What are the benefits of ISO 27001

Comprehensively breaking down the benefits and nuances of ISO 27001 accreditation

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How can ISO 27001 benefit my organisation?

To acknowledge that information and data security is a crucial pillar and benefit to your organisation is a pivotal ideology. Protecting your data and information is a fundamental factor that customers, other organisations, and stakeholders are looking for today. Affirming these facts leads to the realisation that you need to spend money improving your information security. Achieving ISO 27001 certification is a precious process for reaching this efficacious information and data security level.

If you aren‚Äôt already aware of ISO 27001, it is a widely recognised security framework specifying the requirements for keeping your organisational information secure. ISO 27001 forces organisations to establish and maintain an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS) that lays out policies for data security and the procedures that should occur in the case of a critical incident. The International Organisation for standardisation jointly publishes ISO 27001 with the International Electoral Commission (IEC). To find our complete overview of ISO 27001, before we dive into the detailed benefits of the standard, read ‚ÄúWhat is ISO 27001?‚ÄĚ

What is ISO 27001?

If you’re looking at ISO 27001 certification for your organisation, you may benefit from reading our “What are the ISO 27001 benefits” article prior to reading the rest of this page

What are the five benefits of ISO 27001?

To start understanding the benefits of implementing ISO 27001, it’s important to note that we’ve briefly introduced the benefits we’re discussing in our “What is ISO 27001” knowledgebase. The benefits can be summarised in a single sentence as “preventing information risks before they occur, demonstrating a commitment to continual improvement and security, in turn, attracting new customers and saving money.”¬†

ISO 27001 helps reduce information security risks

First and foremost, achieving ISO 27001 certification can help reduce information security and privacy risks and breaches. The rigorous process of reaching compliance forces organisations to look at all the potential information and data security risks and pick out relevant processes to implement from over 114 Annex controls and eleven certification clauses.

Besides achieving compliance by creating a proactive approach to nullifying information security risks, ISO 27001 ensures you comply with strict legislative requirements such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). As a result, you are preventing penalties for not providing data security and prevention of breaches.

Certification demonstrates compliance with regulation and a commitment to continual improvement

Achieving compliance with ISO 27001 is no easy task, let alone receiving certification by an external body for the standard. Despite the difficulty, the certification process demonstrates to customers, regulators, and other organisations a strong commitment to protecting and preventing information security incidents. It sets a solid standard for continual business by future-proofing information handling. In addition, ISO 27001 demonstrates that your organisation takes the Data Protection Act and GDPR measures seriously. The DPA and GDPR are sets of obligations and are not independently auditable, thereby making ISO 27001 an expression of compliance with these measures.

These combined factors lead to a more durable, robust business model, with a proactive information security management system that other organisations aspire to obtain.

Achieving certification saves money and time

When looking at obtaining ISO 27001 certification, you might think of it as a substantial expense with no future return. In reality, the opposite is true; you must change how you view it. By investing in the certification, you prevent considerable and increasing costs from information security breaches in the future.

With the rise of cybercrimes, information security breaches are becoming more common. In the event of a security breach, your organisation will face high costs to fix the violations and any of the underlying issues leading to the event. You may also be charged with ever-growing fines for non-compliance with data protection laws. This is due to the increased powers given to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to leverage penalties against organisations that are not compliant with the General Data Protection Act 2018.

ISO 27001 certification boosts organisational reputation and increases your competitive edge

Year by year, data breaches and cyber-attacks grow, and at the same time, ISO 27001 certifications are also increasing at exponential rates. According to the ISO Survey 2020, 44,486 organisations held valid ISO 27001 certificates. This figure is 8,124 higher than in 2019 and a giant 12,576 more than in 2018. This data shows a clear trend in substantial organisations becoming certified. Small-to-medium-sized organisations also have the desire to differentiate themselves from their competition by obtaining certification. ISO 27001 certification can give your organisation a competitive edge and create a unique selling point for your potential and existing clients. Certification increases consumer confidence and shows you’re willing to go that extra mile that your competitors may not be able or willing to do.

Achieving certification helps you to understand business weaknesses

You may think you know all your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, but data security weaknesses can be easily overlooked. Do you understand the security risks? Are you vulnerable to a breach? Do you know where a breach could come from? These are all questions that are comprehensively answered and addressed through the process of ISO 27001 certification. The eleven clauses and 114 Annex A controls ensure you cover all information security bases by defining rules for data management and the subsequent procedures to take place in the case of an information security incident. Understanding your weaknesses and acting on them strengthens and adds to your organisation’s strengths.

To summarise the benefits of ISO 27001 certification, you may have noticed the common themes of the benefits described. The proactive approach fostered by the accreditation process saves money and time, boosts reputation, identifies weaknesses, prevents security breaches, and demonstrates a fierce, bold commitment to information and data security. Certification also creates an independent view of the security stance of your organisation, empowering your employees and improving your reputation.

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Elisabeth Belisle

Elisabeth is an Associate Consultant of the British Standards Institute (BSI), a BSI qualified ISO 27001 Lead Auditor and member of the Standard Committee responsible for the publication of the BS 10008 Standard.

Elisabeth can help you decide if ISO 27001 is for you and support you through its implementation, all the way to certification.

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