Which ISMS Procedures shall I write first?

Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for your ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a critical step in ensuring consistent and effective implementation of your security policies. While the specific SOPs you need will depend on the nature of your organization and its information security risks, here’s a general guide on the order and types of SOPs you might develop:

  1. Risk Assessment and Treatment Procedure: Detailed steps for conducting risk assessments and implementing risk treatment plans. This should align with your Risk Assessment and Treatment Policy.
  2. Access Control Procedures: Detailed steps for granting, reviewing, and revoking access to systems and data. This includes user access management, user responsibilities, and system and application access control.
  3. Asset Management Procedures: Procedures for handling information assets throughout their lifecycle, from acquisition to disposal. This includes inventory management, classification, handling, and disposal of assets.
  4. Operational Security Procedures: These will cover a variety of areas such as:
    • System Acquisition, Development, and Maintenance: Procedures for ensuring security is integrated into IT systems throughout their lifecycle.
    • Protection Against Malware: Steps for implementing defenses against malicious software.
    • Information Backup: Procedures for backing up data and testing those backups.
    • Logging and Monitoring: Processes for monitoring and logging security events.
    • Control of Operational Software: Procedures for managing changes to operational systems.
  5. Physical and Environmental Security Procedures: Steps for securing physical access to information systems and protecting against environmental risks.
  6. Communications Security Procedures: Procedures to manage the security of information in networks and its supporting information processing facilities.
  7. Incident Management Procedures: Steps for responding to information security incidents, including reporting, assessment, response, and recovery procedures.
  8. Business Continuity Procedures: Detailed plans for maintaining or restoring business operations in the event of a disruption.
  9. Human Resources Security Procedures: Procedures related to the roles and responsibilities of employees, contractors, and third-party users in upholding information security. This includes hiring, training, managing, and terminating employment.
  10. Supplier Security Procedures: Steps for managing information security within the supply chain, including supplier assessments and monitoring.
  11. Privacy and Data Protection Procedures: If your organization handles personal data, detailed steps for complying with privacy laws and regulations are necessary.
  12. Information Transfer Procedures: Steps for securing information during various forms of transfer, including electronic and physical means.
  13. Cryptography Management Procedures: Procedures for the use and management of cryptographic controls.
  14. Change Management Procedures: Steps for managing changes to IT systems and applications to ensure ongoing security and minimize disruptions.
  15. Environmental and Physical Resource Security Procedures: Beyond access control, these should address broader environmental controls like fire suppression and climate control.
  16. Record Retention and Disposal Procedures: Specific steps for how long different types of records and data should be retained and how they should be securely disposed of.
  17. Compliance Monitoring and Review Procedures: Steps for regularly reviewing and auditing the ISMS for compliance with ISO 27001 and other applicable standards and regulations.
  18. Security Awareness and Training Procedures: Detailed steps for conducting regular security awareness training for all employees. This should include identifying training needs, delivering training sessions, and evaluating the effectiveness of the training. The procedure should also cover specific training for roles with critical security responsibilities.
  19. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Protection Procedures: Steps for ensuring that intellectual property rights are respected within the organization. This includes procedures for identifying IPR, protecting it within the organization, and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations regarding IPR.
  20. Information Security in Project Management Procedures: Specific steps for integrating information security into project management practices. This would involve ensuring that security is considered at all stages of a project, from initiation to closure, and that project-related risks are identified, assessed, and mitigated.
  21. Remote Working and Telecommuting Procedures: With the growing trend of remote work, it’s important to have detailed steps for securing information and systems when employees work remotely. This should cover aspects like secure access to networks, use of personal devices, and physical security measures at remote locations.
  22. Environmental and Physical Resource Security Procedures: Procedures focusing on protecting the organization’s physical environment and resources. This includes guidelines on climate control, protection against natural disasters, and handling of physical assets.
  23. Cryptographic Key Management Procedures: Detailed steps for managing cryptographic keys throughout their lifecycle, including generation, storage, use, and destruction, ensuring the security and integrity of keys.

These SOPs should be living documents, regularly reviewed and updated as necessary to reflect changes in the organization’s environment, technologies, and business practices. It’s also crucial to train relevant staff on these procedures to ensure effective implementation.

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Updated on 16 November 2023