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An 8 Step Plan to Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Strategy with ISO 27001

As the rate of cybercrime continues to rise, organisations should review their cybersecurity strategy and follow a systematic approach to implement an effective information management system.

When asked how an organisation might go about managing their cybersecurity concerns, many will immediately think in terms of the technology and tools they have in place – such as web application firewalls, endpoint protections, or secure email gateways. While tools and technology can be used to help protect an organisation’s information, it is not foolproof or equipped to manage information security risks.

For cybersecurity to be effective, organisations must also consider how they will leverage their people and processes.

However, assuming a single person or skill set can meet your needs, expecting the IT team to be your cyber experts, or investing in the wrong place are some of the common cybersecurity mistakes organistions make.

A breach in cybersecurity can occur to anyone within the organisations, thus a shift is required to ensure the right balance of suspicion and scepticism is developed within the company’s culture around digital communications.

Having a comprehensive ISMS in place ensures everyone in your organisation is at the forefront in identifying and managing potential cybersecurity risks before it’s too late.

ISO 27001 provides businesses with a robust framework to implement an effective information security management system (ISMS) with set processes designed to produce predictable information security outcomes.

8 Step to Implement an ISO 27001 ISMS

Below is an 8 step implementation plan to help you improve and strengthen your cybersecurity strategy, along with links to additional resources to help you along the way.

Step 1: Project Initiation

To get started, initiate a conversation with key stakeholders and people from various departments within the organisations. By getting the likes of IT, HR, Sales, Marketing, Legal, Finance, etc. in the same room, you can begin to assess your organisation’s cybersecurity maturity level, as well as list specific issues that you may not have thought of or address concerns from a different perspective.

Once you have determined your cybersecurity maturity level, establish a committee of top management and project management to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s objectives and context.

On Demand Webinar – Learn how to identify and define your information security program’s maturity level

Step 2: Define the ISMS

Next, you need to define the ISMS. This includes the objective, scope, limits, interferences, dependencies, and exclusions & justifications.

This step is important in helping you define the scale of your ISMS, the level of reach it will have in your day-to-day operations, and how it will meet your organisation’s needs.

Step 3: Conduct a Risk Assessment

This step involves establishing a risk assessment framework, developing an asset register with associated threats, analysing the risk and its impact, and evaluating the risk against the risk acceptance criteria.

Download Your Free Whitepaper: ISO 27001 – A Risk Based Approach to Cyber Security
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Step 4: Risk Management

Almost every aspect of your ISMS will be based on the threats you have identified and prioritised, making risk management the core component of implementing ISO 27001. Therefore, you will need to determine what the next action should be and what controls need to be implemented to address these risks. This includes risk reduction, avoidance, acceptance, and transfer.

Step 5: Training & Awareness

Educate employees on the management system, including their impact on the organisation’s security and processes. For example, this could include continuous training on how to spot a suspicious email, and what to do if they receive one or accidently respond to one.

The purpose here is not to embarrass the employee or make them fear repercussions for reporting a suspected cyber breach, but to create an alert-but-not-alarmed environment and provide opportunities to detect and prevent breaches. If they fear reporting a breach or an incident to security, you have failed.

Step 6: Preparing for Audit

Once you have your ISMS in place, you may seek ISO 27001 certification. Certifying your ISMS to ISO 27001 builds trust and confidence with your stakeholders by demonstrating your commitment to IT security and ICT Governance.

To prepare for your ISO 27001 certification audit, conduct a gap analysis on the system and processes to determine its conformance to the ISO 27001 standard, and address any corrective actions required.

Step 7: Certification Audit

Your third-party independent Certification Body will conduct the certification audit and determine whether your organisation conforms to the ISO 27001 Standard.

The certification audits are conducted in two stages – the first audit determines whether your ISMS has been developed in line with ISO 27001 standard requirements. If the auditor is satisfied, they will then conduct a thorough audit.

Step 8: Continual Improvement

Put simply, cybersecurity is not ‘set and forget’ exercise. Your ISMS program should continually be measured, monitored, and reviewed through an effective internal audit program. This helps to identify areas of improvement.

Consider Partnering with an ISO Management Consultant

Partnering with an experienced and reputable ISO consultant who has deep technical knowledge of relevant ISO standards and industrial expertise, ensures an effectively implemented management system that brings tangible business benefit.

Like any partnership, it’s important to make the right decision. Read the blog to learn how to choose your consultant, to ensure you can successfully achieve your certification objectives in a timely manner, as well as have a compatible partner.

Still Have Questions? We’re Here to Help. 

Even with the steps outlined here, implementing an ISO 27001 compliant ISMS can be daunting.

With over 25 years of experience and delivering over 60,000 audits each year, Australia-wide, SAI Global is here to support you throughout your assessment and certification process – while making the process as seamless and simple as possible.

Expertise You Can Trust – At SAI Global, we are committed to supporting our customer. Adding value is at the core of our business and our processes. Let us show you how assessment and certification can add value to your business.

Transparent and Honest – We make sure to approach everything with transparency and integrity. SAI Global’s Business Development Manager will explain your audit durations and break down the costs associated. We ensure you understand your quote & guarantee no hidden costs or chargeable expenses until the audit is completed.

Customer Service for Added Support – As the largest ISMS provider, your local SAI Global team has the experience to support you to ensure your ISMS program meets your unique business requirements. Your SAI Global customer support system includes a dedicated business development manager, a scheduling team, an invoicing team and experienced local auditors.

With the prospect of ongoing daily cybersecurity threats increasing, it’s time to strengthen your business’ defences when it comes to cybersecurity with ISO 27001 Information Security Management Systems.

For more information or discuss your unique requirements, contact us today.

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