ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (ISO 27001) is an international standard that helps organizations manage the security of their information assets. It provides a management framework for implementing an ISMS (information security management system) to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all corporate data (such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information managed by third parties).

It was published in 2013 by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and belongs to the ISO 27000 family of standards. It is the only internationally recognized certifiable information security standard.

ISO 27001 is supported by its code of practice for information security management, ISO/IEC 27002:2013, which explains how to implement information security controls for managing information security risks.

What is ISO 27001 certification?

ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that your organization has invested in the people, processes, and technology (e.g. tools and systems) to protect your organization’s data and provides. an independent, expert assessment of whether your data is sufficiently protected. 

Certification is achieved through an accredited certification body, and provides evidence to your consumers, investors, and other interested parties that you are managing information security according to international best practice.

ISO 27001 compliance is becoming increasingly important as regulatory requirements (such as the GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA) place pressure on organizations to protect their consumer and personal data.

How do ISO 27001 audits work?

Certification can be obtained once an external audit has been conducted by a certification body. Auditors will review the organization’s practices, policies, and procedures to assess whether the ISMS meets the requirements of the Standard.   

What is an ISMS (information security management system)? 

An ISMS is a defined, documented management system that consists of a set of policies, processes, and systems to manage risks to organizational data, with the objective of ensuring acceptable levels of information security risk. Ongoing risk assessments help to identify security threats and vulnerabilities that need to be managed through a set of controls.

Having an established ISO 27001-compliant ISMS helps you manage the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of all corporate data in an optimized and cost-effective way

ISO 27001 and risk management

Risk management forms the foundations of an ISMS. Routine risk assessments help to identify specific information security risks . ISO 27001 recommends , a set of controls that can be applied to manage and reduce information security risks.

ISO 27001 controls and requirements

ISO 27001 consists of 114 controls (included in Annex A and expanded on in ISO 27002) that provide a framework for identifying, treating, and managing information security risks.

A summary of the ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 controls

  • A.5 Information security policies
  • A.6 Organisation of information security
  • A.7 Human resources security
  • A.8 Asset management
  • A.9 Access control
  • A.10 Cryptography
  • A.11 Physical and environmental security
  • A.12 Operational security
  • A.13 Communications security
  • A.14 System acquisition, development and maintenance
  • A.15 Supplier relationships
  • A.16 Information security incident management
  • A.17 Information security aspects of business continuity management
  • A.18 Compliance

The management clauses of ISO/IEC 27001:2013

In addition to the controls, ISO 27001 is made up of 10 management system clauses that provide guidance on the implementation, management and continual improvement of an ISMS.

  • 1, 2, and 3: Scope, normative references, and terms and definitions
  • 4: Context of the organization
  • 5: Leadership
  • 6: Planning
  • 7: Support
  • 8: Operation
  • 9: Performance evaluation
  • 10: Improvement

Certification usually lasts for three years, but organizations have to conduct routine internal audits as part of a continual improvement process. 

Once certified, a certification body will usually conduct an annual assessment to monitor compliance.

How to implement ISO 27001

Implementing ISO 27001 entails various steps, such as scoping the project, obtaining senior leadership commitment to secure the necessary resources, conducting a risk assessment, implementing the required controls, developing the appropriate internal skills, creating policies and procedures to support your actions, implementing technical measures to mitigate risks, conducting awareness training for all employees, continually monitoring and auditing the ISMS, and undertaking the certification audit.

The benefits of ISO 27001 certification 

ISO 27001 is a globally recognized information security standard, with more than 40,000 organizations certified. It helps organizations align their data security measures to an established and trusted benchmark.

1) Protect your data, wherever it lives

An ISO 27001-compliant ISMS helps protect all forms of information, whether digital, paper-based, or in the Cloud.

2) Defend against cyber attacks

Implementing and maintaining an ISMS will significantly reduce your organization’s cyber security and data breach risks.

3) Reduce information security costs

Thanks to the risk assessment and analysis approach of an ISMS, organizations can reduce costs spent on indiscriminately adding layers of defensive technology that might not work

4) Respond to evolving security threats

ISO 27001-compliant organizations are more capable of responding to evolving information security risks due to the risk management requirements of the Standard. 

5) Establish an information security culture

With ISO 27001 embedded in the organization’s culture, employees are more aware of information security risks, and security measures are wide-reaching across all facets of the organization.

6) Meet contractual obligations

Certification demonstrates your organization’s commitment to information security, and provides evidence that you have formally committed to complying with information security measures.

Source: ISO 27001, the Information Security Standard | IT Governance USA

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