Even the most seasoned IT leaders have to occasionally stop and remind themselves of all the aspects of computing they need to keep straight. Over the past decade, information technology has shot off in a multitude of complex directions, making it essential for diligent CIOs to take the time to sort through their many concerns regularly.
A primary consideration for IT managers is one of risk management when it comes to matters like privacy and cybersecurity. Each is important in today’s business landscape, but business leaders are constantly looking for ways to enjoy both privacy and security without sacrificing computing ease and convenience, profits and prestige.
Thankfully, there are tools and strategies, which include ISO 27001, that can help you protect your organization’s computing system. First, it may be helpful to take a closer look at privacy, cybersecurity and ISO 27001 to determine the best path to protecting them.
What Is Privacy?
Privacy has a few different definitions within the realm of digital computing. As a broad definition, it is the effort and ability to protect sensitive data related to personally identifiable information about your customers.
The way most tech professionals are approaching privacy—such as their core focus and the questions they are asking to protect privacy—offers a better definition throughout the industry, as a whole.
Here are some of the fundamental concepts and concerns:
- The type of data that should be collected
- The permissible uses of the data
- With whom can your business share the data?
- How much control does the person have over information about himself/herself?
- How long should the data be retained in your care?
- What type of access control program should you use?
The Risks to Privacy That IT Leaders Need to Consider
Cyberspace is the electronic world that houses bytes upon bytes of private information that we continually strive to find ways to protect. The series of interconnected networks of information technology is stunning when you stop to think about all that it does to allow businesses to collect, store, process and transmit massive tomes of information.
Unfortunately, cyberspace is not without its flaws, weaknesses and dangers. It is certainly not yet foolproof against the whims, machinations and strikes of hackers and other cybercriminals who are intent on gaining access to valuable customer information.
Consider the following threat, vulnerability and risk scenarios that could negatively impact your business:
The Increased Introduction of Powerful Computing Devices.
Smartphones, tablets and laptops allow your employees to work efficiently while away from their desks, but the increased number of people computing in cyberspace over your network creates new vulnerabilities that could lead to risks like the collection of information not related to its primary purpose.
The Increased Number of Third-Party Relationships.
Relying on service organizations has become increasingly important in today’s business landscape, allowing organizations to rely on specialized providers. While helpful, these partnerships pose risks related directly to privacy of customer information since it is exposed to a whole new organization and its staff.
The Increased Concentration of Cyberspace Infrastructure.
While providing better operational power is a boon for an organization on one level, it also opens up data to new risks since it is stored and processed in one or multiple locations, such as data warehouses.
What Is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity focuses on protecting all data that is found in electronic form and online, housed within or connected to a computing system or the cloud. Basically, cybersecurity is intended to protect most collected, stored, processed and transmitted data and the technology that businesses implement to protect that data.
The primary focus of cybersecurity is on information stored in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), the integrity of the information and the availability and reliability of the ICT.
Perhaps it is coming into focus just how intrinsically linked privacy protection and cybersecurity are. Take a look at three examples of that interconnectivity:
Confidentiality of Information Stored in ICT.
This is the most specific and direct example of cybersecurity serving as privacy protection, encompassing all the concepts, such as right to be let alone, limited access and the customer’s control over their own data.
Integrity of Stored or Processed Information.
More of an implicit relationship, this the rules established to protect integrity must themselves be preserved to ensure user privacy.
Availability and Readability of the Information in ICT.
In order to ensure privacy, it is crucial that information is always available and readable for those with access to it.
Understanding these important connections between privacy and cybersecurity is a great start, but it is important to link them to ensure protection. It is crucial to develop or implement a highly effective means of implementation and management to allow cybersecurity to do its work and guard privacy.
Can ISO 27001 Connect Privacy and Cybersecurity for Highly Effective Protection?
The International Organization of Standardization (ISO), in collaboration with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) developed a series of information management standards, including ISO 27001. Together, these bodies created a set of Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) that a company must adhere to in order to achieve compliance during an audit.
ISO 27001 is the perfect tool to weave together the challenges of maintaining privacy and implementing the measures set forth in cybersecurity to achieve the necessary protection for customer data. This management standard provides a general framework that helps to protect information relating to privacy.
With ISO 27001, you will need to establish a set of security controls and objectives, based on operations intended to handle risk management of private customer information. The great part is that this step provides you with a direct pathway to compliance for secured privacy.
Does Your Business Need Help Implementing a Solid ISO 27001 Strategy to Wed Privacy and Cybersecurity?
If you need more information about ISO 27001 and how it can help your business, I.S. Partners, LLC. can help. We can perform an ISO 27001 Risk Assessment to reveal the status of your system’s current information security policies and systems management processes, compared to the ISO 27001 framework. Once we determine any gaps or other inconsistencies, we can start working toward alignment with ISO 27001 standards.
We will work with you on project planning, facilitating interviews with process owners, analyzing the reports and much more.