Information security is the process of safeguarding information from unauthorised access, use, destruction, modification or disclosure.
Information Security is an essential component to the successful operation of any organisation.
Organisations hold information about their employees, contractors, suppliers, clients, products, processes and strategy and it is important that this remains secure.
This information can be held in any media including paper records or electronic files and may be hosted at the organisation’s premises or elsewhere.
ISO 27001:2013 is an internationally recognised management system specifically tailored towards managing the risks associated with operating a business in the digital age.
Why ISO 27001?
If you’ve been listening to the news or current affairs or reading the newspapers you will have noticed a heightened interest in digital security.
As organisations have become more connected and more dependent on electronic data and less dependent on paper-based files productivity has improved dramatically. However this makes us more exposed to the risks against improper data use, illegal access to confidential data or damage to electronic data etc. If our organisation’s data becomes corrupted, destroyed or falls into the wrong hands it can have serious commercial and legal consequences.
The adoption of an information security management system may be one of the most important strategic decisions you can make if your business is reliant on electronic; it demonstrates a commitment to managing information appropriately and responsibly and that could be the difference between you winning business or not.
Certification to ISO 27001 provides you with an independent endorsement that your commitment to information security meets international standards. Clients, partners and other stakeholders can have confidence that your systems to protect information are appropriate, effective and have been audited regularly. Certification to ISO27001 may help you access markets, grow your client base and improve your systems.
What does ISO 27001 do?
The ISO 27001 standard provides a framework for the development of information security management systems. The standards include requirements for the assessment and treatment of information security risks tailored to the needs of the organisation. It’s not all about risk though. The standard also addresses opportunities that may present themselves and provides a mechanism for highlighting and capitalising on these. The requirements of the standard are generic and intended to be applicable to all organisations regardless of the size or what type of business you operate.
ISO 27001 uses the same High Level Structure (HSL) as ISO 9001, 14001 and ultimately the new ISO Safety standard to be introduced in 2017 – ISO 45001
Determining the scope of your Information Security Management is an important initial consideration as is gaining a sound understanding of the needs and expectations of your stakeholders
Information Security Systems developed under ISO 27001 are designed to preserve the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information by applying a risk management process. The adoption of these processes gives you, your employees, regulators and clients the confidence that your information security risks are known and adequately managed.
Eliminating all information security risk from your business is probably not achievable. The controls adopted should be proportional to the level of risk. One could implement very onerous controls in order to bring risk ratings down to a bare minimum only to find that unnecessary complexity has been added to the business. As in everything else the key to successful implementation is balance, and an awareness of what risks apply to your business.
So what benefits will ISO 27001 certification bring to my business?
- By getting certified to ISO 27001 you will gain an in-depth appreciation of the current and potential security threats that could severely undermine your business and/or the data and information of you and your clients.
- ISO 27001 certification will introduce a disciplined framework for assessing risks.
- You will have confidence that your processes to address your regulatory and legal obligations are appropriate
- You will have gained a powerful marketing tool, which may help you win new clients, enter new markets or lift you above your competitors.
- In an increasingly information-savvy world you will create confidence that information security is just as important to you as it is to your clients.
- You will have gained significant insights into how your business manages one of its most valuable commodities – information.