Investing time and money into a company’s information management security is considered vital by businesses worldwide. The cost of cybercrime is set to hit $8 trillion in 2023, which signifies a horrifying financial prospect for everyone.

ISO certifications offer organisations of all sizes and varying sectors a way to operate safely. An ISO certification aims to ‘develop, maintain, and place quality management system guidelines at the centre of an organisation’s way of doing business’. ISO 27001 is one of the most popular compliance certifications and one we support many companies with.

ISO certifications tend to cost more than other options available on the market, but we can assure you that the value quickly becomes apparent for compliant companies. Keep reading to find out how much ISO 27001 audits cost and to understand why this certification is a brilliant tool in the rocky world of cyber security we all find ourselves trying to navigate.

What Is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 (Information Security) is a certificate of compliance covering Information Security Management.

This popular compliance method focuses on all aspects of cyber security but expands on the areas covered further to consider people, processes, and technology. With more of a focus on assets, ISO 27001 is a popular choice regarding data management. Due to its requirements of being configured within a business’s information management infrastructure, it offers a way to highlight problems, make decisions, and implement resolutions without risk being enhanced.

Businesses with this accreditation can work more confidently by promoting a constant awareness of Information Security Management Systems. The parameters are also ideal for hybrid working companies, which are more likely to experience data violations due to various networks that could be used. 

We often get asked if a company needs Cyber Essentials if they are ISO 27001 certified. The short answer is no, but it doesn’t hurt to have both. The main benefit of ISO 27001 is that it covers people, processes, and systems by implementing a clear structure everyone must follow. By covering all areas of information security, ISO 27001 can mitigate risk and save money in the long run.

To find out more about what ISO 27001 covers, click here.

What Is Assessed During An ISO 27001 Audit?

Firstly, it is important to mention that ISO 27001 comprises two different types of audits: internal and external.

An internal audit is carried out by the appointed ISO assessors internally and is required as a way to keep documentation up-to-date. ISO certifications are only continually effective if the processes are tested. Companies can also bring in their external suppliers to conduct the audits if they don’t have any internal resources. This is especially important regarding the 27001 certification, as information breaches are one of the main forms of cyber threats worldwide. The internal audit aims to ensure that processes are still working, the people are knowledgeable, the infrastructure is still relevant to current business needs, and there are no gaps for malicious activity to creep in.

An external audit is the name given to the official process of either becoming ISO 27001 or maintaining the award once received. During these audits, each ISO chapter is checked against company operations to ensure compliance is maintained. Internal audits will also be reviewed at this time.

The external auditor’s main purpose is to ensure that the dictated standards are being met. This also includes ensuring all processes and policies are sustainable and practical for extended periods of use. Audits may include an assessment of documents and operations or a test to assess how well the processes work.

Auditing this way is another difference between ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials, as the latter only requires internal assessments.

How Can I Prepare For An ISO 27001 Audit?

Below is our list of the best ways to prepare for an ISO 27001 audit, whether it is internal or external. The key to this compliance measure is always to be prepared, which should be easy to achieve if your policies and processes are effective.

  1. Carry out a gap analysis.

Whether you are applying for ISO 27001 for the first time or undertaking a standard audit once you have certification, a gap analysis is also essential to consider. This is because a gap analysis will highlight any areas posing risks or issues

When carried out in light of the ISO requirements, it provides a clear list of priorities for a business to focus on to get to where it needs to be.

  1. Get employees included.

One of the key components of any ISO certification is people. 

Your employees must always work to the ISO standards, which require informative training and published practices. Not only does this mean that the right procedures are more likely to be followed during audits, but it also means there are more eyes on the overall strategy, allowing for better risk management.

  1. Appoint an auditor and internal experts.

You should also decide who the external and internal auditors are early on to ensure everyone is aligned on what needs to be achieved. 

This requires additional training and know-how for internal experts, so that time must be factored into the wider processes.

  1. Ensure documentation is in order.

Every document trail must align with the ISO processes, so ensuring correct content is paramount to success. This includes information from other audits, company records, employee content, and policies.

  1. Work with a professional.

One of the top pieces of advice is to hire an IT expert to manage your business’s process. At Creative Networks, we offer a full ISO 27001 service, which includes helping companies get ready for external audits and internal audits.

What Is The Cost Of An ISO 27001 Audit?

The cost of an ISO certification audit depends on the company’s size. The estimated fees range from £6,250 for 1 employee to £33,750 for 6800 people. 

Factors such as the length of audit time and the amount of information available will impact this, which is why it’s always best to be prepared. These prices will remain standard across the industry, but it is always worth gaining quotes from a few external auditors to ensure you get the best value.

The cost is also commonly split across two phases: Precertification phase one and two. The cost will again be higher for companies that require these to take place on different days. The best way to keep costs down is to find an affordable way to manage internal audits so that when the time comes for external assessment, it can be complemented as efficiently as possible. 

What Are The Benefits Of ISO 27001?

Here are a few of the reasons why ISO 27001 is required by companies who want to improve performance.

Improved Brand Image

Organisations that are ISO 27001 compliant send a clear message to all stakeholders and competitors that they are professional and focused on operating safety. This improves competitiveness and legitimacy, which is sometimes hard to achieve in saturated markets.

As it is also recognised worldwide, these benefits are available in any region the company operates in. 

Minimise Security Threats

The best way to tackle cyber breaches is to be prepared. Implementing these ISO processes means many issues can be tackled before they can lead to major disruption.

Reduce Human Errors

95% of security breaches result from human error. ISO 27001 ensures that people are educated and processes are succinct to eliminate this issue. This also improves company culture as employees feel empowered to work confidently with stakeholders and across various markets.

Does your business require support preparing for an ISO 27001 audit? The best time to start preparing is right now. To find out how we could help you, or to learn about our other ISO services and support packages, contact our team.

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