ISO 27001 Standard

ISO 27001 is an international standard for Information Security Management Systems. This international standard specifies the requirements for setting up, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS) within the context of the organization. The organization's needs are tailored to the requirements for the assessment and treatment of information security risks by ISO 27001. The ISO 27001 requirements are generic and intended to be applicable to all organizations, regardless of type, nature, or size.

ISO 27001

Benefits Of ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is not mandatory for all U.S. businesses. However, businesses can benefit from ISO 27001 because it is an international best-practice standard for information security. Information security through the IS0 27001 certification shows clients, employees, trustees, third parties, and other stakeholders the serious commitment to it by businesses.

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ISO 27001 Requirements

The ISO 27001 requirements are found in clauses 4 to 10. Clauses 4 to 10 provide the ISO 27001 requirements that are mandatory for companies wanting to be compliant with the standard.

The first requirement is in clause 4. Clause 4 discusses the context of the organization. The context of the organization should be understood before implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS). ISMS scope must need to be defined by the organization. The organization needs to determine how extensively is the application of ISO 27001.

The next ISO 27001 requirement is found in clause 5. Clause 5 summarizes leadership requirements. Leadership in an adequate & manifold fashion is the requirement of ISO 27001. Other requirements of ISO 27001 are establishing objectives based on the strategic objectives of the organization, providing resources needed for the ISMS, and supporting persons to contribute to the ISMS. ISMS performance report requires roles and responsibilities to be assigned following the ISO 270001 standard. ISO 27001 also requires the top management to establish an information security policy. The information security policy should be documented and communicated within the organization and to interested parties.

The third ISO 27001 requirement is in clause 6. Clause 6 revolves around planning. Planning in an ISMS environment must always consider risks and opportunities. Risks and opportunities can be identified using an information security risk assessment. The information security risk assessment is where the information security objectives are based. The information security objectives are needed to be promoted within the company. The company’s security goals that work toward everyone within are provided by the information security objectives. From the information security objectives and information security risk assessment, risk treatment is developed. 

The fourth ISO 27001 requirement is in clause 7. Clause 7 concerns support. Supporting the course requires resources, the competence of employees, awareness, communication, and information documentation. Information also needs to be created, updated, and controlled aside from documentation. Documentation in a suitable set must be maintained to support the success of the ISMS. 

The next ISO 27001 requirement is in clause 8. Clause 8 centers around operation. Under the operation, information security implementation requires processes. These processes should be planned, implemented, and controlled by the top management. The top management must also prioritize risk assessment and risk treatment. 

The next ISO 27001 requirement is in clause 9. Clause 9 outlines performance evaluation. Performance evaluation requires internal audits to be conducted between the departments as well as the organization ISMS to be reviewed by the top management. The top management must adhere to the requirements of ISO 27001 regarding the monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation of ISMS. 

The last ISO 27001 requirement is in clause 10. Clause 10 provides guidelines on improvement. The improvement follows up on the evaluation. After evaluation, nonconformities must be addressed by taking action and eliminating the causes if applicable in the organization. The organization must ensure a continual improvement process implementation, similar to Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. PDCA cycle is no longer mandatory, but it is recommended because of its solid structure and fulfills the requirements of ISO 27001. 

The Three Principles Of ISO 27001

The three principles of ISO 27001 assist businesses in adopting ISMS. ISMS helps in minimizing the occurrence of information security breaches and limiting their impact when they happen.

The first principle of ISO 27001 is the confidentiality of data. Confidentiality of data deals with maintaining information privacy. Information privacy can be the businesses’ own information or data shared by the businesses with their customers, prospects, and prospective partners or alliances. Businesses are mandated to develop an ISMS. The ISMS ensures the privacy of all types of information by restricting access to only authorized people of businesses. Businesses must also protect the information being shared within and outside their premises by using an encryption method. The encryption method prevents third parties or hackers from gaining access to the information during transmission. During transmission or sharing online, businesses can also use passwords to protect files from leakages or thefts.

The second principle of ISO 27001 is the integrity of data. The integrity of data deals with ensuring the accuracy of the information throughout its lifecycle. The accuracy of the information must be protected by businesses. Businesses must make sure that the data is not tampered with during its storage or transit. Data must remain in its original form as it was created and must have a backup if any authorized change was made. The authorized change must have automation. Automation updates all the versions of the changed data, including backups. Backups should be stored in one location to mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks and malware. Cyber-attacks and malware challenge the integrity of the data of businesses. Businesses’ operations can be negatively affected, including the trust of their customers, prospects, and partners, in case of data tampering.

The third principle of ISO 27001 is the availability of data. The availability of data requires businesses to ensure continuous access to all critical information for their daily operations. Their daily operations can be hampered by several issues like Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks, hardware issues, software issues, cyber-attacks, network failure, network crashes, and human error. These issues can be addressed by implementing an ISMS. The ISMS can mitigate the risk of downtime and its potential impacts. The potential impacts of these issues must be anticipated by businesses through a foolproof disaster recovery plan. The foolproof disaster recovery plan must contain an action plan in case of data system interruptions and a temporary backup plan to avoid consumer inconvenience.

ISO 27001 Process

ISO 27001 works on protecting confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information in a company by finding potential problems with the information. Through the identification of potential problems using the information, risk assessment is conducted. Risk assessment is partnered with risk mitigation or risk treatment. Risk mitigation or risk treatment is defining the steps to be done to prevent these problems from occurring.

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ISO 27001 Certification

Any business that wants to or is required to formalize and improve business processes around information security and privacy needs an ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001 certification enables businesses to show that their people, processes, tools, and systems follow an internationally recognized framework. This internationally recognized framework enables businesses to keep pace with accelerated change through internal innovation.

Internal innovation through ISO 27001 attracts more customers. Customers have increased confidence in businesses with ISO 27001 certification. Businesses with ISO 27001 certification are able to minimize customer business risks and take advantage of opportunities. ISO 27001 certification also attracts smarter customers who want the supply chain to have adequate protection.

ISO 27001 Controls

The ISO 27001 controls are in Annex A. Annex A consists of 114 controls that are arranged into 14 control categories:

  • Information Security Policies
  • Organization of Information Security
  • Human Resources Security
  • Asset Management
  • Access Control
  • Cryptography
  • Physical and Environmental Safety
  • Operational Security
  • Communications Security
  • System Acquisition, Development and Maintenance
  • Supplier Relationships
  • Information Security Incident Management
  • Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management
  • Compliance

Each of the 14 control categories gives businesses a clear explanation of their primary objectives.

ISO 27001 and Cyber Security

Yes, ISO 27001 covers cyber security. Cyber security is achieved by establishing information security controls through ISO 27001. ISO 27001 is used by businesses to show their customers, prospects, and potential partners they are committed to cyber security.

Cyber security is ensured by ISO 27001 by specifying the information technology protective measures, preventing the risk of intrusion and disaster in computer systems, and helping to distribute good organizational practices.

Complying With ISO 27001

You can comply with ISO 27001 in several steps. The first step is assembling an implementation team. The implementation team members must have a well-rounded knowledge of information security and authority to lead and give orders to managers of different departments. The implementation team is led by a project leader who will oversee the implementation of ISMS.

The next step is developing the implementation plan that highlights your information security objectives, plans, and risk registers. The next step is to initiate the ISMS, which has high-level policies that establish the roles and responsibilities, and rules for continuous improvement.

The following step is to define the ISMS scope, which includes identifying locations for information storage and the type of data, whether it is physical or digital. You also need to identify your security baseline, which will help you find out your business’s most significant security vulnerabilities and control them using ISO 27001.

Next is the ISO 27001 compliance step, which centers around establishing a risk management process. The risk management process is based on the threats you have identified and prioritized. The next step is implementing a risk treatment plan. The risk treatment plan is building security controls to protect your information assets.

One of the last steps is measuring, monitoring, and reviewing your ISMS annually through internal audits. The final step is certifying your ISMS by preparing for an external audit.