50 Free Cyber Security Policy Templates
To Secure Your Network

Looking for the latest cyber security policy templates? Check out our library of free templates to secure your network from ransomware, email phishing, and social engineering attacks.

what are cyber security policies

What Is A Cyber Security Policy?

A cyber security policy is a set of standardized practices and procedures designed to protect a business’s network from malicious attacks. While implementing cyber security policies are considered industry best practice, it alone will not guarantee protection from a data breach or socially engineered attack. It’s important to incorporate layers of security, such as performing monthly vulnerability scans, penetration testing, purchasing aggressive email spam filters, or properly configuring firewalls.

This layered method is also known as a defense in depth strategy, providing a holistic approach to network security. Ultimately, the goal of this list is to better prepare your business to rapidly develop and implement information security policies.

Cyber Security Policy Templates

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Why Is A Cyber Security Policy Important?

Cyber security policies help to protect a company’s network from both external and internal threats. For example, 91% of cyber attacks start with a phishing email. While employees may not be intentionally compromising a network, bad actions such as clicking on malicious links or downloading documents containing malicious code create security vulnerabilities. Therefore, implementing a security awareness training program to educate employees on cyber security threats and how to identify them help to reduce this risk.

How To Write A Cyber Security Policy

Writing a cyber security policy for your organization can feel like an overwhelming challenge. There’s pressure to both implement a solution quickly while ensuring the policies achieve their goals. But writing a cyber security policy doesn’t have to be a chore. To get started, consider the following questions:

 

  • Who Does What, When, And Why?
  • Who Gets Access To What?
  • What’s The Penalty?
  • What Are The Compliance Requirements?

Who Does What, When, And Why?

Cyber security policies provide a roadmap to employees of what to do and when to do it. For example, most password management policies today prompt you to change your password every 90 days. Without a password expiration policy, it’s likely that most employees would continue to use the same password, posing a serious risk that could compromise the security of your network.

Who Gets Access To What?

Cyber security policies ensure data and information is only accessed by those who have permission. In effect, controls are implemented to limit who has access to what information, why, and reasons for accessing it. For example, Human Resources shouldn’t be widely available on a company’s shared network drive.

What’s The Penalty?

Cyber security policies outline the consequences for failing to abide by the organization’s rules. We all have choices to make as to whether we are going to comply with the policy that has been outlined, that’s just human nature. But, people like to know, and need to know, what the consequence is for failing to follow a policy. Policies and procedures provide what the expectation is, how to achieve that expectation, and what the consequence is for failure to adhere to that expectation. This eliminates any and all surprises as this will be clearly outlined, thus protecting the organization.

Compliance Requirements

Cyber security policies are necessary and often required for organizations to have in place to comply with various Federal, State, and Industry regulations. This includes NIST compliance, PCI, HIPAA compliance, FISMA, etc. The development, implementation, and review of these policies and procedures can be another challenge completely.

1. Acceptable Encryption Policy

The purpose of the acceptable encryption policy is to provide guidance that limits the use of encryption to those algorithms that have received substantial public review and have been proven to work effectively. Additionally, this policy provides direction to ensure that Federal regulations are followed, and legal authority is granted for the dissemination and use of encryption technologies outside of the United States.

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2. Acceptable Use Policy

The purpose of the acceptable use policy is to outline the acceptable use of computer equipment at a company. These rules are in place to protect the employee and the business. Inappropriate use exposes the business to risks including virus attacks, compromise of network systems and services, and legal issues.

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3. Clean Desk Policy

The purpose of the clean desk policy is to establish the minimum requirements for maintaining a “clean desk” – where sensitive/critical information about our employees, our intellectual property, our customers and our vendors is secure in locked areas and out of site.  A Clean Desk policy is not only ISO 27001/17799 compliant, but it is also part of standard basic privacy controls.

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4. Data Breach Response Policy

The purpose of a data breach response policy is to establish the goals and the vision for the breach response process. This policy will clearly define to whom it applies and under what circumstances, and it will include the definition of a breach, staff roles and responsibilities, standards and metrics (e.g., to enable prioritization of the incidents), as well as reporting, remediation, and feedback mechanisms. The policy shall be well publicized and made easily available to all personnel whose duties involve data privacy and security protection.

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5. Disaster Recovery Plan Policy

The purpose of a disaster recovery plan policy is to define the requirements for a baseline disaster recovery plan to be developed and implemented by a company that will describe the process to recover IT Systems, Applications and Data from any type of disaster that causes a major outage.

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6. Digital Signature Acceptance Policy

The purpose of the digital signature acceptance policy is to provide guidance on when digital signatures are considered accepted means of validating the identity of a signer in a company’s electronic documents and correspondence, and thus a substitute for traditional “wet” signatures, within the organization.  Because communication has become primarily electronic, the goal is to reduce confusion about when a digital signature is trusted.

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7. Email Policy

The purpose of this email policy is to ensure the proper use of the company’s email system and make users aware of what the company deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system. This policy outlines the minimum requirements for use of email within the company’s network.

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8. Ethics Policy

The purpose of the Ethics Policy is to establish a culture of openness, trust and to emphasize the employee’s and consumer’s expectation to be treated to fair business practices.  This policy will serve to guide business behavior to ensure ethical conduct. Effective ethics is a team effort involving the participation and support of every employee.  All employees should familiarize themselves with the ethics guidelines that follow this introduction.

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9. Pandemic Response Planning Policy

This document directs planning, preparation and exercises for pandemic disease outbreak over and above the normal business continuity and disaster recovery planning process. The objective is to address the reality that pandemic events can create personnel and technology issues outside the scope of the traditional DR/BCP planning process as potentially 25% or more of the workforce may be unable to come to work for health or personal reasons.

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10. Password Construction Guidelines

The purpose of this guidelines is to provide best practices for the created of strong passwords.

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11. Password Recovery Policy

The purpose of the Password Recovery Policy is to establish a standard for creation of strong passwords and the protection of those passwords.

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12. Security Response Plan Policy

The purpose of the Security Response Plan Policy is to establish the requirement that all business units supported by the Infosec team develop and maintain a security response plan. This ensures that security incident management team has all the necessary information to formulate a successful response should a specific security incident occur.

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13. End User Encryption Key Protection Policy

The purpose of the End User Encryption Key Protection Policy outlines the requirements for protecting encryption keys that are under the control of end users. These requirements are designed to prevent unauthorized disclosure and subsequent fraudulent use. The protection methods outlined will include operational and technical controls, such as key backup procedures, encryption under a separate key and use of tamper-resistant hardware.

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14. Acquisition Assessment Policy

The purpose of an Acquisition Assessment Policy is to establish Infosec responsibilities regarding corporate acquisitions, and define the minimum security requirements of an Infosec acquisition assessment.

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15. Bluetooth Baseline Requirements Policy

The purpose of this policy is to provide a minimum baseline standard for connecting Bluetooth enabled devices to the company’s network or a company owned device.   The intent of the minimum standard is to ensure sufficient protection Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and confidential company data.

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16. Remote Access Policy

The purpose of the Remote Access Policy is to define rules and requirements for connecting to the company’s network from any host. These rules and requirements are designed to minimize the potential exposure to the company from damages which may result from unauthorized use of company resources. Damages include the loss of sensitive or company confidential data, intellectual property, damage to public image, damage to critical company internal systems, and fines or other financial liabilities incurred as a result of those losses.

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17. Remote Access Tools Policy

The Remote Access Tools Policy defines the requirements for remote access tools used at the company.

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18. Router and Switch Security Policy

The purpose of the Router and Switch Security Policy is to describe a required minimal security configuration for all routers and switches connecting to a production network or used in a production capacity at or on behalf of the company.

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19. Wireless Communication Policy

The purpose of the Wireless Communication Policy is to secure and protect the information assets owned by the company. The company provides computer devices, networks, and other electronic information systems to meet missions, goals, and initiatives. The company grants access to these resources as a privilege and must manage them responsibly to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all information assets.

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20. Wireless Communication Standard

The Wireless Communication Standard Policy specifies the technical requirements that wireless infrastructure devices must satisfy to connect to a company network. Only those wireless infrastructure devices that meet the requirements specified in this standard or are granted an exception by the InfoSec Team are approved for connectivity to a company’s network.

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21. Database Credentials Policy

The Database Credentials Policy states the requirements for securely storing and retrieving database usernames and passwords (i.e., database credentials) for use by a program that will access a database running on one of the company’s networks.

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22. Technology Equipment Disposal Policy

The purpose of the Technology Equipment Disposal Policy is to define the guidelines for the disposal of technology equipment and components owned by the company.

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23. Information Logging Standard

The purpose of the Information Logging Standard Policy is to address this issue by identifying specific requirements that information systems must meet in order to generate appropriate audit logs and integrate with an enterprise’s log management function.

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24. Lab Security Policy

The purpose of the Lab Security Policy is that it establishes the information security requirements to help manage and safeguard lab resources and company networks by minimizing the exposure of critical infrastructure and information assets to threats that may result from unprotected hosts and unauthorized access.

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25. Server Security Policy

The purpose of the Sever Security Policy is to establish standards for the base configuration of internal server equipment that is owned and/or operated by the company. Effective implementation of this policy will minimize unauthorized access to the company’s proprietary information and technology.

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26. Software Installation Policy

The purpose of the Software Installation Policy is to outline the requirements around the installation of software on company computing devices.  To minimize the risk of loss of program functionality, the exposure of sensitive information contained within the Company’s computing network, the risk of introducing malware, and the legal exposure of running unlicensed software.

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27. Workstation Security (For HIPAA) Policy

The purpose of the Workstation Security (For HIPAA) Policy is to provide guidance for workstation security for company workstations in order to ensure the security of information on the workstation and information the workstation may have access to.  Additionally, the policy provides guidance to ensure the requirements of the HIPAA Security Rule “Workstation Security” Standard 164.310(c) are met.

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Application Security Policy Templates

28. Web Application Security Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define web application security assessments within the company. Web application assessments are performed to identify potential or realized weaknesses as a result of inadvertent mis-configuration, weak authentication, insufficient error handling, sensitive information leakage, etc.  Discovery and subsequent mitigation of these issues will limit the attack surface of the company services available both internally and externally as well as satisfy compliance with any relevant policies in place.

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29. Analog/ISDN Line Security Policy

This document explains company analog and ISDN line acceptable use and approval policies and procedures. This policy covers two distinct uses of analog/ISDN lines: lines that are to be connected for the sole purpose of fax sending and receiving, and lines that are to be connected to computers.

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30. Anti-Virus Guidelines

The Anti-Virus Policy defines guidelines for effectively reducing the threat of computer viruses on the organization’s network.

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31. Server Audit Policy

The purpose of the Server Audit Policy is to ensure all servers deployed at the company are configured according to the company security policies. Servers deployed at the company shall be audited at least annually and as prescribed by applicable regulatory compliance. Audits may be conducted to ensure integrity, confidentiality and availability of information and resources ensure conformance to the company security policies.

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32. Automatically Forwarded Email Policy

The Automatically Forwarded Email Policy covers automatic email forwarding, and thereby the potentially inadvertent transmission of sensitive information by all employees, vendors, and agents operating on behalf of the company.

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33. Communications Equipment Policy

The Communications Equipment Policy document describes requirements for communication equipment security configurations of the company.

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34. Dial In Access Policy

The purpose of the Dial-In Access Policy is to protect the company’s electronic information from being inadvertently compromised by authorized personnel using a dial-in connection.

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35. Extranet Policy

Connections between third parties that require access to non-public company resources fall under this policy, regardless of whether a telco circuit (such as frame relay or ISDN) or VPN technology is used for the connection. Connectivity to third parties such as the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that provide Internet access for the company or to the Public Switched Telephone Network do NOT fall under this policy.

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36. Internet DMZ Equipment Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define standards to be met by all equipment owned and/or operated by the company located outside the company’s corporate Internet firewalls. These standards are designed to minimize the potential exposure to the company from the loss of sensitive or company confidential data, intellectual property, damage to public image etc., which may follow from unauthorized use of the company’s resources.

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37. Internet Usage Policy

The purpose of the Internet Usage policy is to define the appropriate uses of the Internet by the company’s employees and affiliates.

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38. Mobile Device Encryption Policy

The purpose of the Mobile Device Encryption Policy is to describe Information Security’s requirements for encrypting data at rest on the company’s mobile devices.

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39. Personal Communication Devices and Voicemail Policy

The Personal Communication Devices and Voicemail Policy document describes Information Security’s requirements for Personal Communication Devices and Voicemail for the company.

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40. Removable Media Policy

The purpose of the Removeable Media Policy is to minimize the risk of loss or exposure of sensitive information maintained by the company and to reduce the risk of acquiring malware infections on computers operated by the company.

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41. Risk Assessment Policy

The Risk Assessment Policy defines the requirement that the Infosec Team has the authority to perform periodic information security risk assessments (RAs) for the purpose of determining areas of vulnerability and to initiate appropriate remediation.

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42. Server Malware Protection Policy

The purpose of the Server Malware Protection Policy is to outline which server systems are required to have anti-virus and/or anti-spyware applications.

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43. Social Engineering Awareness Policy

Defines guidelines to provide awareness around the threat of social engineering and defines procedures when dealing with social engineering threats. Relevant content was added to the Acceptable Use Policy.

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44. DMZ Lab Security Policy

The purpose of the DMZ Lab Security Policy establishes information security requirements for all networks and equipment deployed in company labs located on the “De-Militarized Zone” (DMZ). Adherence to these requirements will minimize the potential risk to the company from the damage to public image caused by unauthorized use of the company’s resources, and the loss of sensitive/company confidential data and intellectual property

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45. Email Retention Policy

The Email Retention Policy is intended to help employees determine what information sent or received by email should be retained and for how long. The information covered in these guidelines includes, but is not limited to, information that is either stored or shared via electronic mail or instant messaging technologies.

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46. Employee Internet Use Monitoring and Filtering Policy

The purpose of this policy is to define standards for systems that monitor and limit web use from any host within the company’s network. These standards are designed to ensure employees use the Internet in a safe and responsible manner, and ensure that employee web use can be monitored or researched during an incident.

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47. Lab Anti Virus Policy

The purpose of the Lab Anti-Virus Policy is to establish requirements which must be met by all computers connected to company lab networks to ensure effective virus detection and prevention.

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48. Mobile Employee Endpoint Responsibility Policy

The purpose of the Mobile Employee Endpoint Responsibility Policy describes Information Security’s requirements for employees of the company that work outside of an office setting.

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49. Remote Access Mobile Computing Storage

The purpose of the Remote Access Mobile Computing Storage Policy is to establish an authorized method for controlling mobile computing and storage devices that contain or access information resources at the company.

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50. Virtual Private Network Policy

The purpose of the Virtual Private Network Policy is to provide guidelines for Remote Access IPSec or L2TP Virtual Private Network (VPN) connections to the company’s corporate network.

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