The Information Security Policy (ISP)is a set of rules that an organisation holds to ensure its users and networks of the IT structure obey the prescriptions about the security of data that is stored on digital platforms within the organisation.
Information security policies are created to protect personal data. The protection of their clients’ data is the primary concern of every enterprise, as data is the primary asset of any organisation.
The policy can be as broad as the creators wanted it to be. It can cover every single aspect and term regarding IT security and many other things related to it.
Below are some key elements that an organisation must consider.
Elements of information security policy
Organisations have multiple reasons to develop such a policy.
- For the establishment of a general approach to information security.
- To detect and intercept the misuse of data, networks, computer systems and applications.
- For the protection of a company’s reputation in terms of its ethical and legal responsibilities.
- For the observance of customer rights. Also, to provide an effective mechanism to respond to complaints and queries related to real and perceived non-compliance.
The information security policy must address all the programs, data, systems, facilities, other tech infrastructure, users of technology in a given organisation, without exception. Information security policies should also take into account access given to third parties and what the expectations are for those parties.
If a company wants to compose a well-defined information security policy, it should have clear objectives related to security. It must also cover a strategy so that management can reach an agreement.
Failure to ensure that the information security policy satisfies the above key areas can harm the business. The security management practices must also be included in the policy documents as it will guarantee completeness, quality, and workability.
Simplification of policy language smooths away the differences and ensures harmony among management staff. Therefore, vague clauses and expressions must be avoided. For instance, words like “must” express absolute adherence, whereas “should” indicates a level of discretion.
“It is expected from organisations to formulate an information security policy that is clear, concise and to the point. In simple words, too much detail can hinder understanding of and compliance to the policy across the organisation.”
How management views IT security has great importance; it also affects the enforcement of the new rules. Moreover, in an organisation, a security professional must ensure that, as other enacted policies, the ISP has an equal institutional gravity.
However, the organisation may vary in size and structure, hence, policies may differ. Therefore, policies should be segregated to explain the dealings of the organisation.
Information security policy protects three objectives of a company:
- Confidentiality: Data and information must be restricted only to authorised people and should not be disclosed to others.
- Integrity: Keeping the data safe, accurate, and IT systems operational.
- Availability: information should be available whenever authorised users require it.
Importance of Information Security Policy
Many organisations download IT policy samples from random websites on the internet. Without giving much thought, they copy/paste the prefabricated material and readjust their objectives and policy goals. While readjusting the ready-made policy, any blunder can make you pay a huge cost for it.
The quality of the information security policy depends on you because a high-quality and relevant security policy is essential for a growing and successful business.
Improved efficiency, increased productivity, clarity of the objectives, understanding of what data should be secured, identifying the type and levels of security required and defining the applicable information security best practices are the reasons why a company must have an information security policyin place.
“In summary, if you want to maintain a credible reputation and grow your company, then you must retain an effective information security policy.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1) What makes a good information security policy?
Good information security policy covers several factors. One of the most important factors is it should be usable. It is useless to have an information security policy in your company, and the employers are unable to implement the guidelines or regulations flagged-up in the policy.
2) What is the purpose of an information security policy?
The information security policy is a set of rules which a company practices to ensure that users and networks of the IT structure are abiding the prescriptions of data security and data stored within the boundaries of the organisation.
3) What are information security policy requirements?
An information security policy is a set of objectives for the betterment of a company. It carries rules of behaviour for users and administrators, and requirements for management and system that ensure the security of network and computer systems in an organisation.