ISO 27001 Compliance

The ISO 27001 standard has continued to be a popular option despite the ever-expanding list of industry-specific solutions due to its applicability across both business sectors and continents.

The ISO 27000 series

The deployment and maintenance of an information security management system are the primary focus of the ISO 27001 standard, which is officially known as ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management (ISMS). The most well-known of more than a dozen published standards in the ISO/IEC 27000 family, ISO 27001 is a collaborative creation of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Additionally, it is the sole member of the family that may be used to certify an organization, with ISO 27002 mainly as reference material and guidance for the “primary” standard.

The ISO 27000  series is a series of frameworks. This includes the following: ISO 27001, 27002, 27003, 27004, 27005, 27006. 

  • ISO 27001: ISMS requirements
  • ISO 27002: ISMS controls
  • ISO 27003: ISMS implementation guidelines
  • ISO 27004: ISMS measurements
  • ISO 27005: Risk management
  • ISO 27006: Guidelines for ISO 27000 accreditation bodies

The achievement and demonstration of ISO 27001 compliance do not necessitate strict adherence to particular technical rules, in contrast to some other standards and frameworks. Instead, a comprehensive and proactive approach to security is being taken throughout the entire business, with a focus on risk management. The “Annex A” of the standard lists more than a dozen controls, however, it is not expected that all ISO 27001 certified enterprises will have implemented each and every one of them. Instead, based on the particular risks to their business operations, each firm will implement a suitable subset of these controls. 

Additionally, the ISO 27000 series makes a very conscious effort to present the ISO 27001 framework as one that focuses on “information security” as opposed to cybersecurity.

Information Security Management System (ISMS)

Information Security Management System (ISMS) refers to the policies, practices, personnel, documentation, and controls intended to preserve the Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability of an organization’s information.

The ISO 27001 process flow can be time-consuming, frequently requiring a year or longer. Independent auditors or assessors confirm that a company has successfully applied all pertinent best practices in line with the established ISO IT Security Standards.

ISO 27001 Audit

When a company is prepared to hire an ISO 27001 auditor or certification body, there is, nevertheless, a set procedure for getting certified. There are three distinct phases:

  • First, the organization’s ISMS is thoroughly examined by the external auditor or certification authority. A large portion of the work done in this phase determines whether the organization is prepared to move on to the second, more in-depth phase. An ISO 27001 audit can come to a grinding halt for a number of reasons, including a lack of essential documentation, poor management support, or misidentified metrics.
  • Second, a much more thorough audit is conducted, looking at the organization’s implementation of certain security procedures to fulfill the standards outlined in the standard. In this stage, an auditor will be seeking proof that a company is actually doing everything outlined in the phase one-evaluated documentation.
  • Three, an organization must go through annual surveillance audits to maintain the ISO 27001 compliance framework after receiving official certification. The ISO 27001 accreditation of an entity may be revoked before the stated expiration date even though these audits are not as thorough as those conducted in phase two.

Any firm looking to become certified will need to put in a lot of effort before working with a certification body. To assist a business in getting ready for a formal audit, outside consultants are typically hired. It is frequently advised to conduct unofficial “gap analysis” audits to help get ready for the formal certification audit.

Even during the three years that an ISO 27001 certification is valid, annual surveillance audits are necessary. Therefore, the framework is an ongoing effort that requires constant attention rather than a one-time undertaking. The ways in which the ISMS is implemented will change as the business expands and changes. Consider a company that switched from on-premises to cloud apps during the past ten years. The methods used to tackle information security will obviously be substantially different.

These frameworks assist organizations on implementing best practices for security controls, and establishing a baseline for an organization’s cyber posture. Although these frameworks are great to implement, it is still up to the organization and its management team to ensure that controls are defined properly and the processes are followed.