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Friday, September 12, 2014

Why businesses need to gain compliance to the ISO 27001 standard

ISO 27001
ISO 27001 helps ensure business data security standards
By Sarah Miller 

Technological advancement has also changed the concept of business protection over the years. Today, more and more enterprises include information technology security in their business plan because they recognize the critical importance of it. When customer data is stolen from your system, trust is in question and business reputation is damaged. The impact of this in profit is very imperative. All business, even new stores online can be vulnerable to security or IT attack. 

What are needed for information security today are carefully structured plans which can stand up to any possible attack. It is something that ensures enough and consistent protection to confidential data. For businesses to achieve this goal, governing bodies have introduced certain standards. How to comply with this has been described as well. The ISO 27001 standard is for managing information security.

The ISO 27001 standard

To improve your information security system, this international standard gives you a good framework. The best practice for your Information Security Management System (ISMS) is enabled here. All your policies, activities, processes, organizational structure, planning, responsibilities and other entities with information assets that need protection are defined. The ISO 27001 standard additionally offers requirements for application, set up and maintenance of your ISMS. The tools and steps for improving your system continuously are also given.

Because change is inevitable, there are revisions on the ISO 27001 as technology advances. While many pay attention to building security, others are also after how they could breach it. New threats to existing systems are needed to be addressed. One recent revision for this standard is the elimination of the requirement for PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act). To make sure of its performance, more emphasis is given to the evaluation and measurement of the ISMS. Vulnerability assessment and penetration testing may be included to check security systems.

The testing process

Testing is an important phase. Business must first determine the possible vulnerabilities before attackers will discover them. To do this, some organizations opt to hire skilled individuals to do the hacking. This so called “ethical hackers” will test the system. Several simulated attacks are initiated. They will try unauthorized access and infiltrate the system. Your ISMS should be able to stand up with this delicate and fundamental process, otherwise you need to redefine your security measures.

A section on the ISO 27001 includes the outsourcing measurement and evaluation processes. With this, businesses can safely check certified individuals who can do the penetration testing. Depending on organizational context, data or information security may vary. This means that there will be variations on security challenges as well. The importance of organizational context on data security is one focus of the revised ISO 27001.

Help for compliance 

Outsourcing a credible and certified security testing firm is the best way to make sure that your ISMS is well evaluated and tested. While you focus on your daily business operation, they will take care of the necessary assessment and testing so that you will gain compliance.   

Author Bio: Sarah Miller is a business consultant and a content creator. She writes articles about business management, business improvement, sales and profits, marketing and other topics about the business industry. She shares this resource https://stickman.com.au/blog/ for your business data or information security.

Image: Purple Slog, "Information Security Wordle: PCI Data Security Standard 1.2 "; CC BY 2.0