A 10 step guide to ISO 27001 Certification

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With digital developments and technological advancements, more and more organizations have turned their face online. This hike in the digital upfront has benefits on one side of the coin, whereas many loopholes on the other end. The potential space of exploitation has always been an inviting trend for attackers in the cyber domain. Cybercrimes have drastic impacts to follow and are on the very rise with organizational advancements and technical vulnerabilities. Organizations find it difficult to cope, and there is a need for compliance standards and stiff security strategies.

An ISO 27001:2013 certification is a global information security management standard for organizations. By unlocking ISO 27001 compliance certification, organizations benefit through a massive defensive line. Over the years, ISO 27001 implementation has helped firms minimize cybersecurity risks, and complying with it, has proved the value. Adhering to the particular standard can hike customer reliability and trust, enhancing your reputation in terms of security. The assurance of reduced risks and threats has made the ISO 27001 standard one of the globally accepted indications of security effectiveness, improving your organizational structure and focus.

ISO 27001 consulting service has proved the value to numerous enterprises connected to banking, fintech, government organizations, healthcare, retail, IT service providers, cloud service providers, e-commerce etc. Effective compliance to the standard has aided organizations to preserve the CIA of information through robust risk management services. Let’s explore a 10-step guide towards achieving the golden compliance standard.

  1. Analyse, prepare and gather data
  2. Define scope & objectives
  3. Brief an ICMS policy
  4. Conduct a risk assessment
  5. Make a Risk treatment plan
  6. Develop a training strategy
  7. Review & Update the documentation
  8. Monitor, track & evaluate
  9. Conduct internal audits
  10. Certification audits

Analyse, prepare and gather data

The first and foremost step to the valued certification is to know what an ISO 27001:2013 certification is all about. Read, analyse and garner sufficient information about the standard and its organizational benefits. Another way to filter the requirements is by choosing an expert ISO 27001 consultancy for the needed compliance. By securing the help of an ISO 27001 consultant, you stand a better chance to win the compliance standard. An expert advisory support is required to implement ISMS and understand the best requirements for achieving ISO 27001 certification. A comprehensive gap analysis is performed by specialists, identifying the gaps in your existing information security arrangements against the needed standards.

Define scope & objectives

Defining the objectives and scope of your ISMS is the next phase towards the golden standard. You will need to consider the ISMS scope of your company at the earliest. The interests of stakeholders, employees and other allied business units also need to be taken under consideration while defining the scope. According to ISO 27001 standard, the scope of a project should be manageable. The main reason for setting your ISMS scope is to define which information gets protected. Outlining your ISMS deliverables at the earliest can help you achieve the goals avoiding time and resources limitations.

Brief an ISMS policy

When it comes to ISO 27001 documentation part, an ISMS policy proves the most valuable element of information. Writing a lengthy curve on issues of information security management framework is not perfect choice. But briefing down the important issues of security management within your organization can be healthy. Outlining your ISMS policy have an added advantage to your employees. It can give them a better understanding of the raised issues, and at the same time, aid in the explanation phase. By briefing the policy, you stand to a precise level on prioritizing the issues.

Conduct a risk assessment

ISO 27001 risk assessment helps organizations clearly define the elements, assets and services that need protection. It also requires the formulation of a risk assessment methodology in planning and mitigating the risks. It is well-advised to formulate the assessment methodology in order and priority while controlling the risks. Before jumping to risk assessments, the baseline security criteria of your business need to be determined. With the right risk assessment plan and methodology, organizations could clearly distinguish the risks associated with different elements. Surpassing the step concretes your organization’s ability in identifying the vulnerability areas.

Make a risk treatment plan

The risk treatment plan is a crucial part of IS0 27001 vulnerability managementAll findings on the risk assessment phase need to be prioritized, filtered and sorted on whether to accept, eliminate, tolerate or transfer for claims. The risk treatment plan is a roadmap of mitigation responses towards the recorded vulnerabilities. Organizations applying for the ISO 27001:2013 certification should note down the remediation plans before the audit section. It must cover all the findings on a priority basis, inclusive of the respective countermeasures. Also, to note, it is compulsory to submit a statement of Applicability (SOA) & risk treatment plan (RTP) as evidence to your risk findings.

Develop a training strategy

The standard seeks an effective training strategy for organizations while going through the certification phase. It is a method to hike the security awareness of employees within the organization. A common reason for ISO 27001 project failure is the inability of your in-house staff to grab the right knowledge on implementation policies. Employees require extensive training on various risk treatment plans and to perform associated procedures in a more effective manner. E-learning courses and video sessions can foster the needed guidance and awareness with all employees. By implementing a training strategy for your employees, they will have a clear idea, ensuring the right path for ISO 27001 compliance.

Review & update the documentation

The ISO 27001 documentation phase is a bit tough when you are not fully aware of the requisites. Seeking the aid of consultancy services for better knowledge and documentation insights is always recommended. Starting from defining the ISMS scope, security policy and risk assessment & treatment processes, the documentation phase extends to the SOA, RTP, evidence results etc. All results of risk assessments and treatment plans need to be well supported. Internal audit documentation alongside evidence of audit programmes and audit results add to the part. It should also evoke evidence of other corrective actions and management reviews in accordance.

Monitor, track & evaluate

Another phase through which the ISO 27001 implementation pass-through is the monitoring part. As an organization, the technical resources of your company should be fully aware of the ISMS. They need to know what is happening through the systematic approach of risk management. It also extends for a clear picture of past incidents and a complete track of the policies. The performance of ISMS should be evaluated and reviewed constantly. It will also serve as an indicator to which your goals adhere to the pre-set standards. As a result, the monitoring part also points to the corrective actions and improvements.

Conduct internal audits

Internal audit is the core part of the ISO 27001 certification program. It helps to recognize the effectiveness of the deployed policies and strategies associated with the ISMS. Conducting audits at regular intervals improves the security posture, and organizations need to make sure of it. It also shoots the responsiveness, ability, technical know-how of the concerned managerial department with the ISMS. Mistakes from employees can happen anytime, knowingly or unknowingly. Internal audits are the perfect methodology to pop out those issues and potential challenges. Having the aid of an ISO 27001 consultant to conduct an internal audit has been the fruit factor for the required compliance.

 Certification audits

The final phase of ISO 27001 certification comprises a two-stage process of certification audits. The two-stage process happens to be the decider for your compliance certification. During the first audit, the auditor will inspect whether the documentation meets the standards and requirements of ISO 27001. This phase relates to the suggestion towards non-conformities and improvements to the management. The second phase of the audit focuses on a stiff and solid assessment of your compliance with ISO 27001 standard. The certification process could consume time, depending on management complexity and scope challenges. 

Summing Up

With the aid and technical knowledge of ISO 27001 service providers, the certification is now more flexible for seeking organizations. The standard of compliance is the token of award designated to organizations that deploys proper alignment of set business objectives and security goals. While considering the management framework and complexity, different departments hold the responsibility for compliance. As a result, each employee will have to play a significant role in the effective implementation of security standards. The ISO 27001 is the global benchmark for the management of information assets. Non-compliance to the standard can bring hefty losses for your business concerning the information security of assets.

 

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