This time last year no one could have predicted what 2020 would have in store for the Australian public: hundreds of thousands of people without a job, economic insecurity, and a complete overhaul of the way in which business’ operate, which has resulted in many employees now either working from home, or in a heavily modified office environment. This has had a significant effect on the marketplace, with many business’ having to adapt their existing management systems, to ensure they continue to be safe for their staff, clients, and the general public, to use.
These concerns were reflected in the Australian Federal Budget that was released this week, with it allocating significant funds, of $202 million, to go towards strengthening cyber security. It was argued that this was necessary to protect the Australian public, and the business’ that they rely on. It noted that a significant cyber-attack could fundamentally impact the Australian economy, costing as much as $30 billion, and over one-hundred thousand jobs potentially lost. It is clear that the issue of cyber-security, and keeping business’, and their staff and customers, safe from potential information security threats is an issue that a significant number of Australian’s are concerned about.
An Information Security Management System protects your business against information threats
While it is clear that business’ need to take some protective measures to ensure the security of their information assets, sometimes even simply getting a handle on what information needs to be protected, and how to go about it, can seem like a challenging task. What sort of information assets do business’ need to protect? What kind of systematic approach should they employ to work at protecting their data? How should management and staff go about the task of sharing the responsibilities of protecting information security?
These are all important information security concerns that business’ need to consider when developing an information security strategy, and to ensure that they approach it in a logical, systematic manner, it is worthwhile for business’ to consider implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS), which will work with them to ensure that they adequately address all of the information security concerns within the organisation, that they don’t overlook any issues, and that there is a clear system in place for dealing with potential information security risks. By implementing this system, your organisation is improving its operations, reducing downtime, and safeguarding against potential threats impacting the business, all of which can work towards increasing its profit margins.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001:2013 Information Technology Security Management Systems standard sets the benchmark for business information security, by providing organisations with a step-by-step, systematic approach to adequately address all of their information security needs. A central benefit of the standard is that it goes into detail about the various types of information assets that business’ need to protect, including IT based information assets, such as employee log in accounts and emails, as well as physical information assets, including work files, memorandums, and even the verbal exchange of confidential business data.
The standards goal of developing, implementing, sustaining, and constantly enhancing the information security needs of an organisation is achieved through a number of ways, including:
- Providing a level of cohesion and structure to a business’ existing information security systems. While most organisations will already have some form of information security protocols, such as password protection of email accounts, this standard works at unifying the management system, to ensure it all runs smoothly together, and that there is a degree of cohesion across different departments and work sites. This makes dealing with potential information security threats easier, as the same systematic approach can be employed for dealing with any potential information security issue the business faces, rather than having to improvise solutions, on a case-by-case basis, due to there not being a clear system in place for dealing with issues.
- Developing a clear chain of command process across the entire business, for dealing with potential information security issues. This means that all staff will be briefed on their own role and responsibilities when it comes to maintaining the information security of the business, and that in the event of an issue, staff know exactly who to report to, and what steps need to be done to address it. This saves significant time and effort in dealing with issues, as they can be addressed immediately, rather than having to spend time working out who to report the issue to, what needs to be done about it, and so on.
- Detailing what exactly counts as an information security asset, and the ways in which you can protect all assets. Strong information security within a business goes further than simply maintaining strong IT safety protocols, as there are also physical, verbal, and knowledge-based assets that need to be protected. Training employees not to leave laptops unattended, taking attendance and minutes of board meetings so there is a record of what was said and who was privy to the information, are just some of the ways physical and knowledge-based information assets can be protected, and these standards will help your organisation achieve this goal.
Further, the ISO 27001 Information Security standard employs a systematic approach that is compatible with other ISO standards, including the ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety standards. This is due to the International Organization for Standardization designing several of their business standards to approach the issue of helping business’ streamline their operational goals through a structured, holistic approach, which is compatible with several other ISO Standards.
This means that if your business already has existing ISO certifications in place then the Information Security standards will work at complementing them. Further, if your organisation would like to address how to safeguard other potential issues that could threaten the stability of the organisation, by implementing other ISO standards, such as ISO 45001, these standards will be compatible with it, and the systematic approach to dealing with issues that it introduces to your business.
How will my business benefit from these standards?
Regardless of the size, scope, or structure of an organisation, all business’ have some form of information that they need to protect, especially if an information breach could threaten the stability of operations, cause significant downtime, or bring the reputation of the business into question.
Therefore, it is so important for organisations to approach the issue of protecting their information security in a logical, structured manner. If you would like to learn more about how an effective Information Security Management System could protect your business’ information assets, and uphold its reputation as a safe organisation to deal with, then please give Anitech Information Security Management consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. You will be able to discuss with them the information security concerns you have, and what information assets you need protected. From that, they will be able to talk you through how these standards could be applied to your operations to ensure that its information security assets remain protected. With the Federal Budget placing so much importance on strong information security right now, wouldn’t you say that now is the perfect time to get an ISMS?
Please click here to read more about how an effective Information Security Management System helps organisations safeguard both their operations and reputation.
Read Also: What is an ISMS?