What is ISO 27001 and why it is so important to an organization
The vast majority of organizations – commercial and public, have some form of control over classified information they hold. Many organizations implement security controls incompletely, if not chaotic: some are introduced to provide solutions to specific problems, while others are often introduced simply as a matter of standard. In both cases, there is no fundamental risk analysis and comprehensive addressing of the identified problems. Such a randomized policy treats security selectively and can leave valuable non-IT information resources such as documents and proprietary knowledge less protected and vulnerable to attack. ISO / IEC 27001 was introduced to overcome these problems.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO / IEC 27001 formally defines a management system that aims to bring information security under a clearly defined management control. Formal specification means that it imposes certain requirements. Organizations that claim to have adopted ISO / IEC 27001 can therefore be formally audited and certified against the standard.
ISO / IEC 27001 requires that:
- Systematically investigate the organization’s information security risk, considering threats, vulnerabilities and impacts.
- Designs and implements a consistent and comprehensive set of information security controls and / or other forms of risk management (such as risk avoidance or transfer) to counter threats that are considered unacceptable.
- Adopts an overarching management process to ensure that information security controls continue to meet the organization’s information security needs.
- Provides a significant competitive advantage and can effectively license you to trade with companies in highly regulated sectors.
- Ensures interoperability between organizations or groups within an organization.
- Can provide or certify compliance with a recognized external standard, which management can often use to demonstrate due diligence.
Organizations most often start the implementation of ISO 27001 by carrying out a Gap Analysis in relation to applicable clauses, agreements and regulations. This gives a clear picture of areas where companies are already conforming to the standard, areas where there is limited control but room for improvement, and areas where control is lacking and needs to be implemented.
The two most important steps in implementing ISO 27001
- The scope of implementation of information security management systems, which define what information is to be protected. The mentioned systems in ISO called ISMS – Information Security Management Systems are focused on information protection in the field of:
Confidentiality: Information is not accessible or disclosed to unauthorized persons, entities or processes.
Integrity: information is complete and accurate, and protected against corruption.
Availability: Information is available and can be used by authorized users.
- Conducting a risk assessment and defining a risk management methodology, which identifies threats to information processed in the organization.
Organizations are also required to comply with the following mandatory clauses:
- Information security policy and objectives (clauses 5.2 and 6.2).
- Information risk treatment process (clause 6.1.3).
- Risk treatment plan (clauses 6.1.3 e and 6.2).
- Risk assessment report (clause 8.2).
- Records of training, skills, experience and qualifications (clause 7.2).
- Monitoring and measurement results (clause 9.1).
- Internal audit program (clause 9.2).
- Results of internal audits (clause 9.2).
- Results of the management review (clause 9.3).
- Results of corrective actions (clause 10.1).
The implementation of the above provisions and compliance with ISO 27001 not only helps you comply with regulations and win new customers. Currently, having the ISO 27001 certification is a kind of “passport to business” – it shows contractors that they can entrust us with their sensitive data. However, it should not be forgotten that although the goal is business development – by implementing ISO27001, we de facto implement a solid information-focused protection system based on the best practices in the field of cybersecurity.
Below we present a “generation value lacking” list of the benefits of implementation:
- Secures information: properly implemented Information Security Management Systems are designed to protect all forms of information, whether digital, paper or in the cloud.
- The systems and procedures implemented as part of obtaining ISO27001 certification significantly increase your resistance to cyber attacks.
- ISMS provides a central structure to keep information secure and managed in one place.
- Responding to evolving security threats – ISO27001 requires a proactive attitude and continuous evaluation of processes and solutions to protect confidential information.
- Through a risk-based approach, organizations can reduce the cost of indiscriminately adding layers of defense technology that may not work.
- ISMS recommended systems offer a set of policies, procedures, technical and physical controls to protect the confidentiality, availability and integrity of information.
- Improves company culture: ISMS’s holistic approach covers the entire organization, not just IT. This enables employees to easily understand hazards and include security controls as part of their daily work practices.