When discussing the topic of cybersecurity, technologies such as firewalls, anti-virus software, and other digital solutions are likely the first things that come to mind. While these resources are certainly a core aspect of cybersecurity, it is equally important that you implement and enforce comprehensive infosec policies to protect your digital assets.
Also known as information security, infosec refers to the various practices, tools, and technologies used to mitigate the risk of a data breach.
As you might expect, writing your own infosec policies can be incredibly challenging and tedious, especially if you are relatively inexperienced on the topic of cybersecurity. If your policy is improperly written or not adequately enforced, then it may expose your organization to some significant cyber security risks.
With that in mind, we have created this detailed guide to writing your own set of infosec policies using templates.
Like any other type of template, an infosec policy template provides the general framework for writing your own information security procedures and regulations.
Many different templates are available, ranging from extremely specific to more generalized. While the highly detailed templates do most of the work for you, they may also include additional verbiage that does not necessarily apply to your organization.
In light of that fact, experts recommend that you choose the most appropriate template based on your unique organizational needs.
An infosec policy is a document that governs how members of your organization handle and interact with business data. Each infosec policy includes a detailed set of rules that explains how employees can use data, what they should do to guard against cybercrime, and more.
While some aspects of information security may seem like they are “common sense” issues, it is vital that all regulations are clearly explained in great detail. Otherwise, enforcing infosec policies and data security best practices will be difficult.
For instance, one of your infosec policies should outline the creation and maintenance of passwords. A few of the rules contained within this policy may include how strong passwords must be (i.e., must include a letter, a number, and a special symbol), how often employees must update their passwords, and that staff members are prohibited from sharing passwords.
In addition to laying out some basic ground rules for employees, your infosec policies should also explain critical incident response protocols. Incident response plans are an essential type of infosec policy, as these strategies will help your organization protect business continuity in the event of a cyberattack.
Infosec security policies can be classified in a number of ways. For instance, these policies may be grouped together based on the type of security they address (i.e., physical document security, network security, etc.) However, one of the most common approaches is to classify infosec policies based on their scope.
When using this approach, infosec policies are grouped into one of three categories, which are as follows:
Organizational infosec policy is the broadest type of procedure and rule. These policies lay the groundwork for more specific regulations. Critical incident response strategies are a prime example of an organizational infosec policy.
As the name implies, “system-specific” infosec policies address the use of a particular database or application. For instance, businesses that are involved in B2B or B2C sales will typically have a set of infosec policies that govern the use of their customer relationship management (CRM) platform. This policy will address critical issues, such as who can access what types of customer data.
The third and final classification of infosec policies is “issue-oriented” or “issue-specific” regulations. These policies provide more detailed guidance on issues that are covered in the first two categories.
Topics addressed in this category may include access control, disaster response and recovery, password management, and more.
Cumulatively, these three types of infosec policies will provide the framework for an organization’s overall cybersecurity strategy.
When developing these policies, it is generally advisable to start with organizational regulations and then write system-specific guidelines. The third class of infosec policies should be written last, as they will reference and provide additional insights regarding broader regulations.
Regardless of the size of your organization, creating infosec policies can be quite difficult. However, you can overcome these challenges by using infosec policy and information technology audit templates.
As detailed above, an infosec policy template will help you create effective rules and regulations that govern the use of IT solutions throughout your organization. These templates can significantly streamline the infosec policy development process while also ensuring that you implement effective and enforceable regulations.
In addition to infosec policy templates, we also recommend using an IT audit checklist. An IT security audit is a top-down assessment of your organization’s digital assets, policies, and other technological resources.
When conducting these audits, the third-party entities that perform assessments often use checklists to ensure that they thoroughly review all facets of your IT resources, including your infosec policies.
While conducting your own IT audit is not recommended, you can use an audit checklist as a point of reference when creating your infosec policies.
By reviewing the policies outlined on the template and comparing them to your active cybersecurity regulations, you can ensure that you do not neglect any essential information security topics.
Now that we have covered the basics of infosec policy templates, let’s discuss how you can identify the right outlines for your small to medium-sized business.
When selecting infosec policy templates, we recommend comparing several options for each topic. During your review, look for templates that outline the purpose and scope of each policy.
In addition, these templates should clearly outline the provisions of each policy. The templates must also include information about policy compliance, as this section outlines how your team or cybersecurity management partner intends to enforce the regulations.
Some of the most common infosec templates that you will encounter during your search include:
Account management templates will help your business establish standard protocols for creating, using, and deleting user accounts.
Often referred to as a “clean desk policy,” physical data security templates provide guidelines to employees regarding safe document handling. These guidelines ensure that staff members do not leave confidential data exposed to unauthorized users.
An infosec policy template on anti-virus software outlines your company’s stance on this data protection technology. For instance, the template may state that anti-virus software “shall be used” on all organizational devices and that the technology will be maintained via automatic updates.
By using the information above, you can create a series of detailed infosec policies for your organization. However, this can still be a monumental task, even when leveraging templates in your policy creation process. As a result, your infosec policies may still leave your organization vulnerable to cyberthreats and other security risks.
Fortunately, SugarShot can help you ensure compliance and data security by conducting a comprehensive IT audit.
During an audit, our team of talented experts will assess your network, digital assets, and infosec policies. We will provide you with a detailed report that outlines our findings and includes recommendations for remedying any vulnerabilities.
To learn more, contact us today.