The rapid spread of digital and cyber technologies has made organisations use a lot of information systems and IT (Information Technology) devices to ease their day-to-day operations. However, it is important for them to realise that the use of such systems and devices makes them vulnerable to cyber security threats, data thefts, and privacy breaches. Hence, information and cyber security are more crucial compliance requirements for an organisation to uphold their reputation. The ISO 27001 certification is the dedicated international certification for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). Achieving the certification is the principal way an organisation can prove its dedication to information and cyber security. The ISO 27001 standard provides the best requirements for establishing a structured and composite ISMS that can manage all your information systems, security aspects, and challenges. Because many organisations are unaware of how to develop an ISMS, here is a quick guide to help.

6 Essential Steps to Get an ISMS Implemented for ISO 27001 Certification Success

Step 1: Initiation of ISMS Project

Most organisations have a certain management framework or practices to protect their data and information. However, ISO 27001 mandatorily requires them to implement a structured framework, ISMS, which promotes systematic methods and practices for information security. The initiation of the ISMS implementation project must start at the management level.  A committee or a team of managers with knowledge of information security decides the scope of the ISMS and its structure based on the organisation’s context. They must also decide the information security objectives to be achieved by the ISMS, major performance metrics, and roles of the employees.

Step 2: Risk Assessment

A chief step to implement the ISMS is performing a risk assessment. When you know the probable risks or vulnerabilities to your information or devices, you can determine appropriate controls and policies to prevent them. Therefore, you need to conduct a risk assessment and determine an asset register where you can record all the threats to the information assets. Risk assessment also includes analysis of every risk to understand their impacts. It helps to evaluate their acceptance criteria (whether they can be treated, avoided, transferred, or accepted) and include requisite practices for handling them.

Step 3: Employee Training and Encouragement

The education of employees is necessary when there is the implementation of an integrated ISMS in their organisation. They need to understand the importance of security practices and how they can help in protecting the valuable information assets and data of the business. They need to realise the impact of security breaches on the stakeholders’ privacy and corporate reputation of their business. Hence, they should be well trained to work with the established procedures and practices of the ISMS.

Step 4: Audit Preparation

A vital step for successful ISO 27001 certification is the certification audit, which is conducted by an independent certification body. They will check your ISMS and documented procedures thoroughly to ensure that it is compliant with the requirements of the standard and then will grant the certification. Therefore, preparing for the audit is essential to smoothly pass through it and get certified. An effective way to get prepared is by conducting an internal audit. In this process, experienced members from within your organisation will go through the ISMS and its documentation to evaluate their conformance to ISO 27001 requirements. On finding any nonconformance issues, you can correct them with immediate actions.

Step 5: Certification Audit

This is the stage where the third-party independent body will meticulously evaluate the ISMS, documentation, and also associated business processes to determine whether your organisation fully conforms to the ISO 27001 standard. Subsequently, they will provide the certification after they affirm your organisation is fully compliant.

Step 6: Continual Improvement

Achieving the ISO certification is never the final step. You need to monitor, measure, and improve the performance of your ISMS consistently to ensure better protection of your information. It is necessary for ensuring that your ISMS is continuously updated and adapts with the emerging challenges or new information security needs of your organisation.

 

The need for ISO 27001 certification must be felt by every organisation, regardless of their size or nature of operations. It enables them to have a competent ISMS that secures their information assets, preserves the confidentiality of their clients, and shields their business integrity. Because almost all businesses are vulnerable to online thefts and cyberattacks, it is high time they realise the importance of information security compliance and get their organisation certified.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the owner and head consultant at a successfully established ISO consultancy in Australia that helps organisations to get relevant ISO certifications for their management systems. He is specialised in the ISO 27001 certification and hence likes to share his knowledge on ISMS (Information Security Management Systems) and the ISO 27001 standard through his write-ups.

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