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Information Security Policy

This Policy sits alongside the Information Risk Management Policy and Data Protection Policy to provide the high-level outline of and justification for the University’s risk-based information security controls

Purpose

Information that is collected, analysed, stored, communicated and reported upon may be subject to theft, misuse, loss and corruption.

Information may be put at risk by poor education and training, and the breach of security controls.

Information security incidents can give rise to embarrassment, financial loss, non-compliance with standards and legislation as well as possible judgements being made against the University.

This high-level Information Security Policy sits alongside the Information Risk Management Policy and Data Protection Policy to provide the high-level outline of and justification for the University’s risk-based information security controls.

Objectives

The University’s security objectives are that:

Scope

The Information Security Policy and its supporting controls, processes and procedures apply to all information used at the University, in all formats. This includes information processed by other organisations in their dealings with the University.

The Information Security Policy and its supporting controls, processes and procedures apply to all individuals who have access to University information and technologies, including external parties that provide information processing services to the University.

A detailed scope, including a breakdown of users, information assets and information processing systems, is included in the Information Security Management System (ISMS) Framework document.

Compliance

Compliance with the controls in this policy will be monitored by the Information Security team and reported to the Information Governance Board.

Review

A review of this policy will be undertaken by the Information Security team annually or more frequently as required, and will be approved by the Information Governance Board and the University Executive Group.

Policy Statement

It is the University’s policy to ensure that information is protected from a loss of:

The University will implement an Information Security Management System based on the ISO 27001 International Standard for Information Security. The University will also reference other standards as required, mindful of the approaches adopted by its stakeholders, including research partners.

1. Information Security Policies

A set of lower level controls, processes and procedures for information security will be defined, in support of the high level Information Security Policy and its stated objectives. This suite of supporting documentation will be approved by the Information Security Board, published, and communicated to University users and relevant external parties.

2. Organisation of Information Security

The University will define and implement suitable governance arrangements for the management of information security. This will include identification and allocation of security responsibilities, to initiate and control the implementation and operation of information security within the University.

The University will appoint at least:

3. Human Resources Security

The University’s security policies and expectations for acceptable use will be communicated to all users to ensure that they understand their responsibilities. Information security education and training will be made available to all staff, and poor and inappropriate behaviour will be addressed.

Where practical, security responsibilities will be included in role descriptions, person specifications and personal development plans.

4. Asset Management

All assets (information, software, electronic information processing equipment, service utilities and people) will be documented and accounted for. Owners will be identified for all assets and they will be responsible for the maintenance and protection of their assets.

All information assets will be classified according to their legal requirements, business value, criticality and sensitivity, and classification will indicate appropriate handling requirements. All information assets will have a defined retention and disposal schedule.

5. Access Control

Access to all information will be controlled and will be driven by business requirements. Access will be granted or arrangements made for users according to their role and the classification of information, only to a level that will allow them to carry out their duties.

A formal user registration and de-registration procedure will be maintained for access to all information systems and services. This will include mandatory authentication methods based on the sensitivity of the information being accessed, and will include consideration of multiple factors as appropriate.

Specific controls will be implemented for users with elevated privileges, to reduce the risk of negligent or deliberate system misuse. Segregation of duties will be implemented, where practical.

6. Cryptography

The University will provide guidance and tools to ensure proper and effective use of cryptography to protect the confidentiality, authenticity and integrity of information and systems.

7. Physical and Environmental Security

Information processing facilities are housed in secure areas, physically protected from unauthorised access, damage and interference by defined security perimeters. Layered internal and external security controls will be in place to deter or prevent unauthorised access and protect assets, especially those that are critical or sensitive, against forcible or surreptitious attack.

8. Operations Security

The University will ensure the correct and secure operations of information processing systems.

This will include:

9. Communications Security

The University will maintain network security controls to ensure the protection of information within its networks, and provide the tools and guidance to ensure the secure transfer of information both within its networks and with external entities, in line with the classification and handling requirements associated with that information.

10. System Acquisition, Development and Maintenance

Information security requirements will be defined during the development of business requirements for new information systems or changes to existing information systems.

Controls to mitigate any risks identified will be implemented where appropriate.

Systems development will be subject to change control and separation of test, development and operational environments.

11. Supplier Relationships

The University’s information security requirements will be considered when establishing relationships with suppliers, to ensure that assets accessible to suppliers are protected.

Supplier activity will be monitored and audited according to the value of the assets and the associated risks.

12. Information Security Incident Management

Guidance will be available on what constitutes an Information Security incident and how this should be reported.

Actual or suspected breaches of information security must be reported and will be investigated.

Appropriate corrective action will be taken and any learning built in to controls.

13. Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management

The University will have in place arrangements to protect critical business processes from the effects of major failures of information systems or disasters and to ensure their timely recovery in line with documented business needs.

This will include appropriate backup routines and built-in resilience.

Business continuity plans must be maintained and tested in support of this policy.

Business impact analysis will be undertaken of the consequences of disasters, security failures, loss of service, and lack of service availability.

14. Compliance

The design, operation, use and management of information systems must comply with all statutory, regulatory and contractual security requirements.

Currently this includes data protection legislation, the payment card industry standard (PCI-DSS), the Government’s Prevent guidance and the University’s contractual commitments.

The University will use a combination of internal and external audit to demonstrate compliance against chosen standards and best practice, including against internal policies and procedures.

This will include IT Health Checks, gap analyses against documented standards, internal checks on staff compliance, and returns from Information Asset Owners.

Information Security