GRC Software Essential For Compliance

GRC Software Essential For Compliance

GRC Software Essential For Compliance
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security island
Ensuring (information) security, being compliant with laws and regulations, and managing risk are the most important responsibilities of security officers. And that can be quite challenging. Fortunately, GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) software offers a powerful solution to meet these challenges.

In this article, you’ll learn more about what GRC software is, why it’s important, what essential features you should consider, and how it helps your organization achieve ISO certification.

What is GRC Software?

GRC software is an integrated platform that helps organizations effectively manage governance, risk management, and compliance activities. It provides a centralized system to capture, monitor, and report on policies, processes, risks, and controls. With GRC software, companies can get a holistic view of their risk and compliance landscape and take appropriate actions to manage them.

GRC software often combines several modules such as risk management, internal controls, compliance management, audit management, and incident management. By bringing all these aspects together in one platform, your organization is better able to achieve a streamlined and efficient approach to (information) security.

Why is GRC Software Important?

Organizations are increasingly confronted with risks and increasingly stringent laws and regulations. Examples include the GDPR for data protection, ISO standards for quality and security, and industry-specific regulations. Failure to comply with these regulations can lead to large fines, reputational damage, and even criminal prosecution.

In addition, technological developments such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence bring new risks in the areas of cybersecurity, privacy, and ethics. It is crucial for companies to proactively identify, assess, and manage these risks.

GRC software helps organizations get a handle on this complex environment. It provides insight into relevant laws and regulations and supports the creation and management of policies and procedures. It also helps identify and assess risks. With GRC software, companies demonstrate compliance, handle audits more efficiently, and respond quicker to incidents.

Essential Features of GRC Software

When selecting GRC software, it is important to pay attention to several essential features. Below we discuss some key features.

1. Risk management

A powerful risk management module helps identify, assess, and control risks. It should assign risk ownership, facilitate risk assessments, and support risk response measures.

2. Compliance management

The software should provide an overview of relevant laws and regulations, link compliance requirements to internal controls, and report compliance status. Automated workflows for compliance tasks are a plus.

3. Audit management

GRC software should streamline audits by supporting audit planning, audit execution, and audit reporting. Integration with risk and compliance management is essential for a risk-based audit approach.

4. Incident management

An effective incident management process is critical for quickly detecting, investigating, and resolving security incidents and compliance issues. GRC software should support incident reporting, workflows, and root cause analysis.

5. Policy and document management

Policies, procedures, and other GRC-related documents must be stored, managed, and distributed centrally. Version control, access control, and testing are important functions.

6. Reporting and dashboards

Powerful reporting and intuitive dashboards are essential for understanding GRC status and trends. Flexible reporting, real-time dashboards, and drill-down capabilities help with data-driven decisions.

7. Integration and scalability

GRC software must be able to integrate with other systems such as SIEM, vulnerability management, and ticketing tools. A scalable architecture is needed to grow your organization.

GRC Software and ISO Certification

For many companies, achieving and maintaining ISO certifications such as ISO 27001 (information security), ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 14001 (environment) is of great importance. GRC software can be a valuable tool for meeting the requirements of these standards.

ISO standards require a systematic approach to risk management, implementing appropriate controls and continuously improving processes. GRC software supports this by:

  • Identifying and assessing risks relevant to the ISO scope
  • Defining and managing policies and procedures that meet ISO requirements
  • Linking ISO controls to risks and compliance requirements
  • Planning and conducting internal audits in preparation for ISO audits
  • Track action items and improvement measures resulting from audits
  • Generate necessary documentation and evidence for ISO certification

By using GRC software, your organization demonstrates having a structured and effective management system that complies with ISO standards. It helps streamline and automate many tasks regarding ISO compliance. This makes achieving and maintaining certifications more efficient.

9 Tips For a Successful Implementation of GRC Software

Are you aware of the important role GRC software plays in risk management and compliance and do you want to implement GRC software in your organization? Here are some helpful tips.

1. Define clear objectives

Before you start implementing, it is crucial to set clear goals. What exactly do you want to achieve with the GRC software? What specific problems does it need to solve? By setting concrete goals, you create focus and it is easier to evaluate afterwards whether the implementation was successful. 

2. Ensure support within the organization

A successful implementation requires support within the entire organization. Therefore, involve stakeholders from different departments, such as IT, legal affairs, and management, from the beginning. Communicate clearly about the purpose and benefits of the GRC software. When everyone is on the same page, the implementation goes a lot smoother.

3. Choose the right GRC software

There are numerous GRC software solutions available on the market. Choosing a solution that fits your organization’s specific needs and requirements is essential. Make a list of must-have features and nice-to-haves. Request demos and references from vendors and compare carefully before making a decision.

4. Integrate with existing systems

Look carefully at how the GRC software integrates with your organization’s IT infrastructure and systems. Seamless integration is essential for efficient operation and prevents duplication or inconsistencies. Verify that the chosen solution is compatible and supported by your current IT environment.

5. Commit to training and adoption

Even the best GRC software is only useful if employees know how to work with it. Therefore, invest sufficient time and resources in training and support. Organize workshops, webinars, or online courses to familiarize users with the new tools. In addition, establish clear guidelines for their use.

6. Start small and scale up gradually

Implement the GRC software step by step, rather than trying to do everything at once. Start with a pilot within a specific domain or department. Collect feedback, optimize processes, and then gradually expand to other parts of the organization. That way you have an overview and can make timely adjustments where necessary.

7. Make use of automation

A major advantage of GRC software is the ability to automate manual and time-consuming tasks. Make optimal use of this. Automate as many standard processes, workflows, and reports as possible. This will save you time, minimize human error, and allow employees to focus on tasks with more added value.

8. Monitor and measure performance

Set KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure the performance of the GRC software. Monitor things like user adoption, time savings, number of risks identified, and compliance scores. Use this data to evaluate progress and adjust processes or usage as needed for optimal results.

9. Ensure continuous improvement

A GRC implementation is never done. Business risks, laws, and regulations are constantly evolving. Therefore, keep working continuously to improve and optimize your GRC processes and the use of the software. Collect regular feedback from users, analyze results, and make timely adjustments. This keeps your GRC approach up-to-date and effective.

Conclusion

GRC software is an indispensable tool for security officers. It provides an integrated platform to effectively manage governance, risk management, and compliance in an increasingly complex business environment.

You get a better handle on risk and compliance challenges by implementing the right GRC software with essential features such as risk management, compliance management, and audit management. Moreover, GRC software is valuable in achieving and maintaining important ISO certifications. It supports implementing a systematic approach that meets the requirements of standards such as ISO 27001, ISO 9001, and ISO 14001.

Also read: Everything you need to know about an ISMS

More tips about ISO certification?

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

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Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

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As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

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Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security
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Written by

security island

One of the most important aspects of effective information security is security awareness – employees’ awareness and knowledge of security risks and how to prevent them.

In this article, you’ll discover more about what security (risk) awareness is, who poses the greatest risks, what measures are effective, and how to train employees in this area.

What is security (risk) awareness?

Security awareness refers to employees’ awareness and understanding of the potential security risks and threats to an organization’s information and systems. It involves employees knowing what risks exist, how to recognize them, and what to do to prevent or report incidents.

Security awareness is a crucial part of any organization’s security strategy. The goal is to create a security-aware culture in which employees proactively identify and mitigate security risks.

Examples include following security policies and procedures, recognizing suspicious activity, and reporting incidents. Strong security awareness significantly reduces the risk of data breaches, malware infections, phishing attacks, and other security breaches.

Who poses the biggest risks in information security?

While external threats such as hackers and cybercriminals certainly pose a major risk, it is often in-house employees who unknowingly cause the greatest security risks.

For example, through lack of knowledge, inattention, or failure to follow security policies. Some examples of risky actions by employees are:

  • Clicking on links or attachments in phishing emails
  • Using weak or the same passwords over and over 
  • Sharing sensitive information unsecured
  • Connecting unsecured devices to the corporate network
  • Installing unauthorized software
  • Using a digital business environment over an unsecured network

In addition to employees, executives, external partners, and even customers also pose security risks if they are not sufficiently aware of proper measures. It is therefore essential to promote security awareness throughout the organization and beyond.

Which measures are effective for increased security awareness

Organizations would do well to take the measures below to increase security awareness among employees:

1. Regular training and education

Offer employees regular training and education sessions on information security. Cover topics such as recognizing phishing, strong password management, safe use of the internet, and incident reporting.

2. Phishing simulations

Send fake phishing emails to employees to test their ability to recognize and respond correctly to them. Provide feedback and additional training to those who fall into the trap.

3. Policies and procedures

Establish clear security policies and procedures and communicate them to all employees. Make sure they understand what is expected of them regarding information security.

4. Motivation and commitment

Encourage employees to be proactively security conscious and set goals for this. Reward good behavior and create a culture where security awareness is valued.

5. Visual aid

Use posters, screensavers, newsletters, and other visual aids to remind employees to take proper security measures.

By implementing a combination of these measures, you will build a strong security awareness culture as an organization and reduce the risk of security incidents.

ISO 27001 and security awareness

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security. This standard provides a framework of requirements and guidelines to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. Although the emphasis is often on technical and organizational measures, security awareness is also an important part of ISO 27001.

Chapter 7.3 of the standard deals specifically with “Information security awareness, education, and training”. This states that the organization must ensure that employees are aware of the information security policy and their own responsibilities in this regard.

They must also receive relevant training and education regularly. In addition, ISO 27001 requires that the effectiveness of the awareness program be measured and evaluated.

By meeting these requirements of ISO 27001, you lay a solid foundation for all security awareness activities. It provides structure and ensures that awareness becomes a permanent part of your organization’s information security approach. Moreover, an ISO 27001 certification shows customers and other stakeholders that you take security seriously.

5 Tips on training employees on security awareness

Training is an essential part of promoting security awareness. Here are some tips for effectively training employees:

  1. Make it relevant: Use examples and scenarios that connect to employees’ daily work and risks. Show how security risks affect them personally.
  2. Keep it interesting: Avoid boring, technical presentations. Use interactive elements, games, quizzes, and hands-on exercises to keep the training engaging.
  3. Repeat regularly: One-time training is not enough. Schedule regular refresher courses and updates to keep the knowledge fresh and respond to new threats.
  4. Evaluate effectiveness: Measure employee security awareness and behavior before and after training. Use these insights to improve training.
  5. Provide support: Make sure employees know where to address questions and reports on security issues. Offer tools and support to help them implement good security practices.

Organizations can create a human firewall by training employees effectively – a powerful line of defense against security threats.

Conclusion

Security awareness is thus critical to any organization’s information security. By making employees aware of risks and training them in good security practices, you significantly reduce the risk of costly security incidents.

More tips about ISO certification?

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

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Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

Everything you need to know about an ISMS

As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

Everything you need to know about an ISMS

Everything you need to know about an ISMS
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Written by

security island

As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component.

But what exactly does an ISMS entail? What does it look like and what components does it consist of? In this article, we address these questions in detail.

What is an ISMS?

An ISMS is a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information so that it remains secure. It is a system where you record which people, processes, and IT systems are involved in the information security in your company.

With an ISMS, you identify and manage the threats your organization faces and what measures you take to minimize those threats. All in a structured way. The most basic way organizations manage their information security is in an Excel spreadsheet. However, more professional organizations use an online ISMS with integrations to SharePoint and Microsoft 365.  

The purpose of an ISMS is to ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. You do this by implementing appropriate policies, procedures, guidelines, and associated resources and activities. Thus, an ISMS helps you systematically manage security risks and ensures that they remain under control.

Why is an ISMS important?

There are several important reasons to implement an ISMS within your organization:

  • Protect business information: An ISMS protects your organization’s confidential and sensitive data from security incidents such as data breaches, hacks, and cybercrime.
  • Comply with laws and regulations: An ISMS helps you comply with relevant information security and privacy laws and regulations, such as the AVG/GDPR.
  • Customer trust and reputation: With a good ISMS, you demonstrate that you handle data with care. This strengthens customer trust and your reputation in the market.
  • Business continuity: Incidents and disruptions caused by security problems can seriously disrupt business operations. With an ISMS, you reduce these risks.
  • Awareness and knowledge: Implementing an ISMS creates awareness and knowledge about information security within your organization.

So an ISMS is essential to protect your company’s information and systems, manage risks, and meet the requirements of customers and other stakeholders.

What’s in your ISMS?

A good ISMS consists of several key components:

1. Policies and objectives

Here you lay down what the principles and goals of the ISMS are. What do you want to achieve? Examples of information security policies are:

  • Acceptable Use Policy: Rules for responsible use of company resources such as computers, internet, and e-mail by employees.
  • Password Policy: Guidelines for strong passwords, periodic changes, and secure storage.
  • Classification of information: Categorization of data based on sensitivity, with associated access and protection requirements.
  • Mobile device policy: Conditions for secure use of mobile devices such as smartphones and laptops to access company data.
  • Data breach reporting: Internal procedures for identifying, investigating, reporting, and handling security incidents and data breaches.
  • Supplier policies: Requirements for external parties regarding careful handling of your data.

2. Risk Assessment

You identify security risks to your organization’s information and systems. How likely is it that a threat will occur and what is the impact? Some common risks are:

  • Data breaches: The inadvertent leakage of sensitive information, such as through a hack, human error, or loss of equipment.
  • Malware and viruses: Malicious software that can disrupt systems, and steal or encrypt data for ransom (ransomware).
  • Unauthorized access: Unauthorized access to confidential data or systems, whether physical or digital.
  • Internal threats: Risks caused by in-house employees, such as data theft, misuse of authority, or negligence.
  • DDoS attacks: Cyber attacks that overload systems or websites to make them inaccessible.
  • Legal and regulatory compliance: Risks caused by failure to comply with relevant legislation, such as the AVG/GDPR for data protection.

3. Risk treatment

Based on the risk assessment, determine what measures are needed to reduce risks to an acceptable level. Examples of measures that organizations implement are:

  • Access control: Systems for identification, authentication, and authorization of users, such as passwords, multi-factor authentication, and Identity & Access Management (IAM).
  • Encryption: Encryption of sensitive data, both in storage (data-at-rest) and in transmission (data-in-transit), to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Network security: Measures such as firewalls, VPNs, network segmentation, and monitoring to protect the network infrastructure.
  • Malware protection: Antivirus software, spam filters, and other solutions to prevent malware infections and propagation.
  • Patch management: Timely installation of software updates and patches to address known vulnerabilities in systems.
  • Logging and monitoring: Recording and analyzing system activities to detect anomalies and security incidents.
  • Physical security: Measures such as access control, camera surveillance, and alarms to restrict physical access to IT systems and sensitive information.
  • Awareness programs: Training and educating employees on information security to encourage secure behavior and reduce risks from human error.

4. Implementation

The chosen security measures are implemented in the organization. Consider technical solutions, but also processes, procedures, and guidelines. 

5. Monitoring and evaluation

You continuously monitor whether the ISMS is still working properly and whether the security measures are effective. Where necessary, you make adjustments.

ISMS and ISO certification

An important standard for setting up an ISMS is ISO 27001. This international standard specifies requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving a documented ISMS.

Although it is not mandatory, many organizations choose to have their ISMS certified to ISO 27001. This has several benefits:

  • It demonstrates that your ISMS meets an internationally recognized standard and follows best practices.
  • An ISO 27001 certification increases the confidence of customers, partners, and other stakeholders in your approach to information security.
  • In some tenders, ISO 27001 certification is a requirement to compete.
  • It keeps you on your toes. To remain certified, you must demonstrate that your ISMS continues to meet the requirements.

So an ISO 27001 certification is not a goal in itself, but supports and reinforces the benefits of an ISMS.

Continuous improvement of your ISMS

An effective ISMS is not a one-time project, but a continuous process. By periodically evaluating risks, policies, and measures and adjusting them where necessary, you continuously improve the information security within your organization. It is crucial to increase the involvement and awareness within the entire organization.

As a security officer, do you really want to make a difference in the field of information security? Then an ISMS is the way to go. By systematically addressing risks, establishing clear policies, and taking the right measures, you take your information security to the next level. This way, you not only protect your organization’s interests but also strengthen the trust of all stakeholders.

Conclusion

An ISMS is indispensable for every security officer to properly manage his organization’s information security. Through a systematic and structured approach with policy, risk assessment, measures, implementation, and evaluation, you manage security risks and protect your organization’s interests.

Although setting up an ISMS requires effort, the benefits far outweigh that. And with an ISO 27001 certification, you also show the outside world that your information security is in order according to international standards.

 

Also read: what is GRC software?

More tips about ISO certification?

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

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

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As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

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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
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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!

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

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As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

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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
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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!

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Everything you need to know about an ISMS

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As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

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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
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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!

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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
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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.

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How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification

How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification

How to successfully start with ISO 27001 certification
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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!

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Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation

Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation

Expert Tips On ISO 27001 Implementation
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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!

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Compliance automation: challenges, practical tips, and KPIs

Compliance automation: challenges, practical tips, and KPIs

Compliance automation: challenges, practical tips, and KPIs
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Written by

security island

In our daily practice, we’ve noticed that companies often work across multiple systems to meet certain compliance standards. For example, consider entering a new employee into an HR system.

Often, it starts with one HR system, after which the HR person asks another colleague by email to create a ticket. After that, another person requests access to certain business applications in the IT ticket system. And many things are still maintained in Excel or other working documents.

Error-prone situation resulting in corrective measures

This situation is error-prone because processes span multiple systems involving multiple people. The chance of someone forgetting something is greater, so the result is not always what it should be.

As a result, subsequent remedial work is required and the organization is startled by things that don’t work. When entering a new employee, this can be overseen. But when it comes to information security and the risk of incidents, it is a different story.

The ideal world: automatic triggers and to-do’s

In an ideal world, every process starts at a certain defined place. For example, that new employee or supplier entering the organization. Then, all successive steps flow automatically from one system to another. 

Each time an employee needs to do something, he or she is triggered by a certain system he or she already uses. For example, with an MS Teams Notification. In the ideal world, the result is also recorded there. And if someone forgets something, a trigger is created for that person.

What are the benefits of compliance automation for organizations?

When organizations automate their processes like this, they save time. Employees spend less time emailing back and forth and checking things. Instead, there is a smooth flow, where the right person is asked to participate in the process at the right time. As a result, you’ll notice a rise in the quality of the process.

For example, if a new employee joins the company, you’ll notice that this process will be completed quicker when automated. All the rights are set up correctly in an effective way. This way, employees can focus on what’s important, which is getting access to the right resources. And all this is recorded in a place where you have a good overview of the result.

This is what we call compliance automation.

Typical challenges with compliance automation

When your organization starts with compliance automation, you’ll have to have an overview of the processes you want to automate. It takes some work to map that out properly. 

It helps to have a system that keeps track of the outcome of all those automated processes. For example, if you want to comply with a standard for information security. You also have to deal with an auditor who visits once a year to assess whether everything is going well. And of course, you want to have an overview yourself.

You’ll also have to figure out how to link all the systems you work with and how to create a smooth flow. That also means you have to have the internal or external capacity to properly automate those processes.

In short, it is very important to have one system that links with all your other systems and automated processes.

How to stay up-to-date with the standard?

Of course, it’s one thing to implement a standard. Then you have a process of maybe three months to a year, where you’re busy shaping the policy and implementing all the requirements the standard places on you.

The real work comes after because by then you’ll have to keep track. You’ve created policies, but how do you know that the policies are being implemented?

So you must have a system where you can record all actions, including repetitive actions. And where you make sure that those actions also end up with the right employees in a place where they already work. So that they don’t have to log into yet another system whose password they lose. For example when tasks end up in their Microsoft Outlook, so they can handle them quickly and conveniently.

This way, you make it easier to stay up-to-date with everything that this standard requires of your organization and employees.

How do you measure the success of compliance automation initiatives?

You can measure the success of compliance automation by assessing how much time an employee saves with the automated process. Before you start compliance automation, map out how many FTEs are engaged in the process. And afterward, you check: how much extra time do employees have now that the process is automated and no longer carried out manually?

Or assess the turnaround time of certain processes. For example, that new employee joining the company. How long does that whole process take now, from entering personal data to having the Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG) in and having access to certain company systems? After automating the process, you can see how much shorter the turnaround time has become.  

A third measure or Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is the quality of the process or the error rate. How often did things go wrong in the past and how often was a corrective action needed? Or were things forgotten that were needed for that particular process?

Also measure your success by goals, for example in the area of information security. Think of reducing the number of incidents as a KPI.

Overview and sample documentation

ISOPlanner was initially set up as an application to keep a good overview of all the policies and tasks involved in maintaining an ISO standard. However, after several successful implementations, we noticed that our customers also needed documentation for the specific ISO norm. For example, if they start with the ISO 27001 standard.

For this purpose, we partnered with Instant27001, which allows our customers to activate that entire package of documentation within ISOPlanner. This gives them a filled management system at once, including all the policies and processes they need. This also saves them a lot of time.

Case study: municipality and the BIO standard

One example of this collaboration was for a municipality in North Holland that wanted to comply with the BIO standard, an information security standard specifically for governments.

Working with ISOPlanner and Instant27001 gave them access to lots of templates for BIO policies and processes. They no longer had to create these themselves. The templates were loaded into the ISOPlanner system and, based on the documentation, they could very quickly start implementing the compliance standards. They also got a very good overview of all required activities and the status of implementation. In short, this overview and documentation saved them a lot of work and made them more efficient.

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 compliance automation?

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

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One of the most important aspects of effective information security is security awareness - employees' awareness and knowledge of security risks and how to prevent them. In this article, you'll discover more about what security (risk) awareness is, who poses the...

Everything you need to know about an ISMS

Everything you need to know about an ISMS

As a security officer, you have the important task of keeping information security in order. If you want to become ISO-certified for information security within your organization, setting up an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a mandatory component....

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Compliance automation: is your organization ready?

Compliance automation: is your organization ready?

Compliance automation: is your organization ready?
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security island

What exactly is compliance automation? Why is it important for businesses? And what are the actual benefits of it?

What is compliance automation?

Compliance is about complying with policies you’ve created yourself. Or perhaps to requirements that external parties put on you. It can also be an information security framework you want to comply with.

Automation is about automating those processes by which you ensure compliance with those policies.

The importance of compliance automation for businesses

Compliance automation is important for companies because the requirements are increasing. Both externally, and internally, companies find it increasingly important that information within a company is properly secured.

To this end, companies draw up policies that must be complied with. And all those spot checks to check whether your policy is being complied with are taking more and more time. And it’s becoming more error-prone.

So compliance automation is important to make sure that compliance with laws and regulations remains manageable and that its quality remains good as well.

The key benefits of compliance automation

The main benefit of compliance automation is, first and foremost, saving time. There are processes you can automate that are otherwise performed by humans. Especially if these are processes that take place more frequently and periodically. Then you can save a lot of time by automating those.

Another important benefit of compliance automation is that it increases the quality of compliance. If you have people doing checks, the chances of errors are fairly high. People may be distracted or have other work they’re busy with. So there’s a chance of the check not being done. There’s also a chance that the check won’t be done completely.

Compliance automation solves this by automatic and periodic checks.

How does compliance automation improve efficiency?

Compliance automation also improves efficiency because you always execute processes the same way. So no errors occur. This way you also always have the same result.

Another way compliance automation improves efficiency is because you can do checks much more frequently. For example, you might have someone do a check every quarter because it fits into that person’s work schedule.

But if you automate a process like that, you might as well do the check daily. That way you also find out much faster if policies are not being followed.

Here are three standard situations that can be improved very well with compliance automation.

1. Compliance automation: new suppliers

An example of a compliance process you can automate well is the recruitment of new suppliers. When there’s a new supplier, all kinds of checks have to be done. To automate that, the moment a supplier is added to your ERP system, you can have something triggered in our application ISOPlanner.

For example, someone gets notified and checks whether the supplier itself has an ISO certificate, or stores data in the right location.

You can automatically trigger such a task for a certain person. Ideally, you use communication channels such as a Teams notification for a trigger. This way you can be sure that the check is carried out. Because if it doesn’t, that triggers another notification to another person.

2. Compliance automation: onboarding new employees

Another example of a process that you can automate well is the onboarding of new employees. For every new employee who enters the organization, you need to do several things. Consider a background check, requesting a Certificate of Good Conduct, or creating certain accounts.

The moment you create a new employee in the system, you can add a trigger that causes a colleague to perform several checks. Who then records the result in a file to show that you have completed the check.

3. Compliance automation: customer satisfaction

Requesting customer satisfaction is another process that you can automate well. For example, if you send your customers surveys asking how satisfied they are with your services, then you store that information in ISOPlanner. This gives you insight into the scores your customers give you over a more extended period.

In addition, it is relatively easy to set a trigger if the value drops below a certain average so that you can take action to increase that satisfaction.

Is your organization ready for compliance automation?

Ever wonder if your organization is ready for compliance automation? Then take a look at how much time it currently takes you to ensure compliance with a particular policy. How much time are employees spending on all those checks they have to perform periodically?

If you discover that this requires a significant time investment, then the conclusion is that you are ready to automate such processes. And thus gain time benefits from this.

Another indication is if you notice that employees should be doing checks, but in practice this does not happen. Or it happens too little or not completely. That’s also a good reason to start with process automation.

Tips for getting started with compliance automation

Are you getting started with compliance automation? Then keep in mind that your organization has the systems in place to automate.

Often, you’ll want a system where you record the results of all those checks you do. Think of a system like ISOPlanner, for example. With that, you retrieve all the relevant information and record it in files. The big advantage? This way you can also show an auditor the result of all those automated processes.

Of course, you also need the people and capacity to automate those processes. This is a different kind of work than compliance itself. You need internal or external people to set up these automated processes.

It is advisable to start by checking which processes are now done manually. Where do people check – periodically or more frequently – whether something is being complied with? Consider the example of onboarding a new employee who goes through several stages. Which checks take place manually?

In addition, you need to know which of those steps interact with which systems. And how you connect those systems.

Also read: Compliance automation: challenges, practical tips, and KPIs

Conclusion

In short, compliance automation is essential for companies that want to comply with (changing) laws and regulations efficiently. Because internal and external information security requirements are becoming increasingly complex. The main benefits of compliance automation are time savings and improved quality of compliance.

Whether your organization is ready for compliance automation depends on the amount of time currently spent on compliance audits and whether there is room for improvement. A good approach is to start by identifying processes that are now performed manually and mapping which systems are involved.

About Ivar van Duuren

Ivar van Duuren is 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 about compliance automation?

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

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7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix

7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix

7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix
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security island
An authorization matrix is an important tool within organizations to manage access rights to systems and sensitive data. It provides insight into who has what rights and ensures that only authorized individuals have access to relevant information.

In this article, we share tips for creating an effective authorization matrix as part of the company’s information security policy.

What is an authorization matrix?

An authorization matrix is a document that links the various roles and responsibilities within an organization to specific access rights. It provides a structured overview of who may perform what actions and what data he or she may access or share.

The importance of an authorization matrix

Having a well-thought-out authorization matrix has several benefits:

1. Information security

By allowing only the right people to access specific information, an authorization matrix minimizes the risk of inadvertent or malicious access to sensitive data.

2. Compliant with regulations

An authorization matrix helps your entire organization to comply with laws and regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (AVG). It ensures that only authorized individuals have access to personal data.

3. Efficiency in work processes

By clearly defining who is allowed to perform which tasks, you streamline the processes within your organization. This increases efficiency.

4. Transparency of responsibilities

An authorization matrix provides transparency within an organization. Everyone knows what rights and responsibilities belong to each role, leading to better collaboration and communication.

7 Tips for creating an authorization matrix

Here are 7 tips for creating an effective authorization matrix:

1. Analyze the roles within the organization

Identify all functions and roles within the organization that require access rights. Consider department heads, team leaders, employees with specific tasks, and any external parties.

2. Link specific tasks to each role

Determine which tasks and actions belong to each role. Use input from the relevant employees to get as accurate a picture as possible.

3. Define the access rights needed

For each role, identify the data and systems required to perform the function. Document these access rights accurately, including any restrictions or exceptions.

4. Establish responsibilities

Clearly describe who is responsible for maintaining and updating the authorization matrix. For example, this could be a specific department or person.

5. Involve all stakeholders

Ensure that all relevant parties are involved in creating the authorization matrix. Think of IT staff, HR staff, and executives. This way you will create support for its content and you won’t overlook important input.

6. Take into account changes in roles and functions

Organizations are dynamic and roles can change. Make sure the authorization matrix is flexible enough to accommodate changes quickly without compromising security and compliance.

7. Evaluate regularly

Schedule regular review moments to verify that the authorization matrix is still current and meets the needs of your organization. Adjust it as needed.

Conclusion

By following the above tips, you can create a solid authorization matrix that ensures secure, efficient, and transparent data access control within your organization.

Having an up-to-date authorization matrix is part of ISO 27001 – 2022 certification. This certification provides a solid framework for complying with all laws and regulations and taking data protection to the next level.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

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Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy and information security

Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy and information security

Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy and information security
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security island

Organizations can take several measures to ensure that sensitive information remains secure in regards to information security. Two of these measures are the Clean Desk Policy and the Clear Screen Policy.

In this article, we will take a closer look at what these policies include and why they are so important for information security in the workplace.

Why is a Clean Desk Policy important?

A Clean Desk Policy is important because it contributes to an organized and efficient work environment. A tidy workplace makes it easy for employees to find what they need and this increases productivity. In addition, a clean workplace also contributes to the professional appearance of the company.

A Clean Desk Policy also helps ensure the privacy and security of sensitive information. By removing or storing documents and other physical materials when they are not in use, you reduce the risk of theft or unwanted access to confidential information.

Why is a Clear Screen Policy important?

A Clear Screen Policy is just as important as a Clean Desk Policy. Enforcing this policy ensures that computer and phone screens are locked or turned off when employees leave their workstations. This is essential to ensure data privacy and security.

An open or unsecured screen can inadvertently expose sensitive information to unauthorized parties. This leaves the company vulnerable to data breaches or cyber-attacks. A Clear Screen Policy ensures that employees are more aware of this risk and take responsibility for protecting company information.

Tips for implementing a Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy

1. Communicate clearly

Make sure all employees are aware of the Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy. Communicate regularly about the benefits and expectations surrounding these policies.

2. Offer training

Provide employees with training on how to organize their workstations and how to lock or disable their screens.

3. Make tidying up easy

Provide plenty of storage options, such as filing cabinets, drawers, and digital storage space. This allows employees to easily store items when not in use.

4. Motivate with rewards

Establish rewards for employees who consistently comply with the policy. This can range from small incentives to recognition within the company.

5. Monitor and enforce

Monitor policy compliance regularly and intervene when necessary. Make sure there are consequences for not following the policy.

6. Provide technical support

Make sure employees have the right tools to quickly lock or disable their screens. Consider hotkeys or automatic locking after a certain period of inactivity.

7. Involve management

Management should lead by example by maintaining a tidy workplace themselves and consistently adhering to policies.

8. Evaluate and improve

Regular evaluation of the effectiveness of the policy is essential. Gather feedback from employees and adjust where necessary to ensure continuous improvement.

9. Promote awareness

Organize awareness campaigns about the importance of the policy. Use posters, newsletters, or intranet to regularly remind employees of the policy.

10. Be flexible but clear

Adapt the policy to the specific needs of your organization, but make sure it is clear and enforceable.

Also read: Tips for creating information security policies

Conclusion

Implementing a Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy may take some getting used to for employees. But with proper communication, training, and support, it will contribute to better organization, productivity, and safety within your company.

A Clean Desk Policy and Clear Screen Policy are part of ISO 27001 – 2022 certification. This certification provides a solid framework for complying with all laws and regulations and taking data protection to the next level.

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What is a Statement of Applicability?

What is a Statement of Applicability?

What is a Statement of Applicability?
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security island

A statement of applicability (SoA) is a document used to establish the relevance and degree of compliance with certain norms and standards within an organization. It is often prepared as part of certification processes, such as ISO certifications.

How does it differ from a conformity statement?

A conformity statement refers to compliance with specific legal or regulatory requirements. While a SoA focuses more on voluntary norms and standards.

For example, a conformity statement is issued by a manufacturer to demonstrate that its product meets all relevant safety and quality requirements.

But a SoA is used to demonstrate that an organization meets specific requirements regarding information security, environmental management, or quality management.

When is a statement of applicability needed?

A SoA is particularly relevant in situations where an organization seeks certification to certain norms and standards. It then functions as a tool to evaluate the organization’s current situation against the requirements of the standard. And to identify possible gaps in compliance.

Based on this evaluation, it is then easier to take action to meet all requirements.

Which organizations benefit from a statement of applicability?

A statement of applicability is particularly relevant to organizations seeking certification to specific norms and standards. These include both small and large companies, operating in different sectors, such as IT, healthcare, manufacturing, services, and other industries.

Establishing a SoA makes it easier to demonstrate to customers, partners, and other stakeholders that the organization meets specific standards. As such, it is a valuable tool for increasing confidence in the organization and creating new business opportunities.

In addition, a declaration of applicability helps identify and manage risks within the organization, making it better prepared for potential threats.

The relationship between a SoA and ISO 27001 certification

The SoA plays an essential role in achieving ISO 27001 certification. Creating and implementing a detailed statement of applicability enables organizations to demonstrate compliance with all relevant requirements of the ISO 27001 standard.

It also helps demonstrate that the ISMS is effective in identifying, assessing, and addressing information security risks.

During an ISO 27001 audit, a certifying agency thoroughly examines the organization’s compliance with all requirements of the standard. A well-presented and well-reasoned statement of applicability increases the chances of successful certification.

Also read: What are the benefits of ISMS software?

Tips on implementing a statement of applicability

Here are 10 tips to help you successfully implement a SoA.

1. Know the relevant norms and standards

Before you begin drafting a statement of applicability, it is essential to be familiar with the applicable norms and standards within your industry.

Consider ISO certifications, privacy regulations such as GDPR or AVG, and specific industry standards.

2. Determine the scope

A statement of applicability should clearly indicate which parts or processes are covered within your organization. Therefore, define the scope accurately before you start implementing.

3. Assemble a project team

Implementing a SoA is often a complex process that affects several departments and disciplines within your organization.

Therefore, put together a project team with representatives from all relevant domains to ensure that your team properly considers all aspects.

4. Map the current situation

Before making any changes, it is important to understand the current situation within your organization. Conduct a thorough audit to determine where improvements are needed and which processes already meet the set standards.

5. Identify risks and opportunities

A statement of applicability can also help identify risks and opportunities within your organization. Map these clearly and develop measures to control risks or exploit opportunities.

Also read: Tips on asset risk management through ISO 27001

6. Implement appropriate measures

After you have identified the risks and opportunities, it is time to implement appropriate measures. Make sure these measures are effective in achieving the set goals.

7. Communicate and train employees

To successfully implement the SoA, it is important to inform and train all employees on the changes. This increases staff awareness and commitment.

8. Monitor and measure performance

A statement of applicability is not a one-time action, but an ongoing process. Implement a system to monitor performance and regularly measure whether you are still meeting the set standards.

9. Ensure continuous improvement

Regularly evaluate whether there is room for improvement in your processes and measures. Strive for continuous improvement to meet all requirements as efficiently as possible.

10. Get certified

As a final step, consider getting your organization certified according to the applicable norms and standards in your statement of applicability. A certification helps build trust with customers and stakeholders.

Also read: ISO 27001 Certification: Step-By-Step Guide

Conclusion

A statement of applicability is a document that demonstrates that an organization complies with specific norms and standards. It differs from a conformity statement in that it focuses more on voluntary standards rather than legal requirements.

A SoA is especially relevant to organizations seeking certification and can help improve trust, risk management, and business opportunities.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

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What are the benefits of ISMS software?

What are the benefits of ISMS software?

What are the benefits of ISMS software?
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Written by

security island

Ensuring information security is vital for organizations because the loss or theft of sensitive information can have serious consequences, including reputational damage, financial loss, and legal liability.

To minimize these risks, more and more organizations are opting for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). Here, we discuss what an ISMS is, the benefits of ISMS software, and which organizations benefit from its use.

What is an Information Security Management System?

An Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a framework that helps ensure information security within an organization. It covers all aspects related to information security, including policies, procedures, and guidelines.

An ISMS ensures that controls are in place to ensure that sensitive information is stored and processed securely.

A well-designed ISMS allows organizations to maintain full control over their information and manage potential risks. It also provides transparency to customers and other stakeholders about how the organization handles their data.

What are the benefits of ISMS software?

Implementing an ISMS manually takes a lot of time. Fortunately, several software solutions exist today that simplify the installation of an ISMS.

Here are the benefits of ISMS software:

1. Efficiency

With ISMS software, you automate the process of information security, increasing efficiency and saving time.

2. Usability

Good ISMS software is easy to use and provides an intuitive interface that allows you and your employees to perform tasks quickly and easily.

3. Reporting

With ISMS software, you easily generate reports on the status of information security within your organization.

4. Auditing

If an audit takes place, you can use the software to quickly retrieve all the necessary documents to demonstrate compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

5. Cost savings

Using ISMS software leads to cost savings because less time and resources are needed for manual processes.

Which organizations benefit most from ISMS software?

ISMS software is appropriate for all types of organizations, regardless of size or industry. Implementing an ISMS is especially important for organizations that work with sensitive information. Examples include financial institutions, government agencies, healthcare facilities, and companies that process personal data.

In some sectors, an ISMS implementation is mandatory. For example, local governments are required by the BIO standard to implement an ISMS.

ISMS software and ISO certification

Many organizations want to take their information security to the next level, so they opt for ISO certification. An ISO certification is an international standard that indicates that an organization meets certain criteria in the field of information security.

The most widely used standard in the field of information security is ISO 27001. To achieve this certification, the organization must have implemented a documented ISMS that meets all the requirements of the standard. Using ISMS software helps implement and maintain this standard.

Tips for implementing ISMS software

Because manually implementing an ISMS can be pretty challenging, here are some tips to help you have a successful implementation.

1. Determine your objectives

Before you begin implementation, it is important to set clear goals. Think, for example, from meeting legal requirements to improving overall information security. By setting clear goals, you ensure the effective use of your ISMS software and achieve measurable results.

2. Involve all stakeholders

Successful implementation requires commitment and involvement from all stakeholders within your organization. Including management, IT staff and other users involved in managing sensitive data.

Make sure all stakeholders are aware of the benefits the ISMS software provides and how it helps them in their day-to-day operations.

3. Make use of a project plan

A project plan helps you plan and manage the implementation of your ISMS software. The plan should include information on goals, tasks, responsibilities and timelines, among other things.

By using a project plan, you ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the implementation process. And that each step in the process can be accurately tracked.

4. Provide training and support

It is important to ensure that all users are properly trained in using the ISMS software. For example, provide workshops or training sessions, explaining how the software works and the benefits it provides.

Also offer support to users if they have questions or encounter problems using the software.

5. Work with a trusted vendor

Choose a vendor that has proven expertise in information security and has references within your industry. It is also important to consider factors such as price, functionality, and support.

6. Ensure regular evaluations

You should evaluate ISMS software regularly to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of your organization. And to address any issues or challenges.

By evaluating regularly, you ensure that the software remains effective and that it contributes to the continuous improvement of information security within your organization.

7. Create a culture of information security

Successful implementation of an ISMS does not depend on technology alone. Creating a culture of information security within your organization is just as important.

This means that all employees must be aware of the importance of information security. And that they take responsibility for protecting sensitive data.

8. Work according to the PDCA cycle

Maintain and improve information security within your organization using the PDCA cycle.

  • Plan – have all potential internal and external threats and risks been identified? Can you transfer, avoid or accept risks?
  • Do – realize measures to control relevant risks.
  • Check – check whether the measure taken
  • Act – take additional measures if security is inadequate. And if incidents or findings emerge from audits, reduce the likelihood of new incidents by taking action again.

Conclusion

Implementing an ISMS can be a worthwhile investment for organizations looking to improve their information security.

Set clear goals, involve all stakeholders, and use a project plan, training and support. Also, work with a trusted vendor, conduct regular reviews, and create a culture of information security. 

This way, you will ensure a successful implementation and the ISMS will contribute to the overall security and integrity of data within your organization.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

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Benefits of ISO 27001 for cloud service companies

Benefits of ISO 27001 for cloud service companies

Benefits of ISO 27001 for cloud service companies
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Written by

security island

Businesses and organizations depend on technology so information security is essential. Cloud service companies deal with large amounts of sensitive information stored in the cloud. It is therefore important that they ensure that this information is secure and cannot be stolen or lost.

To achieve this, many cloud service providers have chosen to implement the ISO 27001 standard. After all, this is often required in (government) tenders and procurement. Moreover, ISO 27001 certification helps build stakeholder trust.

But what exactly does this standard entail? And what are the benefits of implementing it for cloud service companies?

What is the ISO 27001 standard?

The ISO 27001 standard is an international standard that focuses on information security. This standard contains requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS). Its purpose is to ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information through risk management.

ISO 27001 covers various aspects such as policies, procedures, guidelines, controls and other measures to ensure security. An important part of this is conducting risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities that could lead to unauthorized access to data.

Also read: Tips for creating information security policies

Why is information security essential for cloud service companies?

Cloud service providers have access to vast amounts of their customers’ personal and sensitive information. It is therefore essential that they ensure that this information is secure and cannot be stolen or lost.

When information is stored in the cloud, there are several risks that can occur. One of the biggest risks involves a cyber attack. Hackers then try to gain access to data through phishing emails, malware attacks or other forms of hacking.

In addition, errors in software development sometimes lead to security breaches. This then results in accidentally opening up access to personal data to unauthorized parties.

Another risk faced by cloud service companies is the loss of data due to technical failures, natural disasters or human error. Consider a major fire, the electricity going out or the sharing of login credentials.

Examples of companies offering cloud services are:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Hosting services
  • Telecom, VOIP and videoconferencing
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)
  • Netwerkarchitecture and maintenance
  • Co-locating services
  • Infrastructuur as a Service (IaaS)

Benefits of ISO 27001 certification for cloud service companies

Implementing the ISO 27001 standard for a cloud service company can be challenging. To help you assess whether ISO 27001 certification is worthwhile, here we give you the benefits of ISO 27001 certification for cloud companies.

1. ISO 27001 certification and cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are a reality today and any organization can be affected by them. However, cloud service providers have the added risk of having access to a large amount of customers’ confidential data, making them an attractive target for hackers. Having ISO 27001 certification means that procedures and protocols are already built in to deal with such attacks.

Implementing the requirements from the ISO 27001 standard allows you as a cloud service provider to proactively protect against potential threats through risk management plans and procedures. This means that your organization regularly checks itself for potential vulnerabilities or weaknesses in its infrastructure. And then addresses these before malicious actors take advantage of them. This way, you prevent breaches. And if they do occur, you can respond more quickly and effectively to limit the damage.

2. ISO 27001 certification and security breaches

Even though cloud service providers are often very aware of security risks, it can happen that a security breach occurs. In such cases, it is important to respond quickly and effectively to prevent further damage. ISO 27001 certification ensures that a plan exists for how everyone should handle such a situation and that all employees know their role in this process.

In addition, the standard has requirements for reporting and communication procedures, making timely notification of all relevant parties better and faster. This sometimes makes just the difference in restoring trust with customers by being transparent about the situation and the actions you take.

3. ISO 27001 certification and technical failures

Cloud service providers depend on technology that sometimes does not work as expected. A failure can have serious consequences for customers by potentially depriving them of access to their data or systems. By certification to the ISO 27001 standard, you as an organization have thought about and built in protocols for continuity management. We also call this business continuity management. Because of this preparation, plans are already in place for when such problems arise.

This means that, as an organization, you can react more quickly to solve the problem and restore services. Having such a plan in place also helps minimize the impact of outages, so customers are less inconvenienced and can get back to business faster.

4. ISO 27001 certification and natural disasters

There are times when natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes, lead to system failures and downtime at cloud service providers. This can have serious consequences for customers. ISO 27001 certification has requirements for emergency procedures, including emergency continuity management. This is also called emergency management continuity planning. This means that as an organization you have plans ready in case such a situation occurs.

This preparation ensures that you as an organization can respond quickly to emergencies and that services are restored as quickly as possible. By following these procedures, you avoid being disabled for long periods of time or even going out of business altogether.

5. ISO 27001 certification and human error

Human error is inevitable and can have major consequences for cloud service companies. An employee accidentally leaking confidential information or accidentally disabling a critical system component can cause serious damage. ISO 27001 certification ensures that procedures and protocols are in place to mitigate these risks.

By implementing training and employee awareness programs, organizations minimize the risk of human error. In addition, the standard places requirements on access control procedures, meaning that only authorized individuals have access to confidential information. This helps prevent inadvertent or intentional leaks of confidential information.

Conclusion

ISO 27001 certification is thus an important tool for cloud service providers to ensure they meet international information security standards. The certification gives customers confidence that their data is safe with the company and that procedures and protocols are in place to respond quickly to problems. By implementing the ISO 27001 standards, you provide your customers with the best possible service while ensuring the security and protection of their data.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

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Tips on asset risk management through ISO 27001

Tips on asset risk management through ISO 27001

Tips on asset risk management through ISO 27001
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ISO 27001 is a standard that deals with information security. The premise of this standard is that an organization must establish an information security management system (ISMS). That management system must ensure that information security is adequate and continuously improving. The standard therefore consists of a set of requirements that the management system must meet.

In addition to those management system requirements, there is also an appendix that identifies a set of control measures. Those control measures are actually topics, such as “cryptography. It doesn’t say exactly what you have to do with cryptography. Just that you have to think about and describe what you do with cryptography.

One of the requirements is that the organization use the control measures from that appendix to check that they haven’t forgotten any topics when coming up with their own measures to control risk.

Also read: When do you need ISO 27001 certification?

Two perspectives on business assets

If information security is needed, the question of where that information is located soon follows. And therefore how, as an organization, you deal with the systems that hold that information. Both the information and the systems could be called business assets.

The ISO 27001 standard has two perspectives when it comes to naming assets.

  1. The first is in risk assessment (standard requirement 6.1.2). It says there that it should focus on identifying risks related to information. So it makes sense, for each risk you identify, to also name what information the risk relates to.
  2. The second perspective comes from a management measure, number 5.9. This concerns the inventory of information and other related assets.

This states that an organization must have an inventory of assets and maintain them. Where each asset has an owner. The idea behind this is that if you don’t know what assets (including information) you have, you can’t protect them.

Overview of business assets linked to risks

When it comes to the question of how to record information and other assets, it is best to consider the two aspects mentioned above separately. It’s fine to name the information to which each risk relates. And somewhere else keep one or more lists of assets.

In other words, the information named under risks need not be linked to the total overview of assets in which the owners are also named.

But of course this can be done. If you create an overview of information and other assets to which risks can be linked, this will provide additional structure and overview. You can then see even better which risks are linked to a certain asset.

It is even better if you can also indicate the relationship between assets. For example: customer data is in a CRM system running on a certain server. Combined with the classification of information, you can deduce how information assets should be protected.

ISOPlanner contains everything you need to properly record company assets. Want to know exactly how? Then watch this video: https://isoplanner.app/videos/assets/

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

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Security Island: what is it and how to prevent it?

Security Island: what is it and how to prevent it?

Security Island: what is it and how to prevent it?
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security island

You’ve probably heard of the term security island. But what exactly is it? And is it a desirable or undesirable situation? In this article, we address these questions so you can better understand what a security island is and how to deal with it.

What is a security island?

A security island is the term to describe an isolated sub-area of a computer system with limited or no access to other parts of the network. The security island comes with its own security components that manage data, access control, compliance, and so on, without centralized oversight. A security island can include both physical and virtual networks, such as cloud-based systems.

The goal is to make it more difficult to manage the security of the entire system as a whole. This also means that if one part of the network is hacked, access to other parts is blocked. This makes it more difficult for attackers to penetrate the entire network at once.

The concept of a security island is similar to that of a segregation model in which different areas remain separate. In computer systems, networks are often physically separated by firewalls and other boundary devices.

How does an unwanted security island arise?

A security island can arise for a variety of reasons. But when something like this occurs unplanned, it often stems from poor configuration within an organization’s network infrastructure.
For example, if certain systems are not properly configured or monitored, they become a vulnerable target for attackers. These then use this target to gain access to other systems on the same network. 

In addition, organizations may not realize that certain devices such as printers or switches are connected directly to their networks. This makes them vulnerable access points for malicious actors looking for backdoors into computer systems.

Finally, organizations may forget about legacy systems that have been abandoned but are still present on their networks. These then provide possible routes into their core infrastructure.

Why is a security island not desirable?

A security island is generally undesirable because it creates a hole in an organization’s overall security. This makes it easier for attackers to exploit these weaknesses. Therefore, the risk of such a hack being detected or stopped quickly is low.

Moreover, these holes can lead to the misappropriation or appropriation of sensitive data and information. Because hackers use these unsecured points to gain access to sensitive information stored in the system itself. Or they use an unsecured access point as a springboard to larger corporate networks containing confidential customer data or critical business information. The consequences of the misappropriation of such information, for most organizations, are disastrous.

Also read: Tips for creating information security policies

7 Tips to prevent a security island

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to security islands. But how do you make sure the network stays secure?

1. Perform regular vulnerability checks

Organizations should perform regular checks to identify vulnerabilities in their network infrastructure. They should also ensure that all necessary patches and updates have been applied. This will make it less easy for malicious actors to exploit known vulnerabilities.

2. Use firewalls

Firewalls act as gatekeepers between different parts of your organizational network and you need to configure them properly. This means setting up appropriate rule sets based on your specific needs.

For example, consider setting up whitelists that allow only certain types of traffic through and block everything else. That way, potential fishing emails or other threats won’t even have a chance to penetrate the system.

3. Get your organization ISO 27001 certified

The ISO 27001 standard provides a strong foundation for a comprehensive information and cyber security strategy for any organization, regardless of size or sector. The standard outlines a best practice ISMS framework to mitigate risk and protect business-critical data through identification, analysis and actionable controls.

An accredited ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that your organization has the processes and controls in place to protect sensitive information in an increasingly complex digital world.

4. Monitor network traffic

Monitoring traffic going both ways across the corporate network (inbound and outbound) helps identify suspicious activity. Consider, for example, attempts to access unauthorized resources or suspicious file transfers occurring through insecure channels. If something unusual happens, it is important to investigate it immediately before further damage occurs.

5. Implement a segmentation policy

Also consider implementing a segmentation policy where different parts of the network are separated from each other. Even if one part of the network is compromised, malicious actors cannot take down the entire network at once.

This type of setup requires a good understanding of where each device is located within the network structure. Only then can you set up the right firewall ruleset.

6. Use Intrusion Detection Systems

Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) monitor traffic patterns 24/7 across the network environment. They aim to detect suspicious activity that indicates malicious intent. Examples include login attempts, network scans, etc.

If something abnormal happens, an IDS sends an alert so the IT team can respond quickly before serious damage occurs.

7. Educate employees about cybersecurity risks

Since many cybersecurity vulnerabilities do involve human actions, awareness of the dangers is very important. Consider an employee who shares important data with malicious parties via a phishing email without being aware of it.

It is therefore important to train employees on cybersecurity risks. Such as what social engineering attacks are, how phishing scams work et cetera. An effective cyber awareness training program ensures that everyone is vigilant when using the Internet.

Also read: Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

Conclusion

A security island created in your network structure is an undesirable situation because it makes the network more vulnerable to attacks. By carefully following the above steps, you can better protect your organization from potential attacks on the network.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

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ISO 27001 Certification: Step-By-Step Guide

ISO 27001 Certification: Step-By-Step Guide

ISO 27001 Certification: Step-By-Step Guide
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role of an auditor
Implementing the ISO 27001 standard is not a one-off project. It is the start of a process of continuous improvement. Strangely enough, this process can become more and more fun. As an organization you are developing more and more clarity, you are scrapping and simplifying things. As a result, you will increasingly work together like a well-oiled machine. In this article we will discuss the steps you must take to get your organization ISO 27001 certified. And we give examples of preconditions you need for this process.

Also read: When do you need ISO 27001 certification?

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an information security standard that helps organizations protect their confidential data and maintain the trust of their customers and stakeholders. It describes the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS).

Steps in the ISO 27001 certification process

Implementing an ISO 27001 certification can be a complex process. For a successful implementation, it is important to understand every step in the certification process. Here are the main steps.

1. Obtain management commitment

The first step is to obtain commitment from senior management for the implementation of ISO 27001 certification. This includes understanding its value and benefits and setting up a project team to manage the transition process. This is also the stage where you allocate resources for staff training and set up other activities related to achieving certification.

2. Determine the scope of your ISMS

At this stage you need to establish a clear definition of the scope of your ISMS. In this phase you determine which processes to include in the system and which areas and stakeholders need special attention. To identify these important aspects, many organizations draw up a SWOT analysis that examines the opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses of the organization. An example of a weakness is ‘small organization so that responsibilities cannot be divided among many employees’.

3. Assessment of the current state

In this phase you identify risks and weaknesses, after which you choose measures to limit those risks.

Read also: What does an auditor do for ISO certification?

4. Development of policy documents

In this phase you implement the measures from phase 3. Once you have cleared any hurdles, you start developing policy documents that clearly define how you intend to address these issues in the future as part of your ISMS strategy. These documents deal with issues such as incident response, access control policy, and information policy in general.

Read also: Tips for creating an information security policy

5. Implement controls

In this phase you actually carry out the necessary actions. Think of implementing the information policy, installing new software solutions, or updating existing solutions. This also includes training employees in using new solutions and updating documentation.

6. Audit and Compliance Check

At this stage, external auditors carry out assessments against specific criteria of ISO 27001. These assessments ensure that all actions have been carried out correctly. An auditor also checks in this phase whether the measures are effective enough for the security of sensitive data within the ecosystem of your organization. Depending on their findings, auditors recommend corrective action or make further recommendations as necessary.

7. Certification

After successfully completing the audits, you will be nominated for official ISO 27001 certification at accredited bodies. You have then demonstrated how you as an organization meet all the requirements and standards of ISO 27001 before you receive the certificate.

How do you choose the right certificate authority?

Choosing the right certification authority depends on several factors, including the size of the budget and the timeline of the desired end result. In general, reputable certificate authorities offer similar services, but the cost and timeline may vary.

Ensuring long-term enforcement requires ongoing efforts, both internally and externally. Internally you have to set up processes once, but in the long term, you must regularly review and check existing processes. And externally, you need to work closely with your chosen certification body to keep up to date with the latest industry standards.

Which tool do you use during your ISO 27001 certification?

Imagine: you have finally implemented all the rules and recommendations of ISO 27001. But then the responsible compliance colleague in your company leaves. What remains is a folder with Word and Excel files of which no one knows what the connection is anymore.

Actions to be performed periodically are in a sheet that no one looks at anymore.

In practice, this means that the new security officer has to start over. We often hear that this situation is the reason to introduce structure into the certification process with ISOPlanner.

That is of course a shame. For the entire certification process, it is useful if you have a system in which you can easily make connections. For example, by linking policy to standards. And by assigning tasks for periodic checks and reviews to colleagues. This way you keep an overview of the progress. Ideally, all this is integrated into the environment you already work with: Microsoft 365.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

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Tips for creating information security policies

Tips for creating information security policies

Tips for creating information security policies
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role of an auditor

 

Information security is one of the most important components of any business in our current digital age. To ensure that information remains secure, companies must implement appropriate policies and procedures. These information security policies must protect information from unauthorized access, modification or destruction.

In this article, we provide some tips for creating an effective information security policy. After all, who are involved in such a process? And how do you prevent a security island? You can also read more about notification requirements, find guidelines for ICT, examples of objectives and more information about ISO 27001-2022 certification.

Who is involved in creating an information security policy?

The creation of an information security policy must involve a number of individuals and organizations to ensure that the policy is comprehensive and effective. These stakeholders include top management, IT personnel, outside consultants and auditors, legal counsel and regulators.

Each of these individuals has their own unique perspective on the best way to protect data within the organization, so it is important to consider all perspectives when creating the policy.

1. Avoid a security island

One of the most common mistakes made when developing an information security policy is to create what is known as a security island. This means that only certain areas or departments get access to certain types of data or technology, while other areas remain unprotected.

A security island can lead to confusion among employees as they try to adhere to different policies at different times. While potentially putting data at risk if not done correctly. A successful information security policy ensures that all departments have access to the same level of protection. Thus, everyone is equally protected from potential threats.

2. Establish notification requirements

A successful policy should not only ensure adequate protection of stored data. But also require employees to notify senior management immediately if they become aware of potential risks or breaches to company systems or the network.

This reporting requirement ensures that senior management can take quick action if there is a problem before it becomes too serious. It is recommended that the reporting requirement is accompanied by clear guidelines on how staff should notify management of potential risks they discover.

Organizations should have detailed procedures that define who has access to certain types of sensitive data within the network environment. Also ensure that changes in procedures or new laws and regulations are known to all involved.

3. Include guidelines for IT

The information security policy should also include guidelines for the use of information and communications technology (ICT) within the organization. For example, consider policies for the acceptable use of computers and mobile devices, password requirements, remote access requirements, acceptable encryption methods, network monitoring protocols, and so on.

This ensures that all employees know what is expected of them when it comes to protecting sensitive data within their organization’s network environment.

Ensure that employees can only access approved applications and programs and that unauthorized downloads are impossible. Also, install appropriate anti-malware solutions on employee devices. And provide available documents with steps to take to protect sensitive data.

4. Think carefully about the objective of your information security policy

An effective policy should include objectives that state why the policy was created in the first place. For example, consider the goal of “protecting customer data from unauthorized access. Here are a few more examples:

  • Limiting user access rights to only necessary personnel.
  • Implementing regular monitoring procedures to detect suspicious activity or unauthorized access attempts.
  • Maintaining secure and regular backups with the latest versions of software.

Goals should also be measurable so that it is easier to track progress on results. For example, consider the measurable goal “All customer data is encrypted at rest with AES 256-bit encryption before being stored on our servers.”

Thus, clear goals ensure that all stakeholders understand why certain measures are necessary to protect data securely and consistently across different areas of the business.

5. Get your organization ISO certified

ISO certification provides companies and organizations with an internationally recognized standard for implementing best practices related to information security management systems (ISMS).

By obtaining ISO certification for their ISMS, companies demonstrate their commitment to secure operations and establish trust between themselves and their customers, clients, and partners regarding the handling of confidential information entrusted to them.
What is ISO 27001-2022?

There are several certifications available, but the most well-known is ISO 27001 – 2022. This is a globally recognized international standard for establishing processes and procedures that help organizations maintain control over sensitive business and customer information. The standard covers the following topics, among others:

  • Asset classification & control management
  • Physical security & environmental considerations
  • Personnel training & awareness programs
  • Incident response & continuity planning
  • Limiting user access rights to only necessary personnel.

By complying with this ISO standard, organizations gain a competitive advantage through increased confidence, better regulatory compliance, improved risk management capabilities, and greater cost savings through more efficient use of resources.

Also read: Tips for security (risk) awareness in information security

Conclusion

There are many stakeholders involved in creating an effective information security policy. From the highest executive level to the day-to-day IT staff responsible for day-to-day operations.

A good policy remains practical across the board and prevents a security island effect between departments due to a lack of communication between them.

It is increasingly important for organizations to look beyond traditional protection methods. After all, the digital age is evolving at lightning speed and hackers are getting smarter at finding weak spots in data protection.

ISO 27001 – 2022 certification provides a solid framework for complying with all laws and regulations and taking data protection to the next level.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

 

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What does an ISO certification auditor do?

What does an ISO certification auditor do?

What does an ISO certification auditor do?
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ISO certification is a voluntary process by which organizations can demonstrate their commitment to quality and safety standards. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is a global governing body that sets standards among other quality, safety and environmental protection standards.

It is a way for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to producing safe products or services while ensuring customer satisfaction. It can also be a marketing tool to distinguish a company from its competitors.

If an organization chooses to become certified, an entire process with many different parties and steps follows. To ensure that the final criteria are met, a company usually hires an auditor to verify the application of the standard and certify that it has been met.

In this article, we discuss the role of an auditor in ISO certification.

Which parties are involved in ISO certification?

The process of achieving ISO certification requires that different parties work together towards one goal. This includes at least the management responsible for drawing up policies and procedures. In addition, internal employees are involved who are responsible for the implementation of that policy. Such as security officers or quality employees. But external consultants who advise on how the organization can best meet those requirements are also part of this process. In addition, there are external service providers such as auditors who are specially hired to assess whether the organization meets the requirements.

This auditor visits the organization for several days, weeks or months, depending on its size and complexity. During these visits, the auditor assesses whether all established criteria are met. What is the role of an auditor in ISO certification? An auditor plays a crucial role in an organization’s pursuit of ISO certification. The task of an auditor is broadly twofold. First, they review existing processes within the organization to determine whether they meet established criteria. Secondly, they check whether everything in the documentation provided actually corresponds to practice. 

What is the role of an auditor in ISO certification?

An auditor plays a crucial role in an organization’s pursuit of ISO certification. The task of an auditor is broadly twofold. First, they review existing processes within the organization to determine whether they meet established criteria. Secondly, they check whether everything in the documentation provided actually corresponds to practice.

Auditors provide independent oversight of the way things are actually done. They provide valuable insight into areas where improvement is needed to meet the standard. This may mean that additional training is required or additional checks are required. These adjustments ultimately lead to the successful achievement of the desired ISO certification, whether it is the 9001, 14001 or the 27001 series.

The 5 most important tasks of an auditor

1. Compliance Check

Thus, the primary responsibility of an auditor is to check whether an organization complies with international standards or regulations. During an audit process, the auditor must review documents and records related to each requirement and determine whether or not they meet those requirements. This includes evaluating how processes are being performed and determining if any changes are needed for compliance.

2. Examining procedures

An auditor should also review the existing procedures in use within the organization and make recommendations for any improvements. This includes, for example, examining existing systems and assessing their effectiveness. But also testing it against current legislation and identifying possible risks.

3. Create reports

After completing the audit process, an auditor prepares a report with findings and recommendations based on the analysis of the processes, procedures, documents and records. It is important that these reports are detailed yet concise so that they can be understood by individuals at all levels of an organization. These reports also provide evidence for the auditor’s observations during the review process.

4. Consultation with management

It is essential that auditors consult with management and directors when conducting an audit, especially if management action is required. This enables auditors to gain a better understanding of any issues. And it provides managers with valuable feedback on areas where improvement is possible.

5. Performance monitoring

Controlling the performance of the organizations lies primarily with the organization itself. An external auditor checks this no more than once a year. In addition to the external auditor, there is often also an internal auditor. This can be an employee or a hired auditor who checks in the meantime whether the organization meets all the requirements of the standard and the self-imposed requirements. This can be once a year or, for example, monthly or quarterly, where a sub-topic is subject to an internal audit.

What are the costs for an auditor with ISO certification?

The cost of hiring an auditor depends on several factors such as complexity due to the size, scope of the project or industry specific issues. Geographical location also plays a role.
In addition, a qualified professional is of course required who is experienced enough to carry out assignments correctly and within a reasonable period of time. This prevents unnecessary time wastage and contributes to a well-planned and efficient assessment process by the auditor. Some auditors offer discounts if multiple sites or locations require an audit.
In general, the cost ranges from $2,000-$15,000 depending on a number of factors:

    • The scope of work required.
    • The auditor’s preparation time for gathering relevant information.
    • The time required to analyze this information and develop the most appropriate corrective actions.
    • Guiding necessary actions by employees.
    • Checking afterwards whether everything meets the required specifications.
    • Costs for the final report with all conclusions and recommendations.
    • Possible travel costs depending on the geographical location of the location.

Conclusion

In short, understanding the role of an auditor in an ISO certification process and knowing what costs are involved helps in the decision-making process. And enables you to make well-considered choices to achieve goals efficiently and effectively.

Need help implementing ISO 27001 certification?

Need help taking steps to comply with ISO 27001 certification? ISOPlanner prevents financial and reputational damage by providing an approachable way to help organizations comply with increasingly complex laws and regulations. Start a free trial of our software or contact us, we are happy to help!

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When do you need ISO 27001 certification?

When do you need ISO 27001 certification?

When do you need ISO 27001 certification?
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If you are a risk manager, quality manager or security officer in a large organization, it is crucial to understand the importance of ISO 27001 certification. This international standard helps organizations protect their sensitive data and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

In this article, we will discuss the basics of ISO 27001 and when an organization needs ISO 27001 certification.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an international standard first released in 2005. It contains a comprehensive set of rules and best practices aimed at establishing security controls for information management systems.

As organizations increasingly rely on digital information, protecting this data is more important than ever. As such, the standard provides guidelines for properly managing, storing, processing and securing confidential and sensitive data within an organization. The standard focuses on mitigating risks associated with the use of digital technology, such as cyberattacks and data breaches.

In addition, the standard includes requirements for policies and procedures related to personnel security, physical security, access control, asset management, operational security, communications security and vendor relationships.

In addition, the standard includes specific requirements for documentation and continuous improvement processes that help organizations maintain compliance over time. Organizations must also demonstrate that they have met all requirements before being certified by an accredited third party.

When do you need ISO 27001 certification?

ISO 27001 certification is not mandatory. The decision whether or not to opt for certification is often based on a Risk Management Assessment (RMA) that takes into account an organization’s specific needs and vulnerabilities.

It is important to weigh the benefits of ISO 27001 certification against the costs and resources required to achieve and maintain it. But what are the benefits and aspects involved in choosing an ISO 27001 certification?

1. Data security and privacy

Organizations that manage large amounts of customer financial information should get certified as soon as possible. The data circulating in such organizations is particularly sensitive because it can be used for identity theft or fraud. Consider personal data stored on company-owned servers (e.g., credit card numbers).

Other organizations that handle sensitive information, such as personal data, financial information and intellectual property, should also consider obtaining ISO 27001 certification. The standard helps organizations ensure that they have adequate measures in place to protect this information and meet the requirements of laws and regulations.

2. Increased credibility and trust

An ISO 27001 certificate shows that a company takes information security seriously and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of data protection. This can help build trust and credibility with customers, partners and other stakeholders

3. Regulatory compliance

Many industries and sectors, such as healthcare, finance and government, are subject to strict information security regulations and standards. An ISO 27001 certificate helps organizations meet these requirements and demonstrate their commitment to compliance.

4. Better risk management

ISO 27001 requires organizations to conduct regular risk assessments and take measures to mitigate risks to their information systems and data. This can help organizations identify and address potential threats before they cause financial or reputational damage.

5. Competitive advantage

ISO 27001 certification can give an organization a competitive advantage, especially in industries where information security is a major concern. Organizations that hold the certificate can demonstrate their commitment to protecting sensitive information and offer customers and partners peace of mind.

6. International trade

In addition, any company engaged in international trade should strongly consider certification. For example, countries such as China require foreign organizations operating within their borders to prove they meet various security standards.

Also, some countries offer tax breaks to organizations that can demonstrate compliance with international standards.

What does the ISO 27001 certification process entail?

The certification process often starts with an audit by a third party that verifies that your organization has implemented all required controls according to the specifications of the ISO 27001 standard.

The audit process will address questions about staff training programs on information security or policies in managing vendor relationships. It very much depends on the type of services the organization offers as part of its business operations.

Auditors also need access to any existing documents related to IT infrastructure, such as system diagrams or flow charts that illustrate how data flows through the network architecture. This allows them to determine if any areas are vulnerable because proper security measures are not in place.

In addition, auditors can ask for evidence that supports assertions made during interviews. For example, screen shots of user authentication methods when accessing sensitive systems or networks.

Once all necessary documentation has been provided, reviewed, verified and approved by the auditors, you will receive a certificate certifying that your organization meets all applicable requirements contained in the ISO 27001 standard.

How long does the ISO 27001 certification process take?

Depending on how well prepared your organization is and to what extent measures have been implemented before the certification process begins, it can take from six months to two years for auditors to issue an official certificate.

This time frame depends largely on how quickly internal teams address any problems or issues. If additional audits are needed during this period, the overall period will obviously take longer as well.

Conclusion

In summary, ISO 27001 certification is an excellent way for organizations to take comprehensive measures to protect confidential data while complying with various regulations governing its use.

With proper preparation before this process begins, organizations should allow at least a year before they receive official confirmation that their internal controls meet the standards set forth in this internationally recognized protocol.

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