What Does ISO 27001 Mean for Your Data Management and Security?

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In 2021, the average cost of a data breach will be $4.24 million. That’s enough to destroy most businesses. And according to IBM and the Ponemon Institute, both the cost and frequency of cyberattacks are increasing every year.

What are you doing to protect your data assets?

Like most companies, you probably realize that a data breach also has the potential to put both your business continuity and reputation at risk. You undoubtedly take data security and privacy seriously and go to great lengths to protect your systems and data.

But what if there’s a gap in your strategy?

There might be one you have not considered. It’s your third-party vendors and services. Are you sure they’re looking out for your company’s data and data they may collect, manage and store about your customers?

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your company’s approach to data management and security or you’re evaluating your vendors’ data security, you should be considering ISO 27001.

How ISO Certification Helps You Protect Your Data

Data is the collected information, knowledge and insight on which your business runs. It’s the lifeblood of your business. And in 2021, it’s probably your most valuable business asset.

That’s why you have risk mitigation policies and cybersecurity procedures in place to safeguard the security and privacy of your data and the data about your customers.

The problem is there are so many strategies, policies and procedures possible. Are you sure you’re making the best choice? And are you sure your vendors and service providers are doing the best they can to protect your data?

That’s where ISO 27001 can help.

ISO (International Organization for Standards) is a global organization of 166 national standards bodies that collaborate to establish the international standards for business procedures and processes. While the standards are strictly voluntary and independent of any government regulation, ISO certification indicates that a business takes an activity or issue seriously and has put prescribed measures and practices in place to achieve the best possible results.

In the case of ISO 27001, this is a globally recognized standard for policies and procedures related to information security management systems. A company that has achieved ISO 27001 certification has taken a comprehensive, top-down approach to information risk management and security. They have fully evaluated their systems and standardized the best practices for information security and IT operations management, including procedures documentation, contingency planning and regular systems and software upgrades.

Specifically, ISO 27001 certification ensures the company has:

  • Conducted a thorough risk assessment of its hardware and software stack
  • Lowered the risk of cyberattack by fortifying its systems
  • Drawn up a comprehensive set of policies for testing and operational environments, including upgrades, capacity and growth planning
  • Put in place approved procedures for IT management
  • Documented all processes and procedures
  • Scheduled regular reviews to identify and address any areas that may need improvement in the future
  • Assessed and validated all by independent certified consultants

ISO 27001 Certification Benefits You in Several Ways

Once you’ve committed to ISO 27001 certification, you can expect to spend at least a year evaluating systems, establishing and documenting IT management procedures, and implementing best practices to thwart and mitigate the risk of a cyberattack and data breach. In short, ISO 27001 gives you peace of mind.

It also gives customers peace of mind knowing that their data and privacy are protected. That works two ways for you:

  • ISO 27001 certification is your competitive advantage.
  • It’s also what you want to look for when selecting third-party vendors and service providers.

ISO 27001 gives you and your customers the assurance of:

  • Regulatory Compliance—Meeting all commercial and regulatory responsibilities as well as legal agreements.
  • Continuity of Business—With best practices in place, companies can act fast in the event of an attack to keep up and running, protect the data and put the best face forward (knowing all the bases are covered).
  • Protection for Your Reputation—It’s often the mishandling of a problem that leads to the worst publicity; with ISO-certified policies and procedures in place, you can mitigate issues.

When you’re looking for better standards to upgrade your security, you can put your company through the rigorous certification process and feel confident that your data management and security are at the highest level.

You can promote your certification in the industry. It’s a competitive advantage that lets your customers and prospects know that their data is in safe hands.

And when you hire a vendor or service provider that will need to collect, manage and store your data and your customers’ data, if you look for ISO 27001 certification, you’ll know that you are in safe hands.