This article explains the vital aspects that a business be aware of to prepare for the ISO 27001 certification and finally achieve it.

Organisations that have decided to get the ISO 27001 certification to ensure their clients’ confidentially and keep growing their customer base need to first know about the certification process. If you do not know how to get started, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most enterprises are unclear about how to begin. Organisations may have may questions so getting answers to those can help them understand the process.

How long does the certification process take? What are the changes required in their information security? How they can maintain compliance with the ISO 27001 in the long run? These are some obvious questions that make enterprise owners worried about achieving the certification.

Here are all the key questions and facts on the ISO 27001 certification that you and any organisations need to know before working towards the certification.

Why Get Certified with ISO 27001?

Organisations that have decided to get certified must know the purpose behind it. The ISO 27001 standard is used to make their information security management system (ISMS) strong enough to protect their clients’ data and manage all stakeholders’ information safely. It is required to strengthen an organisation’s data security and uphold its privacy and integrity. It also subsequently can help them in winning more business as it improves their corporate reputation.

How to Get Certified?

The first step to get this certification or any other certification is contacting a recognised and accredited certification body. They are not just going to assess your ISMS and check its ISO compliance to grant the certification but can also provide useful guidance. They can give recommendations on resolving the weaknesses of your ISMS, help with documentations, and provide different tools to improve your ISMS.

How Much Time is Needed for ISO Achieving 27001 Certification?

The time needed for attaining the certification mostly depends on the size of the organisation, its processes, and most importantly, its information security needs. Usually, it is between 3 months to 6 months.

The entire process of certification becomes a lot easier when there are some appointed representatives or consultants who take the responsibilities of preparing your ISMS for the certification compliance. They can start with preparation much earlier such as assessing the organisation’s current information security framework and finding the loopholes. They can also figure out a plan for the implementation of your ISMS by deciding the resources needed and settling milestones of the process.

The more comprehensive your preparation is, the less time required to get certified.

What to Do with the Existing Information Security Framework?

For getting the ISO 27001 certification, organisations need to improve their existing information security framework. Sometimes, there can be minimal changes needed to transition your existing framework to an ISO 27001 compliant ISMS or there may be a lot of improvements required. It can be easily determined by thorough risk assessments of your present information security systems as it would help in identifying which practices or procedures should be updated or replaced.

How Assessment of Organisation’s Information Security Takes Place?

This is related to the previous query. Organisations have no or little clue about the assessment process before certification which is to be conducted by ISO 27001 auditors or officials from the certification body. The assessment takes place through two stages.

In the first stage, they are going to look for weaknesses or gaps in your current information security approach. They recommend ways to resolve or address those identified issues and get a comprehensive ISMS implemented. They then follow up in a certain time to ensure that the improvements have been made.

In the second stage, the certification body is going to assess the ISMS for ISO compliance. They check whether every requirement or clause of the ISO 27001 standard is met by your ISMS. On being assured of that, your organisation will receive the certification.

Is the Need for Any Further Assessments after Certification?

There is a definite need for assessments or what is termed as surveillance audits, regularly after getting your organisation certified. The key to maintaining information security is continuous improvement. On a periodic basis, appoint expert auditors to assess your ISMS and ensure that all security practices are effective at protecting your valuable information assets. If any inconsistencies are found in the assessments, you can take immediate actions to correct them.

Key Takeaway

No doubt, information security is one of the crucial management aspects of businesses and so achieving this certification assists in the growth and performance of a company.

However, these are some of the most common yet worrisome questions that can cause enterprise owners to be hesitant to pursue their ISO 27001 certification. An easy solution is to have a team of consultants who can guide and support you through the whole process.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is an expert ISO certification consultant and owner of an ISO consultancy in Australia that assists organisations in crucial management certifications including the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001 and ISO 27001 certification. He writes blogs on regular basis on various certifications to help out businesses.

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