ISO 27001 definition: What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 definition: What is ISO 27001?


ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (also known as ISO27001) is the international standard for information security. It sets out the specification for an information security management system (ISMS). The information security management system standard’s best-practice approach helps organizations manage their information security by addressing people, processes, and technology.

Certification to the ISO 27001 Standard is recognized worldwide as an indication that your ISMS is aligned with information security best practices.

Part of the ISO 2700 series of information security standards, ISO 27001 is a framework that helps organizations “establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and continually improve an ISMS”.

The latest version of the ISO 27001 information security standard was published in September 2013, replacing the 2005 iteration. 

What is an ISMS?

An ISMS is a holistic approach to securing the confidentiality, integrity, and availability (CIA) of corporate information assets. It consists of policies, procedures, and other controls involving people, processes, and technology.
Informed by regular information security risk assessments, an ISMS is an efficient, risk-based, and technology-neutral approach to keeping your information assets secure.

ISO 27001 benefits

ISO 27001 is one of the most popular information security standards in existence. Independent accredited certification to the Standard is recognized worldwide. The number of certifications has grown by more than 450% in the past ten years.

Implementing the Standard helps you meet the information security requirements of laws such as the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the NIS (Network and Information Systems) Regulations. This helps reduce the costs associated with data breaches.

Protect your data, wherever it is
Protect all forms of information, whether digital, hard copy, or in the Cloud.

Increase your attack resilience
Increase your organization’s resilience to cyber-attacks.

Reduce information security costs
Implement only the security controls you need, helping you get the most from your budget.

Respond to evolving security threats
Constantly adapt to changes both in the environment and inside the organisation.

Improve company culture
An ISMS encompasses people, processes and technology, ensuring staff understand risks and embrace security as part of their everyday working practices.

Meet contractual obligations
Certification demonstrates your organization’s commitment to data security and provides a valuable credential when tendering for new business.

How to achieve ISO 27001 compliance

Implementing an ISMS involves:

  • Scoping the project.
  • Securing management commitment and budget.
  • Identifying interested parties and legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements.
  • Conducting a risk assessment.
  • Reviewing and implementing the required controls.
  • Developing internal competence to manage the project.
  • Developing the appropriate documentation.
  • Conducting staff awareness training.
  • Reporting (e.g. the Statement of Applicability and risk treatment plan).
  • Continually measuring, monitoring, reviewing, and auditing the ISMS.
  • Implementing the necessary corrective and preventive actions.

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