IT Security Policy

Information security policies or also known as IT security policies, allow an organization’s management team to implement administrative controls and ensure that standards are set for information security across the organization. 

The policy should also be able to help an organization avoid a data breach, which is any incident that compromises the security of personal information or causes financial loss. A well-written information security policy can help an organization protect itself from cyberattacks, prevent data theft and leaks, and minimize the risk of fines from government regulators.

The minimum an IT data security policy should include

The purpose of an IT security policy is to protect your organization’s data and systems. An IT security policy helps organizations build trust with customers by demonstrating their commitment to protecting personal data. It helps you prevent unauthorized access or misuse of your organization’s information assets, which can lead to serious consequences such as financial losses and reputational damage.

The scope of your information security policy should be limited to the organization, its employees and contractors, and any third parties that are involved in processing or storing information.

Information security objectives

The objectives of an information security policy are to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information in an organization. The objectives can be stated in terms of the following:

  • Confidentiality: Preventing unauthorized access to information.
  • Integrity: Preventing unauthorized modification or destruction of information.
  • Availability : Preventing unavailability of information.

At a minimum the organization should be reviewing policies and procedures on a yearly basis and ensure changes or updates are performed. This will allow the organization to continue with adoption of new processes, security standards and laws. 

Policies can also encompass procedures as long as the procedure is critical to the organization and will remain consistent.

Looking at the organization as a whole you need to look at the people, processes, and technology that encompass the organization. The policies are what guide the organization forward and the processes are what guide the employees within the organization to accomplish the desired procedures. 

Most of the time the company will use technology to accomplish these goals. Thus you have People, Processes, and Technology at the heart of what the auditors will be measuring the controls against.

As a lead implementer for your SOC 2 program, you will need to set out and define what policies are needed for the organization. 

Considerations for implementing an IT security policy

  1. Is the policy needed?
  2. Will it impact the organization?
  3. What is the desired outcome for the policy?

Approval of the internal security policy

Once a policy has been written it should be approved by the organization’s key stakeholders. Also human resources will need to review the policy to ensure that it is acceptable and fair regarding laws and ethics. This should be the final stage before approval.

It is important to keep in mind that information security is an ongoing process, so make sure that you review your policies on a regular basis to ensure they are up-to-date with current best practices.