What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is an information security standard, part of the ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards, of which the last version was published in 2013, with a few minor updates since then. It is published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) under the joint ISO and IEC subcommittee, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 27.
ISO 27001 is the internationally recognised specification for an Information Security Management System (ISMS), and it is one of the most popular standards for information security. The most recent version of the standard is ISO / IEC 27001 and implements improvements made in 2017 as well.
ISO/IEC 27001 specifies a management system that is intended to bring information security under management control and gives specific requirements. Organizations that meet the requirements may be certified by an accredited certification body following successful completion of an audit.
When it comes to keeping information assets secure, organizations can rely on the ISO/IEC 27000 family. ISO/IEC 27001 is widely known, providing requirements for an information security management system (ISMS), though there are more than a dozen standards in the ISO/IEC 27000 family. Using them enables organizations of any kind to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted by third parties.
According to its documentation, ISO 27001 was developed to “provide a model for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving an information security management system.”
ISO 27001 uses a topdown, risk-based approach and is technology-neutral. The specification defines a six-part planning process:
- Define a security policy.
- Define the scope of the ISMS.
- Conduct a risk assessment.
- Manage identified risks.
- Select control objectives and controls to be implemented.
- Prepare a statement of applicability.
The specification includes details for documentation, management responsibility, internal audits, continual improvement, and corrective and preventive action. The standard requires cooperation among all sections of an organisation.
The 27001 standard does not mandate specific information security controls, but it provides a checklist of controls that should be considered in the accompanying code of practice, ISO/IEC 27002. This second standard describes a comprehensive set of information security control objectives and a set of generally accepted good practice security controls.
ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 controls
- A.5 Information security policies
- A.6 Organisation of information security
- A.7 Human resource security
- A.8 Asset management
- A.9 Access control
- A.10 Cryptography
- A.11 Physical and environmental security
- A.12 Operations security
- A.13 Communications security
- A.14 System acquisition, development and maintenance
- A.15 Supplier relationships
- A.16 Information security incident management
- A.17 Information security aspects of business continuity management
- A.18 Compliance
Organisations are required to apply these controls appropriately in line with their specific risks. Third-party accredited certification is recommended for ISO 27001 conformance.
What is an ISMS?
An ISMS is a holistic approach to securing the confidentiality, integrity and availability of corporate information assets.
It consists of policies, procedures and other controls involving people, processes and technology.
Informed by regular information security risk assessments, an ISMS is an efficient, cost-effective approach to keeping your information assets secure.