IT Simplified: ISO 27001

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard that describes best practices for an Information Security Management Systems(ISMS). It’s based on a set of controls and measures, which organizations can use to achieve information security. 

The ISO 27001 standard requires that you have procedures in place to cover aspects of the ISMS, including:

Information security risk management (What are the risks you face and how do you treat those risks?)

Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation (How is the effectiveness of the information security management system evaluated?)

Improvement (How are nonconformities evaluated and corrected?)

Who Needs ISO 27001?

Any business experiencing growth in international markets that wants to demonstrate to  customers they are preserving the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information by applying a risk management process can benefit from ISO 27001. The primary focus is empowering organizations to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve their ISMS. 

If you’re not sure where to start for ISO 27001 certification, here’s a basic outline to help guide you through

Define Your ISMS Scope 

One of the most important steps in becoming ISO 27001 certified is defining the scope of your ISMS.Your scope should cover your organization’s systems, processes, locations, services, applications, departments, people, and data, etc. that make up the components of your ISMS.

Perform a Risk Assessment

To ensure your ISMS addresses threats appropriately and conforms with ISO 27001, you’ll need to perform a risk assessment. A risk assessment will help you identify the necessary controls to mitigate applicable risk. For risks that require mitigation strategies, you will need to create risk treatment plans

Document Your Information Security Policies

The policies you implement will become the foundation of your information security strategy and should be defined, approved, published, and communicated with the broader organization. Your policy should be relevant to your organization, clarify your information security objectives, show a commitment to satisfy ISO 27001 requirement  and ensure continuous improvement of the ISMS.

Operationalize Your ISMS 

Operationalize your ISMS by implementing processes to meet ISO requirements. These clauses cover planning, risk assessment, document control, procedure implementation, monitoring, and how your strategy and policies will remain current with updates and improvements. 

Ensure your strategy and policies are synced with tactical activities that prove your ISMS is operational and repeatable—meaning you’re able to assess risks, execute control processes, track metrics, and identify and implement corrective actions. 

Perform an Internal Audit

An internal audit is required to be completed as a means of independently monitoring your ISMS. The internal audit will help you find any nonconformities, determine the effectiveness of your ISMS, and discover any potential opportunities for improvement.

Implement Corrective Actions From Internal Audit

From the findings in your internal audit, implement corrective actions for any nonconformities. Your plan should include: 

The nonconformity identified. 

How you intend to correct, control, and deal with the consequences of the nonconformity.

The root cause of the nonconformity.

The effectiveness of your correction. 

Review Your ISMS

It’s required for senior-level management to continuously review the ISMS to ensure its effectiveness and that it meets your organization’s objectives. 

Schedule recurring review meetings that go over: 

Internal or external changes that impact the ISMS. 

Status updates on past ISMS reviews.

Feedback from internal audits, risk assessments, and interested parties

Be sure to document the results and actions from your reviews.  

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