No matter what kind of business you have, part of its operations almost certainly involve collecting digital data, whether it’s a customer’s email address, date of birth or credit card details. If you want to prove that your company takes data security seriously, getting ISO 27001 certified could be a smart decision. Here are some things to consider when deciding if it would pay off.
Know What ISO 27001 Entails
ISO 27001 is a certification associated with minimizing the risks to data that a company holds. It tells stakeholders that a company has taken an actionable step to strengthen its security posture, which is particularly important with cyberattacks on the rise.
However, being certified does not involve checking items off a list to ensure your company is as secure as possible. Instead, it’s about helping the people in your organization adopt a risk-management mindset. If you’re looking for a concrete list of practices to make an organization more secure, the ISO 27001 doesn’t provide that.
It enables developing a workflow to assess any threats to cybersecurity and the necessary measures to mitigate them. Then, you’ll implement those controls and give them time to show the desired effects. Eventually, it’s time to review whether those measures had the intended results. You’ll probably need to make some tweaks to maintain the intended outcomes, after which point the process of implementing and reviewing repeats.
Understand How Certification Gives a Competitive Advantage
Getting ISO 27001 certified could be a great way to help your company stand out in the marketplace. A 2019 study found that only 36,362 organizations worldwide had achieved that milestone. If you choose to pursue it, succeeding in the aim gives you even more opportunities to differentiate from competitors.
For example, you could write a company blog post or press release about how your company got certified. Then, the content could help interested people connect with your business, particularly if they want to work with a company that has completed the ISO 27001 certification process.
Since ISO 27001 is an internationally recognized standard, it also conveys that you’re a safe and secure business partner that will not introduce threats or risks into another entity’s operations. It’s no surprise, then, that some business leaders report that certification helps increase their profits.
Getting certified is not the sole determining factor of your success. However, if showcasing your business as an appealing option is a goal, ISO 27001 could help the organization compete now and into the future.
Assess Your Current Data Security Blind Spots
The CIA triad is a common method of assessing data security and a key part of risk management for the ISO 27001 certification. If you’re not sure whether getting certified would pay off for your business, take a closer look at how people in the organization define data security and the associated shortcomings.
The three aspects are:
- Confidentiality: Ensuring only authorized parties or applications can access or change data.
- Integrity: Maintaining data in the proper state and using controls to prevent intentional or accidental misuse.
- Accessibility: Permitting authorized parties to access the information at any time.
Staying mindful of them will help you maintain a broad perspective on what data security means. Protecting information from malicious parties is only part of the goal. It’s also necessary to be aware of potential issues stemming from practices like giving people access to data that does not align with their role at a company.
If you’re eager to give your company a thorough data protection foundation, the ISO 27001 certification could help. It’ll help you become aware of risks you may otherwise overlook.
Apply Feedback From an Outside Party
Maybe you’d love to get an external perspective about how your company handles data security. The ISO 27001 process provides that because it involves getting feedback from an auditor. That person conducts assessments at specified intervals to gauge whether your security controls operate as intended.
Some small business representatives find that they don’t get a true picture of their cybersecurity readiness without a perspective from someone that’s not within the company. If that’s the case with you, the audits associated with this certification could be instrumental in helping you address weaknesses.
Additionally, the feedback could give you and your colleagues a renewed sense of focus, helping everyone stay motivated about making the necessary changes to improve security.
Certification Is Well Worth Consideration
Getting ISO 27001 certified is not the right choice for every business. A lot depends on your goals, current security strategy and whether you have enough resources to put towards the process. However, company leaders often find that this certification makes good business sense for the reasons here and numerous others.
Emily Drinks works as a Digital Content Consultation for WebFX.
ISO stock photo by EtiAmmos/Shutterstock