ISO 27001 Compliance: What You Need To Know!

What is ISO 27001

Just another day, just another compliance framework we would like to help you learn about! Today, we are taking up the ISO 27001 framework. 

Most businesses that have valuable information they need to protect against cybersecurity attacks have installed a variety of security systems: firewalls, antivirus software, password managers, and so on. Many firms have also outsourced much of their infrastructure and security to cloud services providers. This does not mean that they have a truly comprehensive information security management system (ISMS). That is where ISO 27001 comes in: it creates the framework for an ISMS. It outlines a process for businesses to determine which threats, vulnerabilities, and impacts they face, to identify and quantify the resulting risks, and then put in place a system to protect against those risks.

Read on to learn more!

What is ISO 27001?

The ISO 27001 standard, published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), assists businesses in managing their people, processes, and technology to assure information confidentiality, availability, and integrity. The ISO 27001 standard focuses on a company’s Information Security Management System (ISMS), which details how information security has been incorporated into business processes.

The ISO 27001 standard requires businesses to identify their system’s information security objectives, risks, and the controls that will address them. It is not necessary to implement the full set of ISO 27001 controls, only those that are appropriate for the organization given its objectives and the level of risk that management is willing to tolerate. The standard set of controls merely indicates the options that an organization can evaluate based on its own requirements.

ISO 27001, like SOC 2, seeks to prove one major thing: that your company values information security as a top priority, has implemented an information security system and therefore can be trusted with confidential customer data.

ISO 27001 is the global standard for ensuring the security of information and supporting assets around the world. 

What does ISO 27001 Certification Include?

ISO 27001 is a wide-ranging information security management framework. It includes a risk assessment process and defines controls for organizational structure, security policies, and training, data asset management, authentication and authorization, encryption, operational security, supplier security management, incident response, compliance monitoring, and reporting… and more.

Again, not all controls are a requirement, but all of them should be reviewed to at least determine their relevance to the organization’s security objectives and risk management.

Which Industries Use ISO 27001 Certification?

ISO 27001 is the most common information security management framework outside North America. It is used in many industries, such as the following:

IT Organizations

Some IT companies use ISO 27001 to comply with contractual security requirements from their main clients – that is, their SLAs. SaaS companies, cloud platform companies, and IT support companies are just a few of those that implement ISO 27001. Most commonly, they do so to gain new clients by proving to those clients, with a compliance certificate as evidence, that they can safeguard their information in the best possible manner.

Finance Companies

The financial services industry’s data protection regulation is strict, and fortunately, legislators have heavily based their requirements on ISO 27001. As a result, ISO 27001 is an ideal technique for achieving compliance, making it simple to pitch such a project to executives.

The second most popular reason for these firms to implement ISO 27001 is cost: they want to avoid liability litigation, which is considerably less expensive to avoid rather than having to pay for in the aftermath of an incident. No security system is immune to compromise, but evidence of having a compliance-certified ISMS in place goes a long way towards reducing liability.

Government Agencies

Government agencies manage highly sensitive information. The confidentiality, integrity, and availability of this information is critical. Because ISO 27001 was created to satisfy those three concepts (the well-known C-I-A trinity), it is an ideal methodology for reducing the number of incidents to a bare minimum.

When Should You Choose ISO 27001 over SOC 2?

Both ISO 27001 and SOC 2 are compliance frameworks that deal with information security. So when should you choose ISO 27001 over SOC 2?

SOC 2 is primarily used in the US and Canada; ISO 27001 prevails in most of the rest of the world. So, if your firm does a lot of business outside of North America, or if your clients or prospects have asked for proof of your security against an internationally recognized standard, ISO 27001 certification may be the path to take.

Your most reliable source of information for determining which standard to pursue is your customers. If a major customer demands ISO 27001 certification, you’ll know what to do next. If SOC 2 is what your customers want, go with that. 

Of course, in many cases, you’ll opt to go with both frameworks to have maximum market coverage. It’s more cost-effective to go through the compliance process for both SOC 2 and ISO 27001 at the same time rather than separately – and there’s a high degree of overlap in the set of controls used for both.

Benefits of Getting ISO 27001 Certified

Benefits of Getting ISO 27001 Certified

With information security threats on an exponential rise day to day, it is essential for companies to assert their security robustness in an increasingly competitive industry.

Implementing ISO 27001 will demonstrate to customers and regulators alike that your organization takes data confidentiality seriously and has done everything reasonably practicable to identify and mitigate security risks. Your risk management strategy will be both solid and transparent. 

ISO 27001 builds credibility and boosts the reputation of your organization

You’ll have completed a full risk assessment and produced a comprehensive, realistic risk treatment plan with an ISO 27001 ISMS. As a result, you’ll be in a better position to identify and prevent data breaches before they happen.

Establishing that your Information Security Management System (ISMS) has been independently audited by a recognized certification authority strengthens customer trust. They won’t have to take your operation’s security on faith because you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’ve met the applicable ISO security management system requirements.

ISO 27001 saves both time and cost

If you use a compliance automation platform, you’ll have all of your information security management systems set up and ready to go – and the process will be easily repeatable over the years. It’s the most cost-effective method of securing your data assets and proving your compliance.

Sales expenses will also reduce significantly. Your sales team can attest to the rising demand from customers for proof of compliance. With ISO 27001 accreditation, you’ll be able to reduce the need to answer endless security questionnaires and endure grilling from compliance officers, which will speed up your sales process and improve your customer close rate.

ISO 27001: Process Overview

Let’s check out how the certification readiness and auditing proceed:

  • Perform a risk assessment
  • Define the scope of the Information Security Management System and its objectives
  • Define and/or select relevant controls
  • Collect compliance evidence 
  • Conducting an internal audit to evaluate the ISMS and its operational effectiveness
  • Have an ISO audit performed by a third-party auditor

Internal auditing is one of the most effective ways to ensure that your company’s ISMS is up to date and compliant with the ISO 27001 standard. The Internal auditor should be objective and unbiased, with no responsibility for the implementation or operation of the controls under audit. Before moving on to the external audit, the results of the internal audit should be discussed with the company’s ISMS team and senior management to rectify any shortcomings.

There are two steps to the external audit. Stage 1 audit comprises a thorough documentation review in which an external ISO 27001 auditor examines an organization’s policies and processes to ensure they comply with the ISO standard and the ISMS. The auditor performs tests in Stage 2 to check that an organization’s ISMS was correctly designed, implemented, and is functioning properly.

Although an ISO 27001 certification is valid for three years, ISO mandates annual surveillance audits to ensure that the ISMS and its associated controls continue to function properly. This means that an organization’s ISMS must undergo an external audit every 12 months during the three-year cycle.

ISO 27001 with Akitra!

Obtaining ISO 27001 certification can be difficult and intimidating, but with Akitra’s Andromeda compliance automation platform, it’s a breeze. 

Akitra provides a risk assessment module along with a comprehensive suite of ISO 27001 policies and controls to provide a solid compliance foundation. The compliance service then carries out automated evidence gathering so that you can prove operational effectiveness to your auditors. Once compliant, we help you stay compliant through continuous monitoring of your company’s IT systems and processes that handle confidential information.

In addition to ISO 27001, Akitra supports many other frameworks such as SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, and NIST 800-53.

Akitra’s compliance experts are also part of the service and will provide you with the guidance you need to confidently achieve compliance certification – and stay compliant. 

Choose Akitra TODAY for your ISO 27001 compliance needs!

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