How to apply for ISO 27001 certification

Interested in applying for your ISO 27001 certificate? As the most popular information security standard worldwide with more than 44,000 valid certificates as of 2020, the number of organisations that are ISO 27001 certified has been rapidly increasing, so why not join them?

Here at Candy Management Consultants, we have years of invaluable experience in the ISO and health and safety industries, so we know all the ins and outs of the ISO 27001 information security standard. Experts in helping organisations to obtain their ISO certifications, we offer a comprehensive and effective solution.

Below, we explain what ISO 27001 certification actually means, why it’s important to get ISO 27001 certified and which businesses stand to gain the most from obtaining their ISO 27001 certification. To help you achieve your ISO 27001 certificate, we even explain the application process for both organisations and individuals.

What is an ISO 27001 certificate?

Formally referred to as ISO/IEC 27001:2005, ISO 27001 is an internationally-recognised standard that sets out the various requirements of an information security management system (ISMS). In simple terms, this standard helps businesses and organisations to strengthen and improve the systems they use to manage and securely store information.

Designed to help these businesses systematically protect their information from threats and vulnerabilities, this standard involves the implementation of a framework of policies and procedures. An ISO 27001 certificate is therefore awarded to a business or organisation when they successfully implement the ISO 27001 standard requirements.

This ISO 27001 certificate can only be rewarded by an accredited, independent certification body. The certificate itself is a written assurance that the product, service, or system (in this case, the organisation’s ISMS) meets the stringent requirements of the relevant standard.

Why is it important to obtain an ISO 27001 certification?

ISO 27001 certification refers to receiving a certificate from an independent third-party registrar to accredit your business with being ISO 27001 compliant. By taking the time to achieve your ISO 27001 certification, you’re not only improving your ISMS, but you’re also strengthening your public perception and brand image. This can help to build trust and loyalty among your customers, securing your position in the marketplace and ensuring a reliable stream of revenue.

Does an ISO 27001 certificate offer complete protection?

Obtaining your ISO 27001 certificate does not mean your business is completely protected from information threats and vulnerabilities. While there’s no way to eliminate every risk to your organisation’s information, achieving your ISO 27001 certificate is a great way to constantly improve your ISMS and manage information risk until it reaches a more acceptable level.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, acceptable risk refers to the “level of Residual Risk that has been determined to be a reasonable level of potential loss/disruption for a specific IT system.” Regardless of whether this potential loss affects an organisation’s operations, assets, or individuals, there will be a specified level of risk tolerance.

Who can apply for ISO 27001 certification?

Put simply, any company that wishes to formalise their ISMS and improve their information security procedures and policies can apply for an ISO 27001 certificate. While individuals can also receive an ISO 27001 certificate to demonstrate that they have obtained the required skills, this certification is most commonly sought-after by businesses and organisations.

Who should apply for ISO 27001 certification?

In the UK, ISO 27001 certification isn’t an obligatory requirement for businesses and organisations. However, there are some industries where organisations are often under a legal or contractual obligation to obtain ISO 27001 certification. Alternatively, a company may want to obtain an ISO 27001 certificate to simply strengthen their information protection policies and procedures or to bolster their public reputation.

ISO 27001 involves the implementation of stringent information security controls, so it makes sense that banks, buildings societies, insurance companies and other financial institutions that hold a lot of vital information about their customers look into achieving their ISO 27001 certification.

It’s worth nothing, however, that banks and building societies aren’t the only organisations that may want to consider applying for ISO 27001 certification. Other prestigious businesses (such as Fortune 500 companies) often want to fortify their information security management systems to help prevent data breaches and threats.

Fortune 500 businesses include the likes of tech behemoths such as Google, Apple and Microsoft as well as global online marketplaces like Amazon. In the event that their information/customer data is stolen or lost from one of these companies, it’s likely they would receive significant backlash from their customers, resulting in fewer customers, a damaged reputation or a noticeable drop in sales.

Data protection laws tend to be the strictest for the financial industry which is why many financial institutions make obtaining their ISO 27001 certification a priority. By meeting the requirements for ISO 27001, these organisations will also be satisfying many of the UK laws and regulations relating to data protection, privacy and information security.

Are there different types of ISO 27001 certification?

There are two different types of ISO 27001 certification – one for organisations and one for individuals. For organisations, ISO 27001 certification follows a successful audit of their ISMS to ensure it’s compliant with the standard. This audit will take into consideration the organisation’s relevant policies, procedures, people and technology before rendering their decision.

While it’s important that organisations hold this certification, it’s equally as important to educate individual professionals, too. Without qualified people to maintain and continually develop the ISMS, it would eventually fail.  This is where the concept of allowing individuals to achieve their ISO 27001 certificate materialised.

Unlike organisations, in order for an individual to obtain an ISO 27001 certificate, they would need to attend and pass the relevant ISO 27001 exam. They would then be presented with a personal ISO 27001 certificate issued in their name which would allow them to take on an ISMS maintenance and development position within an organisation.

The application process varies depending on whether you are applying for ISO 27001 certification as an individual or a company. To ensure this process is as straightforward as possible for both individuals and organisations, we explore the two application processes in more detail below.

How to apply for an ISO 27001 certificate

ISO 27001 application process for organisations

Before an organisation can apply for an ISO 27001 certificate, they must firstcreate an ISMS that meets the ISO 27001 standard requirements. This might involve implementing new policies and procedures, employing new members of staff to maintain the ISMS, or even investing in new technology.

Once an organisation has implemented an ISMS that meets the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard, it can register for certification by approaching an accredited certification body. These independent, accredited certification bodies are the only way that an organisation can receive an ISO 27001 certificate.

It’s important to bear in mind that while the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) develops these international standards, they do not provide accreditation for them. Instead, they work alongside some international organisations, such as the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC).

These accredited certification bodies conduct audits and assessments to determine the effectiveness of an organisation’s ISMS. This process will involve documenting and monitoring the ISMS and can take up to a year. While the process of obtaining an ISO 27001 certificate may be a lengthy one, it can have many benefits.  

ISO 27001 application process for individuals

If an individual wishes to obtain their ISO 27001 certification, they would need to seek out a relevant training course. When choosing an ISO 27001 training course, it’s important to opt for one that is certified by a chartered body for quality professionals such as the Chartered Quality Institute (CQI).

You can use the CQI’s International Register of Certificated Auditors (IRCA) to find a certified auditor. After deciding upon an auditor, the individual will need to register for and complete the relevant ISO 27001 training. They will then be required to pass an ISO 27001 certification exam before they can be awarded a personal ISO 27001 certificate that is issued in their name.

Individual certification is provided on a one-time training/testing basis whereas certification for organisations continues in an ongoing cycle. It’s for this reason that obtaining ISO 27001 certification as an individual is often much easier.

Some organisations may even want to consider helping some of their employees to achieve their individual ISO 27001 certificate to support the company’s wider goal of obtaining ISO 27001 certification as an organisation.

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The exact ISO 27001 certification fee will vary according to which accredited certification body you choose. The cost of this certification will also depend on the degree of risks associated with your ISMS. Typically, however, the cost of becoming ISO 27001 certified increases with the number of people working for the organisation.

How long does it take to get ISO 27001 certification?

There are many factors that can influence the length of the ISO 27001 certification process. From the beginning to the end of the audit, the accredited certification body must contend with many variables including the degree of available resources, top management involvement and the size of the organisation.

As a result, a full ISO 27001 certification audit can take anywhere between three to 12 months. However, you can speed up this certification period if you enlist help from a professional ISO consultancy, like Candy Management Consultants. With plenty of experience with the standard requirements, we can make implementing a successful ISMS effortless.

ISO 27001 support from Candy Management Consultants

Eager to obtain your ISO 27001 certificate? To speed up this process, it’s always a wise move to enlist the professionals! Here at Candy Management Consultants, each one of our ISO 27001 consultants has amassed an impressive ten years of industry experience, so you can rest assured that you’ll be receiving tailored ISO 27001 support from expert consultants.

To date, we also have a 100% success rate, reassuring potential clients that we know how to help a wide range of businesses to achieve their ISO 27001 certificate. This expert level of ISO 27001 knowledge is paired with a dedication to high-quality customer service to ensure you obtain your ISO 27001 certificate as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Part and parcel of providing unmatched customer service and expert ISO 27001 guidance, we always deliver to set timeframes, use transparent pricing, and offer our clients a variety of affordable payment options to suit their budgets.

Regardless of how much experience you might have in the ISO and health and safety industries, why not reach out today to discover how the professional team at Candy Management Consultants can help?

Simply give us a call at 0161 470 7929, send us an email to the address, or fill out our online contact form! Once we’ve received your enquiry, we’ll ensure a member of our team gets back to you shortly to discuss your ISO 27001 certificate requirements and options.

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