Organizations of various sizes face security risks and consequences if they do not secure their information assets. World's largest companies including Marriott International (2018), Equifax (2017), Yahoo (2013-2014), Target (2013) and Capital One (2019) became victims of data breaches, and cost them millions of dollars in losses including reputational damages.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is an international standard for information security management systems (ISMS) that provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an organization's information security management practices. The standard was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
The purpose of ISO 27001 is to help organizations protect their confidential, sensitive, and valuable information assets. The standard provides a systematic approach to managing information security risks by establishing policies, procedures, and controls to address the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.
The ISO 27001 standard requires organizations to undergo a formal risk assessment process to identify potential threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to their information assets. Based on the risk assessment, the organization must develop and implement a comprehensive set of security controls to mitigate the identified risks.
The standard also requires organizations to continually monitor and improve their information security management system. This involves regular reviews of security policies, procedures, and controls to ensure they remain effective and relevant to the organization's changing business needs and security threats.
Why do you need ISO 27001 certification?
ISO 27001 certification is a third-party validation of an organization's information security management system. It demonstrates that the organization has implemented a comprehensive set of security controls and is committed to continuously improving its information security practices. Organizations that are certified to ISO 27001 can also use the certification to demonstrate their commitment to information security to customers, stakeholders, and regulatory authorities.
Organizations may choose to seek ISO 27001 certification for a variety of reasons, including
- Regulatory compliance: Many industries and jurisdictions have specific regulations and requirements for information security. ISO 27001 certification can help organizations demonstrate compliance with these regulations and avoid potential penalties and fines.
- Competitive advantage: ISO 27001 certification can provide a competitive advantage by demonstrating to customers and stakeholders that the organization has implemented a comprehensive set of security controls and is committed to protecting its confidential information.
- Improved risk management: ISO 27001 certification requires organizations to undergo a formal risk assessment process and implement comprehensive security controls. This can help organizations identify and mitigate potential security risks and improve their overall risk management practices.
- Increased customer confidence: ISO 27001 certification can increase customer confidence by demonstrating that the organization has implemented effective information security practices and is committed to protecting its confidential information.
- Improved business relationships: ISO 27001 certification can help improve business relationships with customers, partners, and other stakeholders by demonstrating a commitment to information security and a willingness to meet their security requirements.
What are the consequences of not complying with ISO 27001?
There are several potential risks and consequences that organizations may face if they fail to comply with the standard. Here are a few examples:
Data breaches: Organizations that do not implement appropriate information security measures may be at a higher risk of data breaches, which can result in significant financial and reputational damage. According to the Ponemon Institute's 2020 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. You may use our data breach check tool to see if your email has been involved in a data breach.
Regulatory fines: Many industries and jurisdictions have specific regulations and requirements for information security. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines and penalties. For example, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can impose fines of up to €20 million or 4% of a company's global annual revenue, whichever is higher.
Legal liability: Organizations that fail to protect sensitive or confidential information may be held liable for any damages or losses resulting from a data breach. This can result in costly lawsuits and settlements.
Reputational damage: Data breaches and other information security incidents can damage an organization's reputation, resulting in lost business and revenue. A study by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of lost business due to a data breach was $1.52 million in 2020.
Securing information assets of an organization is critical in both safeguarding its data and also prevent intruders from breaching its information system.
By complying and certifying with ISO 27001 can provide numerous benefits for organizations, including improved security practices, increased customer confidence, and a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
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