In Search Of: ISO Framework and What You Need To Know About ISO 27001

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ISO Framework

The ISO Framework is one of the basics of information security and its controls. While many managers focus on computers and their controls, risk management principles in ISO 27001 are changing the way you need to approach compliance. This focus on the technology side can often lead to a compliance gap. New to the task of managing ISO compliance? Below is a basic understanding of ISO 27001 and some tips towards achieving compliance.

What is ISO 27001?

ISOs are internationally agreed upon standards for information security. ISO 27001 creates a set of rules giving managers discrete steps to follow. These steps organize their information systems and ensure ongoing security compliance. Since ISOs are not regulated by a single governmental entity,  businesses specifically choose to engage in compliance and certification to strengthen their security standards. These actions important because they help increase customer confidence.

The International Organization for Standards (or “ISO”) developed the ISO framework and defines it as a “family of standards [that] will help your organization manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted to you by third parties.” In other words, ISO 27001 not only covers a corporation’s internal information, it covers third party providers as well. Since ISO 27001 is a living document, it continually evolves to address new information needs. These updates provide ongoing guidance to meet continued security concerns.

Why ISO 27001?

Most companies use processes and procedures to create consistency and counteract management and staffing changes. However, with this broad definition, many organizations may feel overwhelmed at the idea of embarking on the certification process. Anthony Jones of IS Partners, LLC notes that only about one-third of companies aware of the standard choose to adopt it. ISO certification is a long and detailed process. However, the cost of the certification process in terms of ongoing time and energy is equal to or less than not being compliant.

For CISOs, an ISO certification primarily provides a benefit of continuously updated monitoring. Rather than having to seek out the information on their own, CISOs obtain updated notifications of changes from their certification body. Moreover, the steps to certification as well as compliance audit reviews require risk assessments. These focus management on documented risk treatment instead of perceived risk.

Why not ISO 270001?

An ISO 27001 certification requires a lot of information, time, effort, and manpower. Many CISOs fear that failing an ISO 27001 audit will result in the loss of customer trust. However, regardless of whether a business formally applies for ISO certification, it often uses many of the same processes and procedures. Companies follow these protocols because the industry recognizes them as standards.

To ISO or Not To ISO? That is the Question

Many compliance managers connect ISO 27001 compliance with the wrinkled nose look that often accompanies an old tuna sandwich. This is because these managers have a stale and outdated way of managing an ISO audit. Fortunately for compliance teams, now’s the time to rethink how this is done. An ISO Certification doesn’t have to be painful to achieve. With the proper tools and process, compliance teams can  how to get an ISO Certification and protect both the business and the customer long term.