How ISO 27001 can protect your business’s information
Information is a very important asset for a company, and like any other important asset, it needs protection. In the digital space, this means enacting safeguards against online intrusion and attacks. Every organisation in the world is at risk from cybercriminals, no matter the size, and no matter the value of your data. Even if your information is worth less, it could be stolen simply because you are an easy target.
Given the number of ways criminals can compromise computer networks and systems, it can be difficult to know how best to protect your sensitive information. This is where ISO 27001 comes in. This systematic framework aims to protect information inside an organisation, ensuring that your business has assessed and addressed every potential weak point, and has a plan of action in case the worst should occur.
What are ISO standards?
ISO standards are essentially templates for implementing rigorous systems within a business. Adhering to an ISO standard ensures that you meet a uniform set of standards in one specific area, and provides proof of competence to prospective clients. It also provides the business with the peace of mind that it has rigorous systems in place in areas such as safety and quality management.
Thousands of ISO standards exist, with examples ranging from the general (dates and times) to the industry specific (child seats for cars). Each aims to provide a framework that ensures consistent quality, compatibility, simplicity, safety, or shared understanding. The aim is that by standardising processes, every aspect of a business becomes easier to carry out and to audit, and is ultimately more efficient.
What is the ISO 27000 family?
ISO 27000 is the collective name for the family of ISO information security standards. The ISO 27000 family contains dozens of different standards, each covering different aspects of information security. Many are complementary, and businesses may opt to pursue multiple standards in order to provide comprehensive, watertight data protection. However, most will only choose to apply the most common standards: ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27002.
These two standards are designed to ensure the correct implementation of an information security management system. ISO/IEC 27001 provides the requirements for an effective information security management system, while ISO/IEC 27002 provides a working code of practice. Other standards in this family provide additional information such as guidance, monitoring systems and risk management.
ISO/IEC 27001 is sometimes used by organisations that are not necessarily looking to implement an ISMS, but only wants to apply some information security controls based on internationally recognised best practices. The standard can also serve as a starting point for a company that wants to develop its own information security guidelines, which use basic tenets of the ISO standard but differ in ways that are adapted more to the specific requirements of the business or industry.
What are the benefits of ISO 27000 and ISO 27001?
The ISO 27000 family of standards is intended to provide a framework for information security management that can be applied by any organisation, regardless of size, activity, or the information that it processes. The uniformity provided by ISO 27000 and the need for data protection across industries makes it one of the most popular families of standards available.
ISO 27000 offers generic information on information security, and an introduction to the concept of an Information Security Management System, or ISMS for short. ISO/IEC 27000 also provides definitions for the most important concepts and terms used in information security management, acting as a primer on the need for and benefits of effective information security.
Next, we have ISO/IEC 27001, which is by far the most popular standard in this family. ISO/IEC 27001 defines the specific requirements for an information security management system. Any company that is looking to become certified for its ISMS will have to comply with the requirements in ISO/IEC 27001, making this the standard entry point for developing any ISMS, regardless of which other standards you go on to implement.
There are many controls that cover all the relevant aspects of information security for most organisations. However, the way those controls are formulated in ISO/IEC 27001 is quite brief and concise, with relatively few details, and little in the way of support. This is why many organisations opt to pursue further guidance standards, which detail those controls and offer some advice on how they can be implemented by an organisation.
Getting ISO 27001 accreditation
Having ISO 27001 certification can benefit your organisation in many ways. It shows that you are committed to security standards, and helps you to:
- Avoid financial costs associated with data breaches
- Attracts new business and employees
- Comply with business, legal, contractual and regulatory requirements
- Improve structure and focus
- Reduce the need for frequent audits
- Obtain an independent opinion about your security posture
- Improve quality assurance
- Reduces loopholes in security
- Reduce human errors
- Higher levels of trust
- Improve security awareness
- Improve processes and strategies
Sota is ISO 27001 accredited, and has extensive experience helping clients to achieve and maintain the requirements of ISO 27001. To learn more about ISO standards and the process of achieving an ISO 27000 accreditation, get in touch with us today.