You will have undoubtedly noticed the ways in which staff conduct their work has changed significantly this year. Many face-to-face meetings are now conducted online, via an app like Zoom. Important paperwork, such as timesheets and employee records, are now done online. Many staff are now required to work from home, meaning that they access confidential work data off their personal computers and Wi-Fi networks, and so on. With workplaces across the country undergoing such drastic operational changes, it is natural for employers to be concerned about the information security risks that arise from this. After all, even if their pre-pandemic information security systems were effective, such a fundamental change to their operations introduces a host of new information security risks. Are employee home Wi-Fi networks secure from hackers? Is there a system in place to ensure confidential information stays secure in the event of a stolen laptop? These are just a few of the information security concerns the pandemic brings to business’, that they will need to address to reassure their staff and customers that their confidential business data remains safe and secure.
Although addressing the myriad of new information security threats the business faces can seem like a daunting task, it does not pay to panic. By working through this issue in a clear, logical manner, business’ will be able to ascertain the scope of potential information security threats to their operations, and implement information security strategies with demonstrably successful results, that work at keeping confidential business data out of the wrong hands. The International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Standards can provides companies with an internationally certified Information Security Management System (ISMS) that works at strengthening the entire information security systems of their business, through performing a systematic gap analysis, which analyses the business’ existing information security systems. Business’ can then compare it with a projection of where they need to get to in relation to their information security systems, and then work at developing a system to get there.
By performing this gap analysis, your business will be able to understand the limitations of its existing information security system, and develop a clear picture of what steps it needs to take to ensure that new information security threats, such as those that arise from employees now working from home, are addressed and minimised in a systematic, structured way.
Nothing slips through the cracks with a gap analysis
Business’ that don’t approach the issue of strong information security in a clear, structured manner are at a possible disadvantage, as a potential information security risk may slip through the cracks, in that it either goes completely unnoticed, or the severity of its potential impact on operations is not recognised. This means that business’ are exposing themselves to an abundance of potential cyber threats, in the form of malware, ransomware, spoof emails, and so on.
Want to know how many successful cyber threats it takes to significantly impact a business’ ability to operate? Just one. Depending on the severity of the information security threat, even one successfully managing to infiltrate your business could severely impact its operations, as significant amounts of downtime will be incurred trying to mitigate the threat.
The ISO 27001 Standards provide a risk management approach to the issue of information security, in which a systematic approach is employed across the business to ascertain what potential threats are at risk of occurring and what steps can be implemented to safeguard against it. This means that your business will remain one step ahead of potential information security threats. For example, with many employees now working from home, they may be required to take important work data, such as laptops, to their homes with them. If a laptop were misplaced or stolen it could have a significantly detrimental effect on the business, depending on what business data is accessible on it. The ISO 27001 standards provide simple solutions to issues such as this, such as requiring a two-factor authentication app to log in to work files, which significantly reduces the odds of confidential data being accessed on a stolen laptop, as without the authentication code no unauthorised user will be able to access any information. It seems simple, and that is because an effective Information Security Management System operates on the principle of employing simple, streamlined processes to strengthen business security.
A three-way approach to protecting your information ensures that it stays secure
The ISO 27001 standards effectively uphold a business’ information security requirements by concentrating on three interrelated aspects of information that needs securing. The three-way approach sees the standard protecting your business’:
- Confidentiality: This step ensures that your confidential business information is only available to authorised users. Access is granted to relevant personnel through secure channels, and is safeguarded via data protection methods such as password protection, two-factor authentication, suspicious emails being quarantined before being released, and so on. Employing these protective measures ensures that your business’ confidential data is readily available to authorised users, and that there are sufficient systems in place to ensure that non-authorised users are not able to gain access.
- Integrity: This step sees protective measures put into place to ensure that your business’ data is safe from hackers, that no computer viruses or malware threats can infect it, and so on. Through the use of email screening software to detect suspicious emails, and training staff to identify potential information security threats, such as overly large attachments in emails from unknown senders, the integrity of your business data is upheld. This is due to no potential threats being able to infiltrate your data, and use it for anything other than its intended use.
- Availability: This step ensures that while your business data is sufficiently protected from potential threats, relevant personnel can access it through safeguarded channels. By utilising information security protocols to protect business data, staff will feel more at ease at working with confidential information, and storing their own personal data on the system. The ISO 27001 Standards can work with your business to develop a system where everyone who needs access to business data is able to get access, while no unauthorised users can gain access to any data they are not authorised to view.
Will my business benefit from these standards?
The pandemic has impacted different business’ in different ways. Some have had their entire operations upended, and have been required to devise an almost entirely new method of conducting business, while other business’ have been operating steadily throughout, with their daily operations still essentially ‘business as usual’. Regardless of the ways in which your organisation has been effected by the pandemic, your business stands to gain from the implementation of these standards, as they can work with your existing information security systems to strengthen them, identify potential weak points that you were unaware of, and help you develop contingency plans for future unexpected events that may significantly change the ways in which your company operates.
If you are curious about how an ISMS could be tailored to your operations to help it solidify its existing information security systems, identify weak points, and ensure that your entire operations remains safe and secure in an insecure marketplace, then please give Anitech’s safety systems consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By giving them a rundown of your business and its information security concerns, they will be able to walk you through the ways in which an ISMS could be implemented at your business to help protect its data, strengthen its information systems, and ensure it remains a strong competitor in the marketplace. What could be more secure than that?
Please click here to find out how implementing a two-factor authentication process for your business systems can protect you from the huge number of cyber threats you face every time you log online.