How much important confidential data do you think your business would work with in any given week? Even quantifying it is a challenging task, as there is so much to consider: staff and customer details, payroll, business development plans, meeting agendas, and so on. All this information is so vital for the daily business operations, and even imagining what would happen if a hacker gained unauthorised access to this information is a terrifying prospect.
What do you think the ramifications of hackers gaining unauthorised access to your business’ most vital information would be? To start with, it could disrupt daily operations, as the business would be required to spend time and effort ascertaining the extent of the hack, what information was accessed, and how to ensure their systems are secure against future breaches. More seriously, it could significantly impact the business’ entire reputation, as customers and stakeholders may be concerned about continuing to deal with an organisation that cannot guarantee the protection of their data.
Due to these factors, it is clear that when it comes to business information security, it is worthwhile to adopt a pre-emptive approach, in which potential information security risks are catalogued before they impact operations, and then mitigating processes are put in place to work at preventing them from even becoming an information security threat, and that there is a clear, systematic process in place for dealing with information security threats, in the event of an incident.
What counts as an information security risk?
Before implementing counter measures to ward off information security threats, it is important for business’ to have a firm grasp of the scope of the data that needs protecting. This requires adopting a systematic analysis of the business’ existing operations, to gauge potential weak points, assess the potential impact they could have on operations, and the implementation of information security controls to ensure that this does not happen.
With the help of an Information Security Management System business’ are able to approach the issue of preventing potential information security risks from impacting operations, as they can work with the guidelines and standards within the management system to ascertain what information assets need protecting, develop a clear set of information security controls to help guard them, and work at creating a regular auditing process, where the information security controls are regularly gauged to see if they are still effective, and if not, what possible controls could be implemented in their place.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001 Information Security standards is a set of internationally certified business information security standards and guidelines, which work at giving business’ the most efficient, effective knowledge and strategies to protect their information assets. By implementing these standards, your business stands the highest chance of protecting its data, as it can approach the issue of information security through a logical, sequential manner, in which:
- Your business works with the standards to conduct an initial risk assessment of the companies information assets, the ways in which hackers and other agents could gain unauthorised access to them, and what security steps could be implemented to work at countering these measures.
- Your business develops a unified information security framework across all its sites. One of the chief benefits of the ISO 27001 Standards is that they bring a level of cohesion to information security, and utilise an all-in-one approach, in which there is a degree of compatibility and cohesion in the business’ information security systems. This means that in the event of an information security breach, the organisation is able to work at mitigating its impact in a clear, methodical manner, with no confusion about what needs to be done, who the issue needs to be reported to, and so on.
Taking the above steps means that the risk of cyber threats, malware, socially engineered messages, and so on, to your business are mitigated. With these information security standards implemented at your company, hackers will find it next to impossible to gain unauthorised access to your business data. The ISO 27001 standards operate on a central principle of knowledge: By gaining understanding about the kinds of cyber risks that your business faces you gain the knowledge on how to counter them. Further, it is encouraged that you brief and train all staff on the scope of the information security controls that you are implementing at your organisation, so that they have the knowledge of what information security systems are now in place, what their role and responsibilities are when it comes to upholding them, and what they need to do in the event of an incident.
If Knowledge is Power then these standards are very strong
It is always sad to read about a major information security breach at an organisation, more so because so often it could have been avoided by simply implementing a few extra information security controls. For example, it is no use coming up with a really tricky password consisting of random letters and symbols, if your security question in the event of a forgotten password is something that could easily be found out about you, like your middle name. Make the security question something that is not public knowledge, which would be almost impossible to guess. Better yet, the implementation of a two factor authentication log in process means that even in the event of a hacker gaining access to your password, they would still be prevented from logging into your confidential work files.
The ISO 27001 standards provide a clear, unified set of strategies regarding the obvious, and not so apparent, information security controls your organisation needs to keep its data safe. By implementing them, you are ensuring that your existing security controls are industry standard, improving on ones that are not as efficient as they could be, and maintaining your organisations reputation as a secure, reputable company to do business with.
If you are interested to know some of the ways your organisation stands to benefit from these standards, then please give Anitech’s safety systems consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. You will be able to have a friendly, informative chat with them about the specific requirements of your business, and what you need from the standards, and they will be able to provide you with clear guidance about how these standards could be tailored to your business to strengthen its information security, and uphold its reputation. Isn’t this the kind of knowledge your organisation could benefit from?
Please click here to find out more about how the implementation of an effective Information Security Management System gives companies a one-stop solution for strong information security.