controlled and prevent any leakage credentials.
  • Integrity. Data should be kept to its proper state unless authorized to modify or revise.
  • Availability. Authorized users should have access to private data, but should be kept to a minimum.

4. Authority & Access Control Policy

  • Hierarchical pattern. States the level of organizational positions and their privileges of access.
  • Network security policy. Monitoring and management of all login attempts.

5. Classification of Data

Data should be classified into its level of privacy.

For example:

  • Top secret
  • Secret
  • Confidential
  • Public 

6. Data Support & Operations

This refers to the rules of processing data. This includes data protection rules, backup, and transmission, for instance.

7. Security Awareness & Behavior

Information security should also be openly discussed among employees. So training sessions should be done regularly. 

Also, during these sessions, employees must be aware of the basic attacks and threats. Most of all, they should know how they should play their role.

8. Responsibilities, Rights & Duties

Each employee and organization personnel should know their part and duty for the ISP. So clearly state each’s rights and duties.

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