Exceptions should only be for standards when there is a legitimate business reason or technical limitation that precludes a standard from being followed (e.g., vulnerability scanning exception for a "fragile" application that breaks when scanned by the default scanning profile). This framework addresses the interconnectivity of policies, control objectives, standards, guidelines, controls, risks, procedures & metrics. Let’s explore these terms individually and develop a better understanding: ★ Guideline. 2. Driven by business objectives and convey the amount of risk senior management is willing to acc… There are difference between the two. Policies: At Lexipol, we define policies as “Guiding principles intended to influence decisions and actions.” Policies have the following characteristics: 1. © Compliance Forge, LLC (ComplianceForge). Currently there are too many manuals and loose memos—an information flood. A policy is a high-level statement of management intent that formally establishes requirements to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. Please contact us for clarification so that we can help you find the right solution for your cybersecurity and privacy compliance needs. Procedures are "living documents" that require frequent updates based on changes to technologies and staffing. Procedures are a formal method of doing something based on a series of actions conducted in a certain order or manner. Guidelines help augment Standards when discretion is permissible. Businesses normally set rules on how the the work gets done, and will use standard operating procedures, called SOPs, as well as a set of policies and procedures to accomplish work predictably and efficiently. Policy: Policy provides the operational framework within which the institution functions. Guidelines are generally recommended practices that are based on industry-recognized practices or cultural norms within an organization. ComplianceForge has simplified the concept of the hierarchical nature of cybersecurity and privacy documentation in the following downloadable diagram to demonstrate the unique nature of these components, as well as the dependencies that exist: One of the most important things to keep in mind with procedures is that the "ownership" is different than that of policies and standards: Given this approach to how documentation is structured, based on "ownership" of the documentation components: Governance is built on words. The process should be clear and cover almost any variation of a problem. As nouns the difference between procedure and program Policies vs. Plans vs. Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), Hierarchical Cybersecurity Governance Framework™, Policies, standards and controls are designed to be centrally-managed at the corporate level (e.g., governance, risk & compliance team, CISO, etc. While guidelines are made to sort out things and put things in order, policy on the other hand is a MUST follow procedures since it involves decision, reasoning, and values. A policy should not contain processes or procedures, but refers to them. It can be a course of action to guide and influence decisions. Procedures vs. Standards By Rich. But attempting to keep procedure separate from policy has important benefits for public safety agencies. Policies are the big, overarching tenets of your organization. 1. Cybersecurity, IT professionals and legal professionals routinely abuse the terms “policy” and “standard” as if these words were synonymous. An organization should be managed properly. Standards are formally-established requirements in regard to processes, actions, and configurations. Secure Controls Framework (SCF) Compliance Bundles, Cybersecurity Policies, Standards & Procedures, Privacy & Data Protection (GDPR, CCPA & more), SOC 2 Compliance (Trust Services Criteria), Secure Engineering (Privacy & Security By Design), Audit-Ready Cybersecurity & Privacy Practices, Hierarchical Cybersecurity Governance Framework, Integrated Cybersecurity Governance Model, Operationalizing Cybersecurity Planning Model, NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) Compliance, CIS Critical Security Controls (CSC) Compliance, International Data Security Laws & Regulations, EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), US Federal Data Security Laws & Regulations, FACTA - Fair & Accurate Credit Transactions Act, US State Data Security Laws & Regulations, Oregon Consumer Identity Theft Protection Act, Documented Procedures & Control Activities, CMMC Kill Chain - Creating A Project Plan, Policies vs Standards vs Controls vs Procedures, Statutory vs Regulatory vs Contractual Compliance. Each has … ... Policy vs Standard vs Control vs Procedure. Understanding the hierarchy of cybersecurity documentation can lead to well-informed risk decisions, which influence technology purchases, staffing resources, and management involvement. A process is a repeatable series of steps to achieve an objective, while procedures … Questions? Example: It is a policy to wear a tie when facing a customer. Procedure vs. They set direction, guide and influence decision-making. Policies and procedures must be reviewed at least once every five years. ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’, and ‘Procedures’ should be considered distinct types of documentation. Guidelines, policies, procedures, and standards all play distinct roles. ... policies, rules, and a. There are many similarities between these two … Manage, collaborate, approve and distribute your Policies and SOPs. The fact that SOP or Standard Operation Procedure has the term “Procedure” included in the name, it is safe to assume that there are some similarities.  At face value, a Procedure and SOP could look identical.  If you look at how to structure a Procedure or SOP, both have many similarities including scope, revision control, stakeholders, steps and responsibilities.  They are actually so similar, that you can technically convert any SOP to just a Procedure, but the reverse may not be true.  So what makes an SOP so special? It is important that if a standard is granted an exception, there should be a compensating control placed to reduce that increased risk from the lack of the required standard (e.g., segment off the application that cannot be scanned for vulnerabilities). A policy is intended to come from the CEO or board of directors that has strategic implications. Staff can operate with more autonomy 2. You need to PROVE that the Supervisor saw the timesheet and signed off.  This could be done through manually signature, or ideally through electronic approval in a timesheet system. It reduces the decision bottleneck of senior management 3. An organization must follow a certain system so that it can be clear to everybody what goals it wants to reach as an organization. However, in many organizations, the inverse occurs where the task of publishing the entire range of cybersecurity documentation is delegated down to individuals who might be competent technicians but do not have insights into the strategic direction of the organization. Excessive prose that explains concepts. They are made for directing the lower level workers of the organisation. Staff are happier as it is clear what they need to do The second are mini-mission statementsfrequently associated with procedures. A program is comprised of multiple projects that aim at outcomes and benefits (not outputs). They profile the broad characteristics … That right there, is a policy. That is why it serves both cybersecurity and IT professionals well to understand the cybersecurity governance landscape for their benefit, as it is relatively easy to present issues of non-compliance in a compelling business context to get the resources you need to do your job. Despite being separate, they are dependent upon each other and work together in harmony to form the cohesive basis for efficient and effective operations within an organization 1. 1. Overview Below that are specific implementation documentations – processes, guidelines, and procedures. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Policies guide the day-to-day actions and strategies, but allow for flexibility – the big keyword for policies is “guiding”. is that program is to enter a program or other instructions into (a computer or other electronic device) to instruct it to do a particular task while policy is … Find out the importance of these documents for your business. Policy and procedure Policy vs Standard vs Control vs Procedure. It should be used as a guide to decision making under a given set of circumstances within the framework of objectives, goals and management philosophies as determined by senior management. Procedures are probably the best understood concept when looking at Polices, Procedures and SOPs.  Life is full of procedures that need to be followed.  Most people think of steps in a specific order when they think about a procedure and this is correct!  A procedure is a series of steps that need to be completed in order to accomplish an activity.  A well structured procedure typically starts each step with an action.  Why?  Because something needs to get accomplished.  Depending on the audience and purpose, procedures can range from verbal instructions to informal work instructions to visual workflows to formal documents. Company policies tend to have topics such as social media u… The first are rules frequently used as employee policies. Can simply print or email your supervisor your timesheet each week.  Maybe you hear back, maybe you don’t. plan is future course of action. This may be centrally-managed by a GRC/IRM platform or published as a PDF on a file share, since they are relatively static with infrequent changes. However, a standard is a formally-established requirement in regard to a process, action or configuration that is meant to be an objective, quantifiable expectation to be met (e.g., 8 character password, change passwords every 90 days, etc.). Because of this, people often misuse the word policy for a guideline and vice versa. So, putting it more bluntly…A process is a series of related tasks or methods that together turn inputs into outputs.A procedure is a prescribed way of undertaking a process or part of a process.At a glance, the two might seem confusing, as they both refer to the same activities being carried out. policies reduce uncertainty in strategy formulation and further downstream along the value chain. ), Controls are assigned to stakeholders, based on applicable statutory, regulatory and contractual obligations. 2. Controls are the technical, administrative or physical safeguards that exist to prevent, detect or lessen the ability of a threat to exploit a vulnerability. A picture is sometimes worth 1,000 words – this concept can be seen here in a swim lane diagram. Another significant distinction with an SOP over a procedure are audits.  When you implement an SOP, it should be with the full understanding that someone at some time will be performing tests against your SOP to ensure it is being followed.  This should certainly be taken into account when creating your SOP.  Extra attention needs to be put into providing evidence of actions, measurement of results and clarity of responsibility. Policy is defined by a set of rules A program is a set of step to do something (for example, to execute the policy). External influencers, such as statutory, regulatory, or contractual obligations, are commonly the root cause for a policy’s existence. This is where the concept of hierarchical documentation is vitally important since there are strategic, operational, and tactical documentation components that have to be addressed to support governance functions. Policies: Plan is a roadmap to achieve the goal: Policies are the guidelines/set of principles which guide the concerned authority in its course of action: Planning is about making plans on how to achieve the objective: Policy is the guideline to achieve the objective All of these terms are part of robust business processes. An indicator of a well-run governance program is the implementation of hierarchical documentation since it involves bringing together the right individuals to provide appropriate direction based on the scope of their job function. Are often scrutinized in litigation targeting agency liability; they should be as simple and direct as possible 4. Since policy is to be followed strictly, there are punishments to those who try to violate any of the policies imposed.  There are several key distinctions between a Procedure and an SOP, including: Trucks need to go into a Weigh station.  A fuel tanker for example, needs to follow the same rules of the road, can follow the exact same route as our commuter, but may need to stop at a Weigh station along the way.  They may even need to produce documentation about the load they are carrying.  Same policies, same procedure, but more checks and more documentation. 2 Educator answers. All Rights Reserved. ... An indicator of a well-run governance program is the implementation of hierarchical documentation since it involves bringing together the right individuals to provide appropriate direction based on the scope of their job function. Essentially, a policy is a statement of expectation, that is enforced by standards and further implemented by procedures. The Secure Controls Framework (SCF) fits into this model by providing the necessary cybersecurity and privacy controls an organization needs to implement to stay both secure and compliant. Compliance Forge, LLC (ComplianceForge) disclaims any liability whatsoever for any documentation, information, or other material which is or may become a part of the website. Are more general vs. specific rules. The information below is meant to help get everyone on the same sheet of music, since words do have meanings and it is important to understand cybersecurity and privacy requirements. According to question i will define each term separately- 1. A policy is a guideline while a procedure is the method of action. c) Update User is hereby put on notice that by accessing and using the website, user assumes the risk that the information and documentation contained in the web site may be offensive and/or may not meet the needs and requirements of the user. The procedures then support the policies that you have in place. Most would agree that such a scenario is absurd since the board of directors should be focused on the strategic direction of the company and not day-to-day procedures. In this article we will define each of the items and show you how to create all three so your business operates smoothly and you can grow by passing tasks on to others.Additionally, we will cover the differences between all three so you can see specific situations when each is applied. While policies are broad guidelines that reflect the aims and objectives of the organization, rules are meant more for day to day operations to proceed smoothly without any glitches. Policy is defined by a set of rules. In short, it is an interpretative plan, that guides the enterprise in realizing its goal. Human nature is always the mortal enemy of unclear documentation, as people will not take the time to read it. Policy vs. Procedure. Control Objectives are targets or desired conditions to be met that are designed to ensure that policy intent is met. Many individuals when asked about guidelines and policies don’t know how to distinguish one from the other. Hope that helps! Knowing the relationship between policies and procedures ensures that a proper review will occur when there is a change. The entire risk as to the use of this website is assumed by the user.ComplianceForge reserves the right to refuse service, in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory parameters. When effectively deployed, policies help focus attention and resources on high priority issues, aligning and merging efforts to achieve the institutional vision. Your policies should be like a building foundation; built to last and resistant to change or erosion. If you have compliance questions, you should consult a cybersecurity or privacy professional to discuss your specific needs. The same can be said for Procedures and SOPs.  Many procedures are part of a much larger process and are broken into manageable pieces.  Changes in one procedure can have a direct impact on another, especially if the output is changed from one process that is needed in another. Difference between rules and policies must be a point to focus on for every employee. Policies are generally adopted by a governance body within an organization. But is it? Programs c. Procedures d. Standards. Policies: Plan is a roadmap to achieve the goal: Policies are the guidelines/set of principles which guide the concerned authority in its course of action: Planning is about making plans on how to achieve the objective: Policy is the guideline to achieve the objective They establish a framework of management philosophies, aims and objectives. All too often, documentation is not scoped properly, and this leads to the governance function being more of an obstacle as compared to an asset. Definitions. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. They convey what is and isn’t an acceptable level of quality. Policy can be driven by business philosophy, competition, marketplace pressure, law or regulation and in many cases all of these. A p… There are number of reasons an organization may find itself under a form of Regulatory Compliance.  Ranging from the type of organization (not-for-profit, Public companies, Healthcare) to industry specific standardizations (ISO).  One common element is that each of these Regulatory or Standardizations can require not only specific content of your SOPs, but may even require entirely new SOPs.    This is typically where SOPs get a bad name with people.  Although you should still structure your SOPs with the proper balance between efficiency and control, there will certainly be additional steps and output needed that goes beyond a basic Procedure getting you from A to B.  Since the additional content is driven by released Regulation or Standardizations, it is also important to track the specific Regulations that apply to your individual SOPs.  This allows you to quickly find and review all related SOPs if the Regulation changes in the future. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. In the context of good cybersecurity & privacy documentation, policies and standards are key components that are intended to be hierarchical and build on each other to build a strong governance structure that utilizes an integrated approach to managing requirements. A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. The same can be said for Procedures … Business. Procedures: Procedures are the operational processes required to implement institutional policy. In reality, these terms have quite different implications, and those differences should be kept in mind since the use of improper terminology has cascading effects that can negatively impact the internal controls of an organization. A policy is a guiding principle used to set direction in an organization. If the goal is to be “audit ready” with documentation, having excessively-wordy documentation is misguided. The terms “standards” and “procedures” often get tangled up in the discussion of guidelines vs policies. The difference between policies and procedures in management are explained clearly in the following points: Policies are those terms and conditions which direct the company in making a decision. They can be organization-wide, issue-specific or system specific. Overview. Policies are not that technical, they are more like rules, while procedures are more detailed step by step system. To help visualize that concept, imagine the board of directors of your organization publishing procedural process guidance for how a security analyst performs daily log review activities. Policies, standards and controls are expected to be published for anyone within the organization to have access to, since it applies organization-wide. Others merely don’t give a fuzz about it and often neglect the importance of knowing the difference between the two. Procedures should be designed as a series of steps to accomplish an end result. Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll frame the Work Instruction vs. SOP conversation in the context of a manufacturing company, and we’ll give this hypothetical manufacturer the random name - Seat of Your Pants Inc. or SOYP Inc. for short. Although separate, it is actually the relationship between your Policies, Procedures and SOPs that determines the effectiveness of your organization.  It is not just about understanding the individual pieces, but how they fit together.  Even in small organizations, the combination of these three areas can get confusing quickly.  It is important that all of your Policies, Procedures and SOPs are organized and managed effectively to properly track what is current, who it applies to and how they relate to each other. Reflect the “rules” governing the organization and employee conduct 2. Policies in an organization represent the global rules and definitions.  They are not designed to tell you the steps on “how” to do something, but the rules that need to be followed.  Think of driving a car.  When you drive from your home to work, you need drive on roads, obey speed limits and follow traffic signals.  It doesn’t matter what route you take or what mode of motorized transportation, these rules or Policies still apply. But one distinction we try to maintain is policy vs. procedure. In government offices, procedures are known as “Red Tapism” where you have to follow sequential steps in the performance of activity, like for making a driving license or a passport or PAN card, etc. is that procedure is (computing) a subroutine or function coded to perform a specific task while program is (computing): a software application, or a collection of software applications, designed to perform a specific task. If you are driving in America, you’re required to stick to a posted speed limit, and you must drive on the right side of the road. As you can see, there is a difference between policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines. A procedure is a set of steps explaining how to do an activity, for example a procedure to purchase office equipment for a new employee. Procedures are the sequential steps which direct the people for any activity. As a body, they represent a consistent, lo… Difference Between Policies & Procedures Vs. SOPs. A program is a set of step to do something (for example, to execute the policy). Policies are implemented by establishing clear, compliant expectations (guidelines and procedures), assuring that all involved staff members are familiar with these expectations and monitoring performance to assure that these expectations are followed. Procedures are made for the successful completion of a program. Many people often confuse these three terms: business Process, Procedure, and Work Instruction.In fact, … I was catching up with Rob Newby’s blog and this post on dealing with security policies vs. standards/processes caught my eye. Users don’t know what is important. All too often, documentation is not scoped properly, and this leads to the governance function being more of an obstacle as compared to an asset. An ignorant or ill-informed workforce entirely defeats the premise of having the documentation in the first place. A procedure is a subroutine that can be called from another part of the program. Projects b. released the NIST SP 800-53 R5 Where applicable, Control Objectives should be directly linked to an industry-recognized practice (e.g., statutory, regulatory or contractual requirements). The evidence that is generated under an SOP is critical as it is what is used for testing and audits. The result: no matter what area or process, employees can get the big picture, drill down to the details.   The Policies of the road don’t tell you what time to leave, what vehicle to use or even what route to take. We say this because for smooth and effective operations in any organization, rules and policies hold great significance. Procedures are the responsibility of the asset custodian to build and maintain in support of standards and policies. The program may include:   The Policies simply govern all of the rules you need to follow along the way. Procedure tells us step by step what to do while standard is the lowest level control that can not be changed. Most organizations have some form of documentation that is referred to as policies, procedures, SOPs or all three.  As each of these documents have significant impact on any organization, understanding how they are related to each other is critical for optimal operations within your organization.  Not only does each type of document have a different purpose,  but knowing the differences between policies vs procedures vs sops can have a significant impact on compliance in regulated environments. Provide flexibility for unforeseen circumstances. Process, Procedure, Policy – What is the difference? Guideline vs Policy. Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB) | DUNS: 080724402 | CAGE Code: 7XAZ4 | NAICS Codes: 541690, 541519, & 541611. Explain the rule rather than how to implement the rule 3. Read exclusive information about cybersecurity from Compliance Forge. version of the Cybersecur... NIST released the final version of NIST SP 800-53B that identifies what NIST SP 800-53 R5 controls f... Story Time - Using Documentation To Tell Your CMMC Compliance StoryIf you are looking at a future CM... Our customer service is here to help you get answers quickly! Final Thoughts. Strategy is a plan of action while the policy is a principle of action. When undertaking any project that involves creating or modify Policies, Procedures and SOPs, understanding when to use which document and the difference between them can help increase efficiency, compliance and effectiveness. Policies for example, can govern many different procedures or SOPs.  A change in a policy could have an impact across many different processes.  Knowing the relationship between policies and procedures ensures that a proper review will occur when there is a change. Should NOT be confused with formal policy statements. On the other hand, policy refers to a set of rules made by the organisation for rational decision making. You need to enter a weekly timesheet that needs to be reviewed by your supervisor. A procedure is a particular way of accomplishing something. Policies can be courses of action to guide and influence decisions. Policy is a high level statement uniform across organization. Several reasons why this form of documentation is considered poorly-architected documentation include: 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. Beyond just using terminology properly, understanding the meaning of these concepts is crucial in being able to properly implement cybersecurity and privacy governance within an organization. Procedures are by their very nature de-centralized, where control implementation at the control level is defined to explain how the control is addressed. ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’, and ‘Procedures’ should be considered distinct types of documentation. A procedure is necessary when there can be no exception from the expectation. Policies vs Standards vs Controls vs Procedures. Exceptions are always to Standards and never to Policies. Similar to 'laws', it states what is allowed and what not and how to redress it. Policy describes the why; also accountabilities, business rules for any decisions to be taken and corrective action/ disciplinary actions should the policy not being adhered to. 1. The concept of a Control, putting mechanisms in place to ensure you get the expected result, is not specific to SOPs.  Any well structured Procedure should have an adequate level of controls built into the process.  The bar is raised for SOPs though.  First, the number and effectiveness of the controls in the process may increase.  Second, and more importantly, evidence must be generated. Your organization’s policies should reflect your objectives for your information security program. Ease of Access. With Zavanta, you can build this type of information architecture for any process in any industry — in minutes! Process vs. Work Instruction. So, to make it easier, you can look at the difference between a process and a procedure as “what” versus “how.”A process consists of three elements: … Need procedures for CMMC? For example, a return procedure should include what to do if the customer has a receipt, does not have proof of purchase or has used the item in question. Policies are formal statements produced and supported by senior management. The terms ‘Policies’, ‘Processes’, and ‘Procedures’ are too often interchanged. A multiple-page “policy” document that blends high-level security concepts (e.g., policies), configuration requirements (e.g., standards), and work assignments (e.g., procedures) is an example of poor governance documentation that leads to confusion and inefficiencies across technology, cybersecurity, and privacy operations. Reply ComplianceForge But the road isn’t your business (unless you’re the government), so let’s use an example that hits closer to home: social media. If a standard cannot be met, it is generally necessary to implement a compensating control to mitigate the risk associated with that deficiency.