Did you know, that there are several information security policies in the UK that you should be aware of before embarking upon a security program for your organisation.
“While setting up a security program, companies designate an employee and entrust him/her with cybersecurity responsibilities. That particular employee instigates the process and creates a plan to manage a company’s risk through cybersecurity experts and solutions, audits, and appropriate policies and procedures.”
An effective information security program should cover the following key policies and areas to be deemed appropriate for the UK:
1) Acceptable use policy (AUP)
This policy stipulates that an employee using organisational IT assets must agree with all the constraints and practices to access the corporate network or the internet.
For new employees, this is a standard onboarding policy. A company provides new employees with an AUP to read and sign before being granted a network ID.
2) Access control policy
The policy of access control outlines the available access to an organisation’s data and information systems to its employees. This policy covers different areas, such as access control standards and implementation guides.
The rest of the items covered by this policy are standards for user access, network access controls, operating system software controls and the complexity of corporate passwords.
Additional elements explained in the access control policy include methods for monitoring how corporate systems are accessed and utilised, the security of unattended workstations and lastly, the removal of an employee’s access after he leaves the organisation.
3) Change management policy
The change management policy covers the formal process for making alterations to IT, software development and security services/operations.
The ultimate goal of this policy is to enhance the awareness of proposed changes across an organisation. It also ensures that every change brought about reduces any adverse impact on service and customers.
4) Information security policy
Information security policy should cover all the security controls that an organisation has put in place. A company issues this policy to ensure that every employee using information security assets within the organisation complies with its rules and guidelines.
Most organisations ask their employees to sign the policy document and inform them if they have read it entirely or not.
This policy is created for employees to recognise the rules and understand that they will be accountable regarding the sensitivity of the corporate information and IT assets.
5) Incident response (IR) policy
This policy reflects an organised approach to how a company manages incidents and the impact they have on operations. It describes the different processes to handle an incident in order to limit the damage to business operations, customers, and reduce the cost and time of recovery.
6) Remote access policy
The remote access policy defines acceptable methods of connecting remotely to a company’s internal networks. An organisation with dispersed networks requires this policy. Those networks can extend into insecure network locations, for instance, a local coffee house or unmanaged networks at home.
7) Email/ communication policy
An email policy deals with how employees should use the businesses’ chosen electronic communication medium. This policy mainly covers email, social media and chat technologies.
It provides guidelines for employees about the acceptable and unacceptable use of any corporate communication technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) How can I identify my organisation’s security requirements?
Being a business owner, you must know the value of your information systems and all the IT assets to evaluate the adequate level of security. A single security incident can make you pay a considerable amount for recovery and will affect the continuity of your business as well.
You must analyse the risk to identify what assets must be protected and their importance to the organisation. Moreover, you must have a list of the security requirements for your organisation.
2) What should be considered while drafting a security policy?
An information security policy that is deemed acceptable in the UK must cover:
- The sensitivity and value of the assets that need to be protected
- The legal requirements, regulations and laws in your jurisdiction
- Your organisation’s goals and business objectives
- The practicalities in implementation, distribution and enforcement
3) How can an information security policy benefit an organisation in the UK?
An information security policy provides an organisation with a baseline to establish detailed guidelines and procedures. It can assist an organisation in making any decision to prosecute in the time of critical security violations.