ISO 27017 Compliance — A Short Guide For Beginners

ISO 27017 Compliance — A Short Guide For Beginners

Businesses in today’s technologically-dependent corporate landscape rely heavily on cloud computing apps and platform solutions for secure operations. Despite this, there needs to be more faith in cloud service providers’ security and solutions. There are risks associated with the cloud, in addition to the conveniences it provides, such as unauthorized access to personal data that could lead to its loss or compromised integrity.

This majorly stems from the ambiguity of who will protect personal information stored in the cloud, which may be the biggest issue. In an ideal reality, the cloud service user and the cloud service provider must shoulder equal responsibility to promote trust in cloud security. While the customer is responsible for implementing information security procedures and controls, the provider ensures that cloud-based data is protected from data breaches. This is where the ISO/IEC 27017 security standard may prove very useful. 

ISO/IEC 27017 belongs to the ISO 27001 compliance standard family and is specially adapted to the requirements of cloud users and service providers. It can be particularly beneficial in bridging the communication gap and safeguarding cloud data. In this blog, we will provide a concise overview of the ISO/IEC 27017 security framework, who should implement it and why, the steps it takes to achieve 27017 certification, the benefits of this guideline, and its costs.

What is ISO/IEC 27017 ?

The ISO/IEC 27017 security standard was developed to protect cloud infrastructure. It is an addition to ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 for organizations with an information security management system (ISMS). 

This international security standard offers guidance for cloud service users who put controls in place and cloud service providers who make it simpler for customers to do so. The framework describes how network security management should be coordinated for physical, virtual, and cloud environments. ISO 27017 extends all necessary safety precautions and risk-based analysis for online safety in the cloud, where information security controls apply to the framework.

For ISO/IEC 27017, cloud service customers and providers are the target audiences. To secure cloud infrastructure, it offers parallel instructions for each control and component of the standard. Owing to this, it is a recognized strategy for customers and service providers to guarantee data security. There is just one version of ISO 27017, which was made available in 2015. A second version is now in development and is slated for publication in 2025.

Who Should Implement ISO/IEC 27017 and Why?

If you operate a SaaS or directly use cloud storage in your business, ISO 27017 is essential to following best practices. Since these organizations would only work with companies that consistently are committed to risk reduction, ISO 27017 is quickly becoming a requirement for some large-scale and government projects.

Any legal, contractual, regulatory, or other information security requirements particular to the cloud regarding the selection of suitable information security measures will impact how the framework is implemented.

This certification is required for any company that wishes to employ secure cloud services or provide them to clients. A company can show its commitment to protecting customer information by showing that they have implemented ISO 27017 information security measures. Your company may distinguish and offer your customers exceptional cloud security by becoming accredited.

Why You Should Implement ISO/IEC 27017 ?

Customers must feel confident about the security of their data in the cloud. ISO/IEC 27017 is a well-recognized approach that, when applied, will dramatically reduce the likelihood of data breaches and increase consumer trust by demonstrating your commitment to information security practices.

As was already indicated, the framework addresses a number of issues, including asset ownership, the removal and return of assets if a customer contract is terminated, and the security of a customer’s virtual environment.

The framework provides administrative guidelines for controlling a cloud environment—criteria to strengthen a virtual machine in accordance with organizational needs. Whether you are a cloud service provider or a customer, your company must show that it is making every effort to minimize the risks associated with data breaches.

This international benchmark for cloud service security can help providers discover important security factors and choose a trustworthy partner. Increased independence and the option to select the ideal cloud provider for any given use case are commonly desired by IT decision-makers. The supply of IT services is evolving from a chain to a network, and complexity is increasing as technological and economic ties deepen.

What are the Steps to Achieve ISO/IEC 27017 Certification?

Here are the seven steps to achieve ISO/IEC 27017 certification:

  1. Define Your Company’s Objectives

Review your business, your present information security, and the objectives of ISO 27017 certification in the first phase.

  1. Preparation and Documentation

For this step, you need to assess the present cloud security procedures used by your company and look for any gaps that need to be filled. This needs to be followed by creating and maintaining documentation for your cloud security policies, practices, and controls.

  1. Project Planning and Pre-Audit

A planning meeting is a crucial chance to get to know your auditor and create a unique audit program for each relevant section and location, particularly for larger certification projects. Pre-auditing your management system allows you to anticipate areas for improvement and its strong points. Both offerings are up for grabs.

  1. Implementation and Training

For this step, you have to use the security procedures and controls outlined in ISO 27017 and enforce them in a way that guarantees security against data breaches. You must also inform your stakeholders and staff about the new security measures.

  1. Level 1 and 2 Certification Audit

The certification audit begins with a system analysis and Stage 1 audit, followed by assessments of your documentation, goals, management assessment findings, scope review, and internal audits. Also, evaluate your management system during this process to see if it has matured adequately and is prepared for certification.

An external certified auditor evaluates the efficiency of all management processes and determines if you comply with all the standards in the following stage and Stage 2 audit. The findings are presented at a final meeting, and plans for practical actions are approved if necessary.

  1. System Evaluation

An independent certification body evaluates the findings of the certification audit. You will get a copy of the audit report that details the findings. You will be given a relevant certificate of conformity if all standards are met. The duration of the underlying ISO 27001 certificate’s validity directly affects the certificate of conformity’s validity time.

  1. Surveillance Audits and Recertifications

To adhere to all crucial criteria following the audit, you must carry out annual surveillance audits to ensure your business is safeguarded from malicious entities. This effectively supports the development of your business processes and information security management system.

The maximum validity period for an ISO/IEC 27017 compliance certificate is three years. To maintain continued compliance with the IT security catalog’s relevant standard requirements, recertification must be done well before expiration. You can be given a fresh certificate of conformity upon compliance.

Benefits of the ISO/IEC 27017 Compliance

As a globally recognized security standard for cloud service security, the ISO/IEC 27017 compliance framework can assist cloud or SaaS providers in identifying critical security factors and establishing trust with customers by complying with the standard. ISO 27017:2015 standardizes the interactions between cloud users and cloud service providers, making it simpler to manage the business relationship as well.

How Much Does the ISO/IEC 27017 Certification Cost?

The cost of attaining ISO 27017 certification can vary significantly based on a number of variables, including your organization’s size and complexity, readiness for certification at the time of application, the certification body you select, and location.

Although it’s difficult to give a precise figure due to the wide variety, the entire cost of ISO 27017 certification can run from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for many organizations. To receive a more precise price that is catered to your particular situation, it is advisable to request quotations and proposals from certification bodies and experts.

ISO 27017 Compliance with Akitra!

Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when prospecting new SaaS businesses in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that their organizations are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk, and compliance certification fills that need.

Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform and related software tools for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our compliance automation platform and services help our customers become compliance-ready and certified for security and compliance frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, ISO 27701, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, NIST CSF, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, FedRAMP, CCPA, CMMC, and more such as CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, etc. In addition, companies can use Akitra’s Risk Management product utilizing both FAIR and qualitative NIST methodology for overall risk management for your company, Trust Center, and AI-based Automated Questionnaire Response product to streamline and expedite security questionnaire response processes, delivering huge cost savings. Our compliance and security experts will provide customized guidance to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently. 

The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and cost savings, including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.

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