Most people know that ISO equals quality and professionalism. Obtaining any of the awards is a brilliant way for companies to be more accountable; the popularity of ISO 27001 has continued to grow in recent years. ISO 27001 has seen a rise of 24.7% worldwide since 2020 and due to the continued development of cyber security threats, this figure will continue to increase.

How to become ISO 27001 certified is a topic we commonly get asked about at Creative Networks, which is why we wanted to explore the process that it takes to achieve the award in this article. With support needed from a company’s people and alignment of processes to protect the ISMS, a succinct and dynamic approach is vital.

Keep reading to learn how you can achieve ISO 27001 efficiently.

What is The Purpose of ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 (Information Security) is a certificate of compliance covering Information Security Management. The standard creates a resilient barrier to cyber security threats by aligning people, processes, and technology. Businesses with this accreditation can work more confidently by promoting a constant awareness of Information Security Management Systems. ISO 27001 is required for ISMS of all sizes, which is another reason the certification has global notoriety.

With the purpose of ISO 27001 being to protect an ISMS via knowledge teams and the right processes, the standard requires a developed framework to be adopted by all accredited organisations. By establishing the best processes and systems for allowing data to be accessed securely, risk is minimised. This offers benefits to the entire business and also provides a clear message to stakeholders and potential hackers of just how robust the security systems are.

Another purpose of ISO 27001 is to instil confidence within the workforce to create a healthier company culture. As many as 90% of security breaches can be attributed to human error. With employees being aware of the risks and pressures put on them, giving them the tools needed to operate safely, even in big business changes, will make a difference.

What Controls and Requirements Must Be Achieved For ISO 27001?

What Controls and Requirements Must Be Achieved For ISO 27001?

Before we jump into our list of steps essential for obtaining ISO 27001, it’s also important to consider the expectations that must be satisfied. They form the core understanding and framework remits, so without integrating them into every inch of a company’s operations, it will be hard to achieve this accreditation.

When we get asked about the ISO 27001 standards, we break it down into two areas: controls and requirements.

Let’s start with how many controls are in ISO 27001. The award consists of 114 controls, of which seven are deemed as requirements to adopt for being formally awarded a compliance certificate. These are broken down into different categories to enable companies to work through all the elements simultaneously. When talking about how many requirements there are in ISO 27001, we refer to the seven core values obtained from the controls that must be satisfied by every company. They are unique as the rest of the controls can be tailored to suit a business’s needs, but these are compulsory.

The seven requirements are as follows:

  1. A Defined ISMS Project Scope
  2. Commitment from Leadership
  3. Defined Security Objectives
  4. Resource Planning
  5. Operations and Strategy Published Procedures
  6. Performance Measurement Outlines
  7. Nonconformity Management Process

Essential Steps For Achieving ISO 27001

Now you are more clued up on some of the background information, let’s chat about how to implement ISO 27001. For the purpose of this blog, we have broken down the steps for achieving the award into four categories. These cover the main processes you must go through and will end up looking different for every business.

Preparation Phase

Have you ever heard the saying that a failure to prepare is preparing to fail? Well, we think that couldn’t be more true regarding ISO 27001! The level of detail essential to this phase is one of the reasons that ISO 27001 is the most popular information security standard on the market.

During this stage, you must develop a deep understanding of what ISO 27001 is and decide who will manage the process within the business. This is why we shared the previous information in this article, as passing the award requires deep understanding and alignment. At this stage, a business should also establish what the scope and context look like for them. This includes understanding where things are and where they need to be. A gap analysis is the best way to achieve this.

Preparing also means getting vested interest gained from all stakeholders. When planning the context, internal and external influences are accounted for, which showcases why shared understanding is paramount to success.

Establish and Test Frameworks

The next stage for achieving ISO 27001 involves using the findings from phase one to establish the right framework. To do this, a full risk assessment should be conducted with the findings being aligned to the gap analysis outcome.

Once all data is available, a management framework and associated controls can be configured. As with any new processes, these will need to be tested and amended where needed to ensure proper protection of the ISMS.

Training, People and Processes

Once the framework is finalised, all details must be formalised in process documents. During ISO audits, these will be referred to, so everything must be up to date.

Staff awareness is essential for workplace success and applies to ISMS protection. ISO 27001 defines staff awareness as a key success factor, so training is essential for successful companies to consider.

The process element of this stage is also important. All documentation should be tested and reviewed through the ‘real life’ testing that training and staff involvement provides. All documentation must adhere to the ISO controls and be in a suitable format for audit purposes.

Official Audits and Application

The last stage of becoming ISO 27001 accredited is formally applying. Even though the costs to implement ISO 27001 will already be incurred, you will need to pay for the certification.

An internal review must be completed as the first stage, representing internal adherence to the ISO standard. The next phase is a two-stage external audit. Stage one will review all documents and framework policies to assess their suitability. The results of the internal audits and training will be included here.

Stage two is the registration audit, in which the external awarding body will conduct a thorough assessment of the framework concerning ISO 27001 adherence.

How Long Does It Take To Obtain ISO 27001?

How Long Does It Take To Obtain ISO 27001?

When combining all of these stages, you will gain an idea of how long it takes to implement ISO 27001 and achieve accreditation for your business. The process can take between 6 – 12 months, but this will be impacted by factors such as the following:

  • Initial state of the ISMS framework and changes needed to reach ISO standard.
  • Number of team members working on the project and access to knowledge. This is one of the reasons that many companies choose our ISO 27001 services, as it allows an injection of knowledge without having to hire additional staff members.
  • The level of detail obtained from tasks such as the gap analysis also impacts. By getting the right level of understanding, you can progress in other phases more quickly and confidently.
  • Your sector will also have an impact. If you are at more risk of cyber attacks, the process can be more complex but still completely possible.

Even though it can take a few months for complies to become compliant. The benefits are plentiful. As well as checking if a company is ISO 27001 certified, other advantages include improved brand image and reduced risk spending.

To learn more about our services and to plan an efficient approach to becoming ISO 27001 compliant,, contact us today.

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