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Information Security Management – Keeping on Top of the Standards

With the rapid digitization and establishment of their presence online, a wide range of businesses have gained many benefits, however, they have also encountered new challenges. One of them is information security issues.

It has become much harder to maintain data protection at a sufficient level. Every year companies suffer from hacker attacks and sensitive data leakage. According to IBM, data breach costs grew from $3.86 million to $4.24 million in 17 years, being the highest average total cost for all the time. As a result, companies have to more carefully choose their business partners and invest significant amounts of money into data security.

ISO 27001 certification

To establish strong data protection and assure their customers that they provide high-quality services, many companies opt for international level security certifications such as ISO 27001. In this article, we’ll explain what ISO 27001 certification is, what advantages it provides, and why many industries obtain this type of certificate.

What Is ISO 27001 Certification?

ISO 27001 certificate is an internationally recognized document that involves various policies and processes aimed at improving information security in organizations.

The certificate was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) together with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). Both ISO and IEC are world-leading organizations that create international standards. First, the ISO 27001 certificate appeared in 2013 and over time there were some improvements made in 2017. Those organizations that gained their certificates in 2013 don’t require to undergo any reassessment procedures for ISO 27001:2017 as it has only some minor changes. However, companies need to schedule their recertification every 3 years.

To ensure data protection with the ISO 27001 standards, companies need to follow ISMS. ISMS stands for Information Security Management System – a set of rules and procedures for improving security in a company. ISMS focuses on the three main categories – employees’ behavior, working processes and data management, and technology. By establishing clear guidelines for every aspect, ISMS helps to protect companies’ information, minimize the risks of security breaches, and increase their resilience to cyber-attacks.

Which Businesses Implement ISO 27001?

In most cases ISO 27001 certification isn’t mandatory for organizations, however, many businesses prefer to obtain this certificate to provide better service to their customers and establish strong data protection in the company.

The ISO 27001 is most important for those businesses which handle sensitive data or need to ensure that their product is secure. Therefore, this certificate is frequently obtained by the companies operating in the following business domains.

IT Companies

Software development companies often include the ISO 27001 security standards into their Service Level Agreements (SLAs). SLA establishes certain security requirements the software provider needs to follow. This way, software providers guarantee their customers that the data they use for inner workflow is protected in the best possible way.

ISO 27001 certification

Besides that, IT companies should develop apps that conform to international security laws. For example, in the EU every software application should meet the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR is considered by the EU to be “the toughest privacy and security law in the world”. And the ISO 27001 helps software providers to create apps that comply with the provisions of the GDPR.

Financial and Banking Organizations

Financial and banking institutions include banks, insurance companies, financial institutions, broker houses, and others. They need ISO 27001 certification to ensure that their procedures and digital solutions cover a wide range of laws and regulations in the industry. The financial industry has one of the strictest legislation among various industries and it’s easier to meet its requirements with ISO 27001 standards.

Telecommunication Companies

Internet providers have to handle enormous amounts of information and ensure its protection at a sufficient level. It’s easier for them to follow ISO 27001 security standards rather than develop their own and take the risk of data leaking.

Governmental Institutions

Government agencies often work with sensitive data that should be protected at an international level. The ISO 27001 includes the methodology that stipulates this type of incidents as well, decreasing them to a minimum. Therefore, ISO 27001 is recognized officially by many governmental institutions around the world.

Health Care Organizations

Pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and healthcare institutions have to protect a large amount of diverse data, from patients’ data to medicine formulas. Therefore, many businesses in health care adopt the ISO 27001 standards in their work to properly secure their data.

Advantages of ISO 27001 Certification

Both businesses and their customers benefit from the ISO 27001 certification. Let’s have a closer look at how it helps organizations and what advantages it provides to customers.

For companies:

  • compliance with standards – there is a wide range of security laws and regulations that businesses need to observe in order to provide safe and professional services, most of these requirements can be met by leveraging ISO 27001 methodology;
  • achievement of competitive edge – when a company gets certified with ISO 27001, it provides its customers guarantees of high-standard services and, therefore, get the advantage in their competitive niche;
  • improved workflow organization – the ISO 27001 sets certain standards and procedures companies need to follow, this results in improvements in working processes and employees’ awareness of their duties, responsibilities, and who to refer to in case any security issues arise;
  • enhanced attractiveness for potential employees – the companies that have been certified by leading organizations and that meet international standards become more reputable and trustworthy in the eyes of potential employees, attracting more qualified specialists.

ISO 27001 certificate

For customers:

  • guaranteed data protection – when a company is certified with ISO 27001, it means that its processes, tools, and people are put in place and well-managed and, therefore, it can guarantee its customers high-quality data security service;
  • lower costs – the ISO 27001 certificate was created to prevent any security issues, thus when companies implement this standard they mitigate the security risks and save the potential costs on the prevention of these issues;
  • compliance of the requested product to international security requirements – when a software development company has ISO 27001 certificate, its employees know how to implement these standards to the development of their digital solutions; this way, customers obtain their software applications aligned with the international security legislation meeting all the necessary security standards.

What Is Involved in ISO 27001 Certification?

The ISO 27001 framework requires companies to find any possible issues that could happen to the information in the company and then define what they should do to prevent these issues from occurring. For this, a company needs to:

  • perform document review and align them with the ISO 27001 standard;
  • audit all the business activities and make sure that they are compliant with the company’s documentation and ISO 27001;
  • familiarize employees with the 27001 certification processes;
  • invite experienced ISO and ISMS specialists to audit the procedures;
  • perform annual management reviews;
  • conduct gap analysis and data risk assessment;
  • request an international ISO 27001 audit.

Conclusion on ISO 27001 Certificate

Today, many businesses try to obtain the ISO 27001 certificate, even though it’s not mandatory for their effective performance. The reason is that this certificate is the guarantee that the company follows international data security standards and provides worthy services.

To ensure high-quality performance standards and proper security of sensitive data the SCAND company obtained its ISO certificate issued by DSQ CFS, German Association for Sustainability. The audit company stated that our system “has appropriate physical protection, regular maintenance checks are conducted, and the organization [Scand Ltd.] is prepared to deal with potential incidents.”

Author Bio

Alex Burets Head of Web Development Department
Alex has 19 years of experience in software development, delivering new and innovative solutions for a myriad of different companies, ranging from small startups to large-scale enterprises with massive programming needs. His main focus areas are web development, front-end development, and eCommerce solutions.

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