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With the increasing frequency of cyber-attacks and data breaches, Information Security has become a critical concern for organisations worldwide. To addressthis issue understanding the ISO 27001 Framework can assist organisations in strengthening their security measures. According to the “IBM's Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022” from IBM, 83% of organizations have experienced more than one data breach.
Thus, in today’s digital age, organisations must proactively safeguard their information assets and protect against potential risks. Want to know how your organisation can achieve Information Security and protect against data breach?
Read this blog to learnabout the ISO 27001 Framework and understand how it can enhance the security of your organisation.
Table of Contents
1) What is ISO 27001 Framework?
a) Principles of ISO 27001
b) ISO 27001 Controls
2) Why is ISO 27001 important?
3) How does ISO 27001 work?
4) 14 domains of ISO 27001 Framework
5) Who needs ISO 27001?
6) Benefits of ISO Framework
7) What are the requirements for ISO 27001?
What is ISO 27001 Framework?
ISO 27001 Framework is an international standard for managing Information Security, also known as ISO/IEC 27001. It was created by a collaboration between two international organisations: the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The Framework is part of a series of standards called the ISO/IEC 27000 series which offers best practices for ISMS. It aims to help organisations of any size to protect their information by providing a risk-based, systematic and cost-effective approach. ISO 27001 is not compulsory for organisations to implement, but it can bring many benefits to their ISMS.
It is important to note that ISO 27001 is not a standalone Framework. It requires input from management and other organisational decision-makers to identify the security risks, threats and vulnerabilities that affect their information. The Framework allows organisations to design their security controls that suit their specific needs and issues.
Principles of ISO 27001
The three principles of ISO 27001 protect three crucial aspects of information:
1) Confidentiality: Information can only be accessible by authorised persons.
2) Integrity: Information can only be changed by authorised persons.
3) Availability: Information must be available to authorised persons whenever needed.
ISO 27001 Controls
Annex A of ISO 27001 contains a total of 114 controls that need to be implemented. It is not necessary to implement all the 114 controls, only the relevant ones based on the identified Information Security risks can be implemented.
Why is ISO 27001 important?
ISO 27001 is crucial because it is a globally recognised Standard for Information Security Management. It helps organisations to protect their information assets from cyber threats and other risks and to comply with legal and contractual obligations. By following the best practices of ISO 27001, organisations can get the following benefits:
1) Data breaches can cause significant losses for organisations, such as fines, lawsuits, reputational damage, and loss of customers. ISO 27001 helps organisations to prevent and mitigate data breaches by implementing security controls and policies.
2) Certification in ISO 27001 can give organisations a competitive edge in the market, especially in international contexts. It can also increase customer loyalty and trust, as well as employee satisfaction and retention. ISO 27001 certification shows that an organisation is committed to Information Security and values its stakeholders.
3) ISO 27001 helps organisations to meet the expectations and obligations of their customers, partners, regulators, and other parties. It also helps organisations to avoid penalties and sanctions for non-compliance. ISO 27001 is aligned with other Standards and Frameworks, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) and many more.
4) ISO 27001 provides a clear and consistent Framework for managing Information Security across organisations. It helps organisations to define roles and responsibilities, set objectives and targets, monitor performance and progress, and improve continuously. ISO 27001 also helps organisations to identify and prioritise their Information Security risks and opportunities.
5) Human errors are one of the main causes of Information Security incidents. ISO 27001 helps organisations to reduce human errors by providing training and awareness programs, establishing policies and procedures, enforcing accountability and discipline, and promoting a culture of security.
6) ISO 27001 helps organisations to streamline their Information Security processes by eliminating waste, duplication, and inconsistency. It also helps organisations to leverage best practices and proven methods from other organisations and experts. ISO 27001 enables organisations to save time and resources by avoiding trial-and-error approaches.
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How does ISO 27001 work?
ISO 27001 works by finding and eliminating risks (risk assessment and risk treatment) in organisation’s infrastructure through safeguards. These safeguards are referred to as Controls within the ISO 27001 Framework. Out of 114 Controls, organisations have to pass at least 93 controls to get the ISO 270001 Certification.. The Framework helps organisations to protect their information assets from cybersecurity threats and other risks and to comply with legal and contractual obligations.
The Framework requires input from management and other organisational decision-makers to identify the security risks, threats and vulnerabilities that affect their information. The Framework allows organisations to design their own security Controls that suit their specific needs and issues. The Framework also provides a clear and consistent structure for managing Information Security across the organisation. It helps organisations to define roles and responsibilities, set objectives and targets, monitor performance and progress, and improve continuously.
14 domains of the ISO 27001 Framework
The Framework consists of 14 domains, each containing a number of Controls that specify the requirements for implementing and maintaining an ISMS. The 14 domains are:
1) Information Security Policy (A.5)
This domain serves as the foundation of ISMS, outlining how an organisation should handle Information Security policies.
2) Organisation of Information Security (A.6)
This domain defines the organisational structure of Information Security, including roles and responsibilities of individuals and employees.
3) Human Resource Security (A.7)
This domain covers the security aspect of human resources, including information assets under the control of an individual or employee.
4) Asset Management (A.8)
This domain covers the identification, classification, and control of assets used in Information Security.
5) Access Control (A.9)
The Controls in this domain limit or control access to information assets, including both logical and physical access controls.
6) Cryptography (A.10)
This domain Describes the proper use of encryption to protect the confidentiality and integrity of confidential information.
7) Physical and Environmental Security (A.11)
This domain is concerned with the security of physical assets, equipment, and facilities to protect against both human and natural interventions.
8) Operations Security (A.12)
This domain describes how the organisation’s operating system, software, and Information Technology (IT) systems should be protected.
9) Communications Security (A.13)
The Controls in this domain are for protecting the Information Security risks related to communication networks, including infrastructure and services.
10) System Acquisition, Development, and Maintenance (A.14)
The Controls in this domain ensure that Information Security is maintained during the upgrading or purchasing of Information Systems.
11) Supplier Relationship (A.15)
This domain explains how third-party security performance should be monitored and ensures that suppliers or partners follow appropriate Information Security Controls.
12) Information Security Incident Management (A.16)
The controls in this domain are related to the management of security incidents.
13) Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management (A.17)
This domain describes the measures that must be taken to ensure that business operations are unaffected in the event of any Information Security incidents.
14) Compliance (A.18)
This domain details the Framework to prevent legal, statutory, regulatory, and contractual breaches.
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Who needs ISO 27001?
Some organisations may need ISO 27001 more than others. These are the organisations that have weak or no Information Security in place and whose managers are responsible for Information Security.
They can use ISO 27001 as a guide to improve their Information Security and protect their information assets from cyber threats and other risks. Even organisations that have some level of Information Security can benefit from ISO 27001 and enhance their Information Security programs.
Benefits of ISO Framework
1) ISO 27001 certification demonstrates to customers that a company is committed to Information Security.
2) ISO 27001 assists organisations in complying with legal and regulatory requirements.
3) ISO 27001 promotes a risk-based approach to cost-effectively managing Information Security risks.
4) ISO 27001 encourages regular assessments and audits, driving organisations to improve their Information Security practices.
5) ISO 27001 assists organisations in identifying and mitigating risks to maintain business continuity and recover from security incidents.
What are the requirements for ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 provides a systematic approach for organisations to manage the security of their information, including both the digital and physical aspects, through clauses 4 to 10. The following are the requirements that organisations need to fulfil to become ISO 27001 compliant:
1) Clause 4 for ISO 27001: The first requirement of ISO 27001 is to establish the Context of the Organisation. This involves identifying the scope and boundaries of the ISMS, determining the interested parties and their requirements, and defining the organisation's Information Security policy. The policy should provide a framework for setting objectives and managing risks related to Information Security.
2) Clause 5 of ISO 27001: The second requirement is Leadership. Top management must demonstrate commitment and support for the ISMS. They should define roles, responsibilities, and authorities within the organisation to ensure effective implementation of the ISMS. Additionally, they should establish a Framework for setting objectives, managing risks, and allocating necessary resources.
3) Clause 6 of ISO 27001: Planning is another important requirement of ISO 27001. Organisations should conduct a risk assessment to identify and prioritise Information Security risks. Based on the results, a risk treatment plan must be developed to address the identified risks. The plan should outline controls, safeguards, and countermeasures to mitigate or eliminate the risks. The organisation must also establish measurable objectives for Information Security.
4) Clause 7 of ISO 27001: The Support requirement of ISO 27001 emphasises the need for resources, competence, awareness, communication, and documentation. Organisations must allocate the necessary resources to implement and maintain the ISMS effectively. They must provide appropriate training and awareness programs for employees to ensure they have the necessary competencies to perform their Information Security-related roles.
5) Clause 8 of ISO 27001: The Operation requirement involves the implementation and maintenance of controls to address identified risks. Organisations must manage Information Security incidents and conduct regular assessments, including internal audits, to ensure the effectiveness of the ISMS. Monitoring and measurement of the ISMS performance against established objectives is essential for ensuring its continual improvement.
6) Clause 9 of ISO 27001: ISO 27001 also emphasises the importance of Performance Evaluation. Organisations must conduct internal audits of the ISMS and perform management reviews to evaluate the suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the system. Performance measurement against objectives is necessary to determine the effectiveness of the ISMS and identify areas for improvement.
7) Clause 10 of ISO 27001: The final requirement of ISO 27001 is Improvement. Organisations must take corrective actions to address identified nonconformities and continually improve the effectiveness of the ISMS. They also need to learn from Information Security incidents and apply relevant lessons learned to prevent future occurrences.
In addition to these requirements, organisations must also ensure their compliance with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements related to information security. This includes protecting personal information, complying with Data Protection Regulations, and ensuring the security of customer and third-party information.
In today’s world of rising Information Security threats, the ISO 27001 Framework can provide a competitive advantage, build customer trust, and ensure business resilience. Organisations that prioritise Information Security and implement ISO 27001 to reap the benefits of a strong and effective ISMS.
Want to learn the basics of the ISO 27001 Framework? ISO 27001 Foundation course can help you nail the basics of ISO 27001.
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