What is ISO 27001?

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Wondering what ISO 27001 certification is and whether your organization needs it? ISO 27001 provides a framework for implementing an information security management system (ISMS)—a robust framework that protects data, information, and networks to meet demands from customers, stakeholders, lawmakers, and investors.

It helps businesses of all sizes ensure that they are compliant with relevant data laws, keep customer and other important data safe, and prevent networks and IT services from being compromised by cybercriminals. It can help ensure an organization takes effective steps to safeguard data, preventing data breaches and theft, and building trust with customers.

An ISMS is a series of tools, processes, and policies designed to manage information security in an organization. Implementing an ISMS that is certified to ISO 27001 standard demonstrates to stakeholders, customers, and employees that your organization has an effective system in place.

What Is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is developed by the International Organization for Standardization and is a part of the ISO 27000 family, a selection of international standards specializing in information security.

The standard provides a framework for information security management systems (ISMS) for organizations to protect their sensitive information from threats to data security, such as:

  • Unauthorized access to systems and networks.
  • Theft, including customer data or company IP.
  • Damage to networks and systems, such as through ransomware attacks.
  • Security incidents, such as lost or poorly stored data.
  • Data breaches.

The purpose of ISO 27001 is to help organizations identify potential information security risks and ensure effective measures are in place to mitigate any threats.

Despite their fundamental similarities, ISO 27001 is distinct from ISO 27002, since the latter is designed to offer more specific guidelines for best security practices, mainly focusing on areas like passwords, network security, and employee training.

what is an ISMS

What Is an ISMS?

An information security management system (ISMS) is a systematic approach used to handle and safeguard sensitive information within an organization.

The standard can establish and improve an organization’s existing ISMS, or form the basis of a new ISMS. ISO 27001 is useful, as it sets the guidelines required to create an effective ISMS that protects valuable information and assets, identifies risks, and reduces potential threats to a business’s information security.

What Is ISO 27001 Certification and Who Is It For?

ISO 27001 is suitable for all sizes of organizations regardless of industry sector with the intent of keeping important information safe, ranging from retail businesses that need to store customer data for marketing purposes to government agencies that handle sensitive records.

It details specific policies and frameworks organizations can use to secure information, such as deploying strong passwords, encrypting data, and having effective firewalls in place to protect your network. It helps support activities such as risk assessments and gap analysis, incident reporting, knowledge sharing, and keeping up-to-date with regulatory or legal requirements.

The framework helps organizations develop plans and procedures to initiate in the event of a cyber attack, which is beneficial for reducing damage costs and ensuring business continuity.

Additionally, ISO 27001 is for businesses and institutions that take information security seriously and want their customers, clients, and stakeholders to know this.

Once organizations gain certification, they openly demonstrate their credibility and win customer trust and confidence, thereby likely increasing popularity, sales, and revenue.

what is ISO 27001 certification

Benefits of ISO 27001

Legal Compliance 

The most apparent benefit of certification is that it helps organizations meet many of the legal and regulatory requirements related to information security. This can bring peace of mind to business owners and managers as their ISMS is likely to adhere to current regulations and therefore they’re avoiding legal penalties, lawsuits, and repetitional damage.

Build Confidence and Trust With Customers

ISO 27001 certification demonstrates to customers, partners, and other stakeholders that their organization prioritizes information security. It builds trust and confidence in their partnerships and clients, who can be assured that their sensitive data will be handled responsibly.

Ensure Business Continuity 

ISO 27001 highlights the importance of business continuity planning, ensuring that organizations can continue their operations in the face of unexpected events or disruptions. It can help organizations minimize downtime and quickly recover from incidents by implementing measures to protect information and establish backup systems.

Save Costs

An efficient implementation may result in streamlined processes, cost savings, and increased operational efficiency. By preventing security incidents and data breaches; organizations can avoid costly legal consequences, reputational damage, and financial losses associated with security incidents.

How Is ISO 27001 Implemented?

  • First, the organization needs to establish a baseline ISMS.
  • Then, the organization needs to undergo a gap analysis to assess whether the current ISMS security practices are aligned with the requirements of ISO 27001, identifying areas where improvements or changes are needed.
  • Implements risk treatment plans. This means integrating appropriate security controls to mitigate the previously identified risks.
  • The organization must document its ISMS policies, procedures, guidelines, and other relevant documents.
  • Internal audits need to be carried out to examine the effectiveness and compliance of the implemented ISMS and identify any non-compliance issues or areas for improvement.
  • Management reviews the performance of the ISMS to ensure its effectiveness and continuous improvement. They take one last evaluation of the results of internal audits and make any recommended adjustments.
  • An accredited certification body, like Orion, performs an external audit. We evaluate your organization’s compliance with ISO 27001 requirements and assess the effectiveness of your ISMS.
  • If the organization meets all the requirements and successfully passes the certification audit, Orion will award your organization ISO 27001 certification, which you can then use to demonstrate your business’s commitment to information security.

Access our free Orion ISO 27001 Checklist to identify the key requirements for achieving certification.

Companies must monitor their certification to reach a powerful security level; the threat landscape is constantly expanding as cybercriminals are constantly discovering new methods to impede and hack into information security systems. Therefore, by frequently monitoring and assessing your ISMS, you can adjust your security controls and practices to disarm any emerging threats and consistently protect your information.

Certification requires frequent surveillance audits to ensure ongoing compliance and effectiveness and Orion recertification involves undergoing regular audits every three years to meet the latest requirements of ISO 27001.

Gaining certification is vital for organizations to establish and maintain effective information security practices and companies already certified experience a reduction of security risks, enhanced data protection, and a more esteemed industry reputation.

If you want to demonstrate a robust commitment to information security and gain a competitive edge, Orion Registrar can help you take the first step towards gaining ISO 27001 certification today. We also offer ISO 27001 training courses, covering ISO 27001 introduction to implementation. To find about recent changes, please read our ISO 27001 2022 Transition Guide.

Get a quote from Orion for ISO 27001 certification now.


Written by

Julian Russell

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