Data is a valuable resource or tool for any organization to understand its customers and their needs and requirements. Companies spend a good amount of money and time collecting data and losing this data would cost spending time and money.

According to the National Archives & Records Administration, in Washington- 93% of the companies that lost their data for 10 or more days filed for bankruptcy within one year and 50% of businesses without any data management system filed for bankruptcy for this same period.

We all know data is significant, but at the same time, it is also necessary to keep the collected data safe. To manage this problem, ISO has developed ISO 27001 Certification for Information Security Management System.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 Certification is an internationally accredited standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization. An ISO 27001 standard provides a framework for policies and approaches, including all technical, physical, and legal controls, to establish an effective Information Security Management System.

The ISO 27001 standard applies to any industry, small and big, irrespective of its size, nature and geographical location. It facilitates factual information, Confidentiality and good communication and allows organizations to address and protect their information assets for safety and security.

ISO 27001 compliance checklist

Compliance with ISO 27001 standards is not mandatory but voluntary. Any organization dealing with customer data can go for ISO 27001 Certification and demonstrates compliance with legal and other regulations related to data security. It offers a competitive edge to your organization and builds the confidence of customers and potential business partners in your organization.

The ISO 27001 compliance checklist is:

  • Determining the scope of the project 
  • Ensuring management commitment and allocation of resources
  • Determining interested parties, legal, regulatory and contractual requirements
  • Conduction of a risk assessment
  • Examining and implementing the required controls 
  • Designing internal competence to manage the project
  • Creating the appropriate documentation 
  • Conduction of staff awareness training
  • Reporting 
  • Measuring, monitoring, reviewing and auditing the ISMS continually 
  • Implementing the required corrective and preventive actions.

ISO 27001 requirements checklist

The ISO 27001 standard requirements checklist is:

Step 1: Appoint an ISO 27001 team and assign roles and responsibilities to them.

Step 2: Define the ISMS policy of the organization and its scope.

Step 3: Documenting the ISMS policy and establishing a framework to implement, maintain and continually improve the ISMS.

Step 4: Identify the potential risk and establish a risk management framework.

Step 5: Defining security controls and implementing them. 

Step 6: Share policies with the management and customers and take their opinions.

Step 7: Provide proper training to employees for effectively implementing ISMS policy.

Step 8: Prepare all the required documents before the audit.

Step 9: Conduction of an internal audit and documenting the process and results, and taking remedial actions to overcome the shortcomings.

Step 10: Select an accredited ISO 27001 Certification auditor for stage 1 audit, take necessary feedback, and move to stage 2 audit.

Step 11: Conduct Stage 2 audit.

Step 12: Implementing all the necessary changes suggested in the stage-2 audit to improve ISMS.

Stage13: Conducting internal audits annually and performing an annual risk assessment.

Implementing ISO 27001 Certification

The ISO 27001 standard is a significant standard for ISM and prepares an organization to address security issues. Implementation of ISO 27001 enables an organization to adopt best practices beforehand. Implementing ISO 27001 standards requires nine steps to follow: 

Step 1: Assembling an implementation team 

Step 2: Developing an implementation plan

Step 3: Initiating the Information Security Management System

Step 4: Defining the scope of ISMS

Step5: Identifying the organization’s security baseline

Step 6: Establishment of a risk management process

Step 7: Implementation of a risk management strategy

Step 8: Measuring, monitoring, and reviewing the working of ISMS

Step 9: Certify Information Security Management System

ISO 27001 Checklist: 10 steps to compliance

The ISO 27001 standard is one of 12 information security standards relevant to today’s world, with technology becoming a necessity. ISO 27001 Checklist is a step-by-step guide to establishing effective Information Security Management. These steps are:

  1. Assign roles
    It requires organizations to decide how it wants to conduct their internal audit. Some organizations use their employee’s expertise and go for in-bound internal audits, while some contact outside consultants and contractors.

  2. Gap analysis
    A gap analysis compares your existing ISMS with ISO 27001 standards. It reviews your documentation and identifies the shortcomings.

  3. Development and document the parts of your ISMS required for Certification
    Organizations applying for an ISO 27001 certification for the first time require setting up parts of their ISMS and identifying weak areas. It includes people, processes and technology and needs an organization to explain every detail of the use of data collected.

  4. Conduct an internal risk management
    It requires an organization to conduct a risk assessment to identify potential risks and formulate strategies to eliminate them.  It helps organizations to prioritize a high-impact risk and address that accordingly.

  5. Write a statement of Applicability (SoA)
    In ISO 27001, in Annex A, there are 114 controls related to different aspects of the business operations. AN organization has to select the controls relevant to risks identified in the risk assessment and write a statement. This document is necessary for the audit process.

  6. Implement your controls
    After determining objectives and ISMS policy, an organization requires to implement controls to establish an effective Information Security Management System. An organization needs to mention every process used to protect the information.

  7. Train the internal team on your ISMS and security controls
    Training plays a significant role in successfully implementing an ISMS policy and shows an organization’s commitment to cyber security.

  8. Conduct an internal audit
    The purpose of conducting an internal audit is to prepare the organization for the final audit. It evaluates your existing controls and gives time to the organization to make changes before the final audit.

  9. Have an accredited ISO 27001 lead auditor conduct the ISO 27001 Certification audit
    An organization requires an accredited ISO 27001 auditor from a recognized accreditation body to conduct a two-step audit. First, the auditor will inspect your documents and controls, and the next is the conduction of a site audit.

  10. Plan for maintaining Certification
    After getting an ISO 27001 Certification, an organization requires to perform a risk assessment and surveillance audit annually. The organization needs to update its policies and systems to manage ISMS.

ISO 27001 Annex A controls

Annex A controls of ISO 27001 Certification consists of 114 controls grouped into 14 categories. These 14 control categories are:

  1. Information Security Policies 
  2. Organization of Information Security 
  3. Human Resources Security 
  4. Asset Management 
  5. Access Control 
  6. Cryptography 
  7. Physical and Environmental Security 
  8. Operational Security 
  9. Communications Security 
  10. System Acquisitions, Development and maintenance 
  11. Supplier Relationships 
  12. Information security Incident Management 
  13. Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management 
  14. Compliance  

Conclusion

An ISO 27001 Certification is an international standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization. ISO 27001 standards provide a framework for cyber security and implementing controls to establish effective Information Security Management. It is not a mandatory standard, but an organization with an ISO 27001 Certification demonstrates its commitment to keeping user’s data safe. It creates a better image of the organization and builds the confidence of your customers and business partners in your brand.   

By Zigong

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