Benefits of ISO27001 Certification

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Benefits of ISO27001 Certification

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In these uncertain and financially difficult times it’s quite difficult to understand why your organisation should invest in becoming ISO27001 certified.  This months update is focussed on the benefits of becoming certified and how this can make a significant positive difference to your profitability.

What does certification involve?

There is often a misunderstanding of the scale and effort required to achieve this certification.  ISO27001 is the international standard for Information Security Management and as such is recognised globally as a standard that measures how well the organisation manages the security of information on a day to day basis.  Achieving this can vary in effort but in general the process is as follows:

  • Complete a gap analysis and readiness assessment – baseline where the organisation is in relation to the requirements of the standard

Typically, this will enable us to both understand the effort required and also produce a fixed price proposal to achieve the certification.  The implementation complexity can vary depending upon what is already in place, number of locations that would need to be in scope and the operational maturity of the organisation with regards to compliant processes and procedures.  In addition, the adoption of technology in support of Information Security Management can make a significant difference to the approach and the effort required for implementation.

  • Policies and Procedures – Development and Adoption

ISO27001 requires that all information assets are kept secure.  Firstly we have to document what those assets are and then complete a full risk based vulnerability assessment to assess the known risk exposure.  The standard requires that there is a risk mitigation strategy in place to manage these risks.  The standard utilises a large number of ‘controls’ that are designed to mitigate these risks.  Controls ensure that the organisation has a suitably robust security framework in place to demonstrate how these risks are managed.

Therefore a set of policies and procedures have to be developed to demonstrate how the controls are applied in practice, for example a Secure Access Controls Policy states how access to information systems is managed within a security focussed organisation.  Our customers benefit from utilising our ISO27001 Toolkit, which fast tracks this whole process.

  • Operational Change Management

The final phase of implementation is the adoption of new ways of working that adhere to the requirements of the standard. Typically this requires the adoption of the policies and procedures developed previously, i.e. formal incident management as an obvious example.

All of this requires effective change management within the operational side of the IT function.  This adoption is measured prior to certification based upon the adherence to the controls that are defined during the earlier stages of implementation.  The internal audit will identify issues and suggest where the organisation is non-conformant with the standard.  Continual improvement is a key aspect of achieving and maintaining the standard so this iterative review and improvement process has to be demonstrable at all times.

What are the key benefits of being certified?

Well they are fairly obvious but can be summarised below:

  • Increased customer confidence leading to:
    • Greater retention of existing customers
    • Improved chances of successful bids for new customers
    • Increased profitability
  • Improved reputation based upon the fact that you have successfully achieved an internationally recognised standard for Information Security Management
  • Ability to comply with customer compliance standards – many organisations now require their suppliers and business partners to be ISO27001 certified.
  • Professional target operating model – ISO27001 is designed based upon efficient and robust best practices for managing security
  • Reduce risk – being certified is designed to reduce your risk exposure to data breaches and the financial and reputational damage that this may result in
  • Increased IT staff retention – ISO27001 requires a high skill level within the IT function.  Upskilling team members along with providing a professional working environment is bound to have a positive impact on resource retention.

Note – all of the above has a direct positive impact on the organisations ability to increase its profitability.

Cyber21 provide implementation services for ISO27001 along with Internal Auditing.  Contact us if you are interested in finding out more.