This article explains the three crucial pillars of successful information security management in businesses. Ensuring these pillars help you to make your information security management eligible for the ISO 27001 standard.

Most organizations think that an information security management approach is viable only with the adoption of technology. No doubt, technology plays an integral role in the implementation of a strong ISMS (Information Security Management System) but is not everything needed to protect from modern cybersecurity threats. Instead, there are two other essential aspects based on which the ISMS is formed: people and processes. All three pillars are not only necessary for the effective implementation of an ISMS, but also to make it eligible for the ISO 27001 certification, the internationally acclaimed accreditation for information security.

The next section of this article explains the key pillars of an ISMS in detail and how ensuring all of them helps organizations to tighten their information security organization-wide.


One of the three pillars of establishing a successful ISMS is managing people. This helps in making sure that everyone in the organization is responsible for securing the information, no matter where it is generated, processed, or used. Every member across every department of your organization should be aware of the practices and policies that help in preventing cyber-security threats. If members do not follow the policies or practices, they are making sensitive business information and clients’ data susceptible to intruders and attacks.

For implementing the ISMS viably and making your organization capable of getting ISO 27001 certified, provide training to staff. Through the training sessions, help them understand the importance of ISMS and then update them on the latest controls, methods, and technologies that are to be used for preventing the continuously evolving information and cyber security threats.

People, here in the context of information security management, does not only include the staff or employees. They also include the clients and stakeholders (suppliers, third-parties and investors) who share their personal details including financial credentials to buy from you or negotiate with you. Hence, the ISMS implemented should also take care of the clients’ and stakeholders’ confidentiality.


Processes in a business imply all the activities related to the purchase, production, and distribution of its products and services. All of the processes involve the use of people, resources, and also information. When information at any stage/activity is leaked or lost, it can affect the progress of the subsequent stages. Thus, the entire operation of your business can be disrupted due to any information security failure anywhere. It is therefore essential to make sure that the ISMS covers each process of your business. Either a process uses some information or it generates some new information which is to be used later for other purposes in the business.

An ISMS should be able to promote security practices, accordingly, depending on the type of information each process deals with. Of course, the staff working at each process must know their specific security practices and follow them. Since securing information across all processes is so crucial, you should periodically review all the processes to discover any fresh or evolving threats anywhere.


The first two pillars help in instituting the third pillar, technology, for your organization. After evaluating all your processes and recognizing the people’s roles in information security, it is time to implement appropriate technologies for security. You need to first identify the threats that each process or people face, and then decide the most effective controls to prevent them.

Risk assessment is perhaps the most imperative step needed to establish the technological base of your ISMS. With accurate assessment and an affirmative understanding of the risks, you can best determine the technological defenses or IT practices needed to prevent the risks.

Key Takeaway

The international certification for information security management, i.e., ISO 27001 certification is necessary today for every organization to ensure their cybersecurity and data confidentiality. The ISO standard defines the best practices for ISMS and all of them are based on these three foundation stones. By implementing an ISMS that incorporates all these three aspects, you can be completely assured that information and cyber security is achieved in your organization.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is the owner of a professional ISO consultancy that provides guidance and advisory to organizations in various fields to get ISO certifications including ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 certification, and many more. He is an expert ISO 27001 consultant who likes to share his knowledge on ISMS implementation and addressing of ISO compliance with his write-ups.

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