Consumer data privacy has become a key priority for lawmakers across the globe. As a result, regulators are taking a much firmer stance when it comes to enforcing current policy and fines when our information is put at risk. In response, organizations must also take a firmer stance in devising an effective Compliance management solution.
Whether it’s cyber criminals hacking a corporate network, or employees losing or misplacing information, data breaches are one of the biggest information security risks that organizations face. According to a recent survey by IBM, the global average cost of a data breach is $4.35 million, an amount that could have devastating consequences for most organizations.
It’s for this reason that companies around the world are starting to invest heavily in cybersecurity, and have begun using regulations such as ISO 27001 as a guideline for effective security management.
But what exactly is ISO 27001, and why should it be central to your information security strategy?
The broadness of the ISO 27001 framework means its implementation is appropriate to any size of business.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is the leading international standard focused on information security. It’s a framework of controls covering topics including physical assets, risk management and incident response to help organizations protect three key areas of their information:
- Confidentiality – Only authorized individuals have access to information
- Integrity – Only authorized personnel can make changes to information
- Availability – Information must be available to authorized employees whenever needed
It was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in partnership with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and helps organizations of all sizes, from all industries, implement an Information Security Management System (ISMS).
Through the implementation of an ISMS, organizations establish a clear set of rules detailing how data is used and who has access to it. ISO 27001 defines which of these rules need to be documented and introduced as policy or procedure, the key first step in establishing a robust compliance management solution. SureCloud’s GRC solutions come with the ISO 27001 rule set built-in.
The standard covers all procedures, from establishing a security framework to improving company processes.
Why is ISO 27001 important?
Information security breaches can be extremely damaging for businesses, both in terms of reputational damage and financial loss. Having a robust security strategy in place that minimizes risk helps build credibility and trust among customers, suppliers, and partners.
The ISO 27001 standard helps protect organizations against cyber-attacks such as phishing, ransomware, and zero day exploits, as well as decreasing the likelihood of a data breach. It also provides companies and their employees with the know-how to protect their most valuable information.
Having ISO 27001 accreditation helps build trust among customers and demonstrates an organization’s commitment to implementing security best practices. It also shows that extensive measures have been taken to prevent unauthorized access to private information, internal networks and systems, and ensures information can only be accessed by certain personnel. This can all prove invaluable when attempting to attract new business and enhance your reputation.
Becoming ISO 27001 accredited will not only improve security, but also enhance your reputation as a reliable, secure organization.
What impact does ISO 27001 non-compliance have on your business and employees?
If an organization or its employees are found to have violated information security policies or procedures, the ramifications can be severe.
For example, recently the Chinese ride-hailing platform, Didi Global, was handed a $1.19 billion fine, the biggest ever for breaching data privacy laws. After a year-long investigation, China’s Cyberspace Administration ruled that the company had violated network security law, data security law, and personal information protection law. In addition to fining the company, two executives received individual fines and were ordered to pay an extra $140,000 each.
The benefits of ISO 27001 compliance
The positive impact of ISO 27001 is that it encourages everyone, from top-level management to remote workers, to improve the security posture of the organization.
You will experience:
- A trusted reputation with clients and partners
- Business-wide understanding of security risks
- Improved threat reporting
- Greater protection against data security threats
ISO 27001 is centered around risk assessment, which means that in order to comply, risks are identified first and then mitigated via the use of proper controls. It is also a globally recognized standard that enables organizations to more successfully approach partners, both at home and abroad – any potential new customers will know that their information will be in safe hands.
From an employee perspective, the implementation of procedures such as a clear desk policy, password protection, and access control will help develop a deeper understanding of potential security risks. The knowledge of how to identify an issue will improve how threats are reported, and increase awareness around the need to protect business-critical information.
Understanding key information security elements means you’re prepared for any issues before they arise.
Having ISO 27001 certification not only means you have the processes and systems in place to protect against potential security breaches, but also demonstrates your commitment to educating everyone within your organization about your security objectives.
A full compliance management solution
At SureCloud, our team of experts work with your organization to ensure ISO 27001 certification processes are implemented correctly and that your data is secure, as part of a complete compliance management solution.
To find out more about how we can support your organization’s information security strategy, take a look at our Compliance-as-a-Service offering.