Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Policies, Procedures, Standards, Baselines, and Guidelines

Security is truly a multilayered process. After an assessment is completed, policies will fall quickly in place because it will be much easier for the organization to determine security policies based on what has been deemed most important from the risk assessments. The assessment should help drive policy creation on items such as these:

  • Passwords

  • Patch management

  • Employee hiring and termination practices

  • Backup practices and storage requirements

  • Security awareness training

  • Antivirus

  • System setup and configuration

For security to be effective, it must start at the top of an organization. It must permeate every level of the hierarchy. Senior management must make decisions on what should be protected, how it should be protected, and to what extent it should be protected. These findings should be crafted into written documents.

Before these documents are locked in as policies, they must be researched to verify that they will be compliant with all federal, state, and local laws. These documents should also clearly state what is expected from employees and what the result of noncompliance will be.

Security Policy

Policies are the top tier of formalized security documents. These high-level documents offer a general statement about the organization’s assets and what level of protection they should have. Well-written policies should spell out who’s responsible for security, what needs to be protected, and what is an acceptable level of risk. They are much like a strategic plan because they outline what should be done but don’t specifically dictate how to accomplish the stated goals. Those decisions are left for standards, baselines, and procedures. Security policies can be written to meet advisory, informative, and regulatory needs. Each has a unique role or function.

Advisory Policy

The job of an advisory policy is to ensure that all employees know the consequences of certain behavior and actions. Here’s an example advisory policy:

    Illegal copying: Employees should never download or install any commercial software, shareware, or freeware onto any network drives or disks unless they have written permission from the network administrator. Be prepared to be held accountable for your actions, including the loss of network privileges, written reprimand, probation, or employment termination if the Rules of Appropriate Use are violated.

Informative Policy

This type of policy isn’t designed with enforcement in mind; it is developed for education. Its goal is to inform and enlighten employees. The following is an example informative policy:

    In partnership with Human Resources, the employee ombudsman's job is to serve as an advocate for all employees, providing mediation between employees and management. This job is to help investigate complaints and mediate fair settlements when a third party is requested.

Regulatory Policy

These policies are used to make certain that the organization complies with local, state, and federal laws. An example regulatory policy might state:

    Because of recent changes to Texas State law, The Company will now retain records of employee inventions and patents for 10 years; all email messages and any backup of such email associated with patents and inventions will be stored for one year.

Standards

Standards are much more specific than policies. Standards are tactical documents because they lay out specific steps or processes required to meet a certain requirement. As an example, a standard might set a mandatory requirement that all email communication be encrypted. So although it does specify a certain standard, it doesn’t spell out how it is to be done. That is left for the procedure.

Baselines

A baseline is a minimum level of security that a system, network, or device must adhere to. Baselines are usually mapped to industry standards. As an example, an organization might specify that all computer systems comply with a minimum Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC) C2 standard. TCSEC standards are discussed in detail in Chapter 5, "System Architecture and Models."

Guidelines

A guideline points to a statement in a policy or procedure by which to determine a course of action. It’s a recommendation or suggestion of how things should be done. It is meant to be flexible so it can be customized for individual situations.

Procedures

A procedure is the most specific of security documents. A procedure is a detailed, in-depth, step-by-step document that details exactly what is to be done. As an analogy, when my mom sent my wife the secret recipe for a three-layer cake, it described step by step what needed to be done and how. It even specified a convection oven, which my mom stated was an absolute requirement.

Procedures are detailed documents, they are tied to specific technologies and devices (see Figure 3.4). You should expect to see procedures change as equipment changes. As an example, imagine that your company has replaced its CheckPoint firewall with a Cisco PIX. Although the policies and standards dictating the firewalls role in your organization probably will not change, the procedure for configuration of the firewall will.

It’s unfortunate that sometimes instead of the donkey leading the cart, the cart leads the donkey. By this, I mean that sometimes policies and procedures are developed as a result of a negative event or an audit. The audit or policy shouldn’t be driving the process; the assessment should be. The assessment’s purpose is to give management the tools needed to examine all currently identified concerns. From this, management can prioritize the level of exposure they are comfortable with and select an appropriate level of control. This level of control should then be locked into policy.

Figure 3.4

Figure 3.4 Policy structure.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

Pearson IT Certification Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from Pearson IT Certification and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about Pearson IT Certification products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites; develop new products and services; conduct educational research; and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by Adobe Press. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.pearsonitcertification.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020