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ISO Certification 27001 Simplified

Obtaining ISO certification 27001 serves as a business differentiator, demonstrating to suppliers, stakeholders, and clients that your company values information security management.

Certification signifies an organization’s commitment to continuous improvement, development, and protection of information assets/sensitive data via the implementation of appropriate risk assessments, policies, and controls. We will discuss what it means to be certified with  ISO certification 27001, the benefits, and what may be involved in this section.

Certified organisation for ISO Certification 27001 advertises to the world that they are trustworthy, that they have implemented an Information security Management System (ISMS) in accordance with Clause 4.4 of the standard, and that they have demonstrated compliance with an external auditor/independent ISO certification 27001 body, such as UKAS.

ISO 27001 certification is a business differentiator that shows other businesses that they can trust your organization to manage important third-party information assets/data and intellectual property. This generates a plethora of new prospects while safeguarding your firm from danger.

The ISO 27001 standard is a globally recognized best practice foundation for an ISMS.

ISO certification 27001 is most beneficial for organisations in the United Kingdom when it is obtained through a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) authorised certification body, which will independently audit your organisation and issue ISO certification 27001.

Other certification organizations identical to UKAS exist globally, which aids in the maintenance of the ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management Standard wherever an organization seeks ISO certification 27001. ISO 27001 accreditation is much more than just the technical measures you implement. ISO certification 27001 is concerned with ensuring that your business controls and management procedures are adequate and appropriate to the information security threats and opportunities identified and analysed in your risk assessment.

Compliance vs. ISO Certification 27001

Organizations new to information security management systems frequently inquire about the distinction between ISO certification 27001 and compliance, particularly when adhering to recognized standards such as ISO certification 27001.

In layman’s terms, compliance might indicate that the organization adheres to the ISO 27001 standard (or parts of it). ISO  certification indicates that the organization’s ISO  certification 27001 information security management system has been certified by auditors known as certification bodies to be in conformity with the standard.

Why Is ISO Certification 27001 Required?

ISO 27001 certification applies to any organization that chooses to or is compelled to formalize and enhance business processes related to information security, privacy, and asset security.

The size/turnover of a company does not imply the requirement for ISO 27001 certification; even the smallest of businesses may have influential clients or other stakeholders, such as investors.

Your organisation may show that its people, processes, tools, and systems comply with a recognised framework as a consequence of ISO Certification 27001. Consider a world without norms in financial reporting or health and safety. From the standpoint of certification and independent audit, information security lags behind those domains. Nonetheless, as the rate of change for practically everything accelerates, more inventive organizations are moving ahead internally, particularly in their supply chains. So there are two ways to look at ISO certification 27001.

  • As a customer, you need to know that your suppliers are certified in order to avoid business risks and capitalise on possibilities, such as more consistency, better standards, and lower total cost and risk of work you face from them.
  • Influential clients simply need ISO 27001 certification and pass the risk management procedure down the supply chain. There are other benefits to being ISO 27001 certified, aside from the increased business you’ll gain over competitors who aren’t. For example, knowledgeable employees will choose to work for well-known companies. As insurers improve their working procedures, consumers should see cheaper rates.

What are the advantages of ISO 27001 accreditation?

The important message for all stakeholders is the trust and assurance derived through externally validated information security management. ISO 27001 certification has several advantages, including:

The Advantages for you

  • Safeguard your intellectual property, brand, and reputation.
  • Gain more new and existing clients’ business.
  • Reduce your sales costs.
  • Keep more customers
  • Avoid regulatory noncompliance fees (such as GDPR)
  • Avoid civil claims as a result of a data breach Avoid the expenses of corrective action as a result of events and/or breaches
  • Recruit better employees

Advantages for your employees

  • Have faith in the organization’s long-term viability.
  • Work-related education and training (and home security)
  • Policies and procedures provide clarity.
  • They are proud of the organisation and its role in its protection.

The Advantages for your consumers

  • confidence in you and your supplier chain
  • There is less chance of an expensive breach.
  • Reduced supplier onboarding costs

Is ISO 27001 certification worth it?

If you access and manage significant information assets held by others, doing nothing is generally not an option. Some companies base their whole business on generating or managing information assets.

In such instances, losing part or all of that business or not getting more in the future usually suggests it’s worthwhile to spend money on becoming ISO 27001 certified, especially if customers or other stakeholders, such as investors, perceive a risk.

Because of new technologies like ISMS.online, obtaining ISO 27001 certification is no longer as difficult or expensive as it once was. Moreover, despite many of the strategic and financial benefits, some executives see it as a ‘grudging’ purchase and another bureaucratic check box exercise. Certification often requires time and financial investment; as with other strategic expenditures, the return and broader advantages should be considered.

The ROI from an ISO 27001 Information Security Management System (ISMS) may be examined further in a newly published whitepaper on Planning the Business Case for an ISMS by Alliantist CEO Mark Darby.

The whitepaper delves deeper into the possibilities and risks, advantages and repercussions, and provides a variety of tools and activities to assist:

Consider the return on investment

Learn how to manage your future information security management system.

You’ll also need employees that understand your industry and have the aptitude, capacity, and confidence to meet the demands. The technology used to create and maintain the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System determines the ‘people’ investment (ISMS).

You’ll need, for example,

  1. a digital or paper-based solution for explaining how you satisfy the fundamental standards of ISO 27001 and how that is managed over time (you are audited at least annually – see further below).
  2. It is a comparable environment to document and administer any Annex A controls and policies produced, and to ensure that they are made available to the persons to whom they apply. You can demonstrate that they are aware of them and interested in them (remember, these people might be staff and suppliers). Write controls and policies for the sake of writing them. They should all be predicated on the difficulties confronting your organisation, the expectations of your stakeholders, your scope and bounds (e.g., goods, locations, etc.), and the information assets you wish to safeguard. You must also show your efforts’ and record everything. It’s difficult to accomplish it successfully and keep it up over time with only word documents, spreadsheets, and a shared disc.
  3. All of the tools supporting that job will be documented and easily followed by the auditor in your management system.
  4. These actions are all risk assessed (using your risk management tool) to assist you to identify which of the Annex A control objectives you need to execute, which leads to your Statement of Applicability. Did I mention that you must demonstrate this to an auditor in order to be accredited with ISO 27001?
  5. A document set may be useful if it is actionable, that is, if you can use it and it is simple to accept, alter, and add to. It should also be integrated into that technological solution.
  6. If you rely on the supply chain, you must demonstrate how you govern those suppliers, particularly their contracts (this is also a core element of GDPR compliance!)
  7. The control goals and requirements anticipate a description of the method (e.g., a policy for dealing with security occurrences) as well as its demonstration.

Plan, Execute, and Act

The PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) method is a well-known methodology for system implementation. It was a conventional quality management strategy, although it may be out of date in its literal form.

The ISO 27001 2013/17 version permitted a more agile and dynamic process that enables continuous review and modification of the management system, allowing for more real-time PDCA and a reordering of the PDCA sequence for a pragmatic agile approach. Organizations frequently use this type of dynamic approach for their operational security systems, such as firewalls and network scanners. It is more suited to today’s ever-changing risk scenario. In the future, a well-managed information security management system will be a lot more flexible, dynamic, and continuously monitored.

  1. Create a plan for ISO 27001 implementation.

The following factors should be considered by the lead implementer when adding more context and structure to your ISO 27001 implementation plan:

Be clear about your objectives, compelling reasons to act, and any deadlines you want to meet – as well as the repercussions if you don’t.

Determine the headline ROI so you can apply the correct personnel and leadership – it will also aid in budget formulation, if necessary.

If your team is new to ISO 27001, purchase and study the ISO standards and ISO 27002 recommendations, comparing your present internal environment to what is necessary for success (a light gap analysis). Many of the criteria, processes, and controls may already exist and just need to be formalized. External training or lead auditor implementer programs may not be required; these can be wasteful and have a negative impact on how you want your information security management system to function as a realistic ISMS.

Consider pre-configured technological solutions and tools to see whether they are better than what you already have and make better use of your important resources. Some of these solutions, such as ISMS.online, feature actionable documentation that you can use, change, and add to for a huge head start, as well as virtual coaching and training on gaining certification.

Begin…and divide the job into manageable portions, celebrating the power of tiny victories. It is contagious to see regular progress towards 100% completion, so remember to develop a visible, open, and collaborative approach to share those small victories!

  1. Address the ISO 27001 standard’s main aspects

ISO 27001 may be implemented from the ground up by using a policy-led approach and simply providing documentation for Annex A controls. The more strategic and business-led approach essentially follows the way ISO 27001 is written and logically organized. We’ve simplified it as follows:

Examine the difficulties confronting your organization and comprehend the requirements of interested parties (stakeholders); in particular, identify the information assets as soon as feasible (you’ll get more specific with them later).

Set the ISMS’s bounds and scope.

Define your organization’s security goals based on its ISMS.

Set up the capability for frequent implementation reviews, audits, and evaluations to demonstrate that you are in charge, and document (briefly) from day one of the implementations to share.

  1. Assess your ISO 27001 compliance with the standard and preparedness for certification.

Measurements and evaluations are essential for ensuring that your ISMS is accomplishing its objectives. ISO/IEC 27001 specifies the following conditions for planned evaluation:

  • Management audits
  • Internal examinations
  • External audits may be conducted by an ISO 27001 certification authority, customers, or consultants, as appropriate.
  1. Enhance your ISMS as needed and schedule the stage 1 audit by the external certification organization.

The process of continuous improvement is critical to ISO 27001 success, and auditors will search for proof of it.

Security risks and vulnerabilities evolve at a quick pace, as do organizations’ developments and goals in many circumstances. A company must demonstrate its commitment to taking corrective steps and improving its ISMS. When properly implemented, your ISMS will be a business facilitator rather than a constraint on how you conduct your organization. If the ‘ISO 27001 tail’ starts wagging the ‘business-as-usual dog,’ you’re doing it all wrong.

Keeping your ISO 27001 certification relevant

The ISO 27001 certification cycle lasts three years:

Stages 1 and 2 are followed by the awarding of the certificate.

  • The first surveillance audit (usually annually or maybe more frequently based on scope, risk, and size) 2nd surveillance audit
  • Re-certification in the third year and a more thorough review

It can take 4-6 weeks to arrange an audit with an audit body, so keep that in mind, and we recommend selecting an auditor that is familiar with your industry and the size of the business. Otherwise, they may be more or less costly, but if they do not grasp your information security management system difficulties from a commercial standpoint, the procedure may be painful. Remember that the auditor is almost usually correct (although you can more easily demonstrate why you have done something and explained your risk appetite, control selection etc.,

A Standard ISO 27001 Certification Process

Adopting our Assured Results Methodology is another option for obtaining ISO 27001 certification achievement (ARM). ARM offers you a tried-and-true road to success, emphasizing practicality over perfection when it comes to developing your ISMS.

When combined with our Virtual Coach, ARM provides a superior starting point since it employs a hybrid method rather than a top-down or bottom-up approach. As a result, ARM is the most efficient and effective option to obtain certification.

What Is the Cost of ISO 27001 Certification?

Certification auditing is not the most expensive expenditure to consider. The greatest cost is the time and effort required to achieve certification from the individuals engaged in developing your information security management system and maintaining it year after year.

If you bring in outside expertise without a strong technical foundation, you may incur opportunity costs such as income loss from senior resources, core competency distraction for the business, and higher consulting fees.

However, certification expenses should be considered because they are determined by your organization’s size, scope, operations, etc. Most certifying bodies will provide a rapid online estimate or a follow-up.

The following expenditures should be considered for ISO 27001 certification throughout a three-year certification cycle:

  • Stages 1 and 2 of the first audit and certification audit
  • Audits of surveillance for Years 1 and 2
  • The cycle then repeats again, with re-certification every three years.

Audit fees are normally in the region of £1,000 per day (excl. VAT), with the number of days required varying according to the size of the organization and the extent of the management system. A small firm with a basic scope (e.g., one product, a few procedures, one head office, etc.) may require one day for a stage 1 audit, two days for a stage 2 audit, and an extra day for yearly surveillance.

It’s also worth looking for more creative audit organizations that are willing to do remote stage 1 audits. This is likely to be considered only if the management system is totally digital, as ISMS.online is. This makes it easy for them to see the implementation in action as auditors.

 

Conclusion

If your company is serious about information security, you’ll be seeking a faster, better, and easier approach to earn and retain ISO 27001 certification!

ISMS online is the answer. We’ll offer you an advantage by starting from a position of strength, such as with executable rules and controls. We provide pre-configured workspaces, a complete collection of tools, and a choice of solutions to help you decrease your administrative load and stay focused.

David Scott
David Scott
Digital Marketing Specialist .
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