What Is The Difference Between ISO 27001 and 27002?

by Sneha Naskar

ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 are two closely related international standards that pertain to information security management systems (ISMS). While they share a common foundation and purpose, they serve different roles and focus on distinct aspects of information security. Here's a breakdown of the key differences between ISO 27001 and ISO 27002:

What is the difference between ISO 27001 and 27002?

1. Purpose and Scope:

  • ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is the core standard for establishing and managing an Information Security Management System (ISMS). It provides a systematic approach for organizations to identify, assess, and manage information security risks and protect their information assets.
  • ISO 27002: ISO 27002, on the other hand, is an accompanying standard that provides guidelines and best practices for implementing specific security controls and measures. It offers a detailed framework for implementing the security controls outlined in ISO 27001.

2. Structure and Content:

  • ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is structured around a set of clauses that outline the requirements for an effective ISMS. These clauses cover areas such as risk assessment, management commitment, documentation, monitoring, and continual improvement.
  • ISO 27002: ISO 27002 provides detailed guidance on implementing security controls across 14 categories, including information security policies, organization of information security, human resource security, physical and environmental security, access control, and cryptography, among others. Each category contains specific control objectives and corresponding controls.

3. Mandatory vs. Advisory:

  • ISO 27001: ISO 27001 is a mandatory standard that organizations can become certified against. It outlines the requirements that organizations must meet to establish and maintain an effective ISMS. Certification to ISO 27001 is often sought as proof of compliance with recognized information security standards.
  • ISO 27002: ISO 27002, while highly valuable for implementing security best practices, is advisory in nature. It provides recommendations and guidance, but organizations are not certified against ISO 27002. Instead, they use ISO 27002 as a reference to help implement controls effectively as part of their ISMS.

4. Certification vs. Implementation:

  • ISO 27001: Organizations seek ISO 27001 certification to demonstrate their commitment to information security and their ability to manage information security risks effectively. Certification involves an independent audit by a certification body.
  • ISO 27002: ISO 27002 is primarily used as a reference guide during the implementation phase. It offers practical recommendations and detailed descriptions of security controls to help organizations align their security practices with recognized best practices.

5. High-Level vs. Detailed Controls:

  • ISO 27001: ISO 27001 focuses on high-level requirements for an ISMS, emphasizing risk management and the establishment of policies and processes. It sets the framework for managing information security but doesn't delve deeply into specific controls.
  • ISO 27002: ISO 27002 provides granular, detailed controls that organizations can use as a blueprint for implementing specific security measures. It is a valuable resource for security practitioners looking for practical guidance.

In summary, ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 are complementary standards, with ISO 27001 providing the overarching framework for establishing and managing an ISMS, and ISO 27002 offering detailed guidance on implementing specific security controls. Organizations often use ISO 27002 as a practical reference to help them meet the requirements outlined in ISO 27001 and enhance their information security practices. While ISO 27001 can lead to certification, ISO 27002 is advisory and aids in effective control implementation.

ISO 27001