Information security policies, also known as “ISPs,” refer to a collection of directives, regulations, and rules that advise and direct how an organization manages, protects, and distributes its information. These policies often cast a wide net, as they normally address all of an organization’s data, programs, systems, facilities, infrastructure, users, and third and fourth parties. Some common examples include:
- Requiring strong passwords;
- Requiring multi-factor authentication;
- Setting up barriers, such as granting only limited people access to certain information; and
- Encrypting data.
What is the Purpose of an ISP?
In general, the main purpose for having an ISP is to protect and limit the dissemination of an organization’s information to only those persons with authorized access.
In addition, the purpose of having an ISP is to standardize and define how your organization is going to:
- Document measures to help keep information secure,
- Establish precautions to take to help ensure information does not become compromised,
- Take action, if information does become compromised,
- Protect the company’s reputation and possible trade secrets,
- Comply with certain legal and regulatory requirements (e.g., HIPAA),
- Protect customer’s information (e.g., credit card numbers),
- Establish guidelines for detecting new threats to information and mitigating new risks, and
- Ensure access to IT and data resources on an “as needed” basis.
Why Your Company Needs an ISP
There are several important advantages for having an information security policy in place. Below are the big four.
First, and perhaps the main benefit, is preventing security incidents. An effective policy will help prevent security incidents involving information, the most daunting being data leaks or data breach, because systems and processes are in place to ensure nothing falls below the standards you have set.
Second, preventing unauthorized access. Every employee of a company is generating data. Given the size of your organization, it could be producing a massive amount of information on a daily basis. A well-drafted ISP will help ensure that all of this data is protected from unauthorized access.
Third, ensuring customer confidence. The success of many organizations depends on the level of confidence and trust that customers can put in that organization. You will never achieve a strong level of trust or confidence if your customers are worried about their sensitive information. ISPs, then, help achieve customer satisfaction and can help promote long-lasting customer relationships.
Fourth, managing your third-parties. An information security policy also helps manage third-party risk in relation to company information. If your company engages in outsourcing, it’s a good idea to draft an ISP that addresses vendor risk management.
More questions? Not sure if your company’s ISP is providing the maximum data protection?
Foundry Law Group Is Here to Help!
The attorneys at Foundry Law Group have years of experience in helping businesses draft smart business measures that minimize risk and maximize security. Our team follows the latest developments affecting our clients’ operations, and we apply that knowledge as we build proactive strategies for long-term protection. We are always here to help so make sure to contact our talented team now!