Becoming ISO 27001 certified is a wise decision if you want to add a formal layer of protection to your cyber security network.

ISO 27001 offers a holistic approach to information security, ideal for companies of all sizes as it considers people, processes, and policies. These three business-critical factors can protect a company from malicious activity when aligned. With 26% of medium companies and 37% of large businesses having experienced a cyber breach in the past 12 months, there is no time to start planning for ISO compliance.

To find out how long you can expect the process of ISO 27001 certification to take, keep reading. 

What Are the Positives of Becoming ISO 27001 Certified?

ISO 27001 is a brilliant compliance accreditation to possess as it sets companies apart from the rest. As well as being a popular choice regarding data management and reducing cyber security spending, it has the power to unite all departments with succinct policies that protect all assets.

Click the link to learn more about what ISO 27001 is.

To consider the positives, it’s important to look at why ISO 27001 is required as that provides a clear view of the benefits and what having this certification offers. These consist of the following:

Protect Against Security Threats

By encouraging processes that identify, analyse, and resolve problems, companies can work more confidently within digital landscapes. Including policies and ongoing auditing encourages businesses to stay current with the latest risks. Cyber threats are constantly evolving, but ISO put a firm stop to their malicious activity.

Improved Brand Image

All stakeholders will look at ISO 27001 accredited companies as a wise business to align with as safety is ensured. It is also relevant across the world, having seen a global growth rate of 20%. Being associated with ISO certifications and standards is also a huge deterrent for cyber criminals as they will possibly shy away from trying to interact with these cyber-aware businesses.

ISO 27001 shows that you are forward-thinking, security aware, willing to invest, and serious about global business.

Create Succinct Processes

As ongoing auditing is a component of the award, achieving the certification ensures that long-term protection is improved. This requires policies and processes to be in place, making business factors such as scaling and decision-making easier. A defined IT infrastructure and a company-wide one means that teams can collaborate seamlessly. Companies can also grow and scale without issues, making ISO 27001 ideal for already established businesses or those just starting.

The inclusion of people into the processes is one of the reasons that some people think ISO 27001 is better than Cyber Essentials Plus. We will let you form your own conclusion for that, but we can confirm that ISO 27001 touches on every part of a business, which is a brilliant way to reduce risk.

What Does the ISO Certification Process Consist Of?


Now, let’s hop into why you are here; how long will you need to spare to obtain ISO 27001? Becoming ISO certified is not a short task for many, so you must factor the time and cost elements into your application planning processes. Click here to learn how much an ISO 27001 certification costs.

Factors such as business size, current information management systems, staff awareness, and product or service will all impact what the application process looks like meaning there is no hard and fast timeframe we can offer you. However, below we have included the steps you will need to consider along with the estimated time we recommend spending on each stage to give you an idea of what needs to be factored in.

  1. Audit Preparation and Planning

Defining the scope of the ISO needs is essential and can be performed via a professional gap analysis. The best way to tackle the challenge is by appointing a team of ISO IT experts, such as our own professionals, who can guide you through the entire process. 

ISO 27001 consists of multiple elements that must be in place during auditing. That said, not all of the considerations are relevant to every business, so it is down to the company to assess what ISO 27001 looks like for them. 

Alongside defining this, the policies, controls, and processes must all be created, tested and implemented at this stage. The audit process assesses whether or not the policies in place are fit for purpose, protecting the company while protecting information security. All associated documentation will need to be provided during the ISO audit process, so not having this in place means you stand little chance of becoming accredited.

Time expected: 1 – 5 months depending on existing structures and knowledge that the team possess.

  1. Stage One Audit

Are you ready for the first stage of the ISO audit? Brilliant! Now is the time to apply for a full ISMS documentation review with an accredited auditor. 

ISO does not offer these services directly as the regulatory body, but we can advise you of many brilliant companies around. During this phase, all documents and processes that are associated with them are assessed. If there are any problems, you will be given structure feedback and a chance to repeat the initial audit.

Time expected: The audit should take 1 day to a week but ensure you have this pre-booked to avoid disappointment of further delays.

  1. Stage Two Audit

Once stage one is passed, companies undergo a full control and process audit in accordance with Annex A requirements. The scoping exercise carried out during phase one is vital at this point as sufficient alignment and robust policies are the only way you will pass this audit.

The assessor will again provide full feedback during the phase and internal teams will be given the chance to adjust some monitor elements as long as they are reflected within policies.

Time expected: 1 – 3 months depending on the robustness of policies and the maturity of the policies being assessed.

What Other ISO Dates Need To Be Considered?

Being awarded ISO 27001 status is just the start of the work, as companies must then undergo continual audits to ensure everything is working as it should be. This is mostly down to the business to plan, but there may be times when ISO asks for intermediate audits to take place, which will determine the schedule.

ISO also then required an annual surveillance audit at the end of years one and two. This should be straightforward as long as processes have been maintained, but it will require additional work if some elements have fallen out of sync with current business needs.

ISO 27001 certifications are valid for three years, so at the end of this period, the main audit that was initially carried out will again be repeated. Once passed, a company is then approved as an official ISO 27001 holder for another three years. 

How Can Creative Marketing Help With ISO 27001?

Do you feel more clued up on the timeframe you should expect to implement when trying to become ISO 27001 accredited?

The beauty of this compliance standard is that it leaves no stone unturned. While this takes companies more time to achieve than most other certifications, it does offer a much more developed approach to protection, which provides genuine protection.

The Creative Networks team offer a complete ISO 27001 service ranging from initial gap analysis to process implementation that must meet strict ISO standards. To learn more about how we can support your business, please contact us today. If ISO is in the pipeline, there is no better time than the present to start transforming company operations to be compliant. 


Did you find this article helpful? You may also like the following reads:

  1. Do I Need Cyber Essentials If I Have ISO 27001?
  2. What Is The Difference Between ISO 27001 And Cyber Essentials?
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