Maximising security: Your guide to ISO 27001

Information security is something every business and IT leader needs to start thinking about – regardless of how big a company is.

Last year saw a significant number of high profile data breaches across the globe, with many dealing substantial damage to the businesses involved. It's important to realise that damage is not always financial, but can also impact reputation.

Data breaches need to be avoided, but this can seem a difficult task for companies not familiar with IT security practices. Security frameworks are the answer – best-practice methods for implementing security systems within the company.

The ISO 27001 series of frameworks are some of the most capable, and this article will take a look at three frameworks within the series.

Understanding ISO

Before assessing the benefits of each framework under the ISO 27001 banner, it's a good idea to understand exactly what this framework is.

With data breaches on the rise, businesses need what's called an information security management system (ISMS), basically a group of policies that are solely focused on IT security and risks. Without one of these systems in place, companies are vulnerable to a breach and can struggle to protect important data assets.

This is where ISO 27001 comes into play. It's the international standard that defines the best practices required for a successful ISMS. The policies apply to companies of any size, and can be used to protect against cyber crime and assist the business when recovering from a breach.

The most recent revision of this framework was published in 2013, and is titled ISO/IEC 27001:2013.

ISO 27001 Overview

The first course businesses will want to get started with is the ISO 27001 Overview. This takes place over a single day, and is designed to act as an introduction, giving practical coverage of every aspect of ISMS requirements (according to ISO/IEC 27001:2013).

There is also a focus on ISMS Implementation guidance and information security controls guidance. It's really the best way to gain a detailed understanding of the key concepts of a strong ISMS – something every business and IT leader needs to be aware of.

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 – ISMS Lead Implementer

The next step is what's called the Lead Implementer course. This takes place over five days, and the focus is on implementing and maintaining a successful ISMS. While the course does take more time to complete, it provides valuable information for participants.

Ideally, those who are involved in information security management, the writing of security policies or even implementing the base ISO 27001 framework need to take part in this course.

Upon completion, participants will have mastered the concepts, standards, and approaches required in the effective management of an ISMS.

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 – ISMS Lead Auditor

Lastly, there is the ISMS Lead Auditor course. Also taking place over five days, this is designed to give participants the knowledge needed to perform an ISO 27001 internal audit (as specified by ISO 19011, ISO 17021 and ISO 27006).

There is also a focus on a slightly more challenging process; acquiring the expertise necessary to actually manage an ISMS audit team. This is an extremely important facet of the course, as large enterprises will require ISMS teams to ensure security efforts are constantly maintained.

The Lead Auditor course will also help participants improve their ability to analyse both the internal and external environments of a business – key as part of the risk assessment process.

Companies need to start considering an extremely capable framework for security, especially considering the number of data breaches that took place over the course of 2014.

To actually get started with a leading security framework, speak to a provider like ALC Training.