When it comes to cyberattacks, everyone is a target. It does not matter if you have a small business or a big company. As long as you have online assets, you are at risk of being hacked. While it is true that the chances of your company’s cybersecurity being breached are small, one successful attempt is enough to cripple or even sink your business, and with it, your life’s work and those of your employees.
Having robust information security is essential to thwart cyberattacks or at least minimise their damage. And nothing says secure information more than an ISO 27001 certification.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is a global standard outlining the current best practices for information security. It was published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) as part of a broad “family of standards” governing information security management.
The strict requirements defined in the standard provide the foundations for an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS), which are people, processes, and technology. Each pillar is essential for effective risk detection, assessment, and prevention systems. And to ensure that the system is always up-to-date, the cycle of Plan Do Check Act or PDCA is built into it.
What are the benefits of ISO 27001?
Having an ISO 27001 certification means you have information security in place that is current and strong enough to prevent or minimise breaches that could have legal implications. Any sensitive information in the wrong hands can be very damaging to your business and threaten its continuity.
An actual breach does not even have to happen for your business to be undermined. Any perceived weaknesses or vulnerabilities from a lack of systemic action to prevent risks is enough to weaken confidence from within your company and from external partners, preventing you from growing your business. It is something that an ISO certification can certainly address.
Achieving ISO 27001 is not a guarantee that there will be no information breaches. But going through its process gives you the peace of mind that your company is in the best position to prevent them or keep their damage to a minimum, and maintain the confidence of current and potential business partners in your company’s reliability.
How do you get certified?
You can obtain an ISO 27001 certification for your company’s ISMS from any of the internationally accredited registrars. You can start by filling out a form at the registrar’s website to schedule a certification inquiry or a workshop to give you an idea of what you are up against. After this, you can review and agree on a consultant proposal, which outlines and how you will go about the certification process.
- Gap analysis
This is the first step in the certification process. Although the Gap Analysis phase is optional, it is important in helping you gauge where the current condition of your information security management is versus the requirements stipulated in the standard. It allows you to iron out any wrinkles in your system and a better chance of passing the actual audit.
- Stage one of the assessment
Once you are confident enough with your preparations, you can proceed to stage one of the assessment process. In this part, your information management policies, documentations, records, and implementation system will be evaluated by the auditor.
- Stage two of the assessment
In this stage, the effectiveness of the system audited in stage one will be assessed. The auditor will be on the floor at your office premises and talking to relevant personnel to verify if your system is, in fact, being implemented.
Once the assessment is done to the auditor’s satisfaction, you will be issued the certificate confirming your compliance with the standard’s requirements.
Keeping your company safe
Your responsibility in keeping your company’s information systems secure does not end with the awarding of the certification. On the contrary, it signals the start of an ongoing cycle of operating ISMS, monitoring results, and updating standards. But the reward is a robust defence against cyberattacks that could easily compromise your business, an end that more than justifies the means.