Blurb: It is a tough time for business’ right now, and many are looking for ways to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Further, changes to workplaces over the past year has seen organisations across Australia become concerned with information security threats, and many are looking for ways to uphold the confidentiality of their information. Implementing the ISO 27001 Information Security Standards is an effective solution to both issues, as they can help uphold confidence in the business’ ability to protect its data, as well as help organisations develop effective strategies to protect their data from a host of potential information security threats.
Many business’ assessing the cost of investing in a business asset often look at it from the perspective of asking whether they can afford to purchase it. While this can sometimes be an effective strategy that can help companies curb unnecessary spending, it can also be beneficial to organisations to look at it from the opposite perspective; of asking whether you can afford to not purchase it. This is because some assets are so vital to running a successful organisation, that attempting to do so without them could be very expensive in the event of an incident, even more costly than purchasing the asset to begin with. With the past year presenting a host of information security challenges to organisations, upholding the confidentiality of staff and client data is clearly a big concern for business’, and certainly something that companies should look at investing in.
The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001 Information Security Standards are a vital asset for all companies looking to develop an information security framework that will help to uphold the confidentiality of their data. This is because the standards provide companies with demonstrably successful tools, strategies, and frameworks that they can utilise to help them develop an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS), that they can utilise across their entire operations to help maintain the three core principles of information security:
- Confidentiality: An ISMS helps business’ ensure that the confidentiality of their data is upheld at all points of contact. This is achieved in several ways, including increasing knowledge amongst staff as to the scope of information security threats they should be aware of, developing strong data safekeeping processes where information is protected through various methods, such as requiring two-factor authentication logins, and developing a clear process for what staff should do in the event of an information security breach.
- Integrity: Upholding the integrity of confidential data sees business’ take proactive steps to maintain the trustworthiness of their information for as long as they hold it. An ISMS can help business’ with this step, by working with them to develop strategies to ensure that unauthorised users can never alter data, that data remains uncorrupted while being transferred, and so on.
- Availability: While it is certainly important for a business to ensure that their data remains protected and uncorrupted, those two initial steps need to be undertaken with an understanding that the business’ information needs to be readily available to those who need it, always. Being readily available means authorised parties have quick access to it, and that there are no physical or digital obstacles preventing necessary access to important information. An ISMS assists business’ with this step, by ensuring that important information is stored in an accessible, safe, well-maintained location.
By achieving certification to the ISO 27001 Standards, your business demonstrates that it has actively recognised that there are a host of information security threats that it could be exposed to, and that action needs to be taken to preserve the quality of its information. Particularly, by certifying to these standards, your business is demonstrating that:
- The staff, customer, and client information that it holds is protected, and that people working with your business know that the information they provide to it is not going to be compromised.
- The business has conducted a comprehensive audit of potential information security risks, and in the process identified a range of both intentional and unintentional threats to the business, and implemented safeguarding processes to achieve dual goals: firstly, that the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of the information the business holds has the highest chance of being maintained at all times, and secondly, in the event of an unexpected information security threat, there are clear processes in place to immediately mitigate its effects on the operations.
- The information that the business hold is verifiably accurate, and that no unexpected information security threats will compromise the quality of the information the business holds.
- That the business goes beyond simply aiming to protect its information, but that it has the goal of ensuring that the procedures it implements for safeguarding its data are recognised as the most effective, demonstrably successful, strategies available. By certifying to the ISO 27001 Standards, business’ are demonstrating that the protocols that they implement have been internationally recognised as successful, and appropriate, and are founded on successful industry practices.
Through the implementation of an ISMS, a business shows its staff, clients, and the public, that it is committed to reliability, resilience, and meeting requirements. The ISO 27001 Standards provide business’ with a unified approach to information security, and work at demonstrating how effective information security practices goes beyond simply addressing Information Technology needs. It instead, address all aspects of an operations, including areas the business might not have previously considered, such as workplace meetings, developing effective practices to keep information safe whilst away from the office, ensuring that only authorised personnel can access relevant work documents, and so on.
How this benefits your business
Part of what makes the ISO 27001 Standards a worthwhile business investment is that, over time, they pay for themselves. That is, business’ that have implemented these standards stand to maximise their productivity and reduce their downtime, through things such as strengthening and streamlining their operations, ensuring that their daily practices meet customer requirements, improving their reputation by increasing stakeholder confidence in the reliability of their information security measures, and so on. The ISO 27001 Standards are an investment in effective information security practices, and stronger business processes. Doesn’t that sound like a worthwhile business investment?
If you would like to know more about how the ISO 27001 Standards could strengthen your information security practices, identify and mitigate inefficiencies, and improve your business’ reputation, then please give Anitech’s safety consultants a call today on 1300 802 163, for a short, free, consultation about your business needs. By giving them a simple overview of your operations, they will be able to discuss with you some of the information security risks your operations may be exposed to, and how these standards could work at ensuring your organisations information stays protected.
Please click here to read more about some of the benefits business’ stand to gain through implementing an Information Security Management System.