Example of Server security Policy

1. Purpose

  1. The purpose of this policy is to establish standards for the base configuration of internal server equipment that is owned and/or operated by XXX. Effective implementation of this policy will minimize unauthorized access to XXX proprietary information and technology.
  2. XXX hereby provides its consent to allow IS auditors both internal and external to access its servers to the extent necessary to allow to perform scheduled and ad hoc audits of all servers at XXX.
  3. The purpose of this policy is to outline which server systems are required to have anti-virus and/or anti-spyware applications

2. Scope

All employees, contractors, consultants, temporary and other workers at XXX and its subsidiaries must adhere to this policy. This policy applies to server equipment that is owned, operated, or leased by XXX or registered under a XXX-owned internal network domain.

3. Policy

3.1 General Requirements

  1. All internal servers deployed at XXX must be owned by an operational group that is responsible for system administration. Approved server configuration guides must be established and maintained by each operational group, based on business needs, and approved by the IT team. Operational groups should monitor configuration compliance and implement an exception policy tailored to their environment. Each operational group must establish a process for changing the configuration guides, which includes review and approval by IT. The following items must be met:
    • Servers must be registered within the corporate enterprise management system. At a minimum, the following information is required to positively identify the point of contact:
      • Server contact(s) and location, and a backup contact
      • Hardware and Operating System/Version
      • Main functions and applications, if applicable
    • Information in the corporate enterprise management system must be kept up to date.
    • Configuration changes for production servers must follow the appropriate change management procedures
  2. For security, compliance, and maintenance purposes, authorized personnel may monitor and audit equipment, systems, processes, and network traffic per the Audit Policy.

3.2 Configuration Requirements

1 Operating System configuration should be in accordance with approved IT team guidelines.
2 Services and applications that will not be used must be disabled where practical.
3 Access to services should be logged and/or protected through access-control methods such as a web application firewall, if possible.
4 The most recent security patches must be installed on the system as soon as practical, the only exception being when immediate application would interfere with business requirements.
5 Trust relationships between systems are a security risk, and their use should be avoided. Do not use a trust relationship when some other method of communication is sufficient.
6 Always use standard security principles of least required access to perform a function. Do not use root when a non-privileged account will do.
7 If a methodology for secure channel connection is available (i.e., technically feasible), privileged access must be performed over secure channels, (e.g., encrypted network connections using SSH or IPSec).
8 Servers should be physically located in an access-controlled, secured environment.
9 Servers are specifically prohibited from operating from uncontrolled or unsecured cubicle areas.

3.3 Monitoring

  1. All security-related events on critical or sensitive systems must be logged and audit trails saved as follows:
    • All security related logs will be kept online for a minimum of 1 week.
    • Daily incremental tape backups will be retained for at least 1 month.
    • Weekly full tape backups of logs will be retained for at least 1 month.
    • Monthly full backups will be retained for a minimum of 2 years.
  2. Security-related events will be reported to IT, who will review logs and report incidents to IT management. Corrective measures will be prescribed as needed. Security-related events include, but are not limited to:
    • Port-scan attacks
    • Evidence of unauthorized access to privileged accounts
    • Anomalous occurrences that are not related to specific applications on the host.

3.4 Server Malware Protection

XXX operations staff will adhere to this policy to determine which servers will have anti-virus and/or anti-spyware applications installed on them and to deploy such applications as appropriate.

1 Anti- Virus

All servers MUST have an anti-virus application installed that offers real-time scanning protection to files and applications running on the target system if they meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Non-administrative users have remote access capability
  • The system is a file server
  • NBT/Microsoft Share access is open to this server from systems used by non-administrative users
  • HTTP/FTP access is open from the Internet
  • Other “risky” protocols/applications are available to this system from the Internet at the discretion of the XXX Security Administrator

All servers SHOULD have an anti-virus application installed that offers real-time scanning protection to files and applications running on the target system if they meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Outbound web access is available from the system

2 Mail Server Anti-Virus

If the target system is a mail server it MUST have either an external or internal anti-virus scanning application that scans all mail destined to and from the mail server. Local anti-virus scanning applications MAY be disabled during backups if an external anti-virus application still scans inbound emails while the backup is being performed.

3 Anti-Spyware

All servers MUST have an anti-spyware application installed that offers real-time protection to the target system if they meet one or more of the following conditions:

  • Any system where non-technical or non-administrative users have remote access to the system and ANY outbound access is permitted to the Internet
  • Any system where non-technical or non-administrative users have the ability to install software on their own

4 Notable Exceptions

An exception to the above standards will generally be granted with minimal resistance and documentation if one of the following notable conditions apply to this system:

  • The system is a SQL server
  • The system is used as a dedicated mail server
  • The system is not a Windows based platform

3.5 Server Audit

XXX hereby provides its consent to allow <Internal or External Audit Name> to access its servers to the extent necessary to allow <Audit organization> to perform scheduled and ad hoc audits of all servers at XXX.

1. Specific Concerns

Servers in use for XXX support critical business functions and store company sensitive information. Improper configuration of servers could lead to the loss of confidentiality, availability or integrity of these systems.

2. Guidelines

Approved and standard configuration templates shall be used when deploying server systems to include:

  • All system logs shall be sent to a central log review system
  • All Sudo / Administrator actions must be logged
  • Use a central patch deployment system
  • Host security agent such as antivirus shall be installed and updated
  • Network scan to verify only required network ports and network shares are in use
  • Verify administrative group membership
  • Conduct baselines when systems are deployed and upon significant system changes
  • Changes to configuration template shall be coordinated with approval of change control board

3. Responsibility

<Internal or External Audit Name> shall conduct audits of all servers owned or operated by XXX. Server and application owners are encouraged to also perform this work as needed.

4. Relevant Findings

All relevant findings discovered as a result of the audit shall be listed in the XXX tracking system to ensure prompt resolution or appropriate mitigating controls.

5. Ownership of Audit Report.

All results and findings generated by the <Internal or External Audit Name> Team must be provided to appropriate XXX management within one week of project completion.  This report will become the property of XXX and be considered company confidential.

4.0 Policy Compliance

4.1 Compliance Measurement

The IT team will verify compliance to this policy through various methods, including but not limited to, business tool reports, internal and external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.

4.2 Exceptions

Any exception to the policy must be approved by the II team in advance.

4.3 Non-Compliance

An employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

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