If you’re eager to build customer trust, protect your business from data breaches and streamline operations, you should consider obtaining your ISO 27001 certification. Here at Candy Management Consultants, we have years of invaluable experience in the ISO and health and safety industries, so we know which business stand to gain the most from implementing ISO 27001 principles.
To help you make the right decision for your organisation, we take a look at the definition of the ISO 27001 standard as well as the key features of ISO 27001. From managing risks and instilling a security mindset in all employees to setting universal company values and committing to continual improvement, obtaining your ISO 27001 certification promotes the safe management and storage of information across your business.
What is meant by ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 (formally known as ISO/IEC 27001:2005) is an internationally-recognised standard used to stipulate the requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). Regardless of which business or organisation implements an ISMS, this system is designed to help them by providing greater protection against information threats and vulnerabilities.
This framework of policies and procedures aims to support the management and protection of information using a systematic approach. While not every risk to your organisation’s information can be completely eliminated, obtaining your ISO 27001 certificate and introducing an ISMS can help to reduce the level of information security risk to a more acceptable level.
Why is ISO 27001 important?
While there are many different benefits to achieving the ISO 27001 certification for your business, the main advantage is the added security against security threats and data breaches. An effective ISMS is designed to reduce the likelihood of successful cyber attacks, hacking attempts, data leaks, and information thefts.
A certain degree of information security is already a mandatory requirement of many UK regulations and data privacy laws, but gaining your ISO 27001 certification can increase your chances of preventing data breaches and, in the event of a data leak, significantly improve your recovery time. Below, we explore the main features of ISO 27001 as well as the benefits of implementing this standard in greater detail.
What are the key features of ISO 27001?
Regardless of what industry your business operates within, it’s vital that you understand which steps and controls need to be in place in order to protect your information. More than simply passwords and creating backups of information, the ISO 27001 principle of care is put in place to ensure an organisation takes the right level of care when it comes to managing and storing each piece of information.
Ensuring all your employees read, understand, and actively implement actions from your information security policies helps to aid awareness of ISO 27001 and its importance across your business. They should be aware of how ISO 27001 impacts them as well as their role in updating and applying them to their everyday responsibilities.
Part of parcel of implementing ISO 27001 is that there will be resulting tasks and actions that need to be performed in order to abide by this standard. To do this, it’s crucial that the responsibility of carrying out these tasks is assigned to designated employees. If a task is given shared or whole-team responsibility, it can be difficult to assign accountability, so it’s important to assign specific ISO 27001-related tasks to specific employees.
Management commitment refers to the senior leadership in an organisation taking an active approach to implementing and maintaining the ISO 27001 standard. Top management must ensure the information security objectives are established and embedded into the business, and that the right resources are available to accomplish them. Above all, management should ensure that the system is effective in achieving its intended results.
The values that you should include in your ISMS should be familiar and reflective of those that already exist across your organisation. These values could include loyalty, honesty or trust, for example. Not to mention, regardless of which values you choose to include in your ISMS, everyone must be aware of what they are and how they are implemented, creating value alignment throughout the business.
This principle of ISO 27001 refers to the process of conducting risk assessments and then using the results of these assessments to identify controls that can be implemented to reduce the degree of risk to a more acceptable level. During these systematic risk assessments, you should be looking for the possibility of any threat or action that could have a negative effect on your organisation. The controls should then be implemented as a response to each of the identified risks/threats.
If an ISMS is more of an afterthought for your organisation, then you may struggle with the ISO 27001 integration principle. This important information security principle refers to how an ISMS should be built from the ground up, playing a crucial role in how your organisation operates. If an ISMS has been properly integrated, then it’s more likely to be at the forefront of your employee’s minds during daily operations.
Everyone is involved
Regardless of which principles of ISO 27001 you implement, they won’t make a difference without the active involvement of every member of staff. The ISMS can only be effective if everyone is working towards the same goal – this is where business-wide information security training and awareness play a vital role in helping your organisation to achieve its ISO 27001 certification.
Everywhere is involved
Similar to involving everyone in your ISMS, everywhere should also play a part. Each area of your business, from accounts to IT and sales, must have an understanding of how they contribute to this system. This principle also applies to every level of your organisation – from the CEO to the janitors – there’s no employee within your business that shouldn’t be aware of the ISMS procedures and processes that they should be putting into practice.
The final principle of ISO 27001 is perhaps one of the most important – a dedication to continual improvement. As the nature and degree of information security risks and threats are always changing, it’s crucial that your organisation is able to adapt and improve upon current procedures and protocols when necessary. Constant improvement of your ISMS also helps to streamline operations and increase workplace efficiency.
Who needs to be ISO 27001 certified?
While ISO 27001 isn’t a mandatory certification for UK businesses, there are some industries and organisations that stand to gain the most from implementing these stringent information security controls. This includes banks, building societies, insurance companies, financial institutions, and even the more prestigious businesses (like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft) that would receive massive backlash in the event of a data breach or threat.
Due to the nature of information data breaches, financial institutions tend to be ISO 27001 certified with data protection laws being the strictest for this industry. In order to comply with UK laws and regulations regarding data protection, privacy, and information security, the vast majority of these businesses will want to obtain their ISO 27001 certification as soon as possible.
Why should you become ISO 27001 certified?
If your company isn’t a bank, building society, or prestigious Fortune 500 company, then you may not believe that the time, effort, and cost involved in obtaining ISO 27001 certification is justified. However, there are many benefits to ISO 27001 for small and medium-sized businesses as well as organisations from a whole host of different industries, too. We explore some of these universal ISO 27001 advantages in greater detail below.
Prevent data breaches
It’s no secret that data breaches spell bad news for businesses. Regardless of the industry, your business operates within, it’s likely that you’ll retain important customer data including their name, address, and contact details. Often, financial institutions will store far more valuable data customers such as bank details and their income.
If stolen, this crucial data can be misused to steal money and even the identities of your customers. As a result, these breaches are not only costly and time-consuming to solve, but they can also be detrimental to your brand and customer trust. Implementing an ISMS that addresses both the technology and employees of an organisation reduces the risk of this information being stolen.
Quicker breach recovery time
In the event of a data breach, your recovery time is vital. According to a new report by Blumira and IBM, on average, it can take hundreds of days to identify a breach and then months on top of this to contain it. The report found that the average length of time it took for a breach to be detected was 212 days, while the act of containing the breach added an extra 75 days to this procedure. A quicker breach recovery time, therefore, helps to prevent lost time and productivity.
Promote employee security mindset
A security mindset simply means adopting a security-centric way of thinking. With regards to an ISMS, it refers to the ability to identify and constantly look for both real and potential threats to the security of an operating system, infrastructure, process, or even a building. If your employees can understand that information security is a shared responsibility and that they all have a part to play in protecting this information, you’re likely to benefit from a more effective ISMS.
Build customer trust
Is there anything more pivotal to a business’s growth than its customer relationships? To help instill a sense of trust throughout your customer base, it’s vital that you demonstrate how seriously you take protecting their information. One way you can achieve this is by becoming ISO 27001 certified as many data protection laws and regulations are based on ISO 27001 guidelines and principles.
Comply with Government legislation
While failing to comply with Government legislation can expose your business to security threats, it can also land you with hefty fines and significantly damage both the resources and reputation of your business. Failing to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the infringement of its principles, for example, could land you with “a maximum fine of £17.5 million or 4 per cent of annual global turnover” depending on which of these figures is greater. Implementing ISO 27001 can support your compliance with this UK data protection legislation.
Reduce security risks
The most obvious benefit of introducing an ISMS into your organisation is the identification and reduction of information security threats. Achieved using a combination of ISO 27001 principles including early risk identification and mitigation, management commitment, responsibility, awareness, care, and integration, we believe there’s nothing more important than protecting your business, its data, and your customers’ information here at Candy Management Consultants
Find expert ISO 27001 consultants
If your business requires a helping hand when it comes to safely store and managing information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Candy Management Consultants today. Each one of our ISO 27001 consultants has an invaluable ten years of experience working in this industry which contributes in no small part to our impressive 100% success rate to date.
Regardless of whether you’ve never heard of ISO 27001 or have some experience in the ISO and health and safety industries, our expert consultants can provide an unparalleled level of customer service to help you obtain your certification as quickly as possible. At Candy Management Consultants, we offer set timeframes, transparent prices, and affordable payment options to ensure our clients are fully satisfied.
To find out more about the way we work and how you can obtain your ISO 27001 certification using a timeframe and budget that works best for your business, please feel free to contact us today! We’re available via phone (give us a call on 0161 470 7929) and email using the address firstname.lastname@example.org. Not to mention, you can also get in touch by filling out and submitting our handy online contact form – the choice is yours!