What is ISO 27001, why have it, who needs it, how to get it

ISO 27001 and cybersecurity compliance

If you want to protect your business’s information, it’s an ideal standard to meet. But what is ISO 27001 really?

Why would you want it? Who would benefit from it? How do you get it?

Let’s take a look at why this internationally accepted standard for Information Security is so valuable for businesses in every sector:

What is ISO 27001?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) creates guideline standards that are generally agreed to be “the best way to do things”. ISO 27001 is their standard for Information Security.

Previously called by the rather lengthier “ISO/IEC 27001:2022” heading, it is a framework that organisations can follow to make sure the information they hold or process is systematically protected.

Being ISO 27001-compliant means your organisation protects its information assets to internationally agreed standards that meet all likely global laws and regulations.

Compliance can take effort to achieve. It takes buy-in across your organisation. But the benefits in terms of minimised risks, costs, and increased competitive advantage mean organisations strive for it every year.

Why is ISO 27001 important to have?

1) Legal compliance

When they were designing the 27001 standard, the ISO (and partnering IEC, the International Electrotechnical Commission) consulted a whole bunch of existing rules and regulations.

This means that if you’re looking to meet all kinds of regulatory standards – such as the EU’s GDPR – this ISO framework lets you do it systematically.

2) Systematise your approach to information security

If you’re trying to grow your business (or you’ve already grown quickly), you might not have had time recently to sit down and come up with a system for things like Information Security.

Working towards ISO 27001 lets you write down systems for how you do things and why. This ensures your team knows how to operate and why it’s important.

It ensures that as you grow (or as people leave, taking knowledge with them), new hires know the system they should be following.

3) Keep cost and risk low

Data breaches and being the victim of other cybercrime costs companies a lot of money.

This international standard is comparatively very low on the cost and investment side and high on the number of cybersecurity risks it eliminates or minimises for you.

4) Advertise your security credentials (to gain advantage)

ISO 27001 has become a great way to show off the fact you are secure to organisations and individuals worldwide.

Increasingly, business leaders (and consumers) are aware of the risks of cybersecurity and information security weaknesses in their partners and will prioritise working with well-protected companies.

This can be a source of serious competitive advantage.

Who needs ISO 27001?

If you want a way to secure your business’s information and data in a way that also clearly demonstrates to potential partners and clients that you’ve done so, ISO 27001 is where it’s at.

This standard is recognised globally. So wherever you do business, it’s an excellent signpost that you can be trusted with your partners’ and clients’ data.

How to get ISO 27001 compliance

ISO 27001 is much more of a set of guidelines or a framework than hard-and-fast rules. The way it best applies to your organisation might be different from how it applies to another.

There are fourteen phases. These include everything from your policies to risk assessment to physical security. Each has a list of requirements to meet.

It’s by no means simple. You’ll probably need your in-house IT team to be very on-the-ball or have your Managed Service Provider handle it (at Dial A Geek preparing you for ISO 27001 certification is a key part of our Protect & Grow Premium).

Once you’ve worked out how to meet all of the requirements, you can have an ISO-accredited certification organisation (the ISO doesn’t assess things itself) assess you.

Like any project, it’s best broken down into sensible bite-size chunks. Take the first step sooner rather than later if you want to realise the full benefits of ISO 27001 certification.

Want to talk through your ISO 27001 compliance journey with an expert?

Dial A Geek’s managed services have already helped numerous local green tech companies – including Matter, Anaphite, Fluoretiq, Carbometrics, Extracellular, and many others.

Chat about your business’s unique needs today with Chief Geek Gildas Jones with zero cost or commitment.