What is a Security Policy?

Security policy is a definition of what it means to be secure for a system, organization or other entity.

A security policy can be as broad as you want it to be from everything related to IT security and associated physical assets' security, but enforceable in its full scope.

Creating an effective security policy and taking steps to ensure compliance is a critical step to prevent and mitigate security breaches. To make your security policy truly useful, update it in response to changes in your company, new threats, conclusions drawn from previous violations, and other changes to your security posture. Star IT Service offers a security policy framework, guidelines, architectural plan, incident response process and development of training materials to help any organisation committed to developing a long-term security strategy essential for achieving institutional effectiveness and managerial competence.

Policy & Strategy

Elements of an Information Security Policy
  • Purpose:

    First state the purpose of the policy which may be to:

    • Create an overall approach to information security.
    • Detect and preempt information security breaches such as misuse of networks, data, applications, and computer systems.
    • Maintain the reputation of the organisation, and uphold ethical and legal responsibilities.
    • Respect customer rights, including how to react to inquiries and complaints about non-compliance
  • Audience:

    Define the audience to whom the information security policy applies. You may also specify which audiences are out of the policy's scope (for example, staff in another business unit that manages security separately may not be in the policy area).

  • Information security objectives:

    Guide your management team to agree on well-defined objectives for strategy and security. Information security focuses on three main goals:

    • Confidentiality—only individuals with authorisation can access data and information assets
    • Integrity—data should be intact, accurate and complete, and IT systems must be kept operational
    • Availability—users should be able to access information or systems when needed
Drafting Information Security Policies
  • Information and data classification:

    can make or break your security program. Insufficient information and data classification may leave your systems open to attacks. Additionally, lack of inefficient management of resources might incur overhead expenses. A precise classification policy helps organisations take control of the distribution of their security assets.

  • IT operations and administration:

    should work together to meet compliance and security requirements. Lack of cooperation between departments may lead to configuration errors. Teams that work together can coordinate risk assessment and identification through all departments to reduce risks.

  • Security incident response plan:

    helps initiate appropriate remediation actions during security incidents. A security incident strategy provides a guideline, including initial threat response, priorities identification, and appropriate fixes.

  • SaaS and cloud policy: provides the organisation with transparent cloud and SaaS adoption guidelines, which can provide the foundation for a unified cloud ecosystem. This policy can help mitigate ineffective complications and low use of cloud resources.
  • Acceptable use policies (AUPs): helps prevent data breaches that occur through misuse of company resources. Transparent AUPs help keep all personnel in line with the proper use of company technology resources.
  • Identity and access management (IAM) regulations let IT administrators authorise systems and applications to the right individuals and let employees know how to use and securely create passwords. A simple password policy can reduce identity and access risks.
  • Data security policy:: outlines the organisation's technical operations and acceptable use standards under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.
  • Privacy regulations: government-enforced regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protect end-users' privacy. Organisations that don't cover the privacy of their users risk losing their authority and may get fined.
  • Personal and mobile devices: nowadays, most organisations have moved to the cloud. Companies that encourage employees to access company software assets from any location, risk introducing vulnerabilities through personal devices such as laptops and smartphones. Creating a policy for proper security of individual devices can help prevent exposure to threats via employee-owned assets.

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