What Is ISO 27001 ? A Complete Guide

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What Is ISO 27001 ? A Complete Guide

Introduction To ISO 27001 

ISO released its family of standards in 2005 and has updated them regularly since then. The ISO 27001 has seen the latest updates since 2013. ISO 27001 is owned by both the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), which is a Swiss organization that focuses primarily on electronic systems. 

The ISO 27001 is a framework of standards for how modern organizations should manage information and data. A key aspect of ISO 27001 is risk management, which ensures that an organization or non-profit understands where its strengths and weaknesses are. An ISO certification indicates reliability, security and trustability of organization.

An organization cannot ensure data integrity by simply forming a data security group. All organizations should realize the importance of cybersecurity. As an ISMS covers all end-to-end processes related to security, it is critical, especially for groups that have multiple locations or countries 

As a living set of documentation, an ISMS (information security management system) should exist within an organization for the purpose of risk management. It wasn’t uncommon for companies to actually print out the ISMS and distribute them to their employees decades ago. In today’s world, ISMSs need to be stored online, typically in a knowledge management system. All employees should be able to refer to the ISMS at any time and be informed when a change is implemented. As part of ISO 27001 certification, the ISMS is the main piece of reference material used to determine your organization’s compliance level. 

Any group or entity seeking to improve its information security methods or policies can use ISO 27001 as a guide. ISO 27001 certification is the ultimate goal for organizations that want to be the best in the industry. The full compliance of your ISMS means that it adheres to all best practices in cybersecurity to protect your organization from threats such as ransomware. 

ISO 27001
ISO 27001 – A Complete Guide

Why is ISO 27001 important? 

A company can become certified against ISO 27001 and prove to their customers and partners that they are protecting their data in this way. Not only does the standard provide companies with the know-how but it also shows them that they are protecting their most valuable information. 

ISO 27001-certified professionals can also prove their skills to prospective employers by attending a course and passing the exam. 

ISO 27001 is an international standard, so organizations and professionals can easily recognize it all over the world, increasing business opportunities. 

What is an ISMS and the 3 ISMS security objectives ? 

ISMSs ( Information Security Management Systems ) consist of the rules that companies must develop in order to: 

  • Determine stakeholders’ expectations about information security and how the company should respond 
  • Determine the risks to information security 
  • Implement control measures (safeguards) to meet the identified expectations and manage risks 
  • Establish clearly defined information security objectives
  • by implementing all the necessary controls and risk mitigation measures 
  • ensuring that the implemented controls are performing as expected 
  • making continuous improvements to make the whole ISMS more efficient 

Rules can be written down in the form of policies, procedures, and other types of documents, or they can be established in the form of practices and technologies that are not documented.
ISO 27001 requires a minimum set of documents, i.e., those that must exist.
ISO 27001 aims to protect three aspects of information: 

  • Confidentiality: Only authorized individuals can access information. 
  • Integrity: Only authorized individuals can modify information.
  • Availability: All authorized parties must have access to information at all times. 

What are the requirements for ISO 27001? 

  1. Introduction: Explains the concept of information security and why risk management is important for organizations. 
  1. Scope: Includes high-level requirements for an ISMS to apply to all types of organizations. 
  1. Normative References: Describes the relationship between ISO 27000 and 27001 standards. 
  1. Terms And Definitions: Describes the complicated terms used throughout the standard. 
  1. Context of the organization: Understanding the context of the organization is a prerequisite for implementing an Information Security Management System successfully. Identifying the external and internal issues, along with interested parties, is crucial. Similarly, there may be regulatory requirements, but they may also go far beyond that. 
  1. Leadership: For an adequate leadership, ISO 27001 has a wide range of requirements. A management system requires the commitment of top the management. Strategic goals should align with an organization’s objectives, As another example of obligations, providing resources to the ISMS and supporting individuals participating in the ISMS are examples. 
    Additionally, top management should establish a security policy. It can be documented and communicated within the organization and to interested parties. It is imperative to assign roles and responsibilities to ensure compliance with ISO 27001 and to report on the performance of the ISMS. 
  1. Planning: Planning in an ISMS environment must take risks and opportunities into account. Assessing cybersecurity risks establishes a solid foundation for planning. This, in turn, should shape organizational objectives for information security and Overall company’s objectives should align with these goals.
    Additionally, the company should promote them internally. The company provides goals for all employees and aligned parties to work toward when it comes to security. As a result of the risk assessment and security objectives, a risk treatment plan is created, based on the controls listed in Annex A. 
  1. Support: Supporting the cause requires resources, employee competence, awareness, and communication. The ISO 27001 standard also requires documentation of information. Documentation, creation, updating, and control of information are all crucial. Having adequate documentation in place is vital for the successful implementation of an ISMS.
  1. Operation: Information Security must be implemented through processes. It is essential to plan, implement, and control these processes. Management must pay close attention to the assessment and management of risk, as we discussed earlier. 
  1. Performance Evaluation: Information Security Management Systems must be monitored, measured, analyzed, and evaluated according to ISO 27001 requirements and Audits of the department should be conducted in addition to departmental checks. Management should review an organization’s ISMS at regular intervals.
  1. Improvement: Improvement follows evaluation. By eliminating the causes and taking actions nonconformities can be resolved. Additionally, despite the removal of the PDCA cycle, organizations should still implement a continual improvement process. The ISO 27001 standard often recommends using PDCA cycles, since they help ensure a stable structure and meet all the requirements.
  1. Reference Control Objective and Control: Analyzes each component of an audit and provides an annex. 

What are the 14 domains of ISO 27001? 

  1. Information Security Policies: Provides guidelines for writing policies in an ISMS and reviewing them for compliance and During audits, auditors will be looking for documentation and regular reviews of procedures. 
  1. Organization of Information security: This section provides the framework for implementing and operating information security by defining its internal organization (e.g., roles, responsibilities, etc.) as well as some of the organizational aspects of information security, including project management, mobile device use, and teleworking. 
  1. Human Resource Security: The controls in an organization ensure that the employees are hired, trained, and managed safely. As well as covering the principles of termination agreements and disciplinary actions.
  1. Assest Management: Analyzes how to manage data assets and keep them safe and secure. The auditors will look at how you maintain track of your hardware, software, and databases. Evidence Any supporting documentation should be provided. Tools used by most people Make sure your data integrity methods are up to date.   
  1. Access Control: According to this document, employees should have limited access to specific types of data. The auditor will need detailed information about how access privileges are set and maintained.. 
  1. Cryptography: It discusses the best encryption practices. During audits, auditors will examine parts of your system dealing with sensitive information, as well as any encryption applied, such as DES, RSA, or AES. 
  1. Physical And environment Security: Describes about the protection of buildings and equipments. Auditor will check for vulnerabilities on the physical site, such as how access is permitted to offices and data centers. 
  1. Operations Security: In 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provided guidance on how to collect and securely store data, a process that has taken on new urgency as a result.  During audits, auditors investigate data flows and explain information storage. 
  1. Communications Security: Ensures the security of all transmissions within an organization’s network. Auditors expect to see how communication systems, such as email and videoconferencing, are used and how data is protected. 
  1. System Acquisition, Development and Maintenance: Describes how to manage systems in a secure environment. Any new system introduced to the organization must meet high security standards, as dictated by auditors. 
  1. Supplier Relationships: Describes how an organization should interact with third parties while ensuring security. Auditors reviews contracts with outside parties who may access to sensitive information.
  1. Information Security Incident Management: Describes how to handle security issues in the best manner. Auditor may request a fire drill to observe incident management within the organization. By using SIEM software, users can detect and categorize anomalous system behavior.
  1. Information Security Aspects of business continuity management: Description of how to manage disruptions in the business world.. Auditors may pose a series of theoretical disruptions and will expect that the ISMS will cover the steps to recover from them. 
  1. Compliance: Determines which government or industry regulations apply to the organization, such as ITAR. In every area where the business operates, audits will be looking for evidence of compliance. 

ISO 27001 mandatory documents 

To become compliant with ISO 27001, businesses must follow a minimum set of policies, procedures, plans, and records.

Documentary requirements include: 

  • Scope of the ISMS (clause 4.3) 
  • Information Security Policy and Objectives (clauses 5.2 and 6.2) 
  • Risk Assessment and Risk Treatment Methodology (clause 6.1.2) 
  • Statement of Applicability (clause 6.1.3 d) 
  • Plan for Risk Treatment (clauses 6.1.3 e and 6.2) 
  • Risk Assessment Report (clause 8.2) 
  • Definition of security roles and responsibilities (controls A.7.1.2 and A.13.2.4) 
  • Inventory of Assets (control A.8.1.1) 
  • Acceptable Use of Assets (control A.8.1.3) 
  • Access Control Policy (control A.9.1.1) 
  • Operating Procedures for IT Management (control A.12.1.1) 
  • Secure System Engineering Principles (control A.14.2.5) 
  • Supplier Security Policy (control A.15.1.1) 
  • Incident Management Procedure (control A.16.1.5) 
  • Business Continuity Procedures (control A.17.1.2) 
  • Statutory, Regulatory, and Contractual Requirements (control A.18.1.1) 

The mandatory records are as follows: 

  • Qualifications, skills, training, and experience records (clause 7.2) 
  • Monitoring and measurement results (clause 9.1) 
  • Internal Audit Program (clause 9.2) 
  • The Results of internal audits (clause 9.2) 
  • Results of the management review (clause 9.3) 
  • Results of corrective actions (clause 10.1) 
  • Logs of user activities, exceptions, and security events (controls A.12.4.1 and A.12.4.3) 

A company may decide to write additional security documents if it deems it necessary 

What is “ISO 27001 certified”? 

If the audit is successful, it can issue an ISO 27001 certificate to the company. To obtain an ISO 27001 certification, a company needs to invite an accredited certification body to perform the audit. With this certificate, the company will be fully compliant with the ISO 27001 standard. 

Obtaining the ISO 27001 certification requires completing ISO 27001 training and passing an exam. With this certificate, this person will demonstrate that they have acquired the necessary skills during the course. 

What are the ISO 27000 Series? 

ISO 27001 defines the requirements for an ISMS, making it the main standard in the ISO 27000 family.. As a result, different information security standards have been developed to supplement it since it specifies what needs to be done but not how it should be done.

There are currently over 40 standards in the ISO27k series, and the most commonly used ones are: 

  1. ISO/IEC 27000: Describes the terms and definitions that are used in ISO 27k series. 
  1. ISO/IEC 27002: Describes how to implement the controls listed in Annex A of ISO 27001. It is quite useful because it provides details on how to implement these controls. 
  1. ISO/IEC 27004: This standard describes how to measure information security – it complements ISO 27001 because it explains how to determine whether an ISMS has achieved its objectives. 
  1. ISO/IEC 27005: Information security risk management guidelines are provided. A significant addition to ISO 27001, it provides detailed instructions on how to carry out risk assessment and treatment–probably the most difficult component of implementation. 
  1. ISO/ IEC 27017: A guide to securing information in cloud-based environments. 
  1. ISO/IEC 27018: Guidelines for privacy protection in cloud environments. 
  1. ISO/ IEC 27031: The Guidelines for Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) business continuity planning. The standard serves as a link between information security and business continuity. 

How to become ISO 27001 Certified  

Achieving an ISO 27001 certification tends to require significant participation on the part of external and internal stakeholders over a long period of time. The process is not as straightforward as filling out a checklist and submitting it for approval. You must ensure your ISMS is fully mature and covers all potential areas of technology risk before applying for certification. 

ISO 27001 Certification has divided into three phases: 

  • Afterwards, it hires a certification body to conduct a basic review of the ISMS to identify the main forms of documentation. 
  • In a more thorough audit, the certification body checks each component of ISO 27001 against the ISMS of the organization. It is essential to comply with procedures and policies. Lead auditors determine whether a certification has been earned.
  • The certification body schedules follow-up audits between the organization and the body to ensure compliance. 

Infosec Mates provide ISO 27001 consultancy services, so whether you need assistance with specific issues such as governance, gap analysis or internal audits or if you just need an expert to manage the process, we have the right solution.

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