Understanding the Basics of ISO 27001 Certification

Understanding the Basics of ISO 27001 Certification

Understanding the Basics of ISO 27001 Certification

ISO 27001 is an international standard focused on information security, published by the ISO or the International Organization for Standardization and its partner, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).    

The ISO 27001 framework combines the processes and policies that organizations will use. It will help companies of any industry or any size to secure their information cost-effectively and systematically, via the adoption of an information management security system.  

ISO 27001 Certification 

The ISO 27001 certification is a standard on how a company manages its information security. It should follow the requirements for establishing, maintaining, and improving the information security management system and shows the effectiveness of an organization’s security program to its current clients and potential customers.  

Basic requirements of ISO 27001 

The process to obtain ISO 27001 certification is quite long. The standard contains several requirements for the information security program’s governance framework, called Clauses 4 to 10. The provision also includes 14 control domains, divided into 35 various control objectives and 114 controls that will help meet the objectives. As you can see, it is not easy to achieve ISO 27001 certification. There will be plenty of manual and repetitive tasks. Thus, most companies who want ISO 27001 certification look into ISO 27001 automation to ensure that they are completing all the requirements.  

What does ISO 27001 mean to you? 

When you have ISO 27001 certification, it indicates that you met with an ISO accredited certifying agency and went through an assessment that led to your organization receiving the certification. 

In the past ISO was a standard that applied to organizations outside the United States. In recent years, however, many B2B service providers pursue ISO certification in the U.S. primarily to show that they have achieved a minimum level of maturity in terms of security. Most U.S. companies that want to achieve ISO 27001 compliance offer traditional solutions such as software-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, and infrastructure-as-a-service. 

Road to ISO 27001 certification 

Your ISO 27001 certification journey is a long process, although technically speaking, it is divided into implementation and certification.  

  • Implementation. It involves engaging an agency to help you develop an ISO 27001 compliance program. It usually comprises several program elements like the establishment of a structure for governance, a risk management program, procedures and policies, and implementation of several technical requirements.  
  • Certification. You should engage with a certifying body accredited with ISO and pass Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits to achieve certification. The first audit determines your company’s readiness for the second audit. Stage 1 mainly involves a documentation review followed by an interview-based audit. The Stage 2 audit evaluates the implementation and effectiveness of your management system. The second audit involves documentation review, interviews, site inspection, and testing of your controls. After the second audit and application of any required remedies, the certifying body will issue your certification.  

It usually takes about one year before you receive your ISO 27001 certification. Audits are performed annually, with year one comprising the Stage 1 and Stage 2 audits. Years two and three are surveillance audits. In year four, the auditors will perform a complete Stage 2 audit. Afterward, the cycle will repeat. 


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