The adoption of an ISMS policy is a significant decision for any organisation. The cost and effort required to implement and maintain an ISMS can be considerable, and the benefits are not always immediately apparent. Therefore, organisations must weigh the costs and benefits carefully before deciding whether to adopt ISO 27001. In addition, it is essential to note that ISO 27001 certification is not a standard requirement. Organisations can implement an ISMS without seeking certification. However, many organisations choose to pursue certification to demonstrate their commitment to information security and to market their products and services to potential customers.
Certification vs Self-Declaration To Get ISO 27001 Certified
Organisations can implement an ISMS without seeking certification. However, many organisations choose to seek certification to demonstrate their commitment to information security and to market their products and services to potential customers. There are two main ways to become ISO 27001 certified:
- With self-declaration, also called first-party certification, an organisation declares that its ISMS meets all the ISO 27001. This approach is less common, as it can be challenging to convince customers and other stakeholders that the organisation's claims are credible.
- With third-party certification, an independent certification body assesses the organisation's ISMS against the requirements of ISO 27001. This is the most common approach and is more credible than self-declaration. Certification bodies must be accredited by a national body, such as ANAB in the United States.
Importance of ISMS Policy
- Security- Organisations face security risks daily. These risks can come from external sources, such as hackers, or internal sources, such as employees. Either way, these security risks can jeopardize the safety of an organisation's data and systems. An ISMS policy can help businesses mitigate these risks by establishing clear guidelines for handling and protecting data. By defining these policies, companies can help ensure that their data is safe from internal and external threats.
- Compliance- In addition to helping businesses protect their data, ISMS policies can help them stay compliant with laws and regulations. With the increasing focus on data privacy, many rules and regulations have been enacted that require businesses to take steps to protect their customers' information. An ISMS policy can help companies to comply with these laws and regulations by outlining the steps that need to be taken to keep data safe. This can include specifying how data should be stored, transmitted, and destroyed. By following an ISMS policy, businesses can help ensure that they are compliant with all relevant laws and regulations.
- Implementation- When implementing an ISMS policy, businesses should consider their organisation's specific needs. The policy should be tailored to the organisation's size, type of business, and the data they store and process. Additionally, the policy should be reviewed regularly to ensure that it is up-to-date and effective.
- Improve efficiency- In addition to helping businesses protect their data and comply with regulations, ISMS policies can also help improve efficiency. When everyone in an organisation follows the same set of guidelines, it can help streamline processes and reduce the chance of errors.
ISO 27001 Guidelines to Implement ISMS Policy
The objective of the ISO27001 standard is to provide a framework for an Information Security Management System (ISMS). The ISMS is a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information to remain secure.By using a risk management strategy, it encompasses people, processes, and IT systems.
1. Establishing the ISMS Policy
The policy should be established at the top management level and consider the company's business objectives, risk appetite, and legal and regulatory requirements. Regular reviews and updates should be made.
2. Performing a Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is necessary to identify which assets must be protected, what threats they are exposed to, and what controls can be implemented to mitigate those risks. The assessment should be conducted regularly to keep up with changes in the business environment.
3. Developing and Implementing Controls
Based on the risk assessment results, controls (policies, procedures, etc.) need to be developed and implemented to reduce the identified risks to an acceptable level. In addition, the rules should be reviewed and updated regularly as well.
4. Monitoring and Reviewing the ISMS
The ISMS needs to be monitored constantly to ensure that it functions properly and that controls are adequate. It should also be reviewed periodically (at least annually) to ensure it is still relevant and up to date.
What Should You Include in an ISMS Policy?
- Purpose- The purpose of your policy and your priorities must be stated. This may be in line with the objectives and plan of your company. For instance, are you designing it to safeguard the information of your customers? Or is it to guard against security lapses? You can specify the procedures you need to secure your organisation by knowing the policy's aim.
- Roles and responsibilities- The policy should specify the roles and responsibilities of the various individuals and groups within the organisation who are responsible for information security. For example, the policy should identify the individual responsible for developing and maintaining the organisation's security policies and procedures. Additionally, the policy should designate the individuals responsible for implementing security controls and monitoring the organisation's information assets.
- Policy framework- The third step is to develop a policy framework that will be used to create and implement specific information security policies. The ISMS policy framework is based on the ISO 27001 standard for information security management. It guides how to plan, implement, operate, monitor, and improve an ISMS.
- Communication for ISMS policy- It is a process whereby an organisation can effectively communicate its ISMS policies to employees, contractors, and other interested parties. The process involves the development of a concise and understandable policy statement, which is then circulated to the relevant stakeholders. The policy communication process should be designed to ensure that the ISMS policy is understood and complied with by all required. Additionally, the process should be periodically reviewed to ensure that it is still appropriate and effective.