An Information Security Policy is your plan of action when it comes to protecting information and information systems from unauthorized access. It is important because it manages what you expect from your employees and contractors regarding information security. This solves the disconnect between the things you buy to secure your information and the people you pay to handle it.
Why is an information security policy important?
There is a disconnect between the things you spend money on to secure information and the people that you pay to handle it.
You may have spent a small fortune on a high-end encryption software solution only to find that your employees and contractors aren’t actually encrypting their devices properly with it.
This is a tragic waste of time and money that exposes your information to significant risk of a data breach, leak, or other incident. You’re not getting return on your information security investment!
You could have solved this problem by making sure that your employees and contractors knew about your encryption solution, how to use it, and what would happen if they failed to do so – this is where an information security policy comes in.
An information security policy is important because it connects the people and the things by managing your employees’ and contractors’ expectations when it comes to information security. It makes it clear to them that:
- generally unrestricted – they are generally allowed to use your organisation’s information and IT equipment and infrastructure any way that they can to do their work: e.g. they are allowed to store your information on their company devices, such as laptops or workstations
- reasonable restrictions – there are certain ways in which they aren’t allowed to use it, but there are good reasons for these restrictions in terms of information security: e.g. provided that they encrypt their company devices using the software solution that you have provided them with, because failure to do so means that anyone who gets hold of their company devices could get access to the information on it
- regulate behaviour – and it lets them regulate their own behaviour based on the expectation that things will happen in the future as they anticipate from reading your policy: e.g. and they will be subject to disciplinary action for failure to comply with your policy if they don’t encrypt their company devices
How does an information security policy work?
An information security policy works by answering the following questions for your employees and contractors in a clear and concise written manner:
- agreement and enforcement – how will your employees and contractors agree to your policy and how will you enforce compliance?
- protecting personal information and privacy – how will you ensure that your employees and contractors help you protect your customer’s personal information and ensure their privacy?
- access control – how will you make sure that employees and contractors get access to sufficient information to do their jobs but not so much information that it becomes a security or privacy risk?
- remote access – how will you ensure that employees and contractors can work remotely where necessary without compromising security?
- Internet, email, and social media use – how will you enable employees and contractors to use Internet, email, and social media to do their jobs while ensuring that they protect personal information and do not breach your security?
- account security – how will you make sure that employees and contractors can access their accounts securely without unauthorised third parties gaining access?
- company and personal devices – how will you control how employees and contractors use your organisation’s devices and their own? Will they be allowed to bring their own devices to work and use them on your infrastructure?
- IT infrastructure – how will you let employees and contractors use your IT infrastructure to do their jobs without compromising the privacy of your customers or the security of your organisation?
What help does Michalsons offer when it comes to information security policies?
We have drafted many information security policies for all kinds of organisations across many industries. We are able to:
- review your existing information security policy
- draft a bespoke information security policy for you
- provide you with a generic information security policy as part of our Information Security Compliance Programme
- provide you with online or face-to-face training to help you operationalise your information security policy
If you’re interested, please enquire now.