In this day and age, technology seems to be everywhere, and it has helped many businesses survive for a long time. However, it’s not surprising that technology also poses security threats, especially to businesses. It’s important to know that cybercriminals also become more sophisticated by the day because as technology advances, their ability to hack into any business’ system also increases.

So as an organization, it’s vital to prioritize cybersecurity, especially because multiple data breaches have taken place over the past few years. Effective security measures will prevent most cyberattacks, therefore helping you prepare for any breach attempt.

So if you’re planning to invest in robust and multifaceted cybersecurity standards, these typically require an Information Security Management System (ISMS). It encompasses three categories: people, processes, and technology.

By implementing ISMS, you can protect your company information, heighten your resilience from cyberattacks, and decrease your budget for information security.

But what is an ISMS?

All About ISMS

ISMS is a strategically-structured approach that will help you safeguard and manage your business’ information using effective risk management. In addition, it helps you become compliant with mandatory laws and regulations, one of which is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Its main purpose is to protect three primary aspects of information:

Confidentiality

The sensitive data won’t be disclosed to unauthorized individuals, entities, or processes.

Integrity

The information remains accurate and wholly protected from data corruption.

Availability

The private data is readily available and accessible by authorized individuals.

Jumpstarting Your ISMS Journey

The fundamental aspect of an effective ISMS is robust risk assessment. By doing this, you’ll know what cybersecurity threats you might face, allowing you to figure out accessible solutions without compromising your data security. Another thing to consider is ISO 27001. An international standard gives individuals the required specifications for ISMS’ best practices while covering compliance necessities.

For your reference, here are some of the ISMS implementations you can follow to protect internal data:

Provide executive support and set the right goals

Your first step should always be getting the confirmation and involvement of the organization’s head management. They will decide how to allocate the company’s resources and budget, so it’s essential to keep them informed about your ISMS plans. 

To ensure proper budget allocation, you should have a clear and distinct set of objectives — be as specific as possible because it will help board members identify whether your project is worth allocating a massive budget.

Evaluate available resources and analyze the risks associated with them

The next thing you must do is evaluate information by processing your available assets and following up with a risk analysis. Some asset categories to consider are:

  • Servers – these include physical and virtual servers which deal with the organization’s ICT infrastructure;
  • Hardware – these are mobile phones, desktops, laptops, tablets, and physical data storage devices that are used for work-related activities;
  • Network Infrastructure – the elements that make up the entire organization’s network infrastructure;
  • Customer Information – these are sensitive dave that the customers provide. It typically involves the most significant business risk;
  • Cloud services – some examples are Dropbox, Confluence, and Jira.

Have A Clear Definition Of Information Security Management System

The next thing to do is define the Information Security Management System. It’s one step closer to implementing proper security measures throughout the entire organization. You should specify the following:

  • Processes
  • Policies
  • Instructions
  • Procedures
  • Training
  • Guides
  • Inputs and outputs
  • Source of knowledge
  • Normative sources
  • Roles

A partner consultant usually carries out these activities, although some companies purchase ready-made ISO 27001 know-how.

Train Members And Build Competencies

At this point of the implementation, your organization should specify the competencies and skills required for each role involved in the ISMS. In addition, employees must know all about ISMS and its scope, manner, objectives, and effect on the entire organization and members.

Proper system maintenance, monitoring, and updating

One common misconception is that the organization is now ready for ISM after training. However, it’s equally essential to constantly maintain, monitor, and update your organization’s ISMS compliance. Ideally, an effective system would’ve implemented and maintained ISMS for at least one to two months before starting the certification auditing process. It allows them to have ample time to conduct appropriate training, system review, and security measures and develop a solid risk assessment and resolution system.

During this period, system maintenance is essential. It has to be updated as often as possible for maximum protection.

Certification Auditing Process

Lastly, ISMS implementation within an organization is finalized by a legitimate compliance certification with the ISO 27001 standard. The said finalization requires a certification auditing process which is composed of two phases:

Phase I

The first phase of the certification process involves checking the scope and completeness of the ISMS. One of the most common things that phase I checks for is a formal and thorough assessment of the necessary elements of a management system.

Phase II

This part is verified based on whether the company implemented ISMS correctly and corresponded to the operations without holding back.

After a successful certification auditing process, the organization will receive a certificate stating that they are compliant. However, it’s important to note that maintaining this certification and improving their ISMS is essential. Therefore, follow-up audits will take place to ensure maximum compliance. And after about three years, another round of certification audits will occur.

Final Words

Nowadays, all businesses must do their best to apply adequate security measures to protect their company data. In addition, it will prevent unwanted cybersecurity threats such as data breaches, frauds, and ransomware. With this in mind, setting up an adequate ISMS standard would take your organization a step closer to a safer and more protected work environment – both for employees and the company data.

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