ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry

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ISO 27001 Physical Entry

The focus for this ISO 27001 Control is about protecting secure areas with access controls and entry points. As one of the ISO 27001 controls this is about keeping unauthorised people out of secure areas.

You will learn what the ISO 27001 control 7.2 is, how to simply and easily implement it for ISO 27001 certification and I will show you some common gotchas so you can avoid them.

What is ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry?

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry is an ISO 27001 control that requires an organisation to protect secure areas with access points and entry controls.

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Purpose

The purpose of Annex A 7.2, as a preventive control, is to ensure only authorised physical access to the organisations information and other associated assets occurs.

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Definition

The ISO 27001 standard defines Annex A 7.2 as:

Secure areas should be protected by appropriate entry controls and access points.

ISO 27001:2022 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry

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ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry Implementation Guide

General Guidance

You are going to have to

  • consult a legal professional to ensure you operate within the law and regulation
  • only allow people you authorise into buildings, sites and physical locations
  • implement a process to manage access
  • review access on a regular basis
  • keep a log of access

Considerations

There are considerations that may be appropriate

  • consider a reception area that is monitored
  • consider, if appropriate, searching people
  • take into account shared access with other organisations
  • have identification for staff and visitors
  • secure entry points such emergency access in a way that is legal and safe
  • the possibility of different technologies such as bio metrics
  • having a process for the management of physical keys

The implementation of physical entry is in the context of the physical security perimeter where you can find guidance in the Ultimate guide to ISO 27001 Annex A 7.1 Physical Security Perimeter.

Health and Safety

Your number one priority is to meet the requirements of law and regulation. Be sure to engage with a legal professional to understand what you can and cannot do and to check that you are not breaking any laws. The most significant laws are those around health and safety as the protection of human life and wellbeing is always our number priority. There are common things that should be considered such as entry point doors that fail open. Whilst we want to protect buildings and information our absolute priority is to protect people.

Define your access control requirements

Start by understanding your risk and doing a risk assessment. For guidance on how, read The Complete Guide to ISO 27001 Risk Assessment. This is going to be based on the needs of the business and the risks that you are managing. As a starting point there are basics such as having locks on doors but you can asses the strength of those locks and if other additional controls such as bio metrics or gates are required. Do what is right for you. Consider the environment around the location and the threats that may be posed and be sensible in addressing them.

Implement the access process

You will define, write, sign off and implement the access process based on risk and need. The process will take into account how you grant access, how you change access, how you revoke access and how you review access.

The review of access will be done regularly and you will set what is meant by regularly. A good rule of thumb would be monthly but there are many factors that influence how often you perform reviews. Those factors include:

  • how fast the personnel changes
  • the sensitivity of the site being accessed
  • the risk to business
  • the needs of business
  • past information security events

Your access process will include keeping, and keeping securely, a log of visitors. Some people use a log book, or digital records. Take into account here data protection laws and the length of time that you keep the information.

Topic specific physical and environmental security policy

To communicate to people what you do and what is expected you are going to write, sign off, implement and communicate your topic specific Physical and Environmental Security Policy.

Reception Areas

The standard is not saying that you must have a reception but that it can be considered. Be sensible when assessing this. If is appropriate then you can implement. It is not a requirement to have personnel to be deployed on reception but having it monitored by personnel would make sense. This could be done remotely rather than having someone sat there full time.

Visitors

The guidelines to review and consider for visitors

  • how to authenticate the identity of visitors
  • recording when people go in and out
  • supervising visitors or giving them explicit permission to roam alone

Visitor Badges

A great physical control is the use of identification for staff and visitors. A visitor badge or way that a visitor can be identified can quickly identify is someone is somewhere they should not be. Proportionate to your organisation.

Alarms and Monitors

When looking at alarms and monitors you are looking at a preventive control to alert you when something has occurred. We all know what alarms are and getting alarms fitted is a very good idea. You want to define your response process and make sure that contacts of who is informed is up to date. Who is getting that call at 2am in the morning and what are they going to do when they get it?

Physical Keys

If you have and need physical keys then you will need a process to manage them. Ensuring that they are allocated to the correct people and you account for if those people are not available or leave. This also applies to other required authentication tokens and passcodes such as combination locks. Some way to perform and annual audit and the use of a log book or similar.

CCTV

You can consider the use of CCTV but be aware that comes with some additional overheads with laws on data protection and the likes of GDPR. You should seek some legal advice before installing CCTV and be sure to do it in a way that is compliant if it is something that you do want to do. There are considerations such as how, how long, where, in what format you store the recordings. Then how do you get access to it, who can get access to it and how do you destroy it. It is not as simple as just banging up a Ring camera.

Secure Areas

The standard gives the guidance that a secure area can be an office that is locked or some internal area that has an internal security barrier. It takes into account that your physical locations maybe internal sub divided based on protection requirements. Usually this is implemented when you have a file room, an archive room, or a room where you store old IT equipment. On premises data centres and data rooms fall into this category as well but in this day and age they are few and far between with most people adopting a cloud based strategy.

ISO 27001 Templates

ISO 27001 templates have the advantage of being a massive boost that can save time and money so before we get into the implementation guide we consider these pre written templates that will sky rocket your implementation. For Annex A 7.2 you need a topic specific Physical and Environmental Security Policy Template. In addition, you could save months of effort with the ISO 27001 toolkit that take 25 years of experience and distill it in a pack of prewritten best practice awesomeness so you can DIY your ISO 27001 certification. Not interested in ISO 27001 templates, then you can skip to the next section.

How to comply with ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2

To comply with ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 you are going to implement the ‘how’ to the ‘what’ the control is expecting. In short measure you are going to

  • Define your physical access requirements
  • Define your internal sub zone physical perimeter requirements
  • Consult with a legal professional to ensure you are meeting legal and regulatory requirements
  • Implement your physical security access
  • Write, sign off, implement and communicate your topic specific Physical and Environmental Security Policy
  • Write, sign off, implement and communicate your perimeter incident response procedures
  • Implement a process of internal audit that checks that the appropriate controls are in place and effective and where they are not follow the continual improvement process to address the risks

How to pass an audit of ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2

To pass an audit of ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 you are going to make sure that you have followed the steps above in how to comply.

You are going to do that by first conducting an internal audit, following the How to Conduct an ISO 27001 Internal Audit Guide.

What will an audit check?

The audit is going to check a number of areas. Lets go through them

1. That you have a physical entry control

One of the easier things for an auditor to check is the physical entry controls as it is usually the first thing they will encounter when they come to audit you if you have a physical location. For all the physical locations in scope they are going to visit and check.

2. The strength of the physical security access

They have been doing this a long time and done many audits so they know what to look for. They will test the controls and see what happens. They will try to open doors, open cupboards, gain access to areas they should not.

3. Documentation

They are going to look at audit trails and all your documentation. They will look at appropriate access reviews, logs of monitors and reports, incidents and how you managed them.

Top 3 Mistakes People Make

The top 3 mistakes people make for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 are

1. Your physical security perimeter is turned off

What do I mean by turned off? In simple terms it means that you have a lockable door that should be locked and it not locked. You have a fire door that should be closed and locked but you have propped it open because it is a hot day.

2. One or more members of your team haven’t done what they should have done

Prior to the audit check that all members of the team have done what they should have. Have access reviews taken place? Who gets informed about about the alarm and do they still work here?

3. Your document and version control is wrong

Keeping your document version control up to date, making sure that version numbers match where used, having a review evidenced in the last 12 months, having documents that have no comments in are all good practices.

Why is a Physical Security Entry Important?

A physical security entry system is a first line of defence, common sense and dare I say a no brainer. Think of your own house. Would you leave the door open, or unlocked when you are out? Even when you are in, to be fair. It’s a cruel world out there and not everyone has your best intention at heart. If you have something of value, be it physical or virtual, someone, somewhere wants it. That value you place on it will dictate the level of control you put in place.

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 FAQ

What policies do I need for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry

You will need the ISO 27001 Physical and Environmental Security Policy

Are there free templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry?

There are templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 located in the ISO 27001 Toolkit

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 sample PDF?

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry Sample PDFs can be found in the ISO 27001 Toolkit

Do I have to satisfy ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 for ISO 27001 Certification?

If you have a physical location, office or processing facility, then yes.

Can I write polices for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 myself?

Yes. You can write the policies for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 yourself. You will need a copy of the standard and approximately 8 hours to do it. It would be advantageous to have a background in information security management systems. Alternatively you can download them the ISO 27001 Physical and Environmental Security Policy

Where can I get templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2?

The main template you need is the Physical and Environmental Security Policy

How hard is ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2?

ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 is not particularly hard as it is mainly common sense. As long as you consult with a legal professional on what you are doing to ensure you are not break any laws or regulations you will be fine. Physical security has been around a long time.

How long will ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 take me?

To write the Physical and Environmental Security Policy will take about 8 hours. To implement the controls will depend on what you re doing and what you are implementing. It can take from a few hours to a few months depending on how many locations you have and the level of security that you are implementing.

How much will ISO 27001 Annex A 7.2 Physical Entry cost me?

The Physical and Environmental Security Policy will cost you 8 hours to write yourself or less than £10 to buy. The cost to implement the controls will depend on what controls you implement and where you buy them.

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Matrix of ISO 27001 controls and attribute values

Control typeInformation
security properties
Cybersecurity
concepts
Operational
capabilities
Security domains
Preventive
Confidentiality
Integrity
Availability
ProtectPhysical security
Identity and Access Management
Protection

ISO 27001:2022 requirements

Organisational Controls - A5

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.1 Policies for information security

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.2 Information Security Roles and Responsibilities

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.3 Segregation of duties

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management responsibilities

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.5 Contact with authorities

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with special interest groups

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.7 Threat intelligence – new

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.8 Information security in project management

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.9 Inventory of information and other associated assets – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.10 Acceptable use of information and other associated assets – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.11 Return of assets

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.11 Return of assets

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.13 Labelling of information

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.14 Information transfer

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.15 Access control

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.16 Identity management

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.17 Authentication information – new

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.18 Access rights – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.19 Information security in supplier relationships

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.20 Addressing information security within supplier agreements

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain – new

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.22 Monitoring, review and change management of supplier services – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.23 Information security for use of cloud services – new

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.24 Information security incident management planning and preparation – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.25 Assessment and decision on information security events 

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.26 Response to information security incidents

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.27 Learning from information security incidents

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.28 Collection of evidence

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.29 Information security during disruption – change

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.31 Identification of legal, statutory, regulatory and contractual requirements

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.32 Intellectual property rights

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.33 Protection of records

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.34 Privacy and protection of PII

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.35 Independent review of information security

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.36 Compliance with policies and standards for information security

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.37 Documented operating procedures 

Technology Controls - A8

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.1 User Endpoint Devices

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.2 Privileged Access Rights

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.3 Information Access Restriction

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.4 Access To Source Code

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.5 Secure Authentication

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.6 Capacity Management

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.7 Protection Against Malware

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.8 Management of Technical Vulnerabilities

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.9 Configuration Management 

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.10 Information Deletion

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.11 Data Masking

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.12 Data Leakage Prevention

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.13 Information Backup

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.14 Redundancy of Information Processing Facilities

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.15 Logging

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.16 Monitoring Activities

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.17 Clock Synchronisation

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.18 Use of Privileged Utility Programs

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.19 Installation of Software on Operational Systems

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.20 Network Security

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.21 Security of Network Services

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.22 Segregation of Networks

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.23 Web Filtering

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.24 Use of CryptographyISO27001 Annex A 8.25 Secure Development Life Cycle

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.26 Application Security Requirements

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.27 Secure Systems Architecture and Engineering Principles

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.28 Secure Coding

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.29 Security Testing in Development and Acceptance

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.30 Outsourced Development

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.31 Separation of Development, Test and Production Environments

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.32 Change Management

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.33 Test Information

ISO 27001 Annex A 8.34 Protection of information systems during audit testing