June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022
We all share a unifying set of rights. The right to feel safe, the right to security, and the right to peace of mind are all rights every individual is entitled to. In today’s age, our data privacy isn’t always guaranteed. Not every company, website, or employer can be trusted with your information. They could be careless when protecting your confidential information, or, even worse, actively seeking to distribute it for personal or financial gain.
However, there are ways to independently identify trustworthy organizations; methods to feel that your data is private and secure. One such means is verifying whether an organization has the ISO 27001 certification. This article describes the ISO 27001 certification process and its importance.
The ISO 27001 is the international standard companies and organizations must follow to protect consumer and employee data. This covers everything from their full name and date of birth to their financial details, like banking information and social security numbers. It should be obvious that this information is private. Therefore, protecting said information is paramount to people’s safety and livelihoods.
ISO 27001 is an international standard on how to manage information security. It details requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). The goal is to help organizations make the information assets they hold more secure.
As described by TechTarget, ISO 27001 was formally known as ISO/IEC 27001:2005. It is a specification for an information security management system (ISMS), a framework of policies and procedures that includes all legal, physical, and technical controls involved in an organization’s information risk management processes.
An ISO 27001 certified company indicates that the organization has met the specific criteria that experts across the globe, including the USA, Europe, etc., agreed upon. These criteria are publicly available for all organizations to use as a benchmark for security measures. One cannot assume that a company that isn’t ISO 27001 qualified doesn’t meet these criteria. Companies can adhere to the criteria, but until they meet the standard’s requirements, choose to be qualified by an accredited certification body, and successfully complete an audit, they cannot claim to be certified.
ISO 27001 ensures that the maximum safe and secure company-wide practices that benefit the organization and any individual or business they work with are implemented. Information security is vital to any business that operates online in any capacity. This certification guarantees a minimum quality that far exceeds expectations or is even necessary in most cases when handling sensitive data. When doing business with an ISO 27001 qualified organization, you can feel safe knowing your data is always highly secure in all capacities.
From a business-to-business perspective, discussing data security practices and obligations is a fundamental part of collaborating. Many businesses operate in their way with their practices. This can often lead to complicated and sometimes faulty data protection practices. The ISO 27001 certification is a quick and effortless way for every party to ascertain whether the other has adequate systems to manage your information. What can sometimes take weeks of back and forth discussing whether proper precautions are taken, can now be confirmed in a matter of minutes. Are they ISO27001 qualified, or aren’t they?
Trust is a hugely important part of doing business – whether trusting your employer to have your best interests at heart and protecting your privacy or trusting that a website you purchase something from is keeping your data secure. Being ISO 27001 certified means that all parties can trust that the proper steps are taken to protect this information. And that contingencies are in place if something goes wrong. Part of the requirements for being ISO 27001 certified is establishing continuity and recovery plans. This provides peace of mind to you, your consumers, employees, partners, and anyone you do business with.
Being ISO 27001 certified facilitates collaboration with ISO-backed data processing teams and programs that protect entire organizations, from the CEO to the consumers, against fraud, cybercrime, and data theft. Having the peace of mind that dedicated teams are out there with the sole purpose of ensuring that your privacy and financial information are safe from harm is vitally important. Any organization that is ISO 27001 certified undergoes constant training to ensure they are entirely up to speed with the latest trends. People make mistakes; human error is a genuine problem in data handling. However, by ensuring the ISO team trains all staff, you can significantly reduce or eliminate human error.
But how can you trust that the ISO 27001 requirements themselves are adequate? Well, ISO hires independent auditors from around the globe to continually stress test their systems and pick apart their operating methods. ISO ensures that even the quality assurance testers are quality assurance tested! Removing the tester from the data in multiple steps removes any sense of bias or influence. Thus, any ISO 27001-certified organization has reached the absolute pinnacle of security measures.
The ISO 27001 certification is no walk in the park. Many companies believe they are ISO 27001 compliant but fail to qualify. Why? Because it is an unwavering test of the security quality. You can’t meander your way to receiving an ISO 27001 certification. You must meet all the criteria below across all levels of the organization.
This list might seem daunting, and it’s not always clear to the consumer what each criterion means. They are intentionally broad because ISO doesn’t believe that there should be a standard cookie-cutter list of requirements that all companies should adhere to. It’s not as simple as ticking a set of boxes and then boasting about qualifying for the ISO 27001 standard. Each company must undergo a unique and specific process to document, test, and plan to ensure that its business and way of operating is good enough to warrant the certification. That’s why the difference between a company that is ISO 27001 compliant and ISO 27001 qualified is essential. An organization may wholeheartedly believe they are compliant, but without the certification, this should mean nothing to the consumer or partner.
ISO auditors are responsible for guiding a company through the stages of receiving its ISO 27001 certification. They are capable of driving an organization from start to finish without prior knowledge of how ISO operates. They are also responsible for constant testing, regular staff training, and improving existing systems. Being ISO 27001 qualified isn’t a “get it and forget it” certification. It is an ongoing process. They won’t hold your hand through the process entirely; you will be required to do the leg work. But, with hard work and thorough testing, it is possible to receive ISO 27001 certification.
Not all companies display whether they are ISO 27001 certified on their website. And, even if they do, how can you be sure they are telling the truth? By checking with their registrar or accrediting organization. For example, the UK has the United Kingdom Accreditation Service that verifies the certification. Most organizations will use the official ISO stamps to display their certifications. You can look into ISO and how to verify if an entity is indeed ISO qualified on their website. And at the bottom of that page, you can see a set of example stamps, including the ISO 27001 certification.
Funifier Partner & CEO
Expert in Change Management & Engagement Solutions