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Blog > The ultimate guide to ISO 27001

The ultimate guide to ISO 27001

VComply Editorial Team
January 16, 2023
3 minutes

The standard information security management system helps organizations with manifold benefits like complying with the data privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act and EU General Data Protection Regulation. But who should be SIO 27001 compliant, and can you become ISO 27001 compliant?

If you have recently joined the cybersecurity team, you would have probably heard a lot about ISO 27001. The standard information security management system helps organizations with manifold benefits like complying with the data privacy laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act and EU General Data Protection Regulation. But who should be SIO 27001 compliant, and can you become ISO 27001 compliant? This guide will take you through everything you need to know to achieve compliance. 

What is ISO 27001?

With the rise in cyberattacks, IT security, cybersecurity, and privacy protection are now the top 

concerns for any IT organization. The ISO 27001 standard, along with ISO/IEC 27000 standards, enables organizations to manage their security in various areas like financial information, employee data, intellectual property, and information entrusted by third parties. 

Who should be ISO 27001 compliant?

ISO 27001 certification is not for any isolated industry. Various organizations across industries may need to be ISO 27001 compliant if they want to uphold the high-security standard. Some industries that may benefit from this certification are:

IT technology: IT organization deals with highly sensitive data. Storing the data safely has a critical role in the businesses’ viability and reputation. Since most IT technology companies do business globally, adhering to an international standard like ISO 27001 makes a lot of sense.

Finance: Finance is another industry that deals with sensitive data and information. Since currency is mostly digital today, a small doctored formula can equate to millions of dollars in value. Thus finance industry is often a high-risk target for cyber crimes. Adhering to ISO 27001 standard protect the organization from cyber threats to a large extent.

Healthcare: In the US, the healthcare industry must adhere to HIPAA law to secure patient information. For that reason, keeping data protected through an ISO standard is critical.

What are the benefits?

  • ISO 27001 has many benefits – the biggest being securing information in all forms. Be it cloud-based, digital data, or paper-based. This standard secures data in all forms. 
  • It offers a centrally managed framework which means all your data are secured in one place. 
  • It gives protection against cyber attacks and technology-based risks
  • It helps to keep your expenses at bay by reducing the expenditure on ineffective defense technology.
  • It helps your organization to stay resilient to evolving security threats
  • Upholds the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of data 
  • Keep evaluating the scope on an ongoing basis
  • Ensure everyone is involved in the process
  • Keep all the documentation up-to-date

How to be an ISO 27001 complaint?

To stay compliant with ISO 27001, you need to:

  • Adhere to day-to-day compliance guidelines
  • Keep a tab on your supply chain
  • Ensure the leadership team is invested in it
  • Monitor and evaluate the ISM framework

What are the three principles of ISO 27001?

There are three key principles of ISO 27001. These are:

Confidentiality: Only authorized persons have the right to access the information. 

Integrity: Only the authorized person can change the information. 

Availability: The authorized person must be able to access the information whenever needed. 

What are ISO 27001 controls?

While writing this article, the ISO 27001 standard consists of 11 clauses along with Annex A, which lists specific security controls. Each of these clauses has several sub-clauses. Know that clauses 4 through 10 are compulsory, and if you need to adhere to them, you won’t be able to achieve the certification. Take a look at all 11 clauses. 

  1. Introduction: This clause sets the context for the standard and its purpose.
  2. Scope: Gives an overview of the information security management system and risk treatment requirements specified within the rest of the standard. 
  3. Normative references: Helps you understand the connection between 27000 and 27001 standards.
  4.  Terms and definitions: explains all the terms used in the standard. 
  5. Context of the organization: It’s a mandatory clause that discusses the various internal and external issues, stakeholders, and regulatory and compliance requirements. It also clarifies an organization to define the scope, boundaries, and applicability.
  6. Leadership: To be ISO 27001 compliant, you should have leadership buy-ins. This is important because there will be interviews with the leadership team during audits.  
  7. Planning: This clause includes risk assessment and treatment and the creation of objectives to measure the performance of an ISMS of the company. The organization needs to keep track of assessing and analyzing risks and how it will address them. 
  8. Support: It includes all the support and resources you will need to meet the standard. This will include communication of policies, well-trained employees, the creation of documents, and maintaining policies. 
  9. Operation: This clause implements the mandated risk treatment plan.  
  10. Performance evaluation: To achieve most of your certification standards, it is important to keep measuring the performance of your ISMS from time to time. This clause takes care of it.
  11. Improvement: This is the other mandatory clause that covers nonconformity to the other sections of the standard and continual improvement of the information security program.

ISO 27001 Annex A controls

ISO 27001 Annex A control lists security control measures for a good Information Security Management System (ISMS). The measures are categorized across below mentioned 14 categories,

  • A.5 Information security policies
  • A.6 Organisation of information security
  • A.7 Human resource security
  • A.8 Asset management
  • A.9 Access control
  • A.10 Cryptography
  • A.11 Physical and environmental security
  • A.12 Operations Security
  • A.13 Communications Security
  • A.14 System acquisition, development, and maintenance
  • A.15 Supplier relationships
  • A.16 Information security incident management
  • A.17 Information security aspects of business continuity management
  • A.18 Compliance

How can VComply help?

If you are planning to get ISO 27001 compliance, VComply can help you with the process. VComply has a prebuilt application with ready-to-use internal controls. It has a central platform for maintaining and automating policies and quality standards for ISO 9001. It is prebuilt with templates that are in alignment with ISO-specific standard requirements. It provides a library of compliance controls mapped to the ISO framework. VComply helps organizations standardize even the most comprehensive controls to meet the regulatory requirements and compliance process. Reports and dashboards provide insights into the performance of compliance activities and processes. 

Benefits of using VComply:

  • Pre-configured controls aligned with ISO compliance tool and framework
  • Automated compliance tasks, ISO risk assessments, and risk treatments
  • Identification of critical risks and instant assignment of controls for remediation

Need help with implementing ISO 27001 at your organization? Book a demo now.