The ISO 27001 standard helps companies systematically design, implement, and manage information security management processes based on risks.
It focuses on information confidentiality, availability, and integrity and covers people, processes, and technology. The ISO 27001 standard helps to establish processes through an information security management system (ISMS), which outlines the requirements for integrating information security into business processes.
The ISO 27001 standard requires companies to identify information security risks to their systems and the corresponding controls to address them.
ISO 27001 comprises 26 mandatory requirements divided into six categories. In addition, it provides 114 controls divided into 14 categories to help organisations address risks.
Organisations seeking ISO 27001 certification are not required to implement all 114 controls. Instead, they represent the possibilities for an organisation to consider based on its particular needs to address risks in various processes.
A primary goal of ISO 27001 is to prove to your customers and prospects that their information security is your top priority.
ISO 27001 is considered the gold standard for ensuring information and systems security. Being ISO 27001 certified can help your organisation prove its security practices to potential customers worldwide.
Why is ISO 27001 certification needed?
Security threats constantly on the rise, you read about security breaches every day. In the past, customers expected that you would protect their information by default. But customers now want to see proof that their service providers are adequately addressing security risks and protecting their information. Therefore, implementing information security management practices in accordance with the ISO 27001 standard demonstrates your commitment to protecting customers’ information to existing and new customers and builds trust.
In addition, the ISO 27001 standard provides a systematic framework for effectively managing information security in the organisation. As mentioned above, one of the core focuses of the ISO 27001 standard is risk management. When the organisation is aware of its risks, it can manage them effectively by prioritising and addressing the most critical ones first. This approach helps organisations allocate resources effectively and manage information security efficiently. So, any organisation that wants to set up effective information security management processes or improve the efficacy of its current programmes will benefit from being ISO 27001 certified.
To learn more, check out the five benefits of ISO 27001 certification post.
Are there any benefits to being ISO 27001 certified?
The short answer is yes. ISO 27001 certification benefits many business processes, though the information security team often initiates the process.
We all understand that any company expense should deliver strategic or tactical benefits. ISO 27001 certification fulfils this need perfectly.
It also brings benefits to various business processes. For example, the leadership team gains a better understanding of the organisation’s risks and clarity about the information security processes, allowing them to better evaluate their effectiveness. The sales team can effortlessly communicate how the organisation protects its customers’ information during sales pitches. The marketing team can promote the achievement of ISO 27001 certification to demonstrate that the organisation takes security seriously and provide answers to information security related questions on the organisation’s website. The information security leader can design the framework to manage information security in the organisation effectively. They can also lower operational costs by reducing the number of requests for external audits.
The above are some of the tactical benefits. As for strategic benefits, being ISO 27001 certified simplifies the process of obtaining other security certifications applicable to your industry, reduces the cost of cyber security insurance, and increases the likelihood of covering the costs of security incidents.
How long is ISO 27001 certification valid?
An accredited certification body will issue the ISO 27001 certificate after you have passed the audit. The certificate is valid for three years, and you will need to demonstrate that your organisation meets the standard’s requirements during those three years. That means you will be audited by an independent auditor every year, but the audit scope will be brief compared to the one you passed to become ISO 27001 certified.
This is a crucial point to remember when you have an independent opinion and tell your customers about it, who may want you to go through another audit like SOC 2 or similar.
Since the certification is valid for three years, your organisation will undergo a full-scope audit every three years. But, each year, an independent auditor will fully audit the standard’s core requirements and the group of non-core controls that your organisation has decided to implement. This audit is called a surveillance audit and is intended to ensure your organisation is still compliant with the ISO 27001 standard’s requirements. You can use the results of the annual audit report to demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to the security of your customers’ data.
You should know that you will have to continue investing time and resources to remain compliant with the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard. Here you can use our tool to reduce investment costs and maintain your ISO 27001 certification in a sane manner.
Which companies need ISO 27001 certification?
If the organisation wants to have effective cyber security management processes, it will benefit greatly from being ISO 27001 certified.
This should be one of the key drivers to get certified, as it helps to streamline processes and focus on critical issues (risks) first.
Sure, it helps boost sales, optimise the security team’s operational costs, and build trust with your customers. But more importantly, it helps the leadership team understand the company’s cyber security risk profile and identify effective processes to control the risks. If the organisation fails to identify and address the risks, it could be forced out of business after the first significant security breach.
For example, addressing the ransomware risk may not have a monetary value in the short term. However, the organisation could spend days, weeks or hundreds of thousands to recover after the first ransomware attack and go out of business as a result of losing the trust of its customers.
Therefore, any organisation that processes and stores confidential customer information should consider becoming ISO 27001 certified.