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  • A Security Policy Framework for IT Risk Assessments

    The completion of an information security risk assessment is a key requirement in all information security frameworks, including ISO 27002, NIST 800:53, HIPAA and PCI-DSS.  A recent analysis of regulatory enforcement under HIPAA identifies risk assessment as a key area of weakness. While risk assessments are required, the specifics for how to perform a risk …

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  • Security Policies, Standards and Procedures: What’s the Difference?

    One of the key challenges to developing effective information security policies is agreeing on a proper nomenclature.   Even before writing the first line of a security policy, many organizations get dragged into lengthy discussions regarding the definitions and nuances of these three key elements:  Information security policies, standards and procedures.   In this article we will …

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  • Distributing Information Security Policies

    To be effective, information security policies need to be read and understood by every member of the organization. This seemingly simple requirement is now becoming a standard practice to reduce risk, comply with regulations and demonstrate due-diligence.  Why is this control so important and how can it be done in practice? Regulatory Requirements Every regulatory …

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  • New Security Policy Map for US CyberSecurity Framework

    In February 2014, NIST released version 1.0 of the Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber-security.   The frameworks is intended to be a “voluntary” set of standards that can help small and medium sized businesses develop an information security program.   (Part of the problem, of course, is that we don’t need another framework – but a …

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  • New Point-of-Sale Device Security Policy

    The piercing lens of information security changes focus quite often.  In recent weeks the security vulnerability lens is focused on point-of-sale (POS) devices.  And there seems to be good reason.  The Target breach, perhaps the largest reporting breach in history, seems to be the result of malicious software inserted into these devices via a network hole …

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  • How to Structure Information Security Policies

    We talk to customers every day about  security policies.   One of the most common questions we receive is this:  How should we structure our information security policies?  When we dig deeper, we usually find that this is a really a two-part question regarding policy structure. First, how should we name and organize our documents. Second, …

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  • Information Security Policies for PCI-DSS V3

    The PCI Security Standards Council just released Version 3.0 of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS), the set of requirements for protecting credit card data.  The update had some significant changes, including a greater focus on third-party information security. There are many articles describing the new changes to PCI-DSS V3, including a nice …

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  • ISO 27002:2013 Change Summary Heatmap

    The British Standards Institute (BSI)  recently released an updated version of ISO/IEC 27002 – Code of Practice for Information Security Controls.  This was the first major update since the 2005 release.  Many organizations are interested in how the changes will impact their information security program. What Really Changed? In our review, very little in the …

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  • Information Security Policies According to NIST

    Five Best Practices from NIST 800-53 In April 2013, NIST made the final updates to their complete catalog of information security requirements, Special Publication 800-53 Revision 4 – Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations.  The catalog is BIG – it contains hundreds of information security and data privacy requirements organized into …

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  • Security Policies Key to HIPAA BA Compliance

    In January the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the much-awaited final updates to the HIPAA Security, Privacy and Enforcement Rules. These updates, known as the “Omnibus Rule” were required by the HITECH Act and have been in proposal form since 2010.  The new law incorporates some major changes in the HIPAA security …

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