ITIL implementation and Security Services

If anything shouldn’t be taken for granted… it’s Information Security Management

It was one of our usual off-the-record discussions when we spoke with a customer network admin and asked about the regular password change set up on the system.  And, the answer included words like “my opinion,” “my experience,” … but, not a single word about policy. “Which policy?” we were asked.  Oh, something is, obviously, wrong.

So, we started from the beginning. Information Security Management is one of the cornerstones of IT Service Management and a critical part of the warranty of a service. The goal of the Information Security Management process is to provide guidance or direction for security activities and to ensure that security goals are achieved. What does that mean? 

  • Guidance for security activities – This means that other processes and functions get clear instructions and guidelines on how to approach security issues. Take, for example, the daily activities of the IT Operations or Access Management functions regarding the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) concept. BYOD is in place, but there is a security policy that defines who can use it, which network resources can be accessed by which users, which authentication method is in place.
  • Security goals – If your firm has ISO 20000 in place, then you will regularly have to check if security measures are in place. If not, it’s not a bad idea that you establish an internal audit to check if all included parties (e.g., IT Operations, development, users, management… etc.) comply with the security regulation in place. An ideal case would be to have an (unbiased) external auditor.

Process and Concept

The Information Security Management process is the central point for all security issues inside the organization. Its task is to produce the information security policy. Such policy should cover all issues regarding use of IT services and respective systems. Since today’s IT environment covers many services and technological solutions, it’s unrealistic to expect that one document, i.e., policy, will cover all necessary issues. Therefore, the information security policy could be a root document comprising specific documents that regulate particular areas. For example, each of following areas can have a stand-alone policy: password, access to the IT systems, BYOD, backup, clean desk, or supplier

If you don’t have any information security process in place, ITIL or ISO 20000 gives good guidance. But, the most popular and most widely used standard for information security is ISO 27001, and it can be used to cover information security for all your IT Service Management (ITSM) issues. Even if you have an Information Security process in place.

ITIL describe objectives of Information Security Management as follows:

  • Confidentiality – security objectives are met if information is observed by or disclosed to only those who have a right to know.
  • Integrity – security objectives are met when information is complete, accurate and protected against unauthorized modification.
  • Availability – there are two levels for security objectives to be met: information is available and usable when needed, and systems that provide that information can resist attacks and recover from failures.

Intellisoft - IT service lifecycle and information security

Information security is not a stand-alone process. To the contrary, it interfaces with many other ITSM processes (which is logical, since information security is one of the four parameters that describe service warranty). At Intellisoft, we provide the following information security services:

Process / Function Relation
Incident / Problem Management Intellisoft can help to set up handling of Security incidents and resolution by the incident management or problem management process. 
Service Desk, IT Operations Intellisoft can help to set up these two operations that are in regular contact with information security issues. Once we establish Service Desk, it will get in touch with security incidents and IT Operations that will fulfill security requirements (e.g., apply password to new user by following rules defined in password policy).
Access Management Intellisoft can help to set this process that apply the security policy which defines rules to access the information.
IT Service Continuity Management Intellisoft can help to set up applying IT Service Continuity, information security is one of the most critical parameters needed to be considered, since it manages all security issues regarding information, IT systems, third parties, customers and own people.
Change Management Many changes are taking place due to information security breaches (e.g., introducing identity management on existing network topology due to lack of user control), Intellisoft can help to set up Change management which take place from an information security point of view.
Supplier Management Very often, third parties are part of the ITSM team. Intellisoft can evaluate their involvement from an information security point of view, and suggest a regulation to be imposed (since suppliers access companies’ IT systems and information).
Availability Management Availability is one of the objectives of information security management and it impacts directly, together with integrity of the information, availability of the service. Intellisoft can asses the data availability and of lack integrity