Category Archives: ISO 1799 (27001)(27002)

Paperless and ISO 1799 (27001) (27002)

If these acts are very broadly all to do with security (see early posts for a more details description) and in fact any organizations that handles and depends on information.

How can a paperless system assist these regulations?

I think we have to look at the wider picture and understand why we use a paperless system to try to find an answer for this area.

It’s certainly not a case to say that we have to design a special area for this act to take place within a paperless system as nearly all companies will be connected to these acts in some way due to the fact we must handle peoples information just to employ and of cause some companies will require a more complex system if they depend on peoples information.

So do we design a paperless system to accommodate these acts or do we try to place these requirements into an already paperless system which could be better known as a Document Management System with added security due to the possible sensitivity of the information.

Some of the companies who have installed a respectable Document Management system will be happy with the outcome and to a certain degree this is more than acceptable to a normal company dependant of the type of information and type of company who has to use these regulations to a great degree, these two statements go without saying and are pretty common.

But could we say that a process of actions and processors within a system is the best answer, I think it’s more to do with we have to use what is available to us at the time of installation and what has been designed and already accepted.

It obvious that security has to play a big part if we intend to use the computer as an office or to assist a paperless system, that it the main point of the acts to protect people information.

One of the better areas of these acts is that is more to do with a code of practice/guideline rather than a certification standard, organizations are free to select and implement other controls, or indeed adopt alternative complete suites of information security controls as they see fit.

We can all agree that technology will grow and become better as technology grows in time, so could you say that this will always be open to debate in the areas of acceptability and how this will react to a paperless system.

We could say that this will always be the case, simple because technology will always grow but we do have to find that intermediate where a practical solution will be available to provide a practical answer.


ISO 27002

ISO 27002 Codes of Practice 

Like governance, information security is a broad topic with ramifications in all parts of the modern organization.  Information security, and hence ISO/IEC 27002, is relevant to all types of organization including commercial enterprises of all sizes (from one-man-bands up to multinational giants), not-for-profits, charities, government departments and quasi-autonomous bodies – in fact any organization that handles and depends on information. The specific information security requirements may be different in each case but the whole point of ISO27k is that there is a lot of common ground.

The standard is explicitly concerned with information security, meaning the security of information assets, and not just IT/systems security per se.  The IT Department is merely the custodian of a good proportion of the organization’s information assets and is commonly charged with securing them by the information asset owners – the business managers who are accountable for the assets.  However a large proportion of written and intangible information (e.g. the knowledge and experience of non-IT workers) is nothing to do with IT.

Relationship to ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27001 formally defines the mandatory requirements for an Information Security Management System (ISMS).  It uses ISO/IEC 27002 to indicate suitable information security controls within the ISMS, but since ISO/IEC 27002 is merely a code of practice/guideline rather than a certification standard, organizations are free to select and implement other controls, or indeed adopt alternative complete suites of information security controls) as they see fit.  ISO/IEC 27001 incorporates a summary (little more that than the section titles in fact) of controls from ISO/IEC 27002 under its Annex A.  In practice, organizations that adopt ISO/IEC 27001 also substantially adopt ISO/IEC 27002.

Structure and format of ISO/IEC 27002

ISO/IEC 27002 is a code of practice – a generic, advisory document, not truly a standard or formal specification such as ISO/IEC 27001. It lays out a reasonably well structured set of suggested controls to address information security risks, covering confidentiality, integrity and availability aspects. Organizations that adopt ISO/IEC 27002 must assess their own information security risks and apply suitable controls, using the standard for guidance. Strictly speaking, none of the controls are mandatory but if an organization chooses not to adopt something as common as, say, antivirus controls, they should certainly be prepared to demonstrate that this decision was reached through a rational risk management decision process, not just an oversight, if they anticipate being certified compliant to ISO/IEC 27001.

After the introduction, scope, terminology and structure sections, the remainder of ISO/IEC 27002 specifies some 39 control objectives to protect information assets against threats to their confidentiality, integrity and availability.  These control objectives in effect comprise a generic functional requirements specification for an organization’s information security management controls architecture.

There is one control objective for each second level heading in sections 6 through 15 of the standard (e.g. 8.2), or for the first level headings in the main sections with no second levels(i.e. sections 5 and 14).

Few people would quarrel with most of the control objectives, or, to put that an other way, it would be difficult to argue that the organization should not conform with the stated objectives in general.  However, some are not applicable in every case and the generic wording of the standard is unlikely to reflect each organization’s precise requirements. 

In our experience, the control objectives make an excellent starting point to define a comprehensive set of “axioms” or high level principles for information security policies with only slight re-wording.

Not mandating specific controls is a master stroke that makes the standard broadly applicable even as the technology and security risks change, and gives users tremendous flexibility in the implementation.  Unfortunately, it also makes it difficult for the certification bodies to assess whether an organization is fully compliant with the standard, hence there are no formal compliance certificates against ISO/IEC 27002 itself.  Organizations may instead get their information security governance/management processes, meaning the Information Security Management System as a whole, certified against ISO/IEC 27001 which describes the process for assessing risks and selecting, implementing and managing specific security controls from ISO/IEC 27002 or indeed other sources.

Section 0

Introduction

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

Section 1

Scope

The standard gives information security management recommendations for those who are responsible for initiating, implementing or maintaining security.

Section 2

Terms and definitions

“Information security” is explicitly defined as the “preservation of confidentiality, integrity and availability of information”.  These and other related terms are further defined.  [In due course when ISO/IEC 27002 is revised, this section will presumably reference definitions in ISO/IEC 27000.]

Section 3

Structure of this standard

This page simply explains that the guts of the standard contain control objectives, suggested controls and implementation guidance.

Section 4

Risk assessment and treatment

ISO/IEC 27002 covers the topic of risk management in just a page and a half, woefully inadequate coverage for such a complex and central element of information security.  [When ISO/IEC 27002 is revised, it will probably reference ISO/IEC 27005 here although it has been suggested that the risk management section might be dropped entirely from ’27002 and moved to ’27001.  In keeping with the style of ’27002, ’27005 gives general guidance on selecting and using appropriate methods to analyze information security risk – it does not mandate a specific method since ‘appropriate’ depends on context.]

Section 5

Security policy

Management should define a policy to clarify their direction of, 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 organization.  This is normally supported by a comprehensive suite 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 standards, procedures and guidelines.

Although the standards are somewhat ambiguous on this point, the information security policy noted in ISO/IEC 27002 is generally understood to be separate and different from the ISMS policy required by ISO/IEC 27001.  The ISMS policy is seen by some as a strategy or governance paper laying out management’s support for the ISMS as a whole – in fact it may be as short at a statement by the CEO.

Section 6

Organization of information security

A suitable information security governance structure should be designed and implemented.

6.1 

Internal organization

The organization should have a management framework for information security. Senior management should provide direction and commit their support, for example by approving information security policies. Roles and responsibilities should be defined for the information security function. Other relevant functions should cooperate and coordinate their activities.  IT facilities should be authorized.  Confidentiality agreements should reflect the organization’s needs.  Contacts should be established with relevant authorities (e.g. law enforcement) and special interest groups.  Information security should be independently reviewed.

6.2 

External parties

Information security should not be compromised by the introduction of third party products or services.  Risks should be assessed and mitigated. when dealing with customers and in third party agreements.

 Section 7

 Asset management

The organization should be in a position to understand what information assets it holds, and to manage their security appropriately.

 7.1 

Responsibility for assets

All [information] assets should be accounted for and have a nominated owner.  An inventory of information assets (IT hardware, software, data, system documentation, storage media, supporting assets such as computer room air conditioners and UPSs, and ICT services) should be maintained. The inventory should record ownership and location of the assets, and owners should identify acceptable uses.

7.2 

Information classification

Information should be classified according to its need for security protection and labeled accordingly.  [While this is clearly most relevant to military and government organizations handling ‘protectively marked information’ (Top Secret etc.), the concept of identifying important assets, classifying/grouping them, and applying controls that are judged suitable for assets of that nature, is broadly applicable.]

Section 8:

Human resources security

The organization should manage system access rights etc. for ‘joiners, movers and leavers’, and should undertake suitable security awareness, training and educational activities.

8.1 

Prior to employment

Security responsibilities should be taken into account when recruiting permanent employees, contractors and temporary staff (e.g. 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).

8.2

During employment

Management responsibilities regarding information security should be defined.  Employees and (if relevant) third party IT users should be made aware, educated and trained in security procedures.  A formal disciplinary process is necessary to handle security breaches.

8.3 

Termination or change of employment

Security aspects of a person’s exit from the organization (e.g. the return of corporate assets and removal of access rights) or change of responsibilities should be managed.

Section 9

Physical and environmental security

Valuable IT equipment should be physically protected against malicious or accidental damage or loss, overheating, loss of mains power etc.

9.1 

Secure areas

This section describes the need for concentric layers of physical controls to protect sensitive IT facilities from unauthorized access.

9.2 

Equipment security

Critical IT equipment, cabling and so on should be protected against physical damage, fire, flood, theft etc., both on- and off-site. Power supplies and cabling should be secured. IT equipment should be maintained properly and disposed of securely.

Section 10 

Communications and operations management

This lengthy, detailed section of the standard describes security controls for systems and network management.

10.1 

Operational procedures and responsibilities

IT operating responsibilities and procedures should be documented. Changes to IT facilities and systems should be controlled. Duties should be segregated between different people where relevant (e.g. access to development and operational systems should be segregated).

10.2 

Third party service delivery management

Security requirements should be taken into account in third party service delivery (e.g. IT facilities management or outsourcing), from contractual terms to ongoing monitoring and change management.  Do you have suitable security clauses in the contract with your ISP?

10.3 

System planning and acceptance

Covers IT capacity planning and production acceptance processes.

10.4 

Protection against malicious and mobile code

Describes the need for anti-malware controls, including user awareness.  Security controls for mobile code ‘associated with a number of middleware services’ are also outlined.

10.5 

Back-up

Covers routine data backups and rehearsed restoration.

10.6 

Network security management

Outlines secure network management, network security monitoring and other controls.  Also covers security of commercial network services such as private networks and managed firewalls etc.

10.7 

Media handling

Operating procedures should be defined to protect documents and computer media containing data, system information etc. Disposal of backup media, documents, voice and other recordings, test data etc. should be logged and controlled. Procedures should be defined for securely handling, transporting and storing backup media and system documentation.

10.8 

Exchange of information

Information exchanges between organizations should be controlled, for example though policies and procedures, and legal agreements. Information exchanges should also comply with applicable legislation. Security procedures and standards should be in place to protect information and physical media in transit, including electronic messaging (email, EDI and IM) and business information systems.

10.9

Electronic commerce services

The security implications of eCommerce (online transaction systems) should be evaluated and suitable controls implemented.  The integrity and availability of information published online (e.g. on websites) should also be protected.

10.10

Monitoring

Covers security event/audit/fault logging and system alarm/alert monitoring to detect unauthorized use.  Also covers the need to secure logs and synchronize system clocks.

Section 11

Access control

Logical access to IT systems, networks and data must be suitably controlled to prevent unauthorized use.  This is another lengthy and detailed section.

11.1 

Business requirement for access control

The organization’s requirements to control access to information assets should 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.]

11.2 

User access management

The allocation of access rights to users should be formally 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.

11.3 

User responsibilities

Users should be made aware of their responsibilities towards maintaining effective access controls e.g. choosing strong passwords and keeping them confidential. Systems and information should be secured when left unattended (e.g. clear desk and clear screen policies).

11.4 

Network access control

Access to network services should be controlled, both within the organization and between organizations. Policy should be defined and remote users (and possibly equipment) should be suitably authenticated.  Remote diagnostic ports should be securely controlled. Information services, users and systems should be segregated into separate logical network domains.  Network connections and routine should be controlled where necessary. 

11.5 

Operating system access control

Operating system access control facilities and utilities (such as user authentication with unique user IDs and managed passwords, recording use of privileges and system security alarms) should be used. Access to powerful system utilities should be controlled and inactivity timeouts should be applied.

11.6 Application and information access control

Access to and within application systems should be controlled in accordance with a defined access control policy. Particularly sensitive applications may require dedicated (isolated) platforms, and/or additional controls if run on shared platforms.

11.7 

Mobile computing and teleworking

There should be formal policies covering the secure use of portable PCs, PDAs, cellphones etc., and secure teleworking (“working from home”, “road warriors” and other forms of mobile or remote working).

Section 12

Information systems acquisition, development and maintenance

Information security must be taken into account in the Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) processes for specifying, building/acquiring, testing, implementing and maintaining IT systems.

12.1 

Security requirements of information systems

Automated and manual security control requirements should be analyzed and fully identified during the requirements stage of the systems development or acquisition process, and incorporated into business cases.  Purchased software should be formally tested for security, and any issues risk-assessed.

12.2 

Correct processing in application systems

Data entry, processing and output validation controls and message authentication should be provided to mitigate the associated integrity risks.

12.3 

Cryptographic controls

A cryptography policy should be defined, covering roles and responsibilities, digital signatures, non-repudiation, management of keys and digital certificates etc.

12.4 

Security of system files

Access to system files (both executable programs and source code) and test data should be controlled.

12.5 

Security in development and support processes

Application system managers should be responsible for controlling access to [development] project and support environments.  Formal change control processes should be applied, including technical reviews.  Packaged applications should ideally not be modified. Checks should be made for information leakage for example via covert channels and Trojans if these are a concern. A number of supervisory and monitoring controls are outlined for outsourced development.

12.6

Technical vulnerability management

Technical vulnerabilities in systems and applications should be controlled by monitoring for the announcement of relevant security vulnerabilities, and risk-assessing and applying relevant security patches promptly.

Section 13

Information security incident management

Information security events, incidents and weaknesses (including near-misses) should be promptly reported and properly managed.

13.1

Reporting in information security events and weaknesses

An incident reporting/alarm procedure is required, plus the associated response and escalation procedures.  There should be a central point of contact, and all employees, contractors etc. should be informed of their incident reporting responsibilities.

13.2

Management of information security incidents and improvements

Responsibilities and procedures are required to manage incidents consistently and effectively, to implement continuous improvement (learning the lessons), and to collect forensic evidence.

Section 14: 

Business continuity management

This section describes the relationship between IT disaster recovery planning, business continuity management and contingency planning, ranging from analysis and documentation through to regular exercising/testing of the plans.  These controls are designed to minimize the impact of security incidents that happen despite the preventive controls noted elsewhere in the standard.

Section 15:  Compliance

15.1 

Compliance with legal requirements

The organization must comply with applicable legislation such as copyright, data protection,protection of financial data and other vital records, cryptography restrictions, rules of evidence etc.

15.2 

Compliance with security policies and standards, and technical compliance

Managers and system owners must ensure compliance with security policies and standards, for example through regular platform security reviews, penetration tests etc. undertaken by competent testers.

15.3 

Information systems audit considerations

Audits should be carefully planned to minimize disruption to operational systems. Powerful audit tools/facilities must also be protected against unauthorized use.

 

 

 


ISO 27001

ISO/IEC 27001:2005 Information technology — Security techniques — Specification for an Information Security Management System

ISO/IEC 27001 is the formal set of specifications against which organizations may seek independent certification of their Information Security Management System (ISMS).

ISO/IEC 27001 specifies requirements for the establishment, implementation, monitoring and review, maintenance and improvement of a management system – an overall management and control framework – for managing an organization’s information security risks.  It does not mandate specific information security controls but stops at the level of the management system.

The standard covers all types of organizations (e.g. commercial enterprises, government agencies and non-profit organizations) and all sizes from micro-businesses to huge multinationals. 

This is clearly a very wide brief.

Bringing information security under management control is a prerequisite for sustainable, directed and continuous improvement.  An ISO/IEC 27001 ISMS therefore incorporates several Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycles: for example, information security controls are not merely specified and implemented as a one-off activity but are continually reviewed and adjusted to take account of changes in the security threats, vulnerabilities and impacts of information security failures, using review and improvement activities specified within the management system. 

According to JTC1/SC27, the ISO/IEC committee responsible for ISO27k and related standards, ISO/IEC 27001 “is intended to be suitable for several different types of use, including:

  • Use within organizations to formulate security requirements and objectives;
  • Use within organizations as a way to ensure that security risks are cost-effectively managed;
  • Use within organizations to ensure compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Use within an organization as a process framework for the implementation and management of controls to ensure that the specific security objectives of an organization are met;
  • The definition of new information security management processes;
  • Identification and clarification of existing information security management processes;
  • Use by the management of organizations to determine the status of information security management activities;
  • Use by the internal and external auditors of organizations to demonstrate the information security policies, directives and standards adopted by an organization and determine the degree of compliance with those policies, directives and standards;
  • Use by organizations to provide relevant information about information security policies, directives, standards and procedures to trading partners and other organizations that they interact with for operational or commercial reasons;
  • Implementation of a business enabling information security; and
  • Use by organizations to provide relevant information about information security to customers.”

Structure and content of ISO/IEC 27001

ISO/IEC 27001:2005 has the following sections:

0 Introduction – the standard uses a process approach.

1 Scope – it specifies generic ISMS requirements suitable for organizations of any type, size or nature.

Normative references – only ISO/IEC 27002:2005 is considered absolutely essential to the use of ’27001.

 3 Terms and definitions – a brief, formalized glossary, soon to be superseded by ISO/IEC 27000.

4 Information security management system – the ‘guts’ of the standard, based on the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle where Plan = define requirements, assess risks, decide which controls are applicable; Do = implement and operate the ISMS; Check = monitor and review the ISMS; Act = maintain and continuously improve the ISMS.  Also specifies certain specific documents that are required and must be controlled, and states that records must be generated and controlled to prove the operation of the ISMS (e.g. certification audit purposes).

5 Management responsibility – management must demonstrate their commitment to the ISMS, principally by allocating adequate resources to implement and operate it.

6 Internal ISMS audits – the organization must conduct periodic internal audits to ensure the ISMS incorporate adequate controls which operate effectively.

7 Management review of the ISMS – management must review the suitability, adequacy and effectiveness of the ISMS at least once a year, assessing opportunities for improvement and the need for changes.

8 ISMS improvements – the organization must continually improve the ISMS by assessing and where necessary making changes to ensure its suitability and effectiveness, addressing nonconformance (noncompliance) and where possible preventing recurrent issues.

Annex A – Control objectives and controls – little more in fact than a list of titles of the control sections in ISO/IEC 27002, down to the second level of numbering (e.g. 9.1, 9.2).

Annex B – OECD principles and this International Standard – a table briefly showing which parts of this standard satisfy 7 key principles laid out in the OECD Guidelines for the Security of Information Systems and Networks.

Annex C – Correspondence between ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:2004 and this International Standard – the standard shares the same basic structure of other management systems standards, meaning that an organization which implements any one should be familiar with concepts such as PDCA, records and audits.

Mandatory requirements for certification

ISO/IEC 27001 is written as a formalized specification such that accredited certification auditors are meant to be able to use the standard as a formal description of items that their clients must have in order to be certified compliant. It does indeed specify certain mandatory documents explicitly. 

However, in other areas it is vaguer and, in practice, other documents are commonly demanded, including certain items which provide the auditors with evidence or proof that the ISMS are operating. 

Organizations can specify the scope of their ISO/IEC 27001 certification as broadly or as narrowly as they wish.  Understanding the scoping documents plus Statements of Applicability (SoA) is therefore crucial if one intends to attach any meaning to the certificates.  If an organization’s ISO/IEC 27001 scope only notes “Acme Ltd. Department X”, for example, the associated certificate says nothing about the state of information security in “Acme Ltd. Department Y” or “Acme Ltd.” as a whole. 

Similarly, if the SoA asserts that antivirus controls are not necessary for some reason, the certification body will doubtless have checked that assertion but will not have certified the antivirus controls – in fact, they may not have assessed any technical controls since ISO/IEC 27001 is primarily a management system standard, so compliance requires the organization to have a suite of management controls in place but does not necessarily require specific information security controls.

Certification is entirely optional but is increasingly being demanded from suppliers and business partners by organizations that are concerned about information security. 

Certification against ISO/IEC 27001 brings a number of benefits above and beyond simple compliance, in much the same way that an ISO 9000-series certificate says more than “We are a quality organization”. Independent assessment necessarily brings some rigor and formality to the implementation process (implying improvements to information security and all the benefits that brings through risk reduction), and invariably requires management approval (which is an advantage in security awareness terms, at least!).

The certificate has marketing potential and should help assure most business partners of the organization’s status with respect to information security without the necessity of conducting their own security reviews.


ISO 17799 Background

Background and Overview of ISO 17799/27001(27001)

Sound information security is the cornerstone of sensible corporate governance. The emergence of an international standard to support this was perhaps, inevitable.

However, it took until the second half of the 1990’s for this process to really take shape.

ISO 17799 is often used as a generic term to describe what actually is two different documents they are: ISO17799 (aka ISO 27002), which is a set of security controls (a code of practice), and ISO 27001 (formerly BS7799-2), which is a standard ‘specification’ for an Information Security Management System (an ISMS).

Before the international information security standard known as ISO 17799, there was the preceding British Standard BS7799, published by the British Standards Institute (BSI).

The original BS 7799 had two parts. BS 7799 Part1 – Code of practice for informationsecurity management – established the overall requirements for an information securityprogram by breaking security into ten separate topic domains.           

BS 7799-1 was eventually adopted as the first international standard for information Security.

ISO 17799:2000. BS 7799 Part 2, entitled Information security management systems — Specification with guidance for use, was designed to allow an organization tobecome certified that it was following the techniques defined in Part 1 of the standard.        

Within Great Britain and around Europe hundreds of organizations became certifiedagainst BS7799. Up until last year, if an organization wished to become “certified” itcould only be done against the British Standard BS7799.

In 2005, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) took two important steps relating to information security. First, it updated ISO 17799:2000 and called it ISO17799:2005”) Second, it adopted the part 2 of BS7799 and released it as ISO/IEC 27001:

Information technology — Security techniques— Information security management systems — Requirements.. For the first time, organizations can get certified against the ISO 17799:2005 standard.

By definition, ISO 17799:2005 and ISO 27001 are designed to be used by any organization in any industry. However, many smaller organizations may have troublemeeting some of the requirements of ISMS due to limited manpower and resources.

Basically, ISO 27001 sets out the requirements for how an organization can implement the security requirements of ISO 17799:2005. According to ISO 27001

“This International Standard has been prepared to provide a model for establishing,implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving ,an Information Security Management System (ISMS).” According to the Standard, an ISMS is defined as

 “The management system includes organizational structure, policies, planningactivities, responsibilities, practices, procedures, processes and resources.”

In other words, the ISMS encompasses your entire information security program,including its relation to other parts of the organization.

While ISO 27001 does not provide a complete prescription for a proper information security program it does list the various organizational  ,functions required for certification.