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Let’s Get Physical!!!

By Dan Hadaway | Saturday, April 10, 2010 - Leave a Comment

We often incorrectly think of Information Security as a set of rules and practices surrounding the computer.  But the Acceptable Use Policy pertains to more than just technology.  It covers legal risk, reputational risk, operational risk, etc.  But it also covers hard-copy information, such as reports and faxes.

Let’s talk a bit about physical security as it relates to Information and Technology.  You’ll be surprised to know the Acceptable Use Policy includes at least ten different issues governing the physical security of information:

  1. You are to lock your workstation whenever you leave it, no matter how soon you plan to return.  Just use windows-L to lock your workstation.  You do not have to close other programs to do this.
  2. We’ve already talked about our “Clean Desktop Policy” in other reminders so I won’t spend a lot of time on it here, other than to remind you that you must keep information locked that has non-public customer information on or in it.  In other words, lock those reports away before you go to lunch.
  3. Employee mailboxes should be checked regularly and right before leaving at the end of the day. Information that contains nonpublic customer information should be placed in an interoffice envelope, delivered in person, or kept secure for later delivery when confidentially can be assured.
  4. Historical paper records pertaining to a customer’s account, such as completed loan files, that are removed from storage must be returned to the locked location when you are finished with the record, or kept in a locked place while you are working on the record.  If you are involved in the processing of historical records, you should also know the bank’s Record Retention Policy, so that you can know when records are to be destroyed.
  5. If you are issued keys, they must be protected at all times.  Keys left unattended may be picked up by unauthorized persons who could use a key to gain access to sensitive information.  Keys may not be duplicated without prior permission from the appropriate person (ask your supervisor.)  If you have access to areas that require locks and combinations, you must keep this information secure and confidential.
  6. Be careful around the copy machine.  If you are making copies of sensitive information, stay by the machine until the copy is complete, so that others will not accidentally see this information.  The same goes for shared printers.
  7. In the event that you end up with paper copies of customer records (for example, they leave an account number on a piece of paper in the lobby), the record must be shredded.  Any trash with non-public customer information must be shredded.  If you are not sure what to do with a customer’s paper record, ask your supervisor.
  8. Keep a close eye on the use of portable devices.  USB drives, cell phones, ipods, etc. can be used to smuggle data out of our bank.  Watch how customers, fellow employees, and visitors are using portable devices and if you think something’s up, tell your supervisor.
  9. There is a policy on the use of faxes (in our Acceptable Use Policy).  Rather than putting it all in here, please remember that you should review this policy PRIOR to requesting or sending a fax that has sensitive information on it.   It will help you know how to protect that information.
  10. Our bank requires data labeling.  What this means is that if you create a document that has critically classified information on it (nonpublic customer financial information in particular) you must label that document with a cover page stating that it is classified as confidential or critically classified.

Yes, at least ten issues relate to the physical security of information.  We must keep our eyes and ears targeted at INFORMATION, not just technology!

Click here for more information about User Awareness Training.

 

Infotex Team

Intended Use:

The purpose of Vigilize is to respond to ISO’s complaints that users never read ISO’s “ongoing security awareness training reminders.” Our tweets are designed to be copied into the subject line of your awareness reminder, with the language on these pages put into the body. The goal is that the user will have to read the subject line to know to delete the message, and if they understand the subject line the reminder is communicated. If not, they will go into the message and read the reminder.

Feel free to use Vigilize in your own Security Awareness Program. Let us know if you have any ideas, suggested tweets, or ways to improve this FREE service.

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