Example Cybersecurity & Privacy Documentation
We are proud of the documentation that we produce for our clients and we encourage you to take a look at our example cybersecurity documentation. Each product page has at least one PDF example so that you can view the quality of ComplianceForge products for yourself - if you scroll down on the product pages you will find an "examples" section (generally located about 1/4 of the way down each product page).
Understanding Cybersecurity & Privacy Documentation
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Cybersecurity & data protection documentation needs to usable – it cannot just exist in isolation. This means the documentation needs to be written clearly, concisely and in a business-context language that users can understand. By doing so, users will be able to find the information they are looking for and that will lead to IT security best practices being implemented throughout your company. Additionally, having good cybersecurity documentation can be “half the battle” when preparing for an audit, since it shows that effort went into the program and key requirements can be easily found.
With that understanding, we put together the following guide to help you understand "what right looks like" for cybersecurity and privacy documentation! We did this to help explain that "the ComplianceForge way" for writing documentation is entirely based on industry-recognized "best practices" from organizations such as NIST, ISO and ISACA. This follows a schema we developed, which is the Hierarchical Cybersecurity Governance Framework (HCGF) that demonstrates the linkages from policies all the way through metrics.
You can download further examples here (similar to what is shown in the video above). This provides two examples from policies all the way through examples, so you can see what the actual content looks like.
What Right Looks Like
In the context of good cybersecurity documentation, these components are hierarchical and build on each other to build a strong governance structure that utilizes an integrated approach to managing requirements. Well-designed documentation is comprised of five (5) core components:
- Policies are established by an organization’s corporate leadership establishes “management’s intent” for cybersecurity and data protection requirements that are necessary to support the organization’s overall strategy and mission.
- Control Objectives identify the technical, administrative and physical protections that are generally tied to a law, regulation, industry framework or contractual obligation.
- Standards provide organization-specific, quantifiable requirements for cybersecurity and data protection.
- Guidelines are additional guidance that is recommended, but not mandatory.
- Procedures (also known as Control Activities) establish the defined practices or steps that are performed to meet to implement standards and satisfy controls / control objectives.
Understanding Basic Cybersecurity & Data Protection Documentation Components
Frameworks are often referred to as a standard. In reality, most frameworks are merely a repository of specific controls that are organized by control families (e.g., NIST CSF, ISO 27002, NIST SP 800-171, NIST SP 800-53, etc.).
For example, while NIST SP 800-53 R5 is called a "standard" it is made up of 1,189 controls that are organized into 20 control families (e.g., Access Control (AC), Program Management (PM), etc.). These controls are what make up NIST SP 800-53 as a "framework" that an organization can use as a guide to develop its internal policies and standards that allow it to align with those expected practices.
Internal Security Documentation
An organization is expected to identify a framework that it wants to align its cybersecurity program with, so that its practices follow reasonably-expected controls.
Ideally, there should be a policy that corresponds to each of the control families. This helps make an organization's alignment with its adopted framework more straightforward.
Control objectives provide a 1-1 mapping to address a specific control (e.g., AC-3, AC-7, etc.). For each control objective:
ComplianceForge Sells Far More Than Just Cybersecurity Policies & Standards!
ComplianceForge sells a wide range of documentation from core policies and standards, to function-specific "program level" documentation to procedures. We encourage you to read through the product pages to learn more.
If you have any product-related questions, please let us know. We are happy to help answer your questions!