Digitalization is on the rise, and the increased use of technology and apps have grown exponentially. Embracing and leveraging new technologies, such as AI, machine learning, and collaboration platforms, has been great for organizations in a number of different ways, like being able to seamlessly shift to a remote or hybrid working model. However, if technology is used more frequently, cybercriminals and hackers have more opportunities to launch cyberattacks.
For business owners looking to get a security certification for their organization or business, CMMC, HIPAA, PCI, ISO, NIST – the wide range of potential security certifications and frameworks an organization can choose from is an acronym soup that will likely make even a compliance specialist's head spin!
However, there is no doubt that amid an ever-growing and changing list of both country and industry-specific certification options, the ISO/IEC 27001 standard is one of the popular choices. This is because of its applicability across several continents as well as business verticals.
If your organization or business is considering embarking on the ISO 27001 security compliance journey, read on to find out more about what this security standard is and how you can become ISO 27001 certified.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is simply a specification for an information security management system (ISMS). ISO 27001 is a comprehensive and overarching framework for managing IT security. It sets out the specification for an ISMS that helps keep confidential and sensitive consumer data safe. Keep in mind that after the completion of an audit, a company can be ISO 27001 certified by a competent auditor.
ISO 27001 is a recognized and accepted standard for firms operating inside and outside the US and demonstrates an organization's security and dedication to maintaining compliance with regulations and meeting the requirements of potential clients and business partners.
A business or organization can be trusted with confidential client data if it complies with a top-notch standard, such as ISO 27001.
The implementation of ISO 27001 is an ideal response to legal and customer requirements, such as the GDPR, CCPA, and potential security threats like cybercrime, theft and viral attacks, and personal data breaches.
ISO 27001 also specifies how an information security management system should function in order to satisfy the "C-I-A triad" of information security, which includes:
- Confidentiality (limiting data or information access to authorized users)
- Integrity (data is accurate, complete, and free from corruption)
- Availability (all users can easily access the information they need)
So, it is a working model for frameworks that surround the physical, legal, and technical controls that are often used when processing an organization's information risk management. With ISO 27001 controls, an organization is more secure from malicious actors, such as hackers.
What is an ISMS?
An ISMS is a comprehensive set of procedures and processes that helps an organization manage sensitive data. By using these procedures, it is possible to decrease the risk that data will be lost, deleted, or handled improperly.
Who Needs ISO 27001 Certification?
The ISO 27001 certification is a highly renowned standard across several industries. It has allowed businesses and companies worldwide to secure and protect their information systems while winning the trust and confidence of their clients and partners.
How Long Does ISO 27001 Certification Last?
In theory, ISO 27001 certificate is valid for three years. However, the catch is that it's a continuous process, and companies are audited annually on a specific subset of the standard to make sure this framework is important to them and that they are continually using the information security management system efficiently and according to plan. In principle, the certificate might be revoked if a business does not operate the system as it should.
ISO 27001 Requirements
Note that ISO 27001 is a unique framework. This is because there is no need to implement all the standards for an organization or business to receive certification. The standard comprises 114 controls spread across 14 categories. The ISO 27001 Security Standard mandates companies to assess and evaluate their information security management system and data, implementing the controls and procedures that make sense.
No matter the size or type of organization, it is possible to implement and achieve compliance with ISO 27001. The most straightforward approach for those seeking an ISO 27001 certification is getting the help and guidance of an external firm. An external partner will guide you through the certification process and make sure that your policies and practices adhere to the standard's requirements.
There is an established process for achieving certification once an organization is ready and willing to bring in an auditor or a certification body. The process is divided into three phases.
During this phase, an organization's ISMS will be thoroughly examined by an external auditor or a certification agency. A considerable portion of the work done in this phase determines whether the organization is prepared to move on to the second, more in-depth phase.
A considerably more detailed and comprehensive audit is performed during this stage, examining how specific security controls and procedures are applied at the organization to meet the specific requirements in the standard.
Note that in this phase, the auditor will look for evidence that the organization is implementing everything in the relevant documentation that was evaluated in the first phase.
An organization must go through yearly surveillance audits in order to maintain ISO 27001 compliance after receiving the official certification. The ISO/IEC 27001 certification of a company may be revoked before the stated expiration date in case of non-compliance.
Why Get the Certification
There are several benefits of achieving certification compliance. For example, one of the most prominent and important benefits is that it shows that an organization takes its information security management seriously. And having an independent assessment helps add extra weight to this. Having this important framework in place helps the organization:
- Demonstrate legal compliance
- Minimize risk exposure
- Create and foster a culture of security
- Achieve and improve customer satisfaction
- Ensure all information remains secure
An organization considering getting ISO 27001 certified should not be put off by the costs and time required to get this certification. This is because the process does not have to be complicated. With the right guidance, support, and tools, achieving this certification is certainly within reach.