ISO management system standards are created by experts and outline requirements for internationally accepted best practices. Although technically, no Company NEEDS certification to any of the ISO Standards to operate, it is something every company should endeavour to obtain. Organisations, large or small, regardless of their geographic location or sector, find that they have a greater chance of securing contracts and winning tenders if they are ISO Certified. Certification to an ISO standard such as 27001 also helps to ensure legal compliance and business continuity by establishing robust controls to meet legal requirements that can protect against cyber attacks or loss of critical data.

Why is this?

ISO 27001 Information Security Management System is a standard used by organisations to demonstrate their ability to consistently keep information both confidential and protected and to meet regulatory and customer requirements.

Any customer will have basic expectations and requirements for their information to be protected, but a company with a strong commitment to Information Security Management that can demonstrate its progress will not only reassure existing customers but will give confidence to new customers that may be risk adverse due to their nature of their work. Specific industries with high expectations for information security may include IT, Energy, Public, Banking, MOD or Nuclear sectors.

“ISO 27001 Certified” means that an organisation has met the requirements within ISO 27001.

Will our business benefit from ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 Certification benefits include the following;

  • Improve risk management of confidential information
  • Improve accessibility to the correct information at the right time
  • Improves the protection and controls company assets
  • Meet customer requirements
  • Improve the consistency of your operations
  • Provides mechanisms to demonstrates legal compliance
  • Improved customer retention and acquisition
  • Provide consistent outcomes that can be measured and monitored.
  • Helps to identify applicable information risks and controls
  • Positively stand out from competitors.

Another benefit is that the ISO 27001 follows the ISO Annex SL structure allowing for easier integration with other management systems. This simply means that it follows the same basic requirements and structure as other ISO management system standards. However, Annex A of ISO 27001 introduces 114 controls for information security that include but are not limited to;

  • Physical controls such as restricted access to site and protection of IT cables
  • Cryptography controls such as documented policies
  • Communication controls such as segregation of networks

The 114 controls are aligned with and are explained in the ISO 27002 Information technology — Security techniques — Code of practice for information security controls.

Checking that the Information Systems & processes are secure is a vital part of ISO 27001 and an organisation performs internal audits to check how its Information Security management system is working. Your business can do this by training staff to be Internal Auditors, or, like the majority of our customers they may decide to outsource Internal audits to a specialist consultancy such as ourselves at QHSE ABERDEEN

Most of our Customers start out by enquiring about the process, duration and costs of gaining ISO Certification. This comes about due to the fact they have heard how it can streamline the business and perhaps they have been asked if they have a certain ISO Certification during a tendering process.

Depending on the size of the organisation and what they already have in place, it can take on average 2 – 3 weeks to develop and implement an Information Security management system - ISO 27001 from scratch. Our consultants work closely with our customer to develop the bespoke ISO 27001 ISMS.

We always advise our customers to go for a UKAS accredited Certification body. The terms ‘accreditation’ and ‘certification’ are often used in the wrong context. Companies that issue certificates or declarations of conformance such as Certification body, can refer to themselves as being ‘accredited’ if they are monitored by a third party such as UKAS. The organisations whose management systems are successfully audited by the certification bodies hold ‘certification’. i.e. QHSE ABERDEEN are certified for ISO 9001 by SGS who are a UKAS accredited Certification Body

“Certification is an audit of whether an organisation, product or individual, conforms to the criteria laid out in a recognised standard or scheme”. (credit - UKAS

We understand that ISO 27001 may appear daunting. Our qualified consultants are here to make sure that the process is as smooth as possible and that you gain maximum benefits.

I hope this insight into ISO 27001 Quality Management system has proved to be beneficial and encouraged you to look further into gaining an ISO Certification to grow your business.

If you would like to discuss where to start with ISO Management Systems or need advice or assistance with any QHSE topic, then please get in touch, we would be more than happy to help.