Securing your organisation’s information asset: The case for ISO/IEC 27001

The need for organisations of all sizes to secure and protect their information assets cannot be over-emphasised. But what exactly is Information Security?

Information Security is the protection of information and information systems from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability. There are three basic attributes or tenets of Information Security, collectively known as the CIA Triad. They are:

Confidentiality: These are measures put in place by an organisation to safeguard against unauthorised disclosure. The aim is to ensure that information is accessed only by those who should have access to it.

Integrity: This seeks to guarantee the reliability of an organisation’s data by protecting it against wrong or incorrect modifications to the information.

Availability: This ensures that data are fully available when needed by users to make decisions by protecting and enabling systems and subsystems that house this data.

Organisations operate with data at every point of business operations. Some of these data are sensitive, hence the need to limit the number of users who have access to it; this applies the principle of confidentiality.

The growing spate of user information leaks and data breaches on various digital platforms and storage services such as websites, social media, cloud storage providers, etc., give credence to the need and necessity of information security management systems for enterprises.

In the first half of 2018 alone, there were 945 data breaches that led to the compromise of approximately 4.5 billion data records worldwide. This is but a fraction of the worrisome reality.

The proliferation of data breaches may leave you wondering how you can possibly control the sensitive information in your organisation. We believe this article will provide helpful advice.

Before we dive in, it is important to understand that the whole concept of information security focuses on the protection of a given set of data to preserve the value it has for an organisation.

Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a set of policies, standards, and procedures followed to systematically manage an organisation’s sensitive data. It is based on the standards of the ISO/IEC 27000 series, which includes ISO/IEC 27001 and the entire institutional approach used to protect information according to its principles and attributes of confidentiality, availability, integrity, responsibility, authenticity, and criticality.

ISO/IEC 27001 is a certifiable standard that certifies that your company meets the requirements of the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) for information security management. Its content describes what is needed to implement a robust Information Security Management System (ISMS).

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Information security management establishes information security policy and objectives based on a business risk analysis approach in order to define, plan, implement, operate, monitor, maintain and improve the security of the information. The purpose of an ISMS is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by proactively limiting the impact of a security breach.

The model adopted for the ISMS structure is based on the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) and includes four fundamental parts:

· Planning: standardisation and documentation of processes and procedures

· Execution: implementation of planning actions

· Evaluation and correction: to determine if the execution was carried out according to plan and identify needs for improvement

· Registration: focus on lessons learned from occurrence registration and the practice of trend analysis for prevention, in addition to the dissemination of results

Information security management objectives

The following are part of the objectives of information security management:

· Identify, analyse and assess information-related risks

· Plan and implement measures to mitigate and control the assessed risks

· Establish and disseminate the Security Policy and Procedures

· Disseminate, raise awareness, and motivate good safety practices

· Monitor and evaluate the implemented security measures

· Propose corrective or preventive measures

· Provide adequate conditions for the existence of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information

Why organisations need ISMS?

· Firstly, the reduction of risks to which the organization may be exposed.

· Information security management implies the adoption of more robust practices to protect sensitive information, which brings several benefits to the organization.

· It also promotes an alignment and integration of the IT area with the other areas of the organization and with the company’s business strategies.

· With more security to operate in the market, it is possible to establish even healthier commercial partnerships to achieve the strategic objectives of the organization. Currently, more and more organizations and individuals seek to do business only with companies that guarantee the integrity of shared data.

What kind of organisation need ISMS?

Any business that wants to support its organisational growth and development and protect its information assets while working to meet short- and long-term goals needs an ISMS to stay ahead of the information security risks that can affect it in the short or long term. Irrespective of the size of your organisation, there is an information security management system ISO/IEC 27001 solution that suits you. Talk to the experts!

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