ISO 27001 Certification Process

The ISO 27001 certification process can be a daunting task for organizations new to ISO 27001 or information security management systems (ISMS). There are several steps in the ISO 27001 certification process, and each step is important in order to achieve certification. Continue reading this blog to fully understand the ISO 27001 certification process.

What is ISO 27001?

The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and the International Electrotechnical Commission published ISO 27001 Certification in October 2005 as an Information Security Management System (ISMS) standard. ISO/IEC 27001 sets requirements for an information security management system, which encompasses the processes of establishing, implementing, monitoring, and reviewing, as well as maintaining and improving a business operation. ISO 27001 Certification is a methodical strategy to reduce the risk of unauthorized access to or loss of information, as well as assuring the effective application of security measures.

ISO 27001 certification Process

The ISO 27001 Certification Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Become familiar with ISO 27001:2013

Reading up on the standard gives you a comprehensive understanding of ISO 27001 and ISO 27001 requirements. After gaining some insight on ISO 27001 and its requirements, you should do the following:

Choose a knowledgeable representative to lead your ISO 27001 initiative: To initiate the ISO 27001 certification process, it is critical to find someone knowledgeable (internally or externally) who has good expertise in establishing an information security management system and is familiar with the ISO 27001 family of standards.

Obtain senior management approval: Without the buy-in and support of the organization’s leadership, no project can succeed. A gap analysis, which entails a thorough examination of all existing information security measures in comparison to the requirements of ISO/IEC 27001:2013, is a suitable place to start. A thorough gap analysis should ideally contain a prioritized list of suggested tasks, as well as additional recommendations on how to scope your information security management system (ISMS). The gap analysis results can be used to start the ISO 27001 certification process.

Step 2. Define the context, scope, and goals

One of the critical steps in the ISO 27001 certification process is to define the goals, budget, and timeline of the project. You’ll need to decide whether you’ll hire a consultant or if you have the necessary skills in-house. You’ll also need to define the ISMS’s scope, which could include the entire corporation or just a single department or geographic location.

You must consider the organizational context as well as the requirements of interested parties when defining the scope (shareholders, employees, government, regulators, etc.). Internal and external elements such as organizational culture, risk acceptance criteria, current systems, processes, and so on are all considered in the context of your organization’s information security.

Step 3. Put in place a managerial structure.

The management framework outlines the procedures that must be followed in order for a company to achieve its ISO 27001 implementation goals. To promote a cycle of continuous improvement, these steps involve establishing ISMS responsibility, creating an activity schedule, and conducting regular audits.

Step 4. Perform a risk analysis

While ISO 27001 does not specify a risk assessment methodology, it does stipulate that the risk assessment be conducted in a formal manner. This step in the ISO 27001 certification process necessitates the planning of the procedure as well as the documentation of the data, analysis, and results. Prior to completing a risk assessment, it is necessary to define baseline security criteria, which pertain to the organization’s commercial, legal, and regulatory needs, as well as contractual duties, as they relate to information security.

Step 5. Put in place risk-mitigation controls

Following the identification of the relevant risks, the organization must determine whether to address, tolerate, terminate, or transfer the risks. It’s critical to keep track of all risk response decisions, as the auditor will want to see them during the registration (certification) audit. Two mandatory reports that must be generated as evidence of the risk assessment are the Statement of Applicability (SoA) and the risk treatment plan (RTP).

Step 6. Organize a training session

Staff awareness initiatives must be implemented to raise information security awareness within the company, according to the ISO 27001 Standard. This step in the ISO 27001 certification process could necessitate practically all employees to change their work habits to some extent, such as adhering to a clean desk policy and securing their computers when they leave their desks.

Step 7. Go over the paperwork and make any necessary changes

The ISMS processes, rules, and procedures require documentation to be supported. The following documentation is required by the ISO 27001 Standard:

  • Purpose of the ISMS
  • Security policy for information
  • Risk assessment process for information security
  • Process for assessing and treating information security risks
  • Applicability Statement
  • Objectives for information security
  • Demonstration of ability
  • Documented information deemed necessary for the efficacy of ISMS by the organization.
  • Planning and control of operational activities
  • Findings from the risk assessment for information security
  • The outcome of the risk assessment for information security
  • Proof of results measurement and monitoring
  • An internal auditing procedure that has been documented
  • Documentation of audit programs and findings
  • Documentation of the outcomes of management reviews
  • Proof of the nature of the non-conformities and any actions taken
  • Proof of any corrective actions performed and their outcomes

Step 8. Measure, track, and evaluate

ISO 27001 encourages a culture of continuous improvement as part of the ISO 27001 certification process. This necessitates ongoing analysis and monitoring of the ISMS’s efficiency and compliance, as well as the identification of enhancements to existing processes and controls.

Step 9. Carry out an internal audit

Internal audits of the ISMS are required by ISO/IEC 27001:2013 at regular intervals. The manager in charge of establishing and maintaining ISO 27001 compliance must have a practical understanding of the lead audit process.

Step 10. External certification audit by a third-party certification body

The audits conducted by a third-party certification body like IAS will take place in 2 stages:

  • Stage 1 Preliminary Audit: During the Stage One audit of the ISO 27001 certification process, the auditor will determine whether your paperwork complies with the ISO 27001 Standard, as well as any areas of nonconformity and areas where the management system might be improved. Your organization will be ready for your Stage 2 certification audit after any required changes have been made.
  • Stage 2 Implementation Audit: The auditor will conduct a thorough review during a Stage Two audit to determine whether you are in compliance with the ISO 27001 standard.

What is the Validity Period of ISO 27001 Certification?

The final step of the ISO 27001 certification process is to issue the compliance certificate. ISO 27001 certification will be issued for a validity of 3 years. Two Surveillance Audits will be conducted at the end of every 12 months within the 3-year validity period. Surveillance audits are conducted by IAS to ensure your organization remains in compliance with the ISO 27001 standard.

For more information on the ISO 27001 certification process, please contact us or visit our ISO 27001 certification process frequently asked questions page!