Everything you need to know about the CIA classification in information security

Everything you need to know about the CIA classification in information security

Everything you need to know about the CIA classification in information security
Comments

Written by

security island

Information security policies are a crucial part of any organization. It protects the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. But how do you determine what measures are needed for different types of information?

In this article, we take a closer look at what the CIA classification means and how it relates to standards such as the BIO and ISO 27001.

The 3 aspects of information security policies

Information security policies according to the CIA classification are about ensuring three core principles:

1. Availability

Availability refers to ensuring that information and IT systems are accessible and usable when needed. Without availability, it is difficult for employees to perform their tasks, and business processes stagnate. Examples of availability problems include:

  • Outages of servers or networks that prevent employees from accessing critical applications and data.
  • Overloaded systems cause response times to slow down and prevent users from performing their work.
  • Insufficient storage capacity makes it impossible to save or access files.

2. Integrity

Integrity is about ensuring that information and IT systems remain accurate, complete, and reliable, without unauthorized changes. A violation of integrity leads to incorrect decision-making, financial loss, and reputational damage. Some examples of integrity problems include:

  • Hackers manipulate or delete data.
  • Human error when entering or processing data.
  • Hardware failures or software errors that lead to file corruption.

3. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is about protecting information from unauthorized access or disclosure. A breach of confidentiality potentially leads to loss of competition, damage to reputation, and legal consequences. Some examples of confidentiality issues include:

  • Loss or theft of laptops, smartphones, or other mobile devices containing sensitive information.
  • Careless handling of paper documents containing confidential data.
  • Hackers break into IT systems and gain access to sensitive information.

A balanced approach, treating all three elements equally, is essential for effective information security.

Determine and apply CIA classifications

To determine what security measures are needed, many organizations use the CIA classification. This involves dividing information into different categories based on the level of availability, integrity, and confidentiality required.

  • First, determine how critical the availability of information is. Does it need to be accessible at all times?
  • Next, assess integrity: how bad is it if the information changes inadvertently?
  • Finally, you look at confidentiality: may this information become public knowledge?

Based on the CIA scores, you then assign security levels ranging from basic to very strict.

  • Level 0 (basic): Public information with no significant impact if compromised. Basic security measures are sufficient.
  • Level 1 (medium): Internal corporate information with limited impact if compromised. Standard security measures are necessary.
  • Level 2 (high): Sensitive data whose compromise causes significant damage, such as financial or reputational damage. Strict security measures are required.
  • Level 3 (very high): Highly confidential information with potentially catastrophic consequences if compromised. Maximum security measures must be taken.

By classifying information, organizations can prioritize and implement appropriate security controls. This prevents both over and under-security.

CIA and ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security. It provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Although the ISO 27001 standard does not prescribe a specific CIA classification, information classification is an important part of risk management within an ISMS. Using the CIA triad gives you a better understanding of the security measures needed.

Many of the controls in ISO 27001 Annex A are related to the CIA principles. Think of access security for confidentiality, change management for integrity, and continuity planning for availability. The CIA classification helps select and prioritize the most relevant controls.

View ISO 27001 checklist

CIA and the Government Information Security Baseline (BIO)

The BIO is the basic standard for information security within the Dutch government. It provides a generic standards framework based on the internationally recognized ISO 27002 framework.

The BIO uses a risk-based approach in which the CIA classification plays an important role. Based on the CIA classification of information, appropriate security measures are selected from the BIO. The higher the CIA classification, the more stringent the controls required.

Conclusion

The CIA classification is a valuable tool for information security. By classifying information based on availability, integrity, and confidentiality, organizations get a handle on the security measures needed.

The CIA method aligns seamlessly with standards such as the BIO for government and the internationally recognized ISO 27001 standard. It forms an integral part of risk management and helps security officers to make well-considered choices in security policy.

Is your organization already working with the CIA classification? Careful classification is the first step to effective and proportional information security.

More tips about ISO certification?

Feel free to contact us. We would love to talk to you!

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently
Comments

Written by

security island
When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to decide which people you need (internal and external) and what the whole process will cost.

In short, plenty is coming your way. To support you in this thought process, we give you some tips on how to efficiently get your ISO certification.

1. Implement multiple ISO standards at the same time

A question we often get is whether it is advisable to implement multiple standards at the same time. For example, ISO 27001 (information security) and ISO 9001 (quality). Indeed, this is something you can do fairly easily.

After all, certain standard requirements are common in multiple standards. It is nice if you have software that can just activate such an extra standard. And that can de-duplicate the overlap between standards. Then certain standard requirements automatically apply directly to that other standard.

For example, many of our customers are dealing with the new European NIS2 legislation coming into effect on October 17, 2024. Because of this law, many more organizations than have to take mandatory measures when it comes to information security.

It is not yet entirely clear what this law will specifically prescribe. However, we do see many organizations using this legislation as an opportunity to also implement the ISO 27001 standard. Because if you have implemented ISO 27001, you are 90% compliant with the NIS2 legislation as well.

Is NIS2 relevant to your organization?

The NIS2 legislation is intended for a specific number of industries and types of organizations. There is a list compiled of these organizations and there is also a list of essential organizations from which even more is required.

Another important aspect of the NIS2 legislation is the supply chain. All organizations identified as ‘important or essential’ that must comply with the NIS 2 legislation, must also have suppliers that comply with the law.

In this way, NIS2 becomes relevant to a much larger number of organizations than just those identified as essential. So NIS2 impacts the entire supply chain.

2. Implement an ISO standard simultaneously with other organizations

Another way to work more efficiently when implementing an ISO standard is to do it together with (an) other organization(s). More and more organizations are choosing to go through a certification process in groups.

We offer such a group track through ISO Express a collaborative in which we work with several partners such as Instant 27001, PuraSec, and ESET.

This way, organizations have everything they need at hand: advice, ISMS supporting software, templates, and sample documents. An added benefit is that you can spar with security specialists from other organizations in the same situation. By exchanging experiences, you learn from each other and don’t have to reinvent the wheel alone.

3. Involve employees before, during, and after the ISO process

Many of our customers find it difficult to involve employees in an ISO project. It is often a project that runs alongside normal activities and one has to set aside extra time for it.

Nevertheless, it is essential for an efficient implementation to keep employees involved before, during, and especially long after the process. So that they are aware of everything that needs to be done. And that they can properly carry out their part in the improvements.

Deploying software that promotes cooperation

For example, with good software, you can make it possible for people to keep an overview of their tasks in a place where they are already working. For example, by scheduling tasks in an MS Outlook calendar. Or making documentation such as a code of conduct available through MS Teams. This is what ISOPlanner facilitates.

Because otherwise people who are involved and those who are not, are separate groups. You have to include the entire organization in the process and keep drawing everyone’s attention to their role and what this means for them.

Not only in the period up to certification but especially afterward. Then again, you must have the resources to do that practically and efficiently so you can keep track of all the measures you need to implement and maintain the standard.

More tips about ISO certification?

Feel free to contact us. We would love to talk to you!

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation
Comments

Written by

security island

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that’s true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly what the context of the organization is. And what risks apply to them. And how you want to implement certain measures to manage those risks.

In practice, the risks that organizations face at an abstract level are very often the same. Consider, for example, the risk of a cell phone being lost, or a laptop being left on the train. Every organization has that risk and many more you alike. Even when it comes to implementing risk mitigation measures, they are often the same measures in every organization.

So you can very well use the same basis for implementing ISO standards in different organizations. What that looks like, we explain here through three practical examples where ISOPlanner forms the foundation.

ISO 27001 certification within 3 months

A large multi-technology energy and communications service provider with nearly 8,000 employees across 41 locations, had already scheduled an external audit for ISO 27001 certification. However, they were far from ready for this audit internally.

When this customer engaged us, we suddenly had to get the implementation done under high time pressure. This organization consisted of multiple operating companies that were in different stages of implementation. So they needed a solution that allowed them to track implementation status for all these different operating companies within their Microsoft environment.

Overview of implementation status for multiple operating companies

We rolled out ISOPlanner as an Information Security Management System (ISMS). Not only did this ensure rapid implementation of the ISO 27001 standard, but the ISMS is also suitable for hooking up multiple operating companies in the future. For each operating company, an overview of the status of implementation is available. It is also easy to implement other sets of standards or update an existing set of standards quickly and easily.

In addition, we provided a standard documentation set with policies and sample documents that they only needed to tailor to their specific situations.

These two solutions saved this client an incredible amount of time. The entire implementation took place in just 3 months, which ultimately allowed them to be on time for the already-scheduled audit.

Getting CCV pen-testing certification with ISOPlanner

This example is about a client that helps other companies detect vulnerabilities within the Microsoft environment. For example, by detecting settings that provide improper access to third parties. In addition, this organization also performs pen tests.

This client had the desire to obtain the CCV pen-testing certificate for their pen tests, the standard in this form of security service provision. And with ISOPlanner’s software, you can do more than certify your organization for ISO standards.

Because ISOPlanner is an open framework and is designed to handle many diverse and specific sets of standards. The system allows for all kinds of certification processes.

Our solution for this client was to implement ISOPlanner as an Information Security Management System. This allowed them to implement the measures and policies from the pen-testing standard within their organization in a clear and fast way.

Documentation, policies, and measures linked

Not only is documentation linked to measures and policies, but it is also easy to keep track of the schedule. This made it possible for this client to keep a good overview of the progress of the implementation of all measures related to this CCV pen-testing certification. And to see which tasks were assigned to which employees.

Collecting continuous evidence for ISAE 3402 certification

Finally, another example of an application of ISOPlanner was for an ICT service provider that provides workplace management and cloud solutions. They wanted to obtain an ISAE 3402 statement for their organization. This is a non-mandatory standard that requires ongoing proof that certain technical measures are properly implemented on an ongoing basis.

It requires a lot of work from ICT staff within the organization to continually retrieve that evidence. The challenge this organization faced was keeping an overview of the heavy burden of proof. Who had to do what, when, and where would they record it?

The solution was to implement ISOPlanner as an Information Security Management System, where we chose the set of measures from the ISAE 3402 standard to implement within the organization. You can choose and compile that set of controls yourself within ISOPlanner. After which it is very easy to perform periodic checks and keep track of the periodic collection and storage of evidence.

Overview of collected evidence and division of tasks within the organization

It provides a very low-threshold way for the people performing the checks to provide that requested evidence. This gives you a good overview at any time of all the evidence that has been collected and where any tasks are assigned within the organization.

By using ISOPlanner, this organization now has a clear overview of all implemented controls, their status, and the planning of the work to be performed. ISOPlanner also links to Outlook, making it easy to schedule tasks in calendars and link evidence to the relevant task or action.

This gives this customer a lot of overview and structure and saves a lot of time internally. It also provides peace of mind to spot at a glance whether a task has been completed. Manually keeping Excel lists is a thing of the past!

More tips about ISO certification?

Feel free to contact us. We would love to talk to you!

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights

5 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About ISO 27001 Implementation

5 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About ISO 27001 Implementation

5 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers About ISO 27001 Implementation
Comments

Written by

security island
Are you considering certifying your organization to an ISO standard? In this article, Maurice Pasman of Instant 27001 and Ivar van Duuren of ISOPlanner answer the most frequently asked questions about ISO certification.

1. Who are responsible for implementing ISO 27001?

The standard states that the management of an organization has primary responsibility in the information security of the organization. On the one hand, this means making budget available and setting a good example. But in principle, it also means that the management should designate one or more employees within the organization to be given responsibility for implementing the standard.

The most commonly used role is that of Information Security Officer (CISO). This person is often given primary responsibility for implementing the Information Security Management System (ISMS). This is not the person who has to do everything, but who is given responsibility from management. And the ability to actually involve other people and take up their time.

There are also other people involved in the implementation. Think, for example, of someone from HR who looks at whether the responsibilities, rights and obligations are also well defined in the contracts. Also, people from software development are ideally involved to see if best practices in secure development have already been implemented.

And, for example, a software engineer who is involved to see if the setup of the cloud environment is going well. So in addition to the role of Security Officer, other people within the organization are also involved in ISO implementation.

2. Can you implement ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 together?

Many customers ask us if it is convenient or possible to certify the organization for ISO 27001 and NEN 7510 at the same time. This is indeed very convenient to do. If only because the overlap of the Information Security Management System (ISMS) is 100%.

Not familiar with NEN 7510? This is a Dutch-language standard in the field of information security, specifically for application within healthcare. And it is also a standard that has a legal obligation. So healthcare providers within the Netherlands are required by law to implement NEN 7510. Incidentally, this should not be confused with NEN 7510 certification, because that is not mandatory. Nevertheless, you see that many parties in healthcare and their service providers often proceed to certification, because that is the crowning glory of their work.

3. Can you substitute or ignore ISO measures?

If you look at the list of control measures from the Annex A of the ISO 27001 or NEN 7510 standard and you don’t support the measures, are you allowed to choose other measures? For example, because you want to come up with them yourself or because you want to use a different set of measures? The short answer is: yes, you may.

The ISO standard provides measure suggestions in Annex A that you can use as a checklist. To make sure you don’t forget anything. However, the measures you ultimately choose may come from anywhere. And if at some point you think: I need an additional measure, it would be weird if you didn’t take that measure.

If you continue along that line, then you can also decide that you don’t think the whole list of measures from Annex A is appropriate for your organization. And that you use a different set of example measures, for example from another ISO standard such as the 27017 or 27018.

The standard also wants you to prepare a Statement of Applicability. In that Statement of Applicability you indicate what measures you have taken, but you must also indicate what you have done with the measures from Annex A. And when you decide to completely ignore the measures from Annex A and apply, for example, the measures from the SIS controls, then you state in your Statement of Applicability which measures from the SIS controls you are using.

4. Is ISO 27001 also suitable for small businesses?

Many people think that ISO 27001 or ISO 9001 is suitable only for very large organizations. But the standard is written in a way that doesn’t actually make that distinction.

In fact, if you read the standard carefully, it sets requirements, for example, for the documentation that an organization must have. It explicitly states that the amount and manner in which that documentation is maintained must be appropriate to the organization.

That explicitly leaves open the possibility for a very small organization to also implement the management system. Be it without a huge pile of documentation. But with just some smaller policy documents, some simpler processes. That makes the standard perfectly applicable for a small organization.

5. How long must an organization exist for certification?

How long an organization must exist for ISO certification is a very interesting question. It has to do with the fact that during an audit you want to give the auditor the feeling that the processes you show and the policies you have written have been alive and well within your organization for a certain period of time.

So an organization that has just been in existence for two weeks and whose management system was also written two weeks ago, won’t give the average auditor the warm feeling that this is a well-rooted system.

If you look at what the standard says about it, there are no hard timelines in there. The standard only says that a management system qualifies for certification if it can be shown that all components have been implemented at least once (Chapter 4 through Chapter 10).

If all components of the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle have been demonstrably implemented at least once, then you can certify the management system. In practice, we find that most consultants and audit firms do apply a minimum period of 3 months for this. But that does not come from the standard.

Failures in ISO certification

In practice, we still see many situations where processes run across multiple systems and involve multiple people. There is no proper transfer from one system to another. And what can go wrong is that things are simply forgotten.

So someone does enter an employee into the HR system, but forgets to inform another person that a ticket is needed to grant certain rights to that new employee.

Then the result is not what it should be, requiring remedial work afterwards. And the organization is shaken up wondering why something is not working and what went wrong.

What does an ideal compliance process look like?

In an ideal world, a new employee enters the organization or there is a new supplier. Where the process begins the moment that new employee or supplier is entered into the first system.

And where all subsequent steps resulting from that one process flow automatically from one system to another. Where each time the employees who need to do something are triggered at the place where they work. For example, with a Teams Notification, that something is ready for them to do. And if a step is skipped, the person concerned automatically receives a notification or reminder to still do the work.

In the ideal world, the result is also recorded in a central location in a system that everyone is already working with.

Set up compliance automation workflows in 3 steps

Want to automate compliance within your organization? How do you set up those compliance automation workflows and how do you properly maintain those processes? First, it is important that you make sure you have one system where you record the result of all those automated processes.

Second, it is good to identify which processes you want to automate. And when you have an idea of that, start quietly with one process. A process that perhaps now takes the most work in the organization. Or where perhaps the most mistakes are made. Or where you as an organization suffer the most mistakes. And then you start by automating that first process. Then you grab the next process and that’s how you slowly build on.

Finally, it is important to see which systems touch the processes. Which systems are involved in the various workflows? And what possibilities do those systems offer to link and collect information in a central system, allowing you to keep an overview of all the processes?

More tips on ISO certification?
Feel free to contact us. We’d like to help you out!

About Maurice Pasman of Instant 27001

Maurice Pasman is founder of Instant 27001, which helps organizations implement ISO 27001 efficiently by using sample documentation and templates. Since its launch in 2018, Instant 27001 already helped more than 1,500 organizations (in the Netherlands and abroad) optimize their information security, prevent data breaches and improve their competitive position.

About Ivar van Duuren

Ivar van Duuren is a co-founder of ISOPlanner. He’s had experience with the fragmented ISO certification approach with separate documents and the pressure to do it within a certain deadline.

A simpler system that provided an overview and insight into the required measures and planning was the answer to this frustration. With its unique integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams, ISOPlanner provides a simple and clear tool during certification processes.

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights

How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification

How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification

How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification
Comments

Written by

security island
What does an ISO 27001 certification project look like? What internal and external people and resources do you need? And exactly which measures are mandatory (or not)? Co-founder of ISOPlanner Ivar van Duuren explains.

ISO 27001 certification in a nutshell

To give you an overview of the whole process, here I briefly explain the main steps you need to take. The first step to start with ISO certification is to look at the context of your organization. Which parties are involved with you as an organization? Think about employees, shareholders, clients, suppliers, and other parties like that. And what do those parties expect from you when it comes to information security?

The next step is to determine the risks. What risks do you see as an organization when it comes to information security? And then you usually start formulating a policy: you choose the measures you are going to use to mitigate those risks and how you want to implement them in your organization. And finally, you make sure that you periodically check whether you still comply with this policy.

What help do you need with ISO 27001 certification?

You may wonder if you need help implementing the ISO 27001 standard or if you and your colleagues can do it yourselves. This depends on a few things.

First, it depends on how much experience you already have within the organization with implementing ISO standards. If you don’t have any, then it might be nice to bring in an external consultant to help you with the implementation.

This also helps maintain progress. Implementing ISO 27001 may not always be the highest priority among the various departments involved. There are always things that take priority: customers who need help, and projects that need attention. Bringing in a consultant can help you keep pace with implementation.

In addition, your need for help also depends on your decision to purchase a sample documentation package, for example. Such a package already provides a lot of information and sample documents that you need during implementation. It also provides a lot of structure that will help you implement ISO 27001 independently in your organization.

Internal stakeholders in ISO 27001 implementation

So who within your organization should you involve in the implementation of ISO 27001?

First, your management must be involved. This is an important requirement of the ISO 27001 standard. Management must have an active role in controlling information security in the context of ISO 27001.

In addition, more roles within your organization are relevant to information security. Very often we see an IT manager involved, from the technical aspects of information security. In addition, we also often see an HR manager. Who has to control who enters the organization as an employee. So for such “in and out” processes, that HR manager is important.

And finally, there are often people involved who do executive work, such as making backups and setting them up. These are also people you want to involve in this project.

Required services with ISO 27001 certification

What external services do you need with an ISO 27001 certification? What you need in any case is an external auditor. This is a party that checks whether you as an organization ultimately meet the requirements of ISO 27001.

From the ISO 27001 standard, another mandatory part is an internal audit. ‘Internal’ sounds a bit confusing, because it seems to imply that you can pick up this part internally. In principle, you can, but you need internal people who have the competencies to perform internal audits. And who therefore have experience in doing so.

However, many organizations that start with ISO 27001 certification do not yet have that experience. So many organizations have an internal audit performed by an external auditor. This is not the same party that performs the real external audit. But in most cases, this is an external consultant who helps you implement ISO 27001 and who also takes on the internal audit.

Finally, one of the measures in the ISO 27001 standard requires an external check on the technical security of your own developed applications. Many organizations commission a pen test for this purpose. If that applies to you, you will of course need a specialist party for that as well.

Are all ISO 27001 measures mandatory?

Many organizations wonder which ISO 27001 measures are mandatory to implement. The standard contains an annex, Annex A, with many measures that you can implement. These measures aim to reduce your security risks.

Yet these measures are not mandatory, they are mere suggestions. The standard says that you must identify risks and take measures to control those risks. But you are not obliged to implement those suggested measures.

However, it is mandatory to indicate why you are implementing all these measures. For example, based on risks you see. Also, if you do not implement a measure, you indicate your reasoning. You are also free to create your own measures if you find them more appropriate to manage your identified risks.

How does an ISO 27001 certification audit work?

An external auditor checks whether your organization meets all the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard set. This is a certifying organization whose purpose is to verify that you meet all the requirements. This is done during the certification audit, which consists of two parts.

The first phase consists largely of checking the documentation in place. The auditor checks whether your organization has all the mandatory documents you must have for ISO 27001. And also whether you have started your improvement cycle where necessary.

In practice, he or she assesses whether you have a working process, or an information security management system (ISMS). Which involves the following questions:

  • Do you have an overview of all your organization’s stakeholders?
  • Have you inventoried all the risks?
  • Have you taken measures to control those risks?
  • Have you written out policies to do so?

In the second phase of the certification audit, the auditor not only looks at documentation and the policies that have been written. Now the auditor also checks whether you are complying with the established policy.

Also read: Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation

About Ivar van Duuren

Ivar van Duuren is a co-founder of ISOPlanner. He’s had experience with the fragmented ISO certification approach with separate documents and the pressure to do it within a certain deadline.

A simpler system that provided an overview and insight into the required measures and planning was the answer to this frustration. With its unique integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams, ISOPlanner provides a simple and clear tool during certification processes.

More tips on compliance automation?

Feel free to contact us. We would love to talk to you!

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights

Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation

Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation

Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation
Comments

Written by

security island

Are you choosing to implement ISO 27001 standards for your organization? In this article, the co-founder of ISOPlanner Ivar van Duuren explains all about the benefits, challenges, duration, and costs of implementing ISO 27001. This way, you know what you’re getting into and can make this project a success!

The 3 benefits of ISO 27001 certification

The main advantage of obtaining an ISO 27001 certification is that you have the certificate. That means that you can demonstrate, for example to new customers who find it important that you as a supplier handle their data well, that you handle information security well. It may help that you no longer have to fill out an extensive information security checklist with new customers. But you can suffice by showing your certificate.

Certification can also make international business easier because ISO is an international organization. And ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized certificate. If you also want to do business across borders, having the certificate makes this a lot easier.

And, perhaps the most important benefit: implementing ISO 27001 makes you take information security much more seriously. No matter how well you are already doing as an organization, you will find that by implementing ISO 27001, the level of information security gets a whole lot better.

Also read: Benefits of ISO 27001 for cloud service companies

How long does it take to get ISO 27001 certified?

How long does it take to become ISO 27001 certified? That can vary quite a bit. Many organizations take at least a year. Other organizations opt to put all the available manpower into the project. And they do it in six months.

If you use an application that also provides you with the documentation you need for ISO 27001, it can be as quick as within three months.

Read also: ISO 27001 Step-By-Step Guide

What are the costs of an ISO 27001 certification process?

For an ISO 27001 certification process, you need several things. One of the things you need in any case is a certification audit. An auditor checks whether your organization meets the requirements of ISO 27001.

Those costs depend very much on the size of your organization. And also on how many branches your organization has. But for a small organization, you can count on €15,000 in three years.

Read also: What does an ISO certification auditor do?

Next, you may opt to hire a consultant to help you implement ISO 27001. Again, these costs can vary considerably. But as a starting point, you can figure around €10,000.

Finally, you may want to use software to help you structure your processes. The cost of this is generally limited. You can get good management software for as little as €1,500 a year.

And additionally, you could choose to purchase a package of documentation for between €2,000 – €4,000. With this, you get a lot of documentation that you need. This helps you cut your consultants’ fees.

Also read: Tips on asset risk management through ISO 27001

What is an ISMS?

ISMS stands for Information Security Management System. It’s the set of documentation, tasks, and things that you record to fulfill the requirements of ISO 27001. So ISMS is not necessarily software, it’s not necessarily a particular application.

It can be, for example, a combination of documents and tasks scattered throughout your system. But all of that together actually constitutes your ISMS.

You can also choose to use software for your ISMS. That has the advantage of bringing all the elements together. And so you have an overview of your information security management system in one place.

Also read: What are the benefits of ISMS software?

Challenges with ISO 27001 implementation

What do organizations encounter most when implementing ISO 27001? One is maintaining progress on the project. A project can take quite a while, approximately between 3-12 months. So you have to make sure that you stay involved during that time and that progress is maintained.

The second thing that can be challenging when implementing ISO 27001, is involving all your employees who have a role in this. Make sure they get the information they need and do what they need to do.

Finally, once you’ve achieved ISO 27001 certification, it can be a challenge to keep up with the measures after that. You have to check that policies are being followed. And whether things are set up as you agreed.

Is it mandatory to implement all ISO 27001 measures?

Are the measures included in ISO 27001 mandatory to implement? The short answer is: no.

You are obliged by the ISO 27001 norm, to take inventory of the risks your organization contains regarding information security. And then take measures to mitigate those risks. In doing so, you can take suggestions from the list of measures included in ISO 27001 to assess whether or not you can use them.

You are also obliged to state why you’re implementing the specific measure from that list. For example, because you spot a risk, or because it’s some kind of best practice. Also, for each measure that you don’t implement, you are required to indicate why you don’t implement it.

So in theory, you can choose not to implement all those measures. And put together your own set of measures and implement just those. All with good explanation and justification.

What are the benefits of using sample documentation?

What are the advantages of using sample documentation when implementing ISO 27001? The first advantage is that you save a lot of time. All the documents that you need for ISO 27001 are provided to you so you don’t have to write them yourself.

You also get a structure. Your documentation won’t consist of just a list of documents. It will be delivered in a structure so you’ll know which risks belong to which measures. And which policies belong to which measures. So everything related will be already linked together. This provides you with a tremendous overview.

The third advantage is you won’t just save time and be provided with an overview, but you also have peace of mind. Because you have an example that you know is already OK. And you’ll know when you implement the measure, that it will be enough. And you’ll never have to wonder again, “Is this enough?”.

About Ivar van Duuren

Ivar van Duuren is a co-founder of ISOPlanner. At previous jobs, he experienced the fragmented ISO certification approach with loose documents and the pressure to do it within a certain deadline.

A simpler system that provided an overview and insight into the required measures and planning was the answer to this frustration. With its unique integration with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Teams, ISOPlanner provides a simple and clear tool during certification processes.

More tips about ISO 27001 certification?

Feel free to contact us. We would love to think with you!

Related Articles

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

3 Expert Tips to Implement ISO Standards More Efficiently

When you start implementing an ISO standard, you need to think about things you need to take care of, such as scheduling an internal and an external audit. If you develop software, you may need to do a pen test to check out vulnerabilities. In addition, you need to...

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

Information security with ISOPlanner: building on a solid foundation

One piece of advice we sometimes hear when it comes to ISO certification is that every ISO implementation is customized. On the one hand, that's true, of course. Because every organization is different. So each organization itself has to look very carefully at exactly...

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Join over 1.000 ISO professionals for the latest ISO insights