Information Security Policy Framework


The information security policies framework is an organization’s primary tool for managing its information security programs. Policies set out an organization’s requirements for protecting data and assets and regulating actions taken by employees and third parties. There are four types of documents that make up an information security program:


Policies are statements of principles, and they’re intended to guide decision-making. Policies are high-level and broad in scope; they don’t provide specific details or implementation information. Policies are the foundation for all other documents in the framework, such as standards and guidelines.

Some example policies your organization might have include security, privacy, and acceptable use.


Standards are best practices that can be applied to an information security program. They are used to define how a business will implement and measure the effectiveness of its information security programs.

Standards are important because they set expectations for what should occur within a company, which helps ensure that the proper steps have been taken to protect your business from threats such as malware, viruses, and hackers. If you aren’t using standards, you might not have enough safeguards to prevent these types of attacks from occurring or being successful if they do happen, so having benchmarks is key.

The benefits of using standards include consistency across departments (e.g., compliance); accountability (i.e., who did what); transparency into what is happening within each department; easier communication between various stakeholders like IT staff members vs. non-technical folks who need access; cost savings due to reduced risk exposure; opportunity cost savings due to fewer incidents requiring remediation which means less time spent on incident management activities instead focusing more effort back onto developing new products/services instead, etc.


Detailed, step-by-step processes and organization must follow in specific circumstances, and the processes must be documented. In the event of an emergency, staff members can quickly reference these procedures to determine what needs to happen next.

The procedures should be clearly outlined and easy to understand. They must also be written in plain language, not full of industry jargon and complicated terminology that only a select few can comprehend.


  • Guidelines are a set of recommended practices for security practice.
  • Guidelines are not mandatory, but they provide recommendations for good security practices.
  • The guidelines in this section can be used in conjunction with policies, standards, or procedures to guide your organization’s efforts at information security management.

This framework will help you understand the various kinds of documents that make up an information security program.

This framework will help you understand the various kinds of documents that make up an information security program. These documents are known as the Information Security Policy Framework, and they include the following:

  • Policies – High-level statements describing the overall direction of your information security program
  • Standards – Detailed statements that provide guidance on specific aspects of your program’s operation (e.g., which operating systems to use)
  • Procedures – Specific instructions for performing tasks associated with managing information assets (e.g., how to access a file server)
  • Guidelines – Recommendations for handling situations not covered by existing policies or standards


I hope this framework has helped you understand the different kinds of documents that make up an information security program.

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