What is ISO 27001 Compliance?

ISO 27000 is a collection of standards designed to provide guidance to organizations looking to implement strong cybersecurity. ISO/IEC 27001:2013 is the most well-known of these, providing companies with guidance on developing an information security management system (ISMS).

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What is ISO 27001 Compliance?

Why Does ISO 27001 Compliance Matter?

While ISO 27001 compliance is not mandatory for any organization, companies may choose to achieve and maintain ISO 27001 compliance to demonstrate that they have implemented the necessary security controls and processes to protect their systems and the sensitive data in their possession.

Achieving ISO 27001 compliance is important as a differentiator in the marketplace and as a foundation for complying with other mandatory requirements and standards. An organization with ISO 27001 compliance is likely more secure than one without it, and the standard provides a solid framework for building many of the security controls required by other regulations.

ISO 27001 Compliance Standards

The primary goal of the ISO 27001 regulation is to guide organizations into creating, implementing, and enforcing an ISMS. This ISMS describes the controls, processes, and procedures that the company has put in place to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data in its possession.

To achieve ISO 27001 compliance, an organization must also document the steps that were taken in the process of developing the ISMS. Key documentation includes:

  • ISMS Scope
  • Information Security Policy
  • Information Security Risk Assessment Process and Plan
  • Information Security Objectives
  • Evidence of Competence of People Working in Information Security
  • Results of the Information Security Risk Assessment and Treatment
  • ISMS Internal Audit Program and Results of Audits Conducted
  • Evidence of Leadership Reviews of the ISMS
  • Evidence of Nonconformities Identified and Corrective Action Results

What are the ISO 27001 Audit Controls?

ISO 27001 defines a set of audit controls that must be included within a compliant ISMS. These include:

  1. Information Security Policies: This control describes how security policies should be documented and reviewed as part of the ISMS.
  2. Organization of Information Security: Role responsibilities are an important part of an ISMS. This control breaks down security responsibilities across the organization, ensuring that there is clear responsibility for each task.
  3. Human Resource Security: This control addresses how employees are trained on cybersecurity when starting and ending roles within an organization, including onboarding, offboarding, and changes in positions.
  4. Asset Management: Data security is a primary concern of ISO 27001. This control focuses on managing access to and security of assets that impact data security, including hardware, software, and databases.
  5. Access Control: This control discusses how an organization manages access to data to protect against unauthorized access to sensitive or valuable data.
  6. Cryptography: Encryption is one of the most powerful tools for data protection. Companies should implement data encryption whenever possible using strong cryptographic algorithms.
  7. Physical and Environmental Security: Physical access to systems can undermine digital security controls. This control focuses on securing buildings and equipment within an organization.
  8. Operations Security: Operations security focuses on how the organization processes and manages data. The organization should have visibility into and control over data flows within its IT environment.
  9. Communications Security: Communication systems used by an organization (email, videoconferencing, etc.) should encrypt data in transit and have strong access controls in place.
  10. System Acquisition, Development and Maintenance: This control focuses on ensuring that new systems introduced into an organization’s environment do not endanger enterprise security and that existing systems are maintained in a secure state.
  11. Supplier Relationships: Third-party relationships create the potential for supply chain attacks. An ISMS should include controls for tracking relationships and managing third-party risk.
  12. Information Security Incident Management: The company should have processes in place to detect and manage security incidents.
  13. Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management: In addition to security incidents, the company should be prepared to manage other events (such as fires, power outages, etc.) that could negatively impact security.
  14. Compliance: As part of ISO 27001 compliance, the organization should be able to demonstrate full compliance with other mandatory regulations that the organization is subject to.

How to Become ISO 27001 Certified

ISO 27001 certification requires annual audits by an accredited ISO 27001 certification body. Before undergoing a third-party audit, an organization should perform an internal audit to measure its compliance with ISO 27001 regulations and develop an ISMS in accordance with the standard. Once the necessary documentation has been generated and the required security controls are in place, the company is prepared to engage a third-party auditor.

Reach ISO 27001 Compliance with Check Point

ISO 27001 compliance requires an organization to have deep visibility into its IT infrastructure and security operations. The company needs to be able to demonstrate an ability to map and monitor data flows within its environment and that it has the appropriate security controls in place to protect its data.

Check Point solutions can help companies looking to achieve ISO 27001 compliance in their on-prem and cloud-based environments. With built-in compliance support, organizations can rapidly identify compliance gaps and generate required documentation. Learn more about achieving compliance in the cloud with a free demo of Check Point CloudGuard.

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