Andy Beverley, Activ’s Group Software Development Director is an entrepreneurial software developer with a solid technical background. This, coupled with a strong entrepreneurial flair has led him to become involved with multiple tech start-ups, one of which was InfoSaaS which later became Activ.
Why having ISO 27001 is good for business
Our modern world places significant reliance on digital technology; with increasing reliance on hardware, software applications and network technologies to achieve business outcomes, generate revenue and achieve profit targets.
The security of our data is now more important than ever, and a credible validation like achieving ISO 27001 certification is no longer a “nice to have” – it’s fast becoming an essential for organisations who need to keep information safe.
Can your business afford not to give it serious consideration?
What is involved to gain certification?
It focuses on a framework known as an “Information Security Management System” (ISMS), with significant reliance upon the identification, management and control of risks. This covers data and other organisational assets, which support the security of our data (e.g. premises, hardware, etc.).
Other core activities include the allocation of information security responsibilities. This relies on the allocation of education and documentation to personnel and managing and assessing information security performance using management review sessions and internal audit sessions.
All of which is good, common-sense business activities.
How can ISO protect your business?
Mainstream media report data breaches and technical cyber attacks on a daily basis. And as a minimum, we have all been impacted at some point when our favourite website or application is not available when we need it.
Perhaps it was the loss of personal data from social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, or the risk of fraud from breaches at Sony, TK Maxx or Uber.
At the other end of the spectrum, the loss or theft of personal data contributes to financial loss, identity theft and potentially serious interference with the data which supports, for example, government, health or retail activities.
Whilst no precautions will ever provide total reassurance of data security against a background of newly discovered technical vulnerabilities and criminal capability, a well-implemented ISMS will provide a significant defence.
ISMS can assess and remediate many common threats and vulnerabilities within your organisation, as well as reduce the risks from employee mistakes and data incidents involving third-party suppliers.
It’s widely accepted that a robust ISMS and maintaining ISO 27001 certification significantly reduces the probability of being affected by such occurrences, and where they do breach defences, the impact can be minimised by a prompt and prepared response.
The value of being ISO certified
By now, you’re probably interested in finding out more about ISO 27001 certification and the benefits for your business.
Firstly, the development, implementation and delivery of an effective Information Security Management System cannot be achieved overnight: depending on the availability of resourcing and the technical complexity of each organisation, this can take from a few months up to one year.
(At MyActiv we have outline schedules available for sharing which explain the most commonly used approach to building your ISMS in the right order to achieve a successful certification result.)
At the heart of the ISMS is risk management: identifying all the undesirable matters which could affect the security of information (or perhaps damage and compromise the premises or IT systems that house information) and then assessing whether security controls are robust enough to prevent them from becoming a reality.
Done well, this is an invaluable journey that allows organisations to see areas of weakness for themselves and implement improvements before anyone has an opportunity to exploit them.
MyActiv has significant experience in this area and has been supporting businesses for many years with our innovative risk management software solution.
What happens next?
Once your preparations are complete, you can invite an independent assessment body to come and formally assess your ISMS – this is typically undertaken in two stages.
The first stage seeks to confirm that the ISMS structure has been properly implemented, is being effectively resourced, and all mandatory elements required by the ISO 27001 standard are in place.
Once completed, the second stage reviews how the ISMS is being operated throughout your organisation – assessing the activities, security controls and awareness of team members.
Successful completion will deliver ISO 27001 certification, and subject to periodic surveillance assessments will allow you to share your information security competencies with the world!
There are many risks which could have a negative impact on your business, and the pace of change and technical innovation has established the security of information right at the top of the risk register.
The development of an ISMS and obtaining ISO 27001 certification provides assurance that threats and vulnerabilities are identified and managed; providing your customers with confidence that your business is a trusted place to process and store their valuable data.
Developing an ISMS that embeds within your organisation’s culture and ensures any press and media interest are for the right reasons is good common sense for the security of your business.
MyActiv would be delighted to help you on your journey
With significant experience in delivering and retaining successful ISO 27001 certification projects within businesses of all sizes and sectors, our professional and friendly team is ready to make your information security objectives a reality.