ISO27001 is an information security management system (ISMS) standard, which helps organisations protect their information assets, including customer data, intellectual property, and business plans.

The standard was first published in 2005 by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), with the most recent version being released in 2013. The aim of ISO 27001 and an ISMS is to protect the following three aspects of information:

Confidentiality

Access to information is restricted to authorised individuals only.

Integrity

The information can only be modified by individuals who have been granted authorised access.

Availability

Authorised personnel must have access to the information whenever it is required.

Let’s take a step back - what is an information security management system?

An Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure. It involves implementing a set of policies, procedures, and controls to manage risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the organisation’s information. The ISMS ensures that sensitive data is protected from unauthorised access, disclosure, modification, or destruction and that the organisation is compliant with relevant laws, regulations, and industry standards. The ISO 27001 standard provides an effective framework for developing and implementing an ISMS.

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What are the controls in ISO 27001.

There are 114 controls in ISO 27001, spread across 14 control categories which are as follows:

  1. Information security policies
  2. Organisation of information security
  3. Human resource security
  4. Asset management
  5. Access control
  6. Cryptography
  7. Physical and environmental security
  8. Operations security
  9. Communications security
  10. System acquisition, development, and maintenance
  11. Supplier relationships
  12. Information security incident management
  13. Information security aspects of business continuity management
  14. Compliance

These categories are further divided into subcategories, and each subcategory contains a list of specific security controls. The complete list of controls can be found in Annex A of the standard.

How controls in ISO 27001 can support your business

ISO27001 is an internationally recognised standard that provides a framework for information security management. This can help organisations protect their assets, including customer data, intellectual property, and business plans. Some of the benefits of ISO27001 include:

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Improved security

By implementing the ISO27001 standard, organisations can improve their overall security posture. This can help to reduce the risks of data breaches and other security incidents.

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Enhanced reputation

Organisations certified to ISO27001 can demonstrate to their customers and partners that they take information security seriously. This can help to build trust and confidence in the organisation.

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Cost savings

Implementing an ISO27001-compliant ISMS can help organisations to save money by reducing the need for duplicate security measures. It can also help to reduce the costs of responding to security incidents.

ISO 27001 is the internationally recognized best practice standard for implementing an ISMS. By achieving certification to ISO 27001, organizations can demonstrate to their stakeholders that they have implemented robust information security controls. This can give customers and clients greater confidence in doing business with the organization and help to win new business.

Why are the controls in ISO 27001 important?

Why do you need ISO27001? Information security is more important than ever before. With so much of our lives stored online, it’s essential to have a system in place that can protect your data from unauthorised access or theft. ISO27001 provides a framework for doing just that. It helps you identify your organisation’s specific information security risks and put in place the necessary controls to mitigate them.

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How to implement ISO 27001 controls

Organisational Controls (as outlined in Annex A section A.5)

This involves implementation of rules and expectations for user behavior, and having clear definitions of equipment usage, software usage, and system usage. Some examples of organizational controls are Access Control Policy and BYOD Policy.

People controls (as outlined in Annex A section A.6)

These are implemented by providing individuals with knowledge, education, skills, or experience that enable them to perform their activities securely. Examples of people controls include ISO 27001 awareness training and ISO 27001 internal auditor training.

Physical controls (as outlined in Annex A section A.7)

Implementation primarily involves using equipment or devices that have a physical interaction with people and objects. Examples of physical controls are CCTV cameras, alarm systems, and locks.

Technological controls (as outlined in Annex A section A.8)

These controls are primarily in information systems, using software, hardware, and firmware components added to the system. Examples of technological controls are backup and antivirus software.

Challenges of implementing controls in ISO 27001?

Whilst implementation of ISO 27001 controls can help protect against cyberattacks and data breaches, there are challenges to consider:

Time and cost

Implementing ISO27001 can be a time-consuming and costly process as it requires organisations to perform risk assessments, develop security policies and procedures, and create an incident response plan.

Employee training

Organisations need to train their employees on how to comply with the ISO27001 standard. This can be a challenge as it requires time and resources to ensure that all employees are properly trained.

Maintaining compliance

ISO27001 requires regular audits and updates to the security management system to maintain compliance. This can be a challenge for small businesses that may not have the resources to dedicate to compliance.

Resource allocation

Implementing ISO27001 can require significant resources, including personnel and technology. Organizations need to allocate the necessary resources to implement the standard properly.

Despite these challenges, implementing ISO27001 can be a valuable tool for protecting sensitive data, avoiding costly data breaches, and meeting regulatory requirements for information security.

Our team of IT Experts are specialists when it comes to implementation and compliance with ISO 27001. Get in touch with us today to see how we can streamline your compliance.