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isms 27001
Evaluate and Adopt Information Security Management System of ISO 27001

Address the Information Security Risk Challenge

One of the essential parts of ISO 27001 compliance is IT security risk assessments, also known as IT security audits. Audits are a systematic, evidence-based, process approach undertaken internally and externally to see how risks and vulnerabilities in the company are changing over time, put controls in place to respond to them effectively, and verify the effectiveness of Information Security Management System (ISMS).

The audit process begins with identifying the scope and criteria, establishing a clear action course to achieve the outcome and create a defined output in form of audit report. Next, understanding how processes interrelate and produce results in conducting an audit can help the company to identify opportunities for improvement and thus, optimize the company’s overall performance. This also applies where processes or part of processes are outsourced. Lastly, the company needs to review the outcome of the audit and ensure the information obtained is put to good use.

Phases of Audits That Shall Be Known

Everything starts with a plan, including audits. Audit planning could be scheduled from monthly to annually depending on the scale and complexity of business operations. After determining the schedule, the frequency for conducting audits should also be considered by using risk-based thinking. It is a part of the process approach that could be used by an company to determine the frequency of audits by looking at the risks involved in the process to be audited where a high-risk process should be audited more frequently than a low-risk process.

As stated before, audits are undertaken internally and externally which divided into three parts: 1st Party Audits (internal audits) performed within an company to measure its adherence to policies, procedures, and processes as well as to confirm compliance with the ISO 27001 requirement. 2nd Party Audits (external audits) performed by customers (or by others on their behalf), external providers, or regulators with formal interest & establishing the ISMS shall be done to deal with this audit. 3rd Party Audits (certification audits) usually performed by accredited certification bodies where the certification body will assess conformance to the ISO 27001 standard.

How to Successfully Adopt the ISMS

After learning the benefits of audits as well as how audits conducted to verify the effectiveness of ISMS. It is time for the company to get the most from its management system. To adopt an ISMS, company should ensure the reasons for implementing an ISMS are clear and aligned with the strategic direction and make sure the scope is broad enough to cover the critical information. Then, the company should also get all stakeholders involved at the appropriate times and communicate extensively throughout the process to all stakeholders. In case the company need to get an external help, it is important to check the credentials of a third party before engaging with them.

After that, keep all the processes and supporting documentation as simple as possible, design and implement rules that could be followed in practice, remember the suppliers in which some suppliers will help to enhance the ISMS while others will increase the risk. Then, since information security is likely to be a new concept for many or most of the employees; hence, train is important. Lastly, the company should also remember to allocate sufficient resources to routinely test the controls.

After that, physical and environmental security ensures secure physical and environmental areas and equipment. Operations security ensures correct and secure operations of information processing facilities. Communications security is about network security management and information transfer. System acquisition, development and maintenance ensures security requirements, security in development and support processes.

Conclusion

Audits as an essential part of ISO 27001 compliance aim to verify the effectiveness of Information Security Management System (ISMS) within the company. Audits started with audit planning and risk-based thinking and it also undertaken internally and externally through internal audits, external audits, and certification audits. After knowing the benefits of audits, companies should start to consider adopting their own ISMS thus, the maximum results from the management system can be obtained.

References

Russell, J. (n.d.). ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Implementation Guide. NQA. Global Certification Body.


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