What is ISO 27001 Compliance?

Step into the world of unparalleled security and discover the golden standard of compliance: ISO 27001. Picture James Bond of infosec, equipped with the latest technology and expertise, ready to safeguard your business against the relentless threats of cyberattacks.

ISO 27001 Compliance

Introducing the golden standard of security compliance and the James Bond of infosec - ISO 27001. We’re looking at one of the leading security standards and why businesses are adamant about having it on their side in the fight against cyberattacks. Could it benefit your business? Of course, you know our answer - but just in case you need any more convincing, here’s everything you need to know about the golden boy of information security.

FYI, don’t forget to download our ultimate ISO 27001 whitepaper, The ISO 27001 Bible to get a super deep dive into everything ISO 27001 certification. Or perhaps, you just want to get a quick glimpse into ISO 27001  with our ISO 27001 Snapshot.

What is ISO 27001 Compliance?

ISO 27001 is the leading global standard for information security and the quintessential framework for managing and safeguarding data. Although not considered a regulatory requirement, it does hold significant value (which we’ll get to a bit later).

ISO 27001 is a comprehensive program considering personnel, systems, and an organization’s technologies. It follows a systematic approach that reviews and assesses all aspects of an organization’s data security, including any gaps, risks, and vulnerabilities.

The ISO 27001 standard is widely accepted as the most globally-recognized information security standard. This is primarily due to its specific scope and applicability across business sectors.

ISO 27001 Compliance Standards

So that’s the standard - but what does it mean to be ISO 27001 compliant?

ISO 27001 compliance refers to an organization’s ability to adhere to the rules stipulated by the standard. To become ISO 27001 certified, a company must comply with the guidelines of the standard.

In brief, this includes developing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) and undergoing an independent audit to confirm compliance. However, getting compliant isn’t always easy, and ISO 27001 didn’t get its stellar rep by taking shortcuts.

Unsure if you need to be ISO 27001 certified? Take a look here for all your answers.

The ISO 27001 Bible

Everything you need to know about compliance!
ISO 27001 eBook

Why do you need ISO 27001 compliance? 

If, by now, you think that ISO 27001 sounds like a pretty big deal, you’d be 100% correct. If not, buckle in - you’re in for a wild ride. In a nutshell, there are a few critical reasons why you need ISO 27001 compliance, the most important being that ISO 27001 compliance will enable your company to:

It frees up your teams to focus on other critical business areas.

Strengthen your security posture

An ISO 27001 certification improves an organization’s cyber resilience by identifying security gaps, protecting data, and strengthening your security posture to proactively prevent breaches. 

Increase credibility and trust

An ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that an organization has implemented its due diligence when it comes to protecting data. It enhances brand credibility and improves the trustworthiness of an organization. 

Manage third-party vulnerabilities

An ISO 27001 certification means a business proactively assesses and reviews all relevant third parties. It assures an organization and its clients that third parties are vetted and monitored to align with ISO 27001 security standards

Bridge the gap between other security frameworks

Establishing an ISMS creates a solid foundation for other frameworks, standards, and legislation, such as SOC 2, GDPR and HIPAA. This can streamline the process when undergoing these further frameworks and regulations.

Expand into new markets

Establishing a foothold in the global market highly depends on whether or not you comply with specific security standards. An ISO 27001 is the needed proof that your business needs to compete on a global scale. 

All of the above sounds fine and dandy - but how does a business start, and what exactly does the standard expect from businesses?

Here’s a breakdown…

The ISO 27001 Compliance Standards

ISO 27001 requires an organization to develop an appropriate Information Security Management System (ISMS). An ISMS includes all the policies, procedures, and controls set in place for managing sensitive data. This ISMS is then compared against ISO 27001’s quintessential standard and how it aligns with it’s three core pillars of information security: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.

 ISO 27001’s three core pillars of information security



All data and systems must be protected against unauthorized access. Albeit people, processes, or applications.



Data integrity refers to the certainty that the data is not tampered with or degraded during or after submission.



The information is available to authorized users when needed.
A system must have properly functioning computing systems, security controls and communication channels.

The ISO 27001 Compliance Standards

Fortunately, ISO 27001 doesn’t simply leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to developing an appropriate ISMS. To get ISO 27001 certified, your organization must include a set of controls that is clearly defined within ISO 27001 requirements and Annex A.  

However, there is an updated version of ISO 27001, known as ISO 27001: 2022. The 2022 updates apply to the security controls of ISO 27002 and therefore, Annex A of ISO 27001 is updated accordingly.

The previous version of Annex A contained 114 controls across 14 families, while the new version contains 93 controls across 4 families (People, Organizational, Technological and Physical). The decrease in the number of controls is due to many controls being merged.

However, 11 new ISO 27001 controls have been added to Annex A:


Threat intelligence


Information security for the use of cloud services


ICT readiness for business continuity


Physical security monitoring


Configuration management


Information deletion


Data masking


Data leakage prevention


Monitoring activities


Web filtering


Secure coding

ISO 27001 Compliant Process

The process of getting ISO 27001 compliant

Curious about where to start? Here are seven core (and summarized) steps to getting ISO 27001 certified. Fortunately, we’ve deep-dived into the entire process in our complete ISO 27001 Guide.

Types of ISO 27001 Audits

Internal vs. external audits

Internal Audits

An internal audit is an ongoing process in order to gauge compliance. It’s conducted by an organization (either via its internal staff or a hired third party). Internal audits review and assess compliance with ISO 27001. These internal audits are required by ISO 27001, and most organizations work alongside a certifying body to determine the frequency of their internal audits. In brief, your internal audit should include the following tasks:

  • Review and maintain all internal documentation for policies and procedures.
  • Sample evidence from your current ISMS and demonstrate where the policies and procedures are implemented.
  • Conduct a document and field review to ensure you meet ISO 27001 requirements.
  • Create and follow a remediation plan according to the audit findings. 

External Audits

An external audit is where the stakes get significantly higher. This is conducted by accredited certifying bodies to confirm your compliance and certify your organization. The internal audit is ultimately in preparation for the external audit. However, it’s important to note that there are four types of external audits. 

The 4 types of external audits:

01 ISMS Design Review

During this audit, the auditor reviews your ISMS design and scope. This includes reviewing and assessing all documentation, processes, and procedures to ensure that your chosen controls and design meet ISO 27001 standards. 

02 Certification Audit

This stage is where you’ll (finally) get certified! An auditor will review your processes and controls and confirm whether they meet ISO 27001 requirements. Remember those primary controls from Annex A? This is where they come into play. The external auditor will assess if they’ve been implemented correctly. If approved, you’re eligible for your full ISO 27001 certificate – congratulations!

03 Surveillance Audits

After the certification process, certifying bodies still conduct periodic audits, known as surveillance audits. This is to ensure that companies maintain compliance after they have been certified. The audit process involves taking random sample data to ensure it still follows the processes defined in the ISMS documentation. 

04 Recertification Audits

Got certified? Job’s far from over, we’re afraid. Organizations are subject to mandatory recertification audits every three years. This ensures they maintain their certification eligibility and stay aligned with a changing threat landscape.

Considering everything that goes into getting (and staying) ISO 27001 compliant, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, the task isn’t as daunting as it seems with the right partner by your side. Our sidekick of choice? Automation, baby!  

Automation and
ISO 27001: What’s all the fuss about?

Relying on manual processes to get ISO 27001 certified almost always means settling for complex, error-prone, highly administrative, and time-consuming processes. Moreover, it often disrupts employees’ key responsibilities and delays company growth. So, what’s the solution if ISO 27001 compliance is so critical (and beneficial) for businesses?
Cue ISO 27001 automation– and yes, it’s worth the fuss.


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Collects evidence on auto-pilot, removing the need for manual administrative tasks.

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It frees up your teams to focus on other critical business areas.

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Tracks all ISO 27001 workflows in a centralized place.

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Stays current with changing requirements in ISO 27001 landscape.

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Monitors all controls 24/7 for continuous compliance.

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Removes the risk of human error.

Are you ready to have the leading security standard fight for your team?
Tag Scytale into the ring and get ISO 2700 certified up to 90% faster.