ISO 27001 Certification Standards and Audit Controls

The International Organization for Standardization, the organisation that is more commonly known as ISO, is a global organisation that sets standards on the quality of a variety of products. With the advent of the internet and digital technology, there is more emphasis on standardising these disciplines strictly by ISO. The ISO 27001 certification is hence devised to provide a framework to its information security management system (ISMS) and assess the information security of an organisation. It includes a checklist to verify how the data is processed, controlled, and used and all the policies that are used to mandate it.

Standards Required to Obtain an ISO 27001 Certification

For a company to receive a certification from ISO, it requires the involvement of both internal and external company stakeholders. It could take a few years to obtain it as it is not a simple checklist that is cross off for approval. Before applying for certification, the organization must ensure that its ISMS is fully equipped with its controls and covers all the risk factors in its technology. ISO 27001 certification standards are broken and arranged into 12 sections as stated below.

1.     Introduction describing the definition of information security of the company and why it should manage its risks.

2.     Scope covering the top requirements for an ISMS in organizations.

3.     Normative references explaining the relationship and differences between ISO 27000 and ISO 27001.

4.     Definitions and terms defining the complex terms used in the ISO standard.

5.     Involvement of the organisation describing which stakeholders must be involved in the maintenance and decisions of the ISMS.

6.     Leadership, explaining how the management and the heads within the organisation must commit themselves to the policies of ISMS.

7.     Planning covering the risk management plans.

8.     Support describing the responsibilities and methods to raise awareness about IS.

9.     Operation explaining how the execution of the audit standards must be managed and documented.

10.  Performance evaluation providing guidelines to measure and monitor the ISMS performance.

11.  Improvements on how the ISMS can update and continue to develop.

12.  Reference control objectives that provide an extension explaining all the elements of the audit.

ISO 27001 Audit Controls

Audit controls refer to the list of controls that the certification audits document during compliance checks. This is broken down into 14 controls which are stated below.

1.     Access Control– explaining the access privileges inside the organisation and its maintenance.

2.     Asset Management- informing about how the ISMS keeps track of the databases, software, and hardware.

3.     Communications Security– indicates the security among communication networks within and outside the organisation including emails and conference calls.

4.     Compliance– indicates the industry orgovernment regulations relevant to the organisation.

5.     Cryptography– covers the encryption practices used in the company.

6.     Human Resource Security– defining the cybersecurity protocol during onboarding and offboarding of the employees.  

7.     Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management– covers the steps taken to handle business disruptions.

8.     Information Security Incident Management- demonstrates the protocols taken to manage security breaches and abnormal incidents.

9.     Information Security Policies– which are documented and reviewed periodically.

10.  Operations Security– provides guidance on data flow, collection, and storage.

11.  Organisation of Information Security– with clearly defined charts with top-priority responsibilities assigned based on roles.

12.  Physical and Environmental Security- indicates the building security details to protect the resources and the equipment.

13.  Supplier Relationships– explains the security protocols taken while interacting with third-party clients or customers.

14.  System Acquisition, Development, and Maintenance– informs the addition of any new systems to the environment and their security. 

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