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Ashlyn Eperjesi for Blink Ops

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10 Essential Security Policies to Enforce That Don’t Get Covered in SOC 2 and ISO 27001

Today’s growing security threats prove that it’s critical for businesses to protect sensitive data and ensure robust cybersecurity practices. As 78% of organizations anticipate annual increases in regulatory compliance requirements, it’s no wonder there’s growing adoption of data and security standards. Two common standards that teams turn to are SOC 2 and ISO 27001 compliance.

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 compliance is a recognized standard that verifies the controls and security practices of organizations that handle sensitive customer data. It ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of that data. A third party performs an independent audit of an organization's policies, procedures, and technical controls based on the Trust Services Criteria.

Achieving SOC 2 compliance showcases a steadfast dedication to safeguarding data security and privacy. It offers customers and partners the assurance that their valuable data is fortified, particularly in industries where data protection is paramount.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is a well-known international standard for information security management systems (ISMS). It provides a systematic approach for organizations to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve their information security (InfoSec) processes. ISO 27001 encompasses a comprehensive set of controls and risk management practices that span various critical areas. These include risk assessment, security policies, asset management, access control, incident response, and compliance.

Obtaining ISO 27001 certification showcases an organization's dedication to safeguarding its information assets. It instills trust in customers, partners, and stakeholders, confirming the presence of robust security measures.

Additional Security Policies to Consider

While compliance controls like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 establish a solid foundation, companies should consider implementing additional policies to enhance their security posture. Here are 10 specific policies that are crucial to enforce and go beyond the scope of SOC 2 and ISO 27001 compliance controls.

Password Complexity and Rotation Policy: Mandate a policy that enforces strong password complexity, including a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Additionally, implement a password rotation policy that requires users to change their passwords at regular intervals to mitigate the risk of unauthorized access.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for All Users: Require the use of two-factor authentication (2FA) by all users - employees and clients alike - to access company systems and applications. This additional layer of security significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access, even if passwords are compromised.
Privileged Access Management: Implement a policy that restricts privileged access to critical systems and data. Only authorized personnel should be granted privileged accounts. Strict monitoring and auditing of their activities should be conducted to prevent misuse and unauthorized access.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) Policy: Ensure the protection of sensitive data by implementing data loss prevention measures. This includes monitoring and controlling data transfers, encrypting data at rest and in transit, and implementing robust data backup and recovery procedures.
Acceptable Use Policy for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Define a policy that governs the acceptable use of personal devices within the corporate network. This policy should outline security requirements such as device registration, mandatory security applications, and encryption protocols to mitigate risks associated with BYOD practices.
Social Engineering Awareness and Prevention: Educate employees about social engineering techniques and establish guidelines to recognize and report potential threats. Regular training sessions, phishing simulations, and awareness campaigns can help employees stay vigilant against social engineering attacks.
Vulnerability Management Policy: Develop a policy that outlines procedures to identify, assess, and remediate vulnerabilities in the organization's systems and applications. This includes conducting regular vulnerability scans, prioritizing and patching identified vulnerabilities, and implementing a process for continuous vulnerability monitoring.
Incident Escalation and Response Time Policy: Establish clear escalation paths and response time expectations for security incidents. This policy should define roles and responsibilities, escalation thresholds, and predefined incident response procedures to ensure timely and effective incident management.
Secure Disposal and Destruction of Data: Implement a policy that outlines proper procedures for the secure disposal and destruction of sensitive data and storage media. This includes guidelines for data wiping, physical destruction, and proper disposal techniques to prevent unauthorized access to discarded information.
Security Awareness Training for Third Parties: Develop a policy that mandates security awareness training for third-party vendors and partners with access to the company's systems and data. This training should cover security best practices, incident reporting protocols, and contractual obligations to ensure that third parties adhere to high cybersecurity standards.

While SOC 2 and ISO 27001 compliance controls provide a baseline for cybersecurity, companies must go beyond these frameworks to strengthen their defenses. By enforcing these 10 specific policies, organizations can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture and protect their valuable assets from evolving threats.

These policies address critical areas such as password management, access controls, data protection, incident response, and training, helping companies establish a robust security foundation in an increasingly complex digital landscape.

Security Automation Copilot for Your Compliance Team

Implementing the right security policies is essential for any business, but with so many regulations to keep track of, it can be hard to stay on top of all your compliance demands. That's why automation tools like Blink Copilot generative AI make it easy to automate compliance workflows.

By leveraging a security automation copilot, you can ensure that no important policy gets overlooked while keeping up with ever-changing regulatory requirements.

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