Understanding ISO27001 and How to Get Certified and Audited for It

  • January 25, 2023
  • Elisa Silverglade
  • 8 min read

What is ISO27001 certification, and does your organization need it? Here’s everything you need to know about how to get certified and audited. 

Key Takeaways:

  • The goal of the ISO27001 certification is to create a secure environment for effective data management and protection from external threats.
  • Adopting the ISO27001 standard can help businesses improve their IT security posture while demonstrating a commitment to protecting customer data.
  • Organizations looking to be ISO27001 certified must meet a long list of requirements and be committed to upholding its standards at all times. 
  • The benefits of ISO 27001 audits are vital to ensuring compliance and assisting companies in entering or renewing contracts. 

ISO27001 is an Information Security Management System (ISMS) standard that provides a framework for organizations to manage and protect their information assets. It was first published in 2005 and has since been revised several times. 

This international standard for information security management is critical for organizations looking to protect their sensitive data and keep up with the ever-changing information technology security demands. 

It’s not uncommon for some organizations to assume or underrate the importance of ISO27001 certification for a variety of reasons, despite its worldwide recognition and value. 

Business owners wondering how ISO27001 certification can impact their operations will find theirs answers here. This guide will discuss what ISO27001 is, how to get certified and audited for it, and the benefits associated with it. 

What is ISO27001, and what does it include?

ISO27001 is a framework of best practices and guidelines for developing an ISMS – a comprehensive set of policies, procedures, processes, and tools that help organizations identify, manage, protect, and monitor their information assets. 

An organization must develop an ISMS that meets the set requirements by completing audits to be certified as ISO27001 compliant. 

Should your organization be ISO27001 certified? 

Why your business should consider ISO27001 certification

Adopting the ISO 27001 standards has its benefits, just like any other certification. Here are five key benefits of adopting this standard. 

1. Improve security posture 

The standard outlines best practices for information security management, which can help organizations identify and mitigate risks that could threaten the security of their information systems. Certified organizations will therefore be better placed to handle potential threats, reduce risk and improve overall security posture. 

2. Demonstrates commitment to security 

Having an ISO 27001 certification also demonstrates a company’s commitment to information technology security in its operations. Customers, partners, and stakeholders will be able to know for sure that their data are secure from cyber threats. This commitment can help build trust with customers and partners, ultimately increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction. 

3. Improved regulatory compliance 

The certification also helps organizations comply with various regulations related to information technology security, such as GDPR and HIPAA. These regulations require organizations to implement specific measures to protect sensitive data from malicious actors or unauthorized access. ISO27001 certification is instrumental in meeting these requirements. 

Having this certification can make it easier for organizations to pass regulatory compliance audits. This is because all the required processes are already in place and documented according to the standards outlined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). 

4. Streamlined risk management processes 

Implementing this standard is also vital in assisting organizations in streamlining risk management processes, offering a framework for identifying, documenting, assessing, monitoring, and responding to IT-related risks.

It even makes it easier for organizations to document their risk assessment processes and ensure they take appropriate steps to mitigate threats beforehand.

5. Increased efficiency 

Implementing the ISO27001 standards allows organizations to reduce costs associated with IT infrastructure maintenance. This means improved efficiency as stakeholders can better centralize tasks associated with managing IT assets and services into one streamlined process or framework.

Organizations will be better positioned to respond quickly to any changes or new requirements related to information technology security – without investing time into creating new policies or procedures from scratch every time something changes.  

The benefits of implementing ISO27001 are many, and this presents an even better opportunity for organizations to improve productivity, uphold compliance and reduce costs. Businesses need to understand the specific requirements, however, including knowing how to get the certification in the first place. 

Getting started on your ISO27001 certification

Now you know about the benefits of ISO 27001 certification and what that entails, so how about how to get the certification? Here’s a simplified step-by-step guide on getting started. 

  1. Determine if an organization needs to meet the certification requirements, which outline specific security and privacy requirements for information management systems. 
  2. Create policies and procedures that meet the set standards and implement appropriate policies that will be key to this goal. Take advantage of the many tutorials and resources online to familiarize yourself with ISO27001 and its requirements if you need more clarification. 
  3. Establish a plan, identify any gap areas, and work toward sealing them – the very critical foundation to getting certified. Remember that you will not be liable for certification if you don’t address these gaps.  

You can apply for the certification once you have completed these steps. It is also worth noting that you may need more time and resources to ensure everything is in place, so getting help from qualified professionals is critical to ensuring compliance and getting started on your path toward certification. 

Five tips for maintaining an ISO27001-compliant organization

Your organization must meet some specific requirements to be ISO27001 certified; otherwise, it will be next to impossible to be considered for certification. Below are some of the compliance expectations that must be met. 

  • Develop a comprehensive information security management system covering all areas where data is handled.
  • Regularly review and test your system to ensure it meets the ISO27001 standard. 
  • Implement procedures to manage any incidents or breaches quickly and competently. 
  • Involve everyone in the process – from employees to third-party collaborators – to cultivate a secure organizational culture. 
  • Keep current on changing regulations and guidelines by constantly monitoring and performing audits. 

Following these tips allows your organization to be ideally placed for the certification and be well on its way to safely and responsibly securing its consumer data. Understanding what it takes to ensure a compliant organization is also key to knowing some setbacks that could stumble your efforts. 

Addressing ISO27001 certification challenges

Achieving the ISO27001 certification can be more challenging than you may think. Here are some issues that may complicate your quest for ISO27001 certification and how to address them.

  • Lack of knowledge surrounding what ISO27001 entails
  • Insufficient resources for proper implementation
  • Inadequate risk analysis
  • Outdated security policies
  • Weak access control processes
  • Lengthy documentation procedures
  • Difficulty auditing progress

Therefore, organizations striving for the certification should:

  • Understand the requirements
  • Invest in enough workforce and budget for practical application
  • Analyze risks in detail
  • Revise outdated processes into secure initiatives
  • Control user access securely
  • Carefully record all activities
  • Perform regular audits to ensure compliance

Performing ISO27001 audit

The benefits of ISO27001 audits cannot be understated – it is critical to ensuring compliance and assisting companies in entering or renewing contracts. For this reason, even if a company has been certified, it must schedule regular audits to demonstrate compliance and maintain the certification. 

Audits will ideally reveal that the company’s processes, controls, and systems effectively protect stakeholders’ information assets. To this end, there are two types of audits, internal and external, and the accreditation bodies will outline the specific requirements of how often the processes will be carried out. 

Here’s a simplified breakdown of the steps involved in ISO27001 audits

  • It is essential to understand the ISO 27001 framework in detail to analyze any current deficiencies against the set standards. 
  • You must also conduct internal and external risk assessments to ensure adequate controls and update them if needed. 
  • You must also document a clear audit plan that outlines timeframes, goals, objectives, and so on, as well as a formal gap analysis report focused on mitigating risks identified during the audit process. 
  • An independent review from third-party professionals should be completed to ensure your organization has met all ISO27001 requirements. 

Following these steps will significantly improve the chances of receiving ISO27001 certification and help establish a robust foundation for protecting your digital data today, tomorrow, and beyond.

Streamline the ISO27001 Process with Techromatic

Running a successful business requires the right tools and processes, and ISO27001 certification is a great way to meet some of these standards. But you can find it challenging if you don’t know how to begin the process. 

The good news is that Techromatic can help with this seemingly challenging process – we’re experts, and we know our way around it. The pros at Techromatic will streamline your certification process as you handle the other critical business operations 

Techromatic simplifies the process with our easy-to-use solutions and accessible support team, whether you’re looking for clarification on ISO27001 or wondering how to get certified. Just contact us today for assistance!