What is an ISMS and why you should implement one

Certifying to ISO 27001 – the international standard that describes best practice for an information security management system (ISMS) – has many benefits. It helps you win new business, avoid the financial penalties and losses associated with data breaches, and satisfy audit requirements.

To find out how it does that, you need to know what an ISMS is and why it’s important to implement one.

What is an ISMS?

  1. A centrally managed framework for keeping an organization’s information safe.
  2. A set of policies, procedures, and technical and physical controls to protect the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of information.
  3. Applied to the entire organization or a specific area where the information it seeks to protect is segmented.
  4. Includes controls that treat technical concerns and risks related to people, processes, and technology.
  5. Based on an organization-wide risk assessment that considers internal and external risks. This means that all risks are assessed, analyzed, and evaluated against a set of predetermined criteria before risk treatments (controls) are applied. Controls are applied based on the likelihood and potential effects of the risks.
  6. A framework that helps you make appropriate decisions about risks specific to your business environment.
  7. Dependent on support and involvement from the entire organization – not just the IT department.

Why should organizations implement an ISMS?

  • Improve their resilience to cyber attacks.
  • Better manage digital and hard-copy information.
  • Help defend themselves from technology-based risks and other common threats, such as poorly informed staff and ineffective procedures.
  • Save money, with the risk assessment and analysis approach enabling them to invest resources more efficiently.
  • Continually adapt to changes both inside and outside the organization, reducing the risk of constantly evolving threats.
  • Improve organizational culture and increase the processes’ efficiency by placing information security at the heart of the business.
  • Focus on the integrity, availability, and confidentiality of data.
  • Recover from major disasters quickly, protecting the availability of information and critical business processes.
  • Make sure that the controls remain up to date and work properly by requiring continual improvement, monitoring, internal audits, and corrective actions.

More ISMS facts

You can learn more about implementing an ISMS aligned with ISO 27001 by downloading ISO 27001: The facts. This free guide explains how the Standard works, what to consider when undertaking your compliance program, and how certification can improve your organization’s security.

You can also read about implementing ISO 27001 on our website >>

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