ISO 27001 Certification: Is It Necessary in 2021?

ISO 27001 Certification: Is It Necessary in 2021?

ISO 27001 Certification: Is It Necessary in 2021?

Most businesses that rely on information technology systems view ISO 27001 certification standards as dated. They don’t see the need to invest money into establishing a standard that can compete globally. Unfortunately, this could lead to their downfall. With businesses moving to a more distributed working environment, data security and information systems security management become more of a concern. Statista mentions that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 came up to a whopping US$3.86 million. Businesses need to secure their internal information, but is that even something a company can securely do in the age of remote working? It’s clear that having a robust information security management system is of crucial importance in 2021, but how does a business ensure it can protect itself from global threats? ISO 27001 certification was developed for just this reason.

How Does ISO 27001 Certification Help?

We’ve delved into the benefits of ISO 27001 certification on this blog many times before. Even so, there are distinct benefits that the certification offers to businesses. The International Organization for Standardization  (ISO) mentions that the ISO 27001 standard sets up a framework to secure a wide range of data, ranging from financial information to personal and employee data. Business data, in particular, is as valuable as gold in the modern age. Malicious users would stop at nothing to gain access to a company’s databases. It might not even be the company’s finances that they’re after, but concrete data that they can sell to competitors. The framework established and maintained by ISO 27001 certification keeps that data safe.

The framework itself isn’t a plug. Implementing it won’t magically fix the problem of data breaches or scams that intend to extract the company’s information. However, it helps to create a culture of security. With employees having a focus on keeping their data secure, it’s second nature to do the same for the business’s data. Remote working means that home computers are the “weak link” when it comes to security. A business culture centered on keeping data secure will ensure that it’s much more difficult for a malicious user to leverage an employee’s machine to get access to company data. ISO 27001 helps to create that culture of security.

Added Value Through Certification

Certification gives businesses that want to enter global markets a leg-up in dealing with local regulations. Because the global marketplace is now connected seamlessly through the internet, a business’s care for client data is as vital as securing their own information. An established ISO 27001 standard ensures that a company has a framework in place to shut down data breaches and prevent information extraction from malicious users. From a business perspective, a client will see this as an absolute plus. Ideally, if all businesses within a supply chain demonstrate ISO 27001 certification, all data within the supply chain will remain protected at all times. In areas of the world such as the EU, this is a prelude to data security as mentioned under the General Data Protection Requirements (GDPR).

Staying Ahead of the Arms Race

Data security relies heavily on staying ahead of threats. With each passing day, the threats to a business’s data increase. Having a robust framework in place as established by the ISO 27001 certification ensures that the enterprise is ready to face threats. From security exploits to scams coming through email, a company cannot be too prepared to deal with these issues. Unfortunately, not every business has trained personnel to offer feedback on their ISO 27001 certification attempts. Hiring an external consultant can be a helpful addition. Sync Resource has been helping companies to achieve their ISO 27001 certification goals for years. Contact us today, and let’s help guide you towards certification and shore up your information security management systems.

How to Overcome the Challenges of ISO 27001 Certification

How to Overcome the Challenges of ISO 27001 Certification

How to Overcome the Challenges of ISO 27001 Certification

A business seeking ISO 27001 certification will face several major and minor hurdles to its goal. Several of these companies give up, considering that the certification might be more trouble than it’s worth. There are two ways to view certification hurdles. The first is that it makes the achievement of certification a meaningful experience. If it were so simple that anyone could achieve it, it wouldn’t be worth anything. The second and more critical ideal is that difficult certifications show competence and mastery of a particular field. ISO 27001 certification, according to the International Organization for Standardization, is a framework for developing an information security management system (ISMS). Businesses that manage to achieve this certification show their dedication to creating a robust information management system that remains secure and has contingencies in place to keep it that way. But this is no easy task. What is the most challenging part of getting ISO 27001 Certification?

Risk Assessment and Management

One of the core competencies in ISO 27001 certification has to do with risk management. For a business to cope with the current threats to the industry, it must first realize where these threats come from. Assessing and treating information security risks across the organization is crucial to meeting the requirements of ISO 27001. Risk assessment, therefore, needs to be the first and most vital pillar in a business’s ISO 27001 certification attempt. Unfortunately, some businesses start the process without conducting proper research into the threats to their own organization. The result is a company that’s woefully underprepared to deal with the demands of the standard. More often than not, this leads to businesses quitting before they achieve certified status.

Lack of Proper Planning

Preparation is crucial to achieving any goals, and this is doubly true for ISO certification. Planning requires a company to map out their path from uncertified to certified, going through each step of the process and outlining ways to tackle the challenges the standard presents. Lack of adequate planning leads to complications. While some companies see planning as an unnecessary time-sink, others realize how crucial it is in a complex undertaking like ISO certification. The businesses that realize how vital planning is to reaching their goals are the ones who manage to achieve them.

Performance Evaluation and Self Improvement

I’ve mentioned the benefits that ISO 27001 offers to a business before. Many of these bonuses come from the fact that self-improvement is hard-wired into the standard. The ISO requires that companies inspect their ISMS and develop ways to improve them throughout their operation. Unfortunately, many businesses trip in this hurdle. Failure at this critical task might be due to internal auditors not looking at the company’s efforts objectively. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the business doesn’t need to improve what it’s doing. The problem with this shortsightedness is that it could extend the time the company needs to achieve certification. Calling in an external consultant can help to mitigate this issue.

Access Control

An ISMS requires a business to have appropriately managed access controls. This access control requirement ensures that individuals can’t access data without the proper credentials. Unfortunately, many companies don’t have a robust access control system in place. Despite the criticality of this point, many companies overlook it, with roles not being adequately defined within the access database. This issue is a technical one that should be addressed before the business seeks external audits for its certification.

Overcoming These Challenges

While many other hurdles exist that a business needs to vault over to get to ISO 27001 certification, these are the most pressing issues. In most cases, dealing with these issues requires outside input. Hiring external consultants can go a long way towards providing the perspective a business needs to properly approach the problem and achieve certification in a reasonable timeline. Contact Sync Resource today to schedule a meeting with a professional ISO consultancy group!

What Is the ISO 27001 Benefit to Business? Understanding Security Compliance

What Is the ISO 27001 Benefit to Business? Understanding Security Compliance

Businesses considering implementing this standard have to answer the question of what the ISO 27001 benefit to business is. The British Assessment Bureau informs us that ISO 27001 helps companies achieve an information security management system (ISMS) that allows the company to minimize or remove the chance of a data breach.

Data security isn’t a new concern for companies. The BBC mentions that cybersecurity is of the utmost importance to any business in the twenty-first century. However, while we are aware of how important data security is, how does this tie into the ISO 27001 benefit to business?

Data Integrity and Restoration

Data corruption can be a plague that can cause an entire company’s databases to buckle and collapse. Ensuring that individual records maintain their integrity is crucial to ensuring that the company can meet its mandate to clients and suppliers alike.

With integrated databases, minor corruption could cost a company quite a lot. There’s no way to isolate and repair the corrupted data. By implementing data security systems under the ISO 27001 standard, a business sets up a framework. This framework deals with data integrity and can help with compromised datasets.
Data organization, access control, and a specific backup protocol ensure that datasets remain viable and avoid corruption. Comparing the latest backup with the current version can help a company restore the damaged data without too much hassle.

Privacy of User Data

Another crucial ISO 27001 benefit to the business is increased privacy for the company’s data. An ISMS helps businesses avoid problems that arise if they fail to secure data appropriately. Access control, group management policies, and destruction of data no longer in use are crucial parts of an ISMS. They ensure that user information doesn’t leave the company’s servers or fall into the wrong hands.

ISO 27001 regulations keep businesses secure in knowing that the data they have on their systems are protected. It also helps to avoid messy legal battles associated with data leaks.

Intellectual Property Protection

Businesses all have their own intellectual property generated within the company. Protecting a business’s intellectual property (IP) ensures that it maintains its competitive edge. Risk management techniques can help spot issues with how the company currently deals with its IPs.

Once more, access controls per ISO 27001 are crucial in ensuring that the company keeps ahold of its intellectual property rights. Secure systems stop external access to the company’s IP records. This practice helps to create an impenetrable digital barrier to anyone who would seek to appropriate the company’s IPs.

Peace of Mind to Customers

Digital security is now a hot topic for many consumers. Data breaches have become commonplace, and most users have had account information from one or more large companies compromised in the past. The incidence of these occurrences makes them less likely to trust businesses with their data.

An ISO 27001 benefit to business that is often overlooked is increased confidence in the company’s data management. This certification allows clients to be aware of how the business manages data. Customers understand the steps that the firm undertakes to ensure that all data collected by the company is stored securely. They can also rest assured that the data is destroyed when no longer in use. These steps can go a long way towards convincing a client that they can trust their user data with the business.

ISO 27001 Benefit to Business – The Never-Ending Arms Race

Business security is always about staying one step ahead of malicious actors. By implementing the guidelines set forward under ISO 27001, a company can apply industry best practices that may help them avoid problems with their data security. If you’re looking at implementing a new ISMS, we’ve got you covered. Maybe you need to audit the ISMS the business already has with the aim of certification? Contact Sync Resource today. We’d be glad to help you make your business data management a more secure process.

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Bits and Bytes – The No. 1 Formula for Learning the Benefits of How to get ISO Certification for Software Company

Understanding how to get ISO certification for software company brings a lot of potential and possibilities for a small business. Certification underlines the company’s dedication to upholding industry standards.

Indeed reinforces this by stating that ISO certification establishes credibility within the industry and increases consumer trust with their service provider.

Many software companies avoid ISO certification because they don’t think the standards apply to their industry.

This opinion isn’t strictly true. Software companies stand to benefit from implementing two essential ISO standards: ISO 9001 and ISO 27001.

In this article, we’ll delve into what these certifications are and what they bring to the table for software companies.

Defining The Standards for How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company

Software companies, like many small businesses, utilize several standard practices. ISO 9001, as we previously explained, deals with establishing a quality management service within the company.

The International Standards Organization itself states that certifications from the ISO 9000 family help businesses to maintain the quality of their products and customer service through an iterative methodology.

In particular, software companies depend upon excellent customer support and high-quality products to help make a name for themselves and stand out from the competition.

Another vital certification that software companies shouldn’t overlook is ISO 27001.

We’ve touched on how this particular certification can be critical to small businesses since it deals primarily with data protection.

The International Standards Organization mentions that the ISO 27001 certification offers peace of mind when it comes to data security by helping a business establish an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

How to Get ISO Certification for Software Company – The Steps Involved

Each of these ISO certification standards has its own requirements, and as such, we will be covering each one separately.

ISO 9001

In a previous post, we mentioned a simplified 5-step process that a company could undertake to achieve ISO 9001 certification. For those who missed that post, the five steps we mentioned are:

  1. Get Informed:
    Source basic and essential information about the ISO certification process. Companies should start by designating a member of staff as the “point person” for this process, making them the go-to person for all ISO-related issue.
  2. Prepare Documentation:
    ISO 9001 is heavily based on documentation. At this stage, a company should be getting the documents they currently have and note the materials they lack compared to what the standard requires.
  3. Implement Certification Requirements:
    Using the information generated from the previous step, a company can note its weakest areas and its lack of documentation. Taking into account the requirements for certification, the company can see where they comply with the regulations entirely, partially, or not at all.
  4. Internal Audit:
    Once the company has arranged its documentation, it can undergo an internal audit. At this stage, the company inspects its documentation and compares it to the requirements. Glaring errors can be picked up and rectified here, and the company may need to go through multiple internal audits before it’s ready for the next step.
  5. External Audit and Certification:
    A third-party certification body will visit the company in the final step and perform a thorough audit of the company’s documents and system improvements. If it meets the standards, the company will achieve ISO 9001 certification.

ISO 27001

We also outlined a detailed methodology of how a company can obtain ISO 27001 certification in a past post. The process is a bit more involved, covering eleven steps:

  1. Identify objectives
  2. Get management on board with the plan
  3. Ensure the scope of the project is acceptable
  4. Develop an ISMS brief covering the policy
  5. Define the Methodology for Risk Assessment and the Strategy the company intends to pursue
  6. Develop a risk treatment plan and manage the risks that already exist within the system
  7. Create policies to take on risks
  8. Define the resources required for implementing those policies and train the staff to be more aware of the implementation process
  9. Monitor the ISMS after it goes online
  10. Prepare for an internal audit
  11. Have management review the ISMS periodically for improvements or updates

Certification Raises Marketability

A company that learns how to get ISO certification for software company raises its stature on the open market. Businesses know they can trust ISO certified companies. As a result, those companies tend to get more consideration compared to others in tendering processes around the world.

If you’d like to have a more competitive business, contact Sync Resource today, and let’s help you achieve how to get ISO certification for software company.

How To Maintain ISO 27001 Certification

How To Maintain ISO 27001 Certification

Maintaining ISO 27001: All standards belonging to the ISO/IEC 27000 family offers help for organizations to keep their information asset more secure by minimizing risks. There are more than a dozen family members that belong to the ISO/IEC 27000 family.

How To Maintain ISO 27001 Certification

By taking help from the ISO/IEC 27000 standard, one can secure data assets like intellectual property, personal data of employees, financial data, or any form of information that belongs to the third party.

ISMS (Information Security Management System) is one of the systematic approaches designed for small, medium and large companies to help them secure their information that includes processes, people associated with the procedures and other IT systems that apply a risk management process.

Maintaining ISO 27001 Certification

It is a myth that getting ISO 27001 means getting your job done for a lifetime, which is not the case. Your real responsibility begins right after certification of ISO 27001 as you now need to maintain it from then onward. The ISO 27001 certificate is only valid for three years, followed by a surveillance audit and re-certification for which one must have to undergo the same audit process as was done initially at the time of ISO 27001 certification.

1. Operating the ISMS

Ensure to perform all activities compliant with ISO 27001, which means all procedures being followed are fulfilling the requirements of ISO 27001 clauses and Annex A.

2. Updating Documentation

Conditions and business needs might change with time. Some new products/services will be created using innovative ways, and some old products or technologies can be abolished or transformed into something new.

Your policies and procedures will be updated, and there always be new requirements that you need to fulfill as we are all living in a competitive market world.

Updating the documentation should be a mandatory part of your management system after periodic reviews leading to report submission to higher management to make the whole chain effective.

3. Risk Assessment Review

Threats and risks will also change their forms or may become more intensive. Risk management strategies should also be upgraded in the same way as chances that impact are major or minor.

4. Measure, Monitor and Review ISMS

How to know if you are on the right track or not? As far as monitoring is concerned, one must have to keep a close eye on developing and increasing threats and risks or even best practice to keep risks in your radar is recording incidents or security threats received from external sources. These real risks will assist you in making your system more secure and ultimately risk-free.

5. Perform Effective Internal Audits

Internal audits, if done correctly, can be of great help as it will highlight many loopholes existing in your current management system (although you will be ISO 27001 certified). Due to advancement as well as continuously evolving organization, a few gaps which might get overlooked by your team as they have multiple things to focus on, and priorities may change with time.

6. Perform Successful Management Reviews

To make sure all management reviews lead to fruitful outcomes will be the prime responsibility of the top leadership team. You need to ensure that Management is updated with most current information on ISMS performance, risks and controls, and in case of deviation, the administration has taken actions too.

7. Devise Efficient Corrective Actions

Corrective actions are essential to solving problems. Improvements should be part and parcel of your management system and so are corrective actions that must be efficient.

A surveillance audit will be conducted every year by the certification body, and they will surely check all the above points mentioned to gauge your ISO 27001 compliance level.

Looking to get ISO 27001 certification for your business?

What questions do you have and how can we help?

ISO 27001 Risk Management Methodology

ISO 27001 Risk Management Methodology

Overview of ISO 27001 Risk Management

ISO 27001 risk management is an internationally recognized standardized management system and its core is Information Security Management System (ISMS) under which Information Security Risk Assessment will be executed.

The core purpose of ISO 27001 is to ensure data security, company’s confidentiality and grants you an ability to bring customers in your trust that their information is completely secured with you with a process based approach along with fulfillment of all the requirements of information Security Management System (ISMS).

As far as Information Security Risk Assessment is concerned, it is defined as a process where an assessor will try to identify any risk existing in your current management system that may cause harm to the system, your products/ services or to your information confidentiality that may put your clients to potential risk.

Best Practices of ISO 27001 Risk Management 

The framework of ISO 27001 risk management highlights following best practices of system security and risk management:

  • Protection of Employee’s and Client’s information
  • Effective risk management by managing system’s security
  • To become 100% compliant with regulations and standards such European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR)
  • Company and Brand image protection

 ISO 27001 Risk Management:  Section 6.1.2 

The section 6.1.2 of ISO 27001 states clauses about risk management procedure for security of information:

  • Establishment of Risk management criteria and identification of potential risks to the security management system.
  • Establishment of periodic risk assessments in order to accomplish consistency in quality of deliverable.
  • Identification of potential risks that can threaten security of information security management system.
  • Evaluation of information security system, recording and analysis of the results according to risks identification criteria.

Rock Solid Seven Foundation Steps to Effective ISO 27001 Risk Management

  • Design Risk Management Methodology

ISO 27001 risk management methodology should be based on concrete security criteria, scale of risk, scenario and asset based risk assessment.

  • Company’s Information Asset Listing

Valuable company’s information asset includes confidential information in the form of hard copy , soft copy, external provider, people and so on. Make an existing list of Company’s informational assets. If the list already exists then do a verification check if the list is updated with all the assets or not.

  • Identification of Potential Threats and Risks

After identification of company’s information asset, the next significant step is to highlight all the possible potential risks that can be applied to each company’s information asset.

  • Measure the Extent of Risk

Build a risk matrix in which list down all the risks involved, predict its likelihood, occurrence and severity. Assess the risk to confidentiality, integrity and availability of these assets.

  • Risks Mitigation

Classify all the predicted risks into High, Medium and low priority. Devise a plan to mitigate, eliminate or substitute those risks with optimum solutions.

  • Risks Reports Compilation

Compile the risks reports in which risk matrix with risks mitigation plans has been mentioned.

  • Review and Monitoring of Plan

The basic requirement of ISO 27001 is to update (if needed), review and monitor the risk management plan from time to time in order to monitor the risks and its mitigation plan performance with rapid changing environment.

Other ISO standards for Risk Management

Following enlisted are the ISO standards that supports ISO 27001 in risk management approach:

  • ISO 27005:2011 – Guidelines for risk management for information security
  • ISO 31000:2009 – Basic Principles about Risk Management
  • ISO 31010:2009 – Methodologies and Standardized Approach about Risk Assessment and its Techniques

Want to consult an ISO advisor? Tap us for ISO consultancy today.

Top Key Benefits of ISO 27001 Implementation

 Among numerous benefits of ISO 27001 implementation, here comes some top key benefits of ISO 27001:

  • Competitive Marketing Edge

Having ISO 27001 being deeply embedded in your management system gives you a unique selling point (USP) to represent to clients. Plus it will help you to be different to your competitors when it comes to tender winning race. Your marketing team will definitely get an edge over marketplace competitors hence giving you more chances to enter to new business opportunities.

  • Cost Effective Solution

A common myth exists in market that putting information security in your system gives you no financial gain which is totally wrong. Think of the financial loss that you may face due to leakage of confidential information of your business or about your clients’ business giving your brand reputation a smashing hit that is nearly impossible to get recovered.

Take this fact the other way around. Imagine the amount of money you could have saved if you could have somehow was able to prevent the confidential information compromise/leakage incident. Hence, prevention is better than cure.

  • Better Business Management

ISO 27001 is a proven tool to get your business in the order just as you always wanted to have. But How? The guidelines of ISO 27001 helps in great extent to define and divide the roles and responsibilities among the team ensuring employees’ engagement to the next level making your journey towards success more systematic.

  • Fulfillment of Quality Compliance

Want to have something which can give you quick “Return on Investment” then ISO 27001 compliance is just the right thing to do. Be it data protection, privacy and IT security, ISO 27001 caters to all the factors of compliance which makes you ultimately more trustworthy among customers, suppliers and vendors.

  • Awareness on Risk Management Among Employees

Through various training and refresher sessions, the awareness level on risk management can ensure employees’ focus on better risk management. With focus on social engineering and tests to ensure employees have good understanding of ISO 27001, Management have been able to minimize the risk to the entire organization.

Looking to get ISO 27001 certification for your business?

What questions do you have and how can we help?