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Maintaining Clarity - Clear Desk, Clear Screen: ISO 27001 Control 7.7


In the intricate world of information security, maintaining clarity and order is crucial. ISO 27001 Control 7.7, "Clear Desk and Clear Screen," highlights the significance of organised workspaces and digital environments as a means of safeguarding sensitive information. This control underscores the importance of minimizing the risk of unauthorised access and maintaining the confidentiality of critical data.


Clear Desk and Clear Screen Policies

Control 7.7 emphasizes the establishment and enforcement of policies that require employees to maintain a clean and organised workspace. This extends to both physical work areas and digital screens, where sensitive information could be at risk if left unattended.


The Essence of Control 7.7

Implementing Control 7.7 provides several key benefits:


  • Security: Clearing desks and screens reduces the chance of unauthorized individuals gaining access to sensitive information.

  • Compliance: Many regulatory frameworks necessitate the protection of sensitive data through policies like these.

  • Risk Mitigation: By instilling the habit of tidying up workspaces, organisations reduce the risk of accidental data exposure.

  • Cultural Shift: Clear desk and screen policies contribute to an organisational culture that values information security and privacy.


Implementing Control 7.7

Here are practical steps to effectively implement Control 7.7:


  • Policy Creation: Develop clear desk and screen policies that outline expectations for employees regarding workspace and screen cleanliness.

  • Employee Training: Provide thorough training to employees on the importance of adhering to these policies and the potential risks associated with neglecting them.

  • Regular Audits: Conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with the policies. This can involve spot checks of workspaces and screens.

  • Technological Measures: Implement automatic screen lock mechanisms to ensure that digital screens are secured when left unattended.


A Personal Perspective

In my experience working with organisations on information security, the implementation of clear desk and screen policies has often been a game-changer. These policies serve as a constant reminder of the importance of vigilance and responsibility when handling sensitive information.


Final Thoughts

ISO 27001 Control 7.7 may seem like a simple concept, but its implications are profound. Just as a tidy space fosters a productive mindset, a clear desk and screen policy fosters a security-conscious culture. By integrating this control into daily operations, organisations not only enhance their security posture but also create an environment where information protection becomes ingrained in every action.

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