Your organization relies on collecting, storing, transmitting and processing key pieces of customer data to help improve your relationship with customers while also increasing processes and profits for your company. Most customers understand this necessity and accept it, especially if it serves to make their communications and transactions with your company run smoothly. Valued clients do, however, expect privacy and that you and your IT team do all that you can to protect their data.

What Is ISO?

ISO, or the International Organization of Standardization, works in conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to develop a set of standards that CIOs, IT managers and CCOs can use as a guideline in efforts to protect customer data. Along with a companion code of practice called ISO 27002, ISO 27001 lays out the technical specifications that are important to an information security management system (ISMS).

ISO 27001

What Is ISO 27001?

The key function of ISO 27001 is to serve as an organized collection of standards, rules and regulations to help you keep your organization’s assets secure. This collection of essential industry standards can help you in your efforts to manage the security of assets, particularly assets involving financial data, intellectual property, confidential employee information and third-party data, which might include private client information. Perhaps the gold standard of ISMS tools for effective sensitive data protection, ISO 27001 is a living and ever-evolving collection of standards for you to follow.

Why Some Companies Choose Not to Adopt ISO 27001

While voluntary, one-third of organizations that are aware of ISO 27001 do adopt the constantly refreshing set of standards to help stay on track and not miss a beat to protect sensitive company data at all times and to prepare for audits. It may seem odd that so few organizations would reach out to such a comprehensive standard, but SC Magazine provides a few compelling primary reasons that companies might avoid striving to join companies that have adopted ISO 27001:

  • Management worries about the perception of their company if they do not receive certification
  • The ongoing costs of maintaining certification to receive updates

However, what these companies often fail to realize is that, with the amount of employee time and resources, the costs are often similar to those of becoming certified and maintaining certification. All that work, and the companies lose valuable time they might spend attending to regular daily tasks to further the goals of the company on a more active level. With ISO 27001 certification, CIOs and IT teams can simply refer to a readily available collection of verified standards within a certified framework if any questions or concerns arise from management or third-parties.

What Are the Benefits of ISO 27001 for Your Organization?

A readily available compendium of standards offers you and your organization many invaluable benefits to enjoy successful management and smooth daily operations knowing that your confidential data is safe. There are several other specific benefits that you will recognize as you become familiar with this set of standards, including the following:

  • Serves to keep confidential information secure
  • Your ISO 27001 certification instantly relays the message to your stakeholders and other third parties that you have greatly reduced risk to data, generating and maintaining great confidence in your organization
  • Peace of mind that your organization has can take advantage of safe and secure channels for the exchange of ideas and information
  • Assurance that you are consistently in compliance with various rules, laws and regulations to meet your legal responsibilities and avoid worry during audits
  • Helps you stay in compliance with specific regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, to ensure you do not miss any amendments or other updates
  • Affords you a competitive edge since many businesses seek companies that companies that have received their ISO 27001 certification since it shows an active commitment toward protection of data, which often leads to better client retention and good word-of-mouth in the industry.

What Are the Some of the Challenges Involved With Adopting and Maintaining ISO 27001?

With so many benefits, you might wonder if — besides the ongoing costs — there are any challenges involved with adopting and maintaining ISO 27001. However, there are some challenges that you will face after you have convinced your executive board of ISO 27001’s many benefits, and a few of those challenges include the following:

  • Defining the Scope. An otherwise simple initial step in the ISO 27001 process, organizations sometimes try to narrow the scope here to decrease costs, which makes things more complicated than necessary. It is important to take a hard and candid look at your organization and fight for the broadest scope possible to thoroughly protect your company’s valuable confidential information.
  • Performing Security Risk Assessments. Similar to an internal audit, these risk assessments prove challenging since you need to request additional staff to participate, pulling them from their regular duties to test the security, according to the most current ISO 27001 standards
  • What Are the Latest ISO 27001 Standards?

    Once you and your executive board have decided to earn your ISO 27001 certification, it is important to know the latest standards available. The latest update, ISO/IEC 27001:2013 , published September 23, 2013, supersedes the previous set of standards known as ISO/IEC 27001:2005. The primary difference between the original and the updated standards involves the emphasis on measuring and monitoring the success of an organization’s ISMS performance. The new controls in place serve to help you continually and easily monitor the success of existing ISO 27001 standards and include the following:

    • Information security in project management
    • Restrictions on software installation
    • Secure development policy
    • Secure system engineering principles
    • Secure development environment
    • System security testing
    • Information security policy for supplier relationships
    • Information and communication technology supply chain
    • Assessment of and decision on information security events
    • Response to information security incidents
    • Availability of information processing facilities

    These controls help you test your system to ensure that you are in compliance with the latest ISO 27001 standards, which include:

    • ISO/IEC 27001:2013. This standard reinforces previous standards, “specifying the the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system within the context of the organization,” according to the International Organization of Standardization.

    Get Certified and Get Regular Updates on the Latest ISO Standards

    Sometimes it helps to reach out to a company, such as I.S. Partners, LLC, that regularly monitors updates to ISO 27001 standards. We can also help you prepare for ISO 27001 certification, as assisting with implementation and maintenance. Reach out to us by calling 215-675-1400 or fill out a free consultation form to find out more about the latest ISO 27001 updates and how we might help you.

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