What is ISO 27001, and Why Is Information Security Important?

What is ISO 27001 and why is information security important? Well, as the world becomes more technologically advanced, there is an ever increasing need to keep the data your organisation is employed to keep safe out of the hands of outside ‘threat actors’. These threat actors can be anything from hackers, financial fraudsters, disgruntled competitors and even rogue employees.  

If you’ve kept an eye on our News section, you’d know that hackers are not shy when it comes to implanting malicious software (malware) to initiate data breaches, ransomware attacks and compromises of accounts and passwords inside organisations. While the internet has offered us endless opportunities as companies, it’s also presented us with a relatively new and hazardous landscape in which we operate; information security in 2020 is a mandatory minimum when it comes to protecting the sensitive data of your organisation, your staff and your clients. 

What is ISO 27001? 

ISO 27001 is an internationally-recognised Information Security Management System that requires your organisation to address key areas of your operations and policies to ensure that you’re vigilant about protecting the sensitive data that you’re hosting inside your organisation’s network. ISO 27001 provides organisations – big and small – with a framework to protect their information, educate their staff as to the best practices surrounding information security and instil risk-based thinking when it comes to potential threats to your organisation. This framework provides you with the applicable technical, physical and legal controls of information security, and allows you to prepare a robust policy that addresses potential risks and ensures the integrity of the data you’re protecting. 

Quite simply, ISO 27001 certification shows to all your major stakeholders – your customers, suppliers, staff and more – that you’re not only able to keep the information and data you house safe and secure, it shows that you’re proactive in maintaining and protecting that data into the future as the threat environment continues to change. With Information Security certification, you’re displaying clear intent to protect that data, and that it is inseparable from your organisation’s mission statement and core values as a high-level competitor on the market. 

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Why is ISO 27001 so Important? 

An information security management system like ISO 27001 is one of the most impactful tools your organisation has to keep its data safe, and ensure that you’re inspiring confidence in your key stakeholders when it comes to information security. As we’ve seen in the past, it can take decades to build up a robust and trustworthy organisational reputation, which, in the wake of a cyber attack, often leaves companies big and small reeling. IBM’s latest Cost of a Data Breach report states that organisations can expect a $5.3 million clean-up bill in the aftermath of a cyber attack. 

Interestingly, authors of the IBM report stated that organisations with a cyber security or information security policy were significantly better off than their unprotected counterparts. The report says that on average, costs associated with a data breach on an organisation with no response or information security plan were said to be $5.2 million. This figure dropped to $2 million for organisations that had implemented a policy. 

For most organisations, this is something that they cannot afford, and highlights the cost-effective nature of implementing an Information Security Management System to reduce your risk of a data breach. Getting certified with an Information Security Management System also allows you to expand your organisation’s size and scope, considering that large scale and government tenders are commonly offered only to organisations with accreditation similar to ISO 27001. 

What is ISO 27001, and Why Is Information Security Important?
  • Companies are often fined in the wake of data breaches
  • IBM says the cost of a data breach stands at AUD $5.3 million
  • For organisations with a cyber security policy, these costs dropped to $2 million
  • Customers now demand high-levels of technical and cybersecurity awareness from vendors
  • ISO 27001 helps teach your team technical skills and cyber security best practices
  • Large scale tenders are often made available only to organisations that are certified
  • Risk-based thinking derived from the ISO 27001 framework is invaluable in the digital ecosystem

How to Get Certified to ISO 27001 Information Security Management System 

With Best Practice, the process of being certified to ISO 27001 is a collaborative effort and allows you to get a better understanding of your operations. Our certification process has four steps: 

1. Optional Gap Analysis: The process begins with an optional gap analysis to evaluate your management system against each clause of ISO IEC 27001

2. Stage One: The mandatory first step is a desktop assessment to evaluate your management system documentation, including policies, processes, management review records, scope and context as well as system implementation.It sets the foundation for the stage two assessment.

3. Stage Two: The stage two assessment is the final step of the initial certification process. To achieve certification against your systems, we need to verify that the documented requirements of the standard are implemented across the business. We visit your offices and premises as well as partake in discussions with relevant people in your business.

4. Certification: Once your stage two assessment is verified and the process is complete, a ‘Statement of Certification’ is issued, confirming compliance with the relevant standard.​ This certification is valid for a three-year period from the date of issue.Surveillance assessments will need to be performed on a regular basis to maintain your certification.

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