Data breaches are a growing threat to businesses, and enterprises must develop an Information Security Management System (ISMS) to mitigate these risks and protect sensitive data. The benefits of ISMS provide the robust defences needed to prepare for and defend against inevitable security breaches.
By developing and deploying an ISMS, your organisation can secure sensitive data, fortify against cyber-attacks, and reduce costs associated with information security. Let’s take a moment to define an ISMS, the importance of GDPR compliance and ISO 27001 certification, and how you can develop an ISMS for cybersecurity protection.
- What Is ISMS?
- Why Businesses Needs An ISMS
- 6 Key Benefits of ISMS
- Does ISMS Help With ISO 27001 Compliance?
- Does ISMS Help With GDPR Compliance?
- How To Get Started With ISMS
- Further Technology Articles
What Is ISMS?
ISMS is your organisation’s approach to maintaining information security and privacy. It aids in identifying and addressing threats to business-critical information and related digital assets, protecting your organisation from security breaches and extensive disruption if a breach does happen.
Furthermore, a correctly implemented ISMS provides a systematic approach to security, made up of technology, documented processes, and trained staff. Effective and efficient risk management helps protect and manage an organisation’s information.
Finally, ISMS enables your organisation to maintain compliance with laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 27001 certification. ISO’s goals protect three critical information aspects: information confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
- Confidentiality means that sensitive information is not available to unauthorised people and processes.
- Integrity of the data remains intact, accurate, and complete.
- Availability guards against unwanted data corruption, deletion or encryption.
Why Businesses Needs An ISMS
With today’s ever-increasing threat landscape, a fortified ISMS provides multiple security layers intended to protect business-critical data. A single ransomware attack can grind your business to a halt, negatively impact customers, and damage your company’s reputation.
ISMS is a necessity that allows you to win new business and enter new sectors as a strong competitor. It also strengthens your relationship with existing customers while building your brand as one with a trusted reputation. And at its core, ISMS protects your network from security breaches.
6 Key Benefits of ISMS
The following lists the main benefits of implementing an ISMS in more detail:
1. Information Security
ISMS secures all forms of information, including paper-based, digital, company secrets, intellectual property, data on devices and in the Cloud, hard copies, and personal information.
2. Attack Resilience
Maintaining ISMS significantly increases your organisation’s ability to ward off cyber-attacks. It also mitigates the damage should an attack get through the security measures.
3. Information Security Cost Reduction
An ISMS performs risk analysis, reducing the cost of maintaining the ISMS without compromising security.
4. Security Threat Response
Due to its ability to monitor and analyse, ISMS reduces the threat associated with continually evolving risks. It enables security teams to continuously adapt to changes in the threat landscape and internal changes within your organisation.
5. Central Framework
ISMS enables your organisation to manage its information from one central location.
6. ISO 27001 certification
A correctly implemented ISMS can help businesses work towards gaining full ISO 27001 certification.
Does ISMS Help With ISO 27001 Compliance?
Whether you already have ISMS or wish to implement one, both go hand in hand with ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001 is a set of security specifications detailing how an organisation can create, manage, and implement ISMS policies and controls.
The specifications don’t mandate specific actions; instead, they serve as guidelines for developing ISMS strategies. A solid ISMS framework typically focuses on risk assessment and risk management.
Information security is a challenging endeavour for any company, and having a robust ISMS is essential to protecting your networks and maintaining professional certification.
ISO 27001 compliance is an aggressive countermeasure that protects corporate data from network breaches and ransomware attacks. ISO introduced its certification as a way for organisations to create and document their information security processes. The most current version is ISO 27001:2013 and is currently the defacto guide for standardising those processes within any organisation.
The ISO 27001 standard is modular, meaning your organisation is free to develop your ISMS to best suit your business needs, conform to robust processes that reduce security risks, and remain open to continuous improvement of those processes. While all these characteristics define an ISMS, working toward ISO 27001 certification is your guide to fortifying these security components to ensure maximum protection.
ISO 27001 standards include several components that strengthen your ISMS. These components include an organisational structure, a risk assessment process, access control mechanisms, information classification, safeguards for equipment and technologies, information security procedures and policies, and monitoring and reporting guidelines.
These standards serve as an overall development checklist for creating and implementing your ISMS or can serve as a guide for refining and strengthening the ISMS you already have in place. They can also help companies aiming for PCI compliance as there is some overlap.
Does ISMS Help With GDPR Compliance?
A robust ISMS, particularly one validated by the ISO 27001 certification, ensures your organisation addresses the data protection requirements set forth by the GDPR.
The European Union implemented GDPR in May 2018 to protect the personal data of individuals within the EU, and it framed the rules relating to the movement of personal data. The regulation’s goal is to protect the fundamental right of individuals regarding their personal data.
GDPR covers the following principles and processes relating to personal data, consent, and information security services:
- Processing personal data
- Lawfulness of processing
- Conditions for consent, including a child’s consent
- Processing special categories of personal data
- Processing personal data related to criminal offences and convictions
- Processing data that does not require identification
An efficient ISMS supports the handling of personal data under all the above conditions as they apply to the organisation. Thus, an ISMS, including its process documentation and built-in continuous improvement processes, ensures GDPR compliance and meets ISO 27001 certification requirements.
How To Get Started With ISMS
ISMS provides a systematic approach to data security, combining the processes, technology, and people to protect sensitive data. Coming up is a 10 quick step overview to implementing an ISMS:
- Develop a project mandate. Begin implementation by assigning a project leader to work with staff to create an initial plan.
- Initiate the project. The project mandate is a starting point to building a defined structure for the ISMS, including information security objectives.
- Adopt an ISMS methodology. ISO 27001 recommends a process approach towards continual improvement as the most effective model for information security management.
- Develop a management framework. Identify the system’s scope, which accounts for your physical offices, employees’ mobile devices, teleworkers, etc.
- Identify & Score Risk. Security risks should be identified and scored by assessing their impact.
- Identify baseline security criteria. Determine the requirements and controls necessary to conduct business.
- Develop a risk management process. Standard methods include looking at risks to specific assets or examining risks presented in particular scenarios.
- Develop a risk treatment plan. Build the security controls needed to protect your organisation’s information assets.
- Measure, monitor, and review the system’s performance to ensure that your ISMS is effective.
- Achieve certification. Seek ISO 27001 certification or another from an accredited certification body.
An effective ISMS has innumerable benefits for your business. The threat-heavy landscape promises to expand; thus, having a powerful and evolving ISMS is essential to protecting your company’s sensitive information.
Your ISMS should be structured to enable constant review, analysis, and modification through process improvement. The guidelines presented in ISO 27001 certification offer a practical development framework for any business.
If you would like to discuss your network security requirements in more detail with one of our cyber security professionals, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.