Setting up an information security policy

A security policy extends to more than just the technical infrastructure. Every employee has to have a hand in security.

An organization's best method of protecting its information from unauthorized access is its employees. Therefore, employees should be educated about protecting the organization's information assets. With the threat to information security ever increasing, corporations are always reminded that a good security policy should be one that is easy for employees to understand and become familiar with.

The following covers some major points that should be included when setting up an information security policy:

  • All employees must play a major role when designing a security policy no matter what job function employees perform -- from the CEO to the janitor. They should be able to point out potential problems that may affect security.

     

  • Identifying what information needs to be protected is critical. It does not make any sense to spend excessive hours designing a security policy to protect information that really does not require any protection at all.

     

  • When the information to be protected is identified, it should then be classified to different categories. For example, information for public viewing may require a little less protection.

     

  • Information being stored on handheld and wireless devices should be examined to determine if any threat to information security exists. This should include storing of information permanently on hard drives, memory cards, etc.

     

  • The security policy should also include the physical location of servers and other devices that handle confidential information. Which personnel have access to these locations? Should code entry to computer rooms be used or should other advanced security devices be implemented?

About the author
Adesh Rampat has 10 years of experience with network and IT administration. He is a member of the Association of Internet Professionals, the Institute for Network Professionals and the International Webmasters Association. He has also lectured extensively on a variety of topics.


This was first published in July 2001

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