ISO 27001 Certification Process: How To Get ISO 27001 Certified

ISO 27001 Certification Process: How To Get ISO 27001 Certified

If your organization handles a large amount of data, you would want to get ISO 27001 certified.

Certification is a valuable factor that adds to your company’s credibility.  It demonstrates that your service or product meets the information security standards. In some cases, certification is also a legal or contractual requirement.

Here’s an easy-to-understand guide on the ISO 27001 process and requirements.

iso 27001 certification process

How to Get an ISO 27001 Certification

ISO 27001 Certification is a written assurance issued by an independent body. It shows that the product, service, or system you provide meets the framework for information security management systems (ISMS) set by the International Organization of Standards (ISO). 

The following are the crucial steps you must take to get certified:

Prepare for ISO 27001 certification

The first step is to prepare for the certification process. Obtain a copy of the ISO 27001 standard, familiarize yourself with its clauses and controls, and consider getting training courses for your team to understand the certification process better.

Conduct a gap analysis

A gap analysis assesses the current state of your company’s information security management system. Using the ISO 27001 standards as the benchmark, you will be able to identify gaps in your system. Review existing policies and controls to determine what needs to be developed or updated.

Define the scope

What are the boundaries and applicability of ISMS in your company? Identify the physical locations, systems, processes, and data that will be evaluated under ISO 27001 standards. 

Develop and document a plan

You can’t implement ISO 27001 standards alone. Assemble a project team that can handle ISO 27001 implementation and define their roles and responsibilities. Documenting the whole ISO 27001 certification process is time-consuming but important. Documentation shows your interpretation of each ISO 27001 standard and how it can be relevant to your company’s context. 

Implement the plan

Implement the necessary controls from Annex A of ISO 27001, or justify why some controls do not apply to your company. You can also hire a third-party consultant to help you with the implementation.

Conduct regular internal audits

An internal audit is a self-inspection to check if the implementation was successful. It helps you evaluate if your company meets ISO 27001 requirements. If your internal audit shows non-conformity to the required standards, make the necessary adjustments.

Choose a credible certification body

ISO doesn’t conduct ISO 27001 certifications, so you need to select a certification body. ISO’s Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) is responsible for overseeing conformity assessment within the ISO. It develops policies and publishes the standards but doesn’t conduct the conformity assessment. The conformity assessment includes testing, inspection, and ISO 27001 certification.

The certification body should use the CASCO standard and should ideally be accredited. Despite the ISO not requiring it, getting the accreditation shows that the certification body is competent. Check your country’s national accreditation body or search International Accreditation Forum CertSearch, which currently lists over 1,700 certification bodies worldwide.

Certification Audit

At this stage, the certification body will review your ISMS documentation and check if it meets ISO 27001 certification requirements. The next step requires the certification body to conduct an on-site audit to verify that your ISMS is implemented effectively according to ISO 27001 standards.

Address non-conformities

If any non-conformities are identified during the certification audit, corrective actions should be taken immediately. Accomplish a self-audit again and provide evidence to the certification body.

Certification decision

After all non-conformities are resolved, the certification body will award you your ISO 27001 certification. Congratulations! You are now ISO 27001 certified. However, you still need to monitor and improve your ISMS if you want to maintain certification.

ISO 27001 Certification Process: How To Get ISO 27001 Certified

What Are ISO 27001 Requirements?

Below are the essential ISO 27001 certification requirements. Remember to also read Annex A of ISO 27001: 2022 for the updated list of objectives and controls for certification.

Know the context of your organization

First, you must know the external and internal issues affecting your company’s ISMS. Furthermore, identify your stakeholders and their expectations on information security. By doing so, you can define the boundaries and scope of your project plan.

Obtain management support

Your leadership team must be on board for ISO 27001 certification. They must demonstrate commitment to ISMS by establishing a security policy that fits your company. They should also identify the roles and responsibilities relevant to information security.

Plan for ISO certification

Determine the risks that must be addressed to ensure you achieve ISO 27001 certification. Come up with a list of information security objectives and systematically plan any changes to your ISMS. Remember, it takes time to change and improve a system.

Provide resources

You can only proceed with ISO 27001 certification if you make an investment. Identify the resources you need to establish, implement, and maintain your ISMS. You also need to ensure that your employees are competent in information security.

ISO 27001 Certification Process: How To Get ISO 27001 Certified

Implement the plan

Apply the processes needed for your company to meet ISO certification requirements. Implementation also covers performing risk assessments and applying risk treatment plans to address identified weaknesses.

Monitor and improve ISMS

Evaluate the performance of your ISMS and conduct regular internal audits at planned intervals. This helps you take steps to correct and deal with any non-conformities in your system. Continually improve so you can be assured of an effective ISMS.

Who Needs ISO 27001 Certification?

Companies that handle sensitive data need ISO 27001 certification. The following industries will benefit from being certified:

  • Healthcare Organizations
  • Information technology
  • Financial services
  • E-commerce and Retail
  • Telecommunication Companies
  • Legal Services
  • Government and Public Sector Organizations
  • Educational Institutions
  • Manufacturing and Industrial
  • Media and Entertainment
Kent Cañas

Kent is a content strategist currently specializing in HIPAA-compliant online fax. Her expertise in this field allows her to provide valuable insights to clients seeking a secure and efficient online fax solution.

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