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Monday, 20 February 2017

A detailed look at ISO 27001: Part 3

Section 8:  Asset Management

Assets associated with information and information processing must be identified and appropriate protection responsibilities defined.

8.1  Responsibility for Assets


The organisation must identify assets relevant in the lifecycle of information and document their importance.  The lifecycle information must include creation, processing, storage, transmission, deletion and destruction. Documentation must be maintained in dedicated or existing inventories as appropriate.

The Asset inventory must be accurate, up to date, and consistent and aligned with other inventories.
Ownership of assets and their classification must be defined

8.2 Information Classification


Information must be classified in terms of legal requirements, value, criticality and sensitivity to unauthorised disclosure or modification.
It is usual to apply the test of analysis of the effect on Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.
Examples can be based on four levels:

  • Disclosure causes no harm   -   Public domain
  • Disclosure causes minor embarrassment or minor operational inconvenience  - Restricted
  • Disclosure has a significant short term impact on operational or tactical objectives – Confidential
  • Disclosure has a serious impact on long term strategic objectives or puts the survival of the organisation at risk - Secret

Section 8.3 Media 


To prevent unauthorised disclosure, modification, removal or destruction of information stored on media.

Removable media must be protected and stored in accordance with the organisation’s security classifications.

Media contents no longer required must be made unrecoverable.
If data confidentiality or integrity are important considerations then cryptography techniques must be considered.

Registration of removable media must be considered to limit the opportunity for data loss.
Removable media drives must only be enabled if there is a business case for doing so.
Media that is no longer required must be disposed of securely. Audit trails of these media must be maintained.

Section 9: Access Control

Logical access to IT systems, networks and data must be suitably controlled to prevent unauthorised use.

9.1 Business Requirement for Access Control


The organisation’s requirements to control access to information assets must be clearly documented in an access control policy, including for example job-related access profiles (role based access control). [This is an important obligation for information asset owners.]

9.2  User Access Management


Formal procedures for the allocation of access rights to users must be controlled through user registration and administration procedures (from initial user registration through to removal of access rights when no longer required), including special restrictions over the allocation of privileges and management of passwords, and regular access rights reviews.

9.3 User Responsibilities


Users must be made accountable for safeguarding their authentication information. e.g. keeping their secret authentication confidential and not divulging to any other parties, including those in authority. SSO (Single Sign On and other secret authentication information management tools reduce the amount of secret authentication information that users are required to protect and this can increase the effectiveness of this control. However, these tools can also increase the impact of disclosure of secret authentication information.

9.4  System and Application Access Control


Access to information and application system functions must be restricted in accordance with the access control policy.

The following may be considered:

  • Providing menus to control access to application systems function;
  • Controlling which data can be accessed by a particular user;
  • Controlling read, write, delete and execute functions;
  •  Controlling the access rights of other applications;
  • Limiting information contained in outputs;
  • Providing physical or logical access controls for the isolation of sensitive applications or applications data or systems.

Password management systems must be employed to ensure that secure log-on procedures are followed, including the use of strong passwords and regular changing of these passwords.

Monday, 6 February 2017

A detailed look at ISO 27001: Part 2

27002 is the code of practice and it is normal to use this to set up a comprehensive Information Security Management System (ISMS).  There are 15 main sections 4.0 to 18.0:


Section 0:  Introduction

Starting from ‘What is information security?’ the introduction explains about information and how to make use of the standard.

Section 1: Scope 

The Standard gives information on the extent of cover for an ISMS.

Section 2:  Normative References. 

Reference is made to documents that are referenced within 27002 and are indispensable for operation of the Information Security Management System.

Section 3: Terms and Definitions

Including ISO 27000, which is a set of terms and definitions

Section 4:  Structure of the Standard

This page simply explains that the standard contains 14 security control clauses containing a total of 35 main security categories and 113 controls. 

Section 5: Information Security Policies

A set of policies for information security defined, approved by management, published and communicated to employees and relevant external parties.

Management must define a policy to clarify their direction and support for information security, meaning a short, high-level information security policy statement laying down the key information security directives and mandates for the entire organisation.

Normally it will spell out the three main criteria
C -  Confidentiality
I  -  Integrity
A -  Availability

This is normally supported by a comprehensive set of more detailed corporate information security policies, typically in the form of an information security policy manual. The policy manual in turn is supported by a set of information security procedures and guidelines.

This policy is normally signed by the most senior person and displayed.

Section 6: Organisation of Information Security

A management framework must be designed and implemented to initiate and control the implementation of information security within the organisation. Responsibilities for information security risk management and in particular for acceptance of residual risks.

A Forum, made up of a cross section of people in the organisation must meet regularly.

6.1 Information Security Roles and Responsibilities


The organisation must have a management structure for information security. Senior management must provide direction and commit their support, for example by approving information security policies. Roles and responsibilities must be defined for the information security function. Other relevant functions must cooperate and coordinate their activities. IT facilities must be authorised.

Confidentiality agreements must reflect the organisation’s needs. Contacts must be established with relevant authorities (e.g. law enforcement) and special interest groups. Information security must be independently reviewed.

6.2 Mobile Devices and Teleworking


Mobile devices are being used extensively within organisations and it is vital that the security of business information is protected. This is particularly important when working outside the organisation in unprotected environments.
Mobile devices must be protected from theft and where possible must have the ability to be remotely wiped of information when needed.

Section 7:  Human Resources Security

The organisation must manage system access rights etc. for ‘new starters, promotion and leavers’, and must undertake suitable security awareness, training and educational activities.

7.1 Prior to Employment


Background verification checks must be carried out in accordance with relevant laws, regulations and ethics and must be proportionate to the business requirements, the classification of the information to be accessed and the perceived risks. 

Security responsibilities must be taken into account when recruiting permanent employees, contractors and temporary staff through adequate job descriptions, pre-employment screening and included in contracts (e.g. terms and conditions of employment and other signed agreements on security roles and responsibilities).

7.2  During Employment


The organisation must ensure that employees, contractors and third party users are properly briefed about information security threats and concerns and their responsibilities regarding information security must be defined. Employees and (if relevant) third party IT users must be made aware, educated and trained in security procedures. A formal disciplinary process is necessary to handle security breaches.

7.3 Termination and Change of Employment


Security aspects of a person’s exit from the organisation are managed (e.g. the return of company assets and removal of access rights, change of access codes or passwords). Clearly some of the controls are different if the person has been dismissed and must leave the premises immediately.
Changes in roles must be managed and the termination of current responsibility or employment combined with the start of new responsibility or employment.

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