How ISO 27001 Could Help You Avoid Data Breaches

data breaches

Cybersecurity specialists estimate there are 65,000 attempts daily to hack small to medium-sized businesses. Around 4,500 are successful. ISO 27001 information security is not a cure-all but it can go a long way to making your business off-limits to cybercriminals.

Data breaches are often big news, especially when the breach is absolute and sensitive information and data has been revealed or stolen.

In many instances, the data breach isn’t always as obvious. Cybercriminals could be in your system right now and you wouldn’t know.

There are many issues with data breaches but one big one is the cost. The effect on your business is costly and includes the fine you may have to pay if your information security systems are deemed inadequate or not fit for purpose but as well as this there could be a loss of reputation, something that can take a long time to crawl back from.

What is a data breach?

Normally, a breach follows three stages:

  1. Probing, whereby a cyber-criminal probes your information security system, identifying weak areas.
  2. Penetration is where the hackers exploit these weaknesses and ‘walk into’ your system. This stage will often include blackmail as they lock you out of key areas of your system.
  3. Extraction is where they remove data. This can happen by downloading onto hard drives or in some cases, by simply writing down the data with a pen onto paper.

Unless you have sophisticated systems, you won’t know that someone is or has been probing into your system until they either lock you out of it or remove data. 

What is ISO 27001?

Every organisation faces unique challenges when it comes to information security. Unlike other accreditations, ISO 27001 doesn’t attempt to imprint its rigid template onto a business.

It is a standard that encourages businesses to look at the processes they have in place and how they could be improved, but in such a way that they protect but are also feasible and workable.

The process of ISO 27001 takes a holistic approach from information security policy and objectives to risk assessments, risk treatment plan, definitions of key roles and responsibilities as well as an inventory of assets.

But how does this theory work in practice? 

How does ISO 27001 improve in the fight against data breaches?

Like all ISOs, this accreditation for your business speaks volumes but it does more than tell customers, new and old, that your business has a robust information security system. It can help to:

  • Identify and plug the gaps in your security systems
  • Gain advantage of competitors
  • Win new business
  • Retain existing customers
  • Demonstrate compliance
  • Scale for growth
  • Support employees and practices with clear training and policies
  • Give clients and customers confidence and trust in your company
  • Reduce the risks of cyber attacks

How cybercriminals operate changes. How they gain access to key areas of your information system changes too. Essentially, to protect your online systems, you need to be one step ahead of the cybercriminal.

This is hard. You need in-depth knowledge and understanding of the darker side of the web and hacking, as well as the time to update systems and so on. 

ISO 27001 and unauthorised access to online information

ISO 27001 has proven invaluable in the fight against online criminal activity, especially data breaches that are so very costly. The latest round of data protection laws such as GDPR champion ISO 27001 as meeting most of its criteria.

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