An Effective ISMS Is Risk-based It is important to understand that protecting your organizational data from security breaches in an absolute sense is probably impossible.
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Here are the most important reasons why organizations should establish an ISMS to help protect their data: ISMS Helps You Manage Data Security at Scale Returning to our original example of a business cell phone that could be lost or stolen, it would be relatively easy to protect a single device from falling into the wrong hands, but what happens when your organization has employees with 85 desktop computers, 20 laptop computers, 40 mobile phones, a server room, and a cloud-based repository for all of your crucial documents?
Data Breaches Are Enormously Expensive If you have never experienced a data breach where a lot of customers had their data stolen, you should know that they are incredibly expensive when they happen. Organizations must create a Statement of Sensitivity SoS that assigns a rating to each of its IT assets across three separate dimensions— confidentiality, integrity, and availability: Confidentiality - ensuring that the information is exclusively accessible to authorized persons only Integrity - ensuring that the information to be secured is accurate and complete, and that information and processing methods are safeguarded Availability - ensuring that authorized persons have access to the protected information and assets when needed Organizations must strike a balance between securing assets and making them accessible to authorized persons that may need the data to do their jobs.
Step Two: Conduct a Detailed Risk Assessment Once asset identification and valuation have been completed and the organization has formulated an SoS, it's time to conduct a detailed risk assessment that will inform the production of the ISMS. A risk assessment analysis includes four important steps for determining how the IT asset should be protected: Threats - The organization should analyze the threats to the asset by documenting any unwanted events that could result in either deliberate or accidental misuse, loss, or damage of the assets.
Vulnerabilities - Threats are a concrete description of what could happen, and vulnerabilities are a measure of how susceptible the IT asset could be to the threats identified in the first part of the analysis. This is where you start to differentiate between different types of assets—while a malicious software attack is a threat for servers, laptops, and phones, we might indicate here that phones are more vulnerable to the threat because they will be used remotely and might be connected to several external networks while servers will be kept in-house and monitored around the clock.
Impact and Likelihood - The organization can now assess the likelihood of certain types of breaches occurring along with the magnitude of the potential damage that would result from each type of data breach. Organizations can use a cost-benefit analysis to help them target the most potentially damaging breaches with the most aggressive security measures. Mitigation - Finally, the organization proposes methods for minimizing the recognized threats, vulnerabilities, and impacts through policies and procedures in the ISMS.
The Roles of Employees
Step Three: Establish the ISMS Now that the organization has identified the assets to be protected and conducted a full risk assessment, it can proceed to write the actual policies and procedures that comprise the ISMS. Here are some sample policies that could be implemented to help mitigate the risk: Lost or stolen phones must be reported to the IT department within eight hours. IT must have the capability to remotely track and wipe any phone owned by the company.
Summary An ISMS is a set of policies and procedures that establish how your company will protect its information assets from deliberate or accidental misuse, loss, or damage. Worried about a cyber attack? Subscribe Email RSS.
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Integrated management of the supply chain to demonstrate end to end assurance and integrity. Your investment will be a fraction of the cost from winning and retaining business, or paying out from the costly data breach.
Understanding information security management for those new to the subject Are you thinking about improving your information security posture? There are many good reasons to invest in an ISMS. However when done well, an ISMS will help your organisation improve and grow, delivering a huge return on the investment.
A trusted ISMS will follow recognised standards There are different levels of information security, physical security and cyber security maturity, as well as different standards you can achieve to evidence compliance. Why consider our powerful ISMS cloud software?
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