More than 30,000 companies hold an ISO 27001 certificate, providing their pledge to operate with secure and safe information management systems that protect all employees and assets.
Aside from the popular ISO 27001 award, ISO certifications prove that a business abides by the well-regarded and accredited ISO standards, representing that it is a great option for people to work with.
For these reasons, and the fact that digital security remains of paramount importance to organisations worldwide, many businesses now look at ISO 27001 as a must-have when choosing to start a transactional relationship. It has even come to the point that some customers are likely to look for the standard as more people understand the risks associated with data transferring and are becoming clued up on what companies can do to mitigate the risk.
If you want to know how you can check the validity of an ISO 27001 certificate and if a prospective company holds the compliance standard, keep on reading.
Why Is It Important to Check if a Company Is ISO 27001 Registered?
We recommend checking if a company is ISO 27001 certified because it means your business is put as much less risk and exposure if you choose to work with them. By checking out our blog about why ISO 27001 is required, you can quickly see how important this form of compliance is.
In the UK, in 2022, 480,014,323 data records were breached due to security incidents. This represents a huge issue that only proper compliance and IT management maturity can rectify, which is why many look at ISO 27001 as a viable solution to the problem.
We often get asked how this certification compares to others, in particular if ISO 27001 is better than Cyber Essentials. This is a tricky question to answer with a yes or no, as the reality is that both forms of compliance check slightly different things. We can confirm, though, that ISO 27001 focuses directly on information management systems which directly relate to areas often subject to malicious security attacks.
It is therefore important to assess the companies that you will be working with as it shows you the following:
- Does the business have existing processes that are robust and able to provide ample protection for data sharing?
- Is information management security essential to the business, or have they not recently bothered investing in the area?
- Does compliance protect all areas of the business, or are there likely to be gaps in the infrastructure?
- How educated are all stakeholders on the importance of information security protection, and what level of service can I expect to receive?
To give you more insights into why this compliance measure is so important, click here to find out what ISO 27001 covers.
What Methods Are Available for Checking if a Company Holds a Valid ISO 27001 Certificate?
Now that you understand why assessing certification status is important, let us share with you how you can do that. These standard methods mean that no business should be confused by the request or unable to fulfil it.
Firstly, you should always ask for a copy of the certification itself which should include the following information:
- Company name and address as the ISO certification should be registered to one person and place.
- Certification bodies such as ISO do not directly make awards to a third-party company that would have had to assess.
- A unique registration number is also confirmed by a validity date on the document.
- State of Applicability (SOA) should also be included, confirming which controls and annex points were chosen and applied in this case.
Once this information is obtained, you can conduct the follow to assess the validity:
- Look into the certification body to ensure they are legitimate and verified to assess ISO awards.
The award body should be listed on the IAF (International Accreditation Forum) website as an officially registered provider of ISO certifications. Only companies that demonstrate a superior level of compliance themselves, and have the tools to test others, are capable of reaching this level of accreditation.
- Contact the certification body directly, if you wish, for extra confirmation of the award.
In some cases, you will be able to get in touch with the awarding body directly to ensure all of the information you have received is checked out. Due to confidentiality, this is not always possible but if a business has nothing to hide, chances are they will have no problem with you taking this step.
What Information Should You Check for on an ISO 27001 Certificate?
One of the main things that is important to understand is the scope of the certificate. ISO 27001 has 114 controls divided into 14 domains or annexes. A business does not have to satisfy each of these to become compliant. Instead, it shows that their overall systems and processes do not pose any risk to information security through a portfolio of robust measures.
This means you should always check the scope of the prospective business’s certificate, as each company will look at different control measures as important. To do this, you should familiarise yourself with the systems and look at what is essential to have covered for your company.
We have already mentioned the certification date, but it is important to consider that if it is ending, it is worth assessing the future plans. Does the business still hold ISO 27001 processes in high regard, or are they just riding off an old certificate with no intention of paying for another compliance period?
Are There Benefits of Working With ISO 27001 Certified Companies?
A legitimately certified ISO 27001 company will offer lots of benefits of working with. Ultimately, the main reason that you want to look for this mark of excellence is that it means risk levels are lowered. We often get asked if Cyber Essential is the same as ISO 27001. When related to this question, the additional areas covered by the ISO certificate provide additional protection that benefits all involved parties.
Another core benefit is that the knowledge required to be ISO 27001 compliant represents a high level of professional working by the various business stakeholders. This means all employees are clued up on information security, leaving less room for human error.
How Can a Business Achieve ISO 27001?
Hire An Agency
While you can go it alone in preparing your systems for ISO compliance, the best way to ensure things are managed appropriately is to bring professional support. At Creative Networks, we offer this support to various clients and always find it improves success rates.
We can do it all if you want to know basic details, such as the cost of the ISO 27001 certification or need help configuring compliant processes. This also means the process can be completed much more quickly, and companies can benefit from being authenticated sooner, offering a healthier ROI.
Carry Out An Assessment And Create A Strategy
This allows a business to understand the gaps between its current processes and what to looks like to be ISO 27001 certified. During this process, all stakeholders will need to play an active role.
Once the gap analysis has been completed, a concise strategy should be formulated, which helps a company get to where it needs to be to meet the ISO standard.
Apply For Assessment
Once you are in a position to pass ISO 27001, the awarding body can visit your site and conduct the full assessment. You will then be subject to continued audits and compliance measures which would be integrated within your ongoing strategy plan.
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