How to Protect Secure Areas

ISO 27001: How to Protect Secure Areas

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (ISO 27001) is a corporate security benchmark established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2013. This standard outlines optimal practices for an information security management system (ISMS), which includes the identification and safeguarding of “secure areas”. What constitutes a secure area? And what physical security measures can be implemented to protect them?

Attaining ISO 27001 certification demonstrates an organization’s commitment to maintaining a coherent, consistent, and cost-effective ISMS. This comprehensive corporate information security solution encompasses people, processes, and technology, acknowledging that technology alone is insufficient to fully secure data.

Information and IT assets are not abstract entities existing in cyberspace. Like any other asset, they are housed within physical structures with walls, roofs, doors, and windows. Any vulnerabilities in these structures potentially jeopardize the security of data assets.

Annex A of ISO 27001 provides a list of crucial security controls that can enhance the protection of information assets. Section A.11, titled “Physical and Environmental Security,” governs the definition of secure areas, entry controls, protection against threats, equipment security, secure disposal, clear desk and clear screen policies, among other aspects.

Given that physical security plays a critical role in cybersecurity, the definition of a “secure area” is of paramount importance. Secure areas are locations where sensitive information is processed or stored. Consequently, any place housing IT equipment or personnel qualifies as a secure area.

Buildings, rooms, and offices can all be classified as secure areas. The objective of physical security processes is to ensure that information is safeguarded against physical threats. This protection extends to both tangible and digital assets.

To achieve ISO 27001 compliance, organizations must implement:

  • A physical security perimeter – This might incorporate components, for example, walls, card-controlled section entryways, or monitored gathering security work areas.
  • Physical entry controls – Adequate and appropriate entry control measures must be in place to ensure that only authorized personnel are granted access.
  • Secure offices, rooms, and facilities – Actual corporate security arrangements should be planned and applied to these spaces.
  • Protection against external and environmental threats – Actual shields should be set up to safeguard against dangers like fire, flood, seismic tremor, blast, common turmoil, and different types of regular or man-made debacles.
  • Secure area protection – Physical corporate security solutions must be specifically designed and applied to secure areas.
  • Actual security for community, conveyance, and stacking regions – Passages where unapproved people might enter ought to be controlled and, if conceivable, secluded from data handling offices to forestall unapproved access.

To ensure compliance, consider the following ISO 27001 physical security recommendations:

  • The walls, ceilings, and floors of any secure area should be of equivalent strength. Non-compliance will result if someone can access a secure area through, for example, a false ceiling.
  • The most sensitive assets should be housed in the most secure areas. Utilizing the “onion technique,” each perimeter “layer” should contain progressively more sensitive assets.
  • Prohibit the use of mobile phones and cameras within secure areas.
  • Disallow lone working in secure areas.
  • Avoid storing other assets (such as paper, non-IT equipment, or any other items) in secure areas.
  • Ensure that delivery and loading areas do not provide direct access to secure areas.
  • Install a reception desk where all visitors are required to report upon arrival.
  • Instruct security guards to challenge unfamiliar individuals.
  • Monitor the spaces surrounding the perimeter using CCTV or security patrols.

The significance of securing your physical environment cannot be overstated. Regardless of whether you are pursuing ISO 27001 accreditation, your organization should consistently adhere to physical security best practices.

Data breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent. When they occur, they cause substantial problems and incur significant costs to rectify. It is crucial to ensure that your physical security processes are up to standard today.

ZAM FM Ltd has been offering corporate security solutions to businesses since 2019. Our services include providing reception and concierge security guards, CCTV installation and monitoring, access control, risk assessment, security planning, and more. Contact us to learn how our corporate security officers can assist you.

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