ISO 27001

Information Security Management System (ISMS)

If You Are Looking To Make Information And Data Security Improvements In Your Business, Then You Have Come To The Right Place.

When your business holds ISO 27001 certification, you automatically demonstrate to your stakeholders that you are serious about protecting data and your physical environment through the implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) which enables organisations of any kind to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted by third parties.

What is ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard that outlines best practice for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). Certification demonstrates a business’ commitment to the security and proper management of its information and data.

Created in response to growing concerns about cyber attacks and data breaches, ISO 27001 structures how businesses should manage risk associated with information security threats — including policies, procedures, and staff training.

Because it is a globally recognised standard, certification can lead to enhanced business opportunities through an organisation’s ability to evidence the proper safeguarding of its information.

The ISO 27001 standard is published by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) in conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) — both globally recognised organisations involved in the development of international standards. Last revised in 2013, it is often denoted as ISO 27001:2013.

The ISMS facilitates the improvement in protection for data and for the physical environments, securing assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details, or information held by third parties. It takes into account the processes that a business currently has in place, and provides a holistic approach to achievable and feasible improvement.

ISO 27001 takes a risk-based approach to managing data and information, putting defined security policies in place to aid management of processes, technology, communications, and business continuity. In a world of ever-evolving and sophisticated cyber threats, alongside an ever growing reliance on technology, it ensures that your organisation has an effective incident management plan in place for when a security breach does occur, while continually managing risks in a transparent way.

The standard will also help to ensure that suppliers and other stakeholders are aligned with your information security policies, and support you in managing your employee and customer personal data — ensuring compliance with GDPR.

An ISMS based on ISO 27001 standards includes a risk assessment process, an outline of the organisational structure, information classification, access control mechanisms, physical and technical safeguards, information security policies, procedures, and monitoring and reporting guidelines.

Any size organisation can develop an ISMS centred around the ISO 27001 standard, which can support you in delivering on your information security objectives and maintaining best practice. By achieving this accreditation, your organisation is also evidencing that it adheres to the ISO standard of implementation, maintenance, and continual improvement — something that is often required by customers and wider stakeholders in order to do business.

Why ISO 27001

Why would a business need ISO 27001 certification?

There are a number of reasons why a business may need ISO 27001 certification, from looking to improve on its information security, or to formally verify and validate its current policies and procedures via a globally recognised accreditation.

The benefits of meeting the standard are myriad, including improving business resilience and ensuring business continuity, to becoming more competitive in your key verticals, as well as promoting a culture of continuous improvement. Obtaining ISO 27001 certification will be sure to boost your brand reputation.

Plugging gaps in your security

Part of the ISO 27001 implementation process includes carrying out a gap analysis to identify any areas of your current information security controls that do not meet the criteria of an SIO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS). Further to this, once certification is achieved, it is a requirement of the standard to maintain and improve upon the policies, procedures and controls in place — thus creating a system whereby “gaps” are eliminated and security is as effective as possible.

Improve business resilience

Cyber threats and criminality are rife, so much so that it’s not a matter of “if” your business will be subject to an attack, but “when”. Implementing ISO 27001 will not reduce the amount of attacks on your business, but the ISMS will help manage and mitigate the effects through better processes and security strategies. This will in turn boost business resilience, and ensure better business continuity.

Qualify for tender applications and frameworks

Many organisations, especially in the public sector, stipulate that ISO 27001 is a must have in order to contract with them. By achieving the certification, your organisation could instantly qualify for tender applications or contract frameworks. And for those tenders that do not stipulate it as a requirement, it will certainly make evidencing information security a lot easier, saving time in the process.

Achieve preferred supplier status

Information security is paramount for customers, especially if those customers have ISO 27001 certification themselves. The accreditation will evidence to your clients that your business takes information security extremely seriously, and that your organisation is not a “weak link” in the supply chain — thereby achieving preferred supplier status.

Increase business opportunities

Demonstrating compliance and your commitment to information security with ISO 27001 certification will open up many new opportunities that were previously closed to your organisation. It will also help to retain current clients by showcasing credibility in the information security arena while evidencing your commitment to keeping their information safe. Your improved brand reputation will certainly give you a competitive advantage.

Promote a culture of continuous improvement

The implementation of the ISMS and it’s maintenance will bring about the benefits of consistent continual improvement in information security across the business, meaning that the business can grow with confidence.

ISO 27001 Requirements

What are the requirements of ISO 27001 certification?

The ISO 27001 standard is separated into two main parts, the management system clauses and Annex A, detailing the 114 technical controls.

Management System
Technical Controls
How to get ISO 27001

How can ISO 27001 be achieved?

Establish your ISO 27001 Information Security Management System. This includes examining your current procedures, carrying out risk assessments, identifying risks and opportunities, and developing controls.

These can seem like a mammoth task, but you might find that many of the standard’s controls and policies are already informally in place. It’s vital to gain buy-in from the entire business at this stage as the development and implementation of the ISMS will likely affect everyone included in the scope of the system. Having employees on board and up to speed on the process will make it much easier.

A UKAS accredited body has proven it complied with best practice, and will deliver a competent and impartial service based on internationally recognised standards. Any customer or client looking for ISO 27001 certification from a supplier will typically want to see that the certification is UKAS accredited to ensure it’s credible. A UKAS accredited body is guaranteed to be impartial, and is the gold standard for certifying bodies in the UK.

Carry out a thorough review of the system and ensure that you have all the assets and documents in place ahead of your stage one audit.
Again, it’s vital that everyone involved in creating the ISMS is included in this stage. It’s the responsibility of the teams delivering managing day-to-day operations to keep documents up-to-date to ensure that an audit will be passed. Communication is key to ensuring that the ISMS is complete and ready for stage one audit.

An auditor will visit your site to carry out the stage one audit, providing recommendations and amends to be rectified before returning to carry out the stage 2 audit — resulting in certification if it meets the standard.

The stage 1 audit, sometimes referred to as a documentation review audit, involves an auditor attending the site to review your processes and policies to establish whether they’re in line with the requirements of ISO 27001. This is a high level review and checks to ensure that the internal audit programme is properly in place. The auditor will indicate any areas of non conformity, or where improvements to the management system can be made before the stage 2 audit.

The stage 2 audit, also known as the certification audit, will see an auditor return to the site to conduct a thorough assessment of the ISMS to establish if it complies with ISO 27001 standard. If everything is in order and any non conformities from the stage 1 audit have been rectified, then the auditor will issue a certificate stating that your business’ ISMS meets the standard, and recommend you for ISO 27001 certification.

Once the stage 2 audit is completed and the ISO 27001 certification is awarded, the hard work then begins on maintaining the ISMS to a high standard. To ensure continuous improvement, a UKAS auditor will return annually to review the ISMS and recertify your business.

ISO 27001 Guide

Our easy to read guide is designed to make the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System framework understandable while outlining the purpose of ISO 27001, the benefits of obtaining certification, and the steps involved in achieving and maintaining ISO 27001 accreditation — it’s easier than you might think!

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Download our easy to read guide which is designed to make the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System standard understandable.

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