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«Securing Information in the Digital Age Information Security Policies This document presents a suite of integrated solutions which, together, offer ...»

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Unsolicited faxes are common. Much of it is junk advertising material and should be ignored. Be on your guard against possible 'probing'.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Faxes which 'look official' can lead to the disclosure of confidential information.

• Responding to unsolicited faxes may encourage further faxes from the same source.

This could be part of a plan by an opportunist hacker probing your area for information bites to find security holes.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.7.5 Security of electronic office systems 8.7.7 Other forms of information exchange

–  –  –

Policy 030501 Transferring and Exchanging Data Policy 030502 Managing Data Storage Policy 030503 Managing Databases Policy 030504 Permitting Emergency Data Amendment Policy 030505 Receiving Information on Disks Policy 030506 Setting up a New Folder / Directory Policy 030507 Amending Directory Structures Policy 030508 Archiving Documents Policy 030509 Information Retention Policy Policy 030510 Setting up New Spreadsheets Policy 030511 Setting up New Databases Policy 030512 Linking Information between Documents and Files Policy 030513 Updating Draft Reports Policy 030514 Deleting Draft Reports Policy 030515 Using Version Control Systems Policy 030516 Sharing Data on Project Management Systems Policy 030517 Updating Customer Information Policy 030518 Using Meaningful File Names Policy 030519 Using Headers and Footers Policy 030520 Using and Deleting ‘Temp’ Files Policy 030521 Using Customer and Other Third Party Data Files Policy 030522 Saving Data / Information by Individual Users

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Sensitive or confidential data / information, may only be transferred across networks, or copied to other media, when the confidentiality and integrity of the data can be reasonably assured e.g.

by using encryption techniques." Emphasis is placed on interoperability of tranfer protocols and packaging of information.

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The way in which your data is distributed across networks (both public and private) and by other means e.g. the exchange of tapes, disks, diskettes and optical disks (e.g. CD-ROMs).

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Incorrect data released to outside parties can lead to a loss of confidence in the organisation and / or its services.

• Any illegal amendment of / tampering with your data whilst in transit suggests a weakness that is being exploited by techno-criminals / hackers.

• Where security measures have not been adequately deployed, sensitive information may be accessed by unauthorised persons.

• Confidential data may be distributed to inappropriate / unauthorised persons.

• The recipient of your data may have adopted Information Security standards which are incompatible with yours. This constitutes a weak link in your security which could be exploited.

• The inappropriate and possibly illegal release of information may result in legal action and prosecution.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.7.7 Other forms of information exchange

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Day-to-day data storage must ensure that current data is readily available to authorised users and that archives are both created and accessible in case of need."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The storage of information and data is a day to day function for all organisations. It requires careful management to ensure that Information Security issues are dealt with adequately

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Where data and information files are not saved and stored securely, your organisation's activities can be severely disrupted.

• Important data may become unavailable due to deletion. This can lead to a range of difficulties, the least of which may be embarrassment.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.6.3 Information handling procedures 12.1.3 Safeguarding of organisational records

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"The integrity and stability of the organisation’s databases must be maintained at all times."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The majority of your organisation's data, such as client records, accounting data, project information, sales, and purchases, are likely to be held in databases of some form. Some databases will require active management, e.g. 'relational databases' which comprise multiple tables of data.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• A failure to manage the technical requirements of the database can result in a failure of the database itself and the applications which access and update it.

• Unless the data is periodically cleansed, its integrity will diminish as duplications and ambiguous records persist.





RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 10.2. Security in application systems 12.1.3 Safeguarding of organisational records

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Emergency data amendments may only be used in extreme circumstances and only in accordance with emergency amendment procedures."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Sometimes referred to as 'data surgery', these measures are adopted when live data must be altered by other than normal software functions and procedures. This can occur when, for example, 'the system' will not permit the change to a data field on a 'confirmed' transaction - and yet the data is incorrect. Such manipulation of data is dangerous and can have knock-on effects, but occasionally it is necessary.

Proceed with extreme caution.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Emergency data amendment can bypass your normal controls with the consequent scope for fraud and error.

• Unless rigorous procedures are implemented to control emergency data amendments, files may become corrupted or manipulated.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 10.5.1 Change control procedures

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"The use of removable media disks e.g. disks and CD-ROMs is not permitted except where specifically authorised."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Disks and CD-ROMs are easily transportable and are the primary means of data distribution. Their contents can often be read at most workstations and, once copied onto the corporate network, the origin may be untraceable.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Seemingly innocent documents can conceal a virus or other malicious code, potentially causing damage and disruption.

• Old versions of documents and other files may overwrite newer versions, possibly destroying valuable work.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.3.1 Controls against malicious software

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Data directories and structures should be established by the owner of the information system with users adhering to that structure. Access restrictions to such directories should be applied as necessary to restrict unauthorised access."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Controlling access to your data is best done at the network access level. Directory structures on a standalone machine should be intuitive to prevent accidental deletion, and the whole machine should have a power-on password with sensitive files given individual passwords.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Inappropriate access to the directory can expose your files to unauthorised users.

• Data can be difficult (or impossible) to locate as a result of badly named directories.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 9.1.1 Access control policy

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Existing directory and folder structures may only be amended with the appropriate authorisation, usually from the owner of the information system concerned."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

The directory structure is a route map for the storage and access to files and data. Any unauthorised changes to data paths may cause access rights to be circumvented.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Directory / files may be deleted accidentally.

• Where data seems to be missing with a warning message (e.g. 'Document or file name not valid') when trying to re-open a document or file, it could indicate that the file has been moved, deleted or modified without your knowledge.

• Files can be difficult to locate because the file path itself may have been changed without your knowledge.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 9.1.1 Access control policy

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"The archiving of documents must take place with due consideration for legal, regulatory and administratory issues with liaison between technical and administrative staff."

EXPLANATORY NOTES

You may wish to archive documents for various reasons, such as: lack of space in the live system, removal of old data that has been processed at the end of a pre-defined period (end of the month or year), or legal requirements to retain the information. The policy for archiving should be set by the department that is responsible for determining organisation records policy.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Not having a Retention Policy may lead to data or files being deleted inappropriately resulting in both embarrassment and possibly legal action.

• Despite being on remote store, information files can be lost or stolen.

• Document control problems may make the recovery of information impossible.

• Documents 'cannot be found' leading to frustration and possible loss.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 12.1.3 Safeguarding of organisational records

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"The information created and stored by the organisation's information systems must be retained for a minimum period that meets both legal and business requirements." This must be done in accordance with Minimum Interoperability Standards

EXPLANATORY NOTES

This section relates to retaining information other than documents or files.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Information could be lost or destroyed if no retention policy is defined, resulting in both embarrassment and possibly legal action.

• Once defined, the retention policy needs to be enforced to avoid incorrect retention periods being applied to documents and records.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 12.1.3 Safeguarding of organisational records

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"The classification of spreadsheets must be appropriate to the sensitivity and confidentiality of data contained therein. All financial / data models used for decision making are to be fully documented and controlled by the information owner. "

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Spreadsheets are mainly used for accounting, financial modelling, or as a key tool in a scenario modelling exercise. They may even be used as a 'flat file' data base.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Unless the formulae are validated, decisions may be based upon false numbers.

• New spreadsheets may be set up without proper consideration as to their data content, and the appropriate storage and access control to apply to the data.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.2.2 System acceptance 10.5.1 Change control procedures

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT

"Databases must be fully tested for both business logic and processing, prior to operational usage. Where such databases are to contain information of a personal nature, procedures and access controls must ensure compliance with necessary legislation

EXPLANATORY NOTES

Databases are set-up so that specific data can be stored, retrieved and reorganised. This makes the maintenance of security and integrity of the data particularly important.

Information Security issues to be considered when implementing your policy include the following:

• Without a careful and diligent testing of a database, its processing and reporting may be false, which could lead to inappropriate business decisions.

• New databases may be set up without proper consideration as to their data content and the appropriate storage and access control to apply to the data.

RELATED ISO 17799 AND BS 7799 REFERENCE(S) 8.2.2 System acceptance 10.5.1 Change control procedures

–  –  –

SUGGESTED POLICY STATEMENT



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