Today, organizations gather, store, and process huge amounts of data, including sensitive and confidential data. Data found in almost every organization includes workplace data, inventory data, client information, proprietary information, and financial and communication records. When organizations fail to secure this data, it results in data security breaches, which can be extremely costly to businesses in terms of financial loss and reputational damage. Some of the security breaches may have serious legal implications as well. To address this issue, the International Standard Organization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) developed a comprehensive set of guidelines known as ISO/IEC 27001.
ISO 27001 – Information Security, cybersecurity and privacy protection – information security management systems requirements is a globally recognized information security management systems standard that addresses everything an organization shall do to not only reduce its information security risk but also manage these risks adequately with appropriate information security controls. Through risk management, this systematic approach consists of people, processes, and technology that assist you in protecting and managing all of your organization’s information.
Organizations must successfully pass an audit to show that they adhere to the strict requirements of ISO 27001 to be certified. Besides protecting your data from a breach, pursuing ISO 27001 certification has many advantages for large organizations.
Purpose of ISO 27001 certification
ISO 27001 was created to provide requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system. Organizations must hold individuals to a comprehensive set of demanding security standards to safeguard valuable private data. The increase also influenced the implementation of ISO 27001 in information security laws. For preventable data breaches, laws such as HIPAA in the United States, the GDPR in the European Union, and data privacy laws in multiple countries impose severe penalties.
The fact that the certificate shows an organization’s readiness in case something goes wrong is related to many of the advantages of implementing an ISO management systems standard. It gives an assurance to key stakeholders and interested parties that the organization has evaluated the risks of a breach, ensured that their data on customers and employees is accurate and current, and has taken all necessary steps to avoid having the data fall into the wrong hands.
Here are some key benefits of ISO 27001:
1. Protect customer data
This is quite obvious, but it must be repeated. First and foremost, getting your organization independently certified in accordance with a globally recognized standard demonstrates to your clients that you take security seriously, which gives you a significant competitive advantage
2. Complying with laws and regulations
The organization will be more future-proof if it operates legally and in accordance with accepted standards. This enables investment and growth to continue. However, the DPA and GDPR are regulations in contrast to the ISO standards. When the organization is separately certified for ISO 27001, it can prove that it is capable of complying with these regulatory demands.
3. Improve overall security posture and business performance
Cyberattacks are becoming more frequent and powerful daily. Ineffective information security can have disastrous financial and reputational consequences. Integrating an ISO 27001-certified ISMS protects the organization from such threats and demonstrates that you have taken the necessary precautions.
4. Avoid data breaches
When it comes to data breaches, large fines frequently make the news. According to IBM’s 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach has skyrocketed to $4.35 million (a 12.7% increase from 2020). The international standard for efficient information management is ISO 27001, which aids organizations in avoiding risky and expensive security breaches.
5. Send positive signals to investors and shareholders
Compliance with ISO 27001 enables you to demonstrate sound security procedures, strengthening client relationships and giving you a competitive edge. With ISO 27001 certification, the organization can look for new business opportunities knowing that the complaints are supported.
6. Enhance brand reputation and win new customers
Another significant advantage of becoming ISO 27001 certified is its positive impact on reputation. This award, which is both internationally recognized and externally assured, shows the business community that your organization is reputable and trustworthy.
Clauses 4.1 through 10.2 of the standard address the standard’s core
requirements for ISO 27001.
4 – Context of the organization
4.1 – Understanding the organization and its context
4.2 – Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
4.3 – Determining the scope of the information security management system
4.4 – Information security management system
5 – Leadership
5.1 – Leadership and commitment
5.2 – Policy
5.3 – Organizational roles, responsibilities, and authorities
6 – Planning
6.1 – Actions to address risks and opportunities
6.2 – Information security objectives and planning to achieve them
7 – Support
7.1 – Resources
7.2 – Competence
7.3 – Awareness
7.4 – Communication
7.5 – Documented information
8 – Operation
8.1 – Operational planning and control
8.2 – Information security risk assessment
8.3 – Information security risk treatment
9 – Performance evaluation
9.1 – Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation
9.2 – Internal audit
9.3 – Management review
10 – Improvement
10.1 – Continual improvement
10.2 –Nonconformity and corrective action
Here are the steps for ISO 27001 certification
ISO 27001 certification shows an organization’s dedication to the continuous improvement, growth, and security of information assets by executing appropriate risk assessments, regulations, and controls. Azpirantz is a cybersecurity consulting, advisories, and service-based company to assist in focusing on core business by enhancing security and compliance through top-notch services with practical solutions.