Made up of 46 separate standards and developed by the IEC, the ISO 27000 series addresses how businesses, including third parties, should set up their information security management systems (ISMS). These standards are broken down to address the three core elements of information security: people, processes and technology. However, the manner in which each element is managed and overseen by the ISO varies, with the finer details of compliance regularly modified in response to changing technology.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) are critical global organizations that work together, jointly providing guidance regarding international trade and telecommunications, among other tasks. In particular, the ISO, which is made up of 164 member states, sets global standards and monitors information security compliance for industrial and commercial operations. These standards, including those described in the ISO 27000 series, describe how businesses and organizations are expected to operate. Failure to comply may represent a serious breach of client trust.

Getting Started: ISO 27001

While there are dozens of standards covered under the ISO 27000 series, ISO 27001 is the first and most important standard. Specifically, its 2013 publication describes everything organizations need to do to achieve information security compliance, and for this reason, it is the only standard of the ISO series that can be audited and certified. All ISO 27000 standards published after ISO 27001 expand further on the requirements listed in this initial standard.

Though ISO 27001 certification is not generally a required standard, being certified does have certain advantages. An ISO 27001 certified business demonstrates to clients and potential clients that it takes information security seriously and has mitigated cybersecurity risks throughout its physical systems and operational processes. And because this standard can be audited, it is also an indication of an ongoing commitment to maintaining and improving these security systems. As hackers and other cybercriminals become more innovative, more clients will expect their business partners to have ISO 27001 certification.

The Extended Series: ISO 2700x

While ISO 27001 lays out the foundations of a strong information security system, the rest of the series provides the details necessary to fully implement such a system. This includes the overview of potential controls provided by ISO 27002, some of which may not be relevant to an organization; ISOs 27017 and 27018, introduced in 2015, which are dedicated to cloud security measures; and the new ISO 27701, introduced in response to the GDPR.

One of the defining features of the ISO 2700x family of guidelines and regulations is that because many regulatory options are available to businesses and other organizations, no two systems will look exactly alike. This is beneficial in terms of ensuring that all operations have built-in flexibility; however, it also makes things complicated, causing many businesses to seek support as they work to fulfill these requirements.

Compliance Strategies

Given the range of possibilities open to businesses, what does ISO 27001 compliance look like? The final outcome must cover a  total of 114 compliance requirements, including everything from the use of nondisclosure agreements and the use of secure login procedures, to the careful review of supplier services. This last element, management and monitoring of third-party services, can be one of the most challenging since organizations don’t have direct control over vendor activities. The good news is that you don’t have to handle vendors alone.

If you’re concerned about your third-party vendors’ ISO 27001 compliance, Panorays provides continuous monitoring and can report problems that could compromise regulatory compliance. All of our monitoring is based on the details of your business’s interactions with these third-party groups and how critical those interactions are to your overall operations. Such guidance can make a big difference when it comes to determining whether to continue contracting with a supplier or migrate to a different service.

Beyond Auditing

Organizations often view auditing as central to operational security, particularly when they are working within an established framework. Don’t be fooled by these one-time examinations. While audits are valuable and can reveal serious problems, they are ultimately “moment in time” examinations and don’t solve security problems. In contrast, Panorays relies on continuous monitoring to complement audits; you need to know what your suppliers are doing right now, not what their procedures looked like last month. 

Risk Assessment and Reassurance

In order for your organization to comply with the ISO 27000 series, it is required to perform a risk assessment as outlined in ISO 27005, which can help set a clear course going forward. Risk assessments identify vulnerabilities that need to be addressed as well as the areas where you have successfully and comprehensively secured client and employee information. Risk-based cybersecurity programs can help your organization maintain its ISO certification, but like audits, these assessments only capture a particular moment. Not only is your business always changing and evolving, but so are the cybersecurity threats that need addressing.

When risk assessments aren’t providing your organization or your clients complete reassurance, it’s time to look for additional solutions, and that is when your business can benefit from Panorays’ services. With quick supplier vetting, continuous and automated monitoring and critical alerts, it’s no surprise that leading brands trust Panorays to manage their supplier security programs. Our compliance assessment and management tools provide organizations of all kinds with the information they need to partner confidently with suppliers, while the Panorays name assures clients that your business takes their privacy seriously.

Is your business ready to take the next step toward ISO 27000 series compliance? Contact us today to schedule a demo of our end-to-end security management solution. Once you’ve seen the Panorays platform in action, you’ll be confident that regulatory compliance can’t get any simpler than Panorays.