Take information security seriously? Then ISO 27001:2013 is the standard for you.

Any organization that wants to be able to demonstrate to its stakeholders that it is committed to the secure management of information it controls or processes would benefit from certification to ISO 27001.  Information security is growing in importance all the time.  Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their data protection rights and of threats to their privacy, particularly due to identity theft.  It can be difficult for companies and individuals to know who to trust with their valuable information.  ISO 27001 certification can provide peace of mind to those dealing with organizations which have access to their information.  And it can provide organizations with a useful guiding framework to help maximise the secure management of information.

Good habits and good behaviours are vital to information security.  An organization can have the latest firewall and the latest anti-virus software but just one inadvertent click on a dodgy link in an otherwise innocent looking email can allow ransomware to get in and wreak havoc.  The human component of the organization is the most important aspect of an information security management system.  Getting everyone in the organization to buy in to the fundamental need for handling information securely at all times can be an obstacle to getting certified, because it can require people to change old habits, which is never easy.  But such a culture change can be very positive.

Certification to ISO 27001 does not necessarily mean you are secure; it is not a shield against all threats, but it does help position you to be ready to combat and respond to them.  You are essentially managing security in line with the standard, and to the level you think is appropriate to the organization.  You have determined the risks facing your organization and have taken appropriate actions to address them.  You have established and communicated information security objectives within the organization.  You have determined and provided the resources necessary to facilitate the achievement of these objectives.

Certification also means that you have implemented the detailed controls outlined in the body and the annex of the standard as applicable to your organization.  That you have tested your procedures for business continuity and you have a verified commitment to your management of information security.  Complying with ISO 27001 you are much more likely to be secure than an organization that is not certified.  And you can use this as a unique selling point versus your competitors.

The length of time it takes to achieve certification can vary greatly depending on the context of the organization.  ISO 27001 is a big commitment.  Having ISO 9001, especially the 2015 version of the standard, in place can help provide a very useful foundation.  But most organizations should still expect to spend at least six months planning and preparing for ISO 27001:2013 certification.

Certification involves implementing processes that can help avoid reputational damage caused by inadequate security.  An information security management system promotes compliance with legislative and stakeholder requirements, and enables secure exchange of information.  Certification can help you gain new business and help you keep current clients, it provides greater credibility when tendering for contracts, it can allow for expansion into global markets, and it demonstrates best international practice.  An effective information security management system helps reduce the risk of suffering a data breach, thereby avoiding fines or other losses in addition to possible reputational damage.  An effective ISMS also helps define clear responsibilities and improved management processes and strategies.  So, the effort to achieve ISO 27001 certification is worth it in the long run.

If information security is at the core of what your organisation does, and if you would benefit from being able to credibly demonstrate to your stakeholders that you take information security seriously, then ISO 27001:2013 is the standard for you.

To speak with Thomas on implementing ISO 27001 or ISO 9001 in your organisation contact info@qsi.ie