Technology changes so fast, and sometimes if you do not adapt your business practices to be in-line with new developments, you can get left behind. Business’ that want to stay competitive and cutting edge in the shifting market could benefit from integrating some of the evolving technological trends into their business practices. As information security threats to personal data is becoming an issue that more and more organisation’s are concerned about, the ways in which our data is safeguarded are constantly being reviewed and strengthened. This ensures that potential information security threats to your business operations are mitigated and have a minimal effect on its daily operations.
For example, the traditional method of safeguarding data with a password users type out is becoming outdated, as many companies now get their employees to protect their information with a two-step authentication process, done via an app, which helps keep the business, its staff and its clients, protected from potential information security threats, by keeping up to date with how information security threats are evolving, and updating your safeguarding practices to be in-line with these threats. This is just one example of how heightened information security works at protecting your business from dangers that could disrupt its ability to carry out its day-to-day operations.
All business’ with valuable, confidential data, including client and project details, could benefit from utilising an Information Security Management System (ISMS) to help the business safeguard itself from potential security threats and data breaches. Protecting their operations from potential data breaches not only gives organisation’s the freedom to keep trading in a changing market, it also helps keep operational costs down, through the adoption of a preventative rather than reactive approach to information security, in that potential threats are identified and then curbed before ever occurring.
Information Security Management Systems protect your business
Broadly speaking, an information security management system (ISMS) is a one-stop collection of all the related networking security elements of a business, and it works at ensuring that the organisation’s daily activities, policies and output all contribute to the goal of strengthening its overall information security. Further, an ISMS will assist with the creation of company policies, not yet in place, to help it achieve its goal of enhanced information security. Flexible and durable, ISMS’ can be tailored to the specific needs of your organisation, as your business’ size, objectives, market goals, policies and specific security requirements are all factors that will impact the specifics of how the ISMS operates. An added benefit of this is that they can be tailored to your specific business needs and assist with strong risk management and mitigation strategies.
How ISO 27001:2013 works at protecting your business
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), in conjunction with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) developed a category of international security standards, ISO 27001:2013, to help business’ protect themselves from information security threats.
ISO 27001:2013 has guidelines, strategies and advice for business’ looking to uphold the security of their information assets. ISO 27001:2013 aims to deliver this information to business’ in a simple, accessible manner, and so employs the PDCA model:
- Plan – This stage comprises of the organisation clearly understanding and defining the specific information security issues that need addressing, and then researching and collecting data to establish potential security vulnerabilities.
- Do – This proactive stage involves the organisation developing and implementing a possible solution to their information security issues and designing a check-list system to assess whether the solution solves the underlying issues at hand.
- Check – This stage involves analysing the information security issues both before and after the implementation of ISO 27001:2013. Using the check-list system implemented in the prior stage, business’ should chart their progress to see what has and has not worked, and what issues still need to be addressed.
- Act – This stage requires business’ to thoroughly document the results of their solutions, and make a list of what needs changing during the next PDCA phase. This is a good method to demonstrate the effectiveness of the principles underlying ISO 27001:2013, as this stage allows organisations to measure their progress in real time, by comparing the workloads that need implementing between the different cycles. A significant drop in workload in the second phase indicates that ISO 27001:2013 has successfully addressed many of the information security issues at hand.
Annex A and ISO 27001:2013: A clear guide to protecting your business
As discussed above, ISO 27001:2013 is designed to make the implementation of information security procedures as smooth and hassle-free as possible. In addition to employing the PDCA model, ISO 27001:2013 also provides business’ with Annex A, which details an outline for each control.
Annex A aids organisations in the identification of potential risks they face and addresses them by offering succinct controls that should be implemented to overcome them. Annex A outlines a series of information security controls that organisations may consider, depending on the size and scope of their operations, and addresses the specific treatment solutions available for individual issues. Annex A adds benefits to businesses by sorting potential security risks into different areas, which simplifies the problem-solving process by allowing users to sort issues by type, and only work within the relevant issue framework when problem solving.
Annex A is sorted to consist of 14 overarching security domains, 35 control objective and 114 security controls. Problem solving is simplified by finding the relevant control or security issues within the 14 key security domains, which are:
A.5 Information security policies (2 controls): Addresses how policies are written and reviewed.
A.6 Organisation of information security (7 controls): Addresses steps for delegation of responsibilities for specific tasks, to ensure that workloads are shared and evenly spread out.
A.7 Human resource security (6 controls): Addresses what actions need to be taken to ensure that employees fully understand the scope of their responsibilities prior to employment, and when they change roles within the organisation, and what steps they should take to get clarification on issues.
A.8 Asset management (10 controls): Addresses how to fully identify all information assets, and subsequently, define protection responsibilities.
A.9 Access control (14 controls): Addresses the security checks that need to be implemented to ensure that employees only have access privileges pertaining to their role.
A.10 Cryptography (2 controls): Addresses encryption procedures and key management of sensitive information,
A.11 physical and environment security (15 controls): Addresses strategies and advice on how to successfully secure the organisation’s premises and equipment.
A.12 Operations security (14 controls): Addresses how to ensure information processing facilities are secure.
A.13 Communications security (7 controls): Addresses strategies for how to protect information in networks.
A.14 System acquisition, development and maintenance (13 controls): Addresses the importance of strong information security, and how to ensure it is centrally implemented into an organisation’s systems.
A.15 Supplier relationships (5 controls): Addresses the importance of confidentiality agreements, and the like, in contracts to third parties, and what procedures can be implemented to gauge whether they are being upheld.
A.16 Information security incident management (7 controls): Addresses how disruptions and breaches should be logged and reported, the chain of command needed to deal with these, and the responsible parties for each issue.
A.17 Information security aspects of business continuity management (4 controls): Addresses how business disruptions should be dealt with.
A.18 Compliance (8 controls): Addresses how to identify the laws and regulations that apply to the workings within your organisation and assess whether your business is upholding these standards.
How being ISO 27001:2013 certified will benefit business’
Being ISO 27001:2013 certified can benefit your business in a number of different ways, including more productive, faster output, and a higher quality of work standards, as when employees are able to solely focus on the quality of their work output, and not worry about side-issues like potential security threats, their output is likely to be of a higher professional standard. Further, it also acts as a safeguard to your business reputation, as business’ that have been subjected to successful cyber security attacks may have their reputation questioned, which decreases the chances of clients wishing to do business with them in the future.
In addition, by ensuring that your organisation is fully compliant with its requirements, including professional, legal, contractual and regulatory, your business has the freedom to direct its focus to its daily operations and dealings with clients. The need for frequent auditing to verify the bona-fides of business systems is also minimised, as ISO 27001:2013 certification is recognised worldwide as demonstrating effective information security standards, thus minimising the need for recurring audits.
Contact Anitech Group with further enquiries
If you would like to take the first steps towards safeguarding your business from information security threats, and thus protecting its reputation and standing, by certifying to the ISO 27001:2013 standard, then give our safety systems consultants a call on 1300 802 163. They will be able to assist you in every step of the process, including identifying your specific business needs and discussing how ISO 27001:2013 can be tailored to its requirements, in order to help your business stay safe and competitive in an evolving market.