ISO 27001 is an information security management standard primarily related to the implementation and maintenance of an information security management system (ISMS). concentrated. It is a joint effort of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is the best known standard in the ISO/IEC 27000 family.
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Unlike other standards and frameworks, compliance with ISO 27001 does not require strict adherence to specific technical controls. Instead, it emphasizes a holistic and proactive approach to security by focusing on enterprise-wide risk management. The standard includes a list of controls in “Appendix A”, but organizations are not required to implement them all. Each organization should apply the appropriate subset of these controls based on its unique risks to its business.
ISO deliberately presents ISO 27001 as an “information security” framework rather than a cybersecurity framework. Authorizations are also important assets and can negatively impact your organization if lost or compromised. Information Security Management System “ISMS” includes policies, procedures, personnel, documents and controls designed to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. ISO 27001 is the only member of the ISO/IEC 27000 family to which organizations can be certified.
Is ISO 27001 compliance or certification required?
This means that ISO 27001 compliance or certification is not mandatory. Some people mistakenly believe that compliance with ISO 27001 is a legal requirement, but few countries have enacted legislation mandating implementation of the framework. However, your organization may need to obtain ISO 27001 certification. For example, supplier contracts and procurement policies may require compliance with ISO 27001, especially in sensitive industries such as healthcare and finance. Additionally, some market sectors expect ISO 27001 certification, even though it is not formally required. For example, Varonis makes all certifications, including ISO 27001, easily accessible on their trust page. This is because enterprise customers looking for data security solutions expect vendors to have the appropriate certifications.
What are the steps to obtain ISO 27001 certification?
Once an organization is ready to engage an auditor or certification body, there is a well-defined process for obtaining ISO 27001 certification which consists of three phases:
A certification body or external auditor performs a preliminary assessment of her ISMS for the organization. This phase is important to determine if your organization is ready for a more detailed Phase 2 audit. Lack of critical documentation, poor management support, or inadequate metrics can hinder an ISO 27001 audit.
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A thorough and comprehensive audit is conducted evaluating how an organization applies specific security controls to meet the requirements outlined in the standard. During this phase, the auditor will look for evidence that the organization has actually done all that was stated in the documents reviewed in Phase 1.
After formal certification, organizations are required to undergo annual surveillance audits to ensure continued compliance with ISO 27001. These audits are less rigorous than those conducted in Phase 2, but failure to comply with any of the requirements may result in revocation of your ISO 27001 certification prior to the stated expiration date.
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Tips for maintaining ISO 27001 compliance
Form a stakeholder task force to regularly review issues and update the ISMS.
Instead of treating compliance as a routine, integrate it into your routine. Involve senior management throughout the process, not just during initial certification.
Monitor and assess the framework and her ISMS as part of the overall security posture and document corrective actions taken.
Stay on top of new risks and continually assess and analyze emerging risks.
Conduct regular internal audits and gap assessments to avoid significant administrative issues during recertification.
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In summary, achieving ISO 27001 compliance can be challenging, but it can also bring significant benefits when it comes to demonstrating your commitment to data security. As customers, partners, and employees become more concerned about protecting sensitive information, certification to standards can become a valuable asset. If you need help migrating to ISO 27001, Varonis offers useful tools such as DatAdvantage and DatAlert.