Information security is becoming increasingly important for modern organizations. Stories of security breaches and cyber attacks at large organizations and public institutions regularly hit the headlines. Breaches have been caused by a mistaken click, a forgotten computer or non-compliance with GDPR. While the vast majority of organizations have security systems in place that should prevent slip-ups, not everyone has sufficient security capabilities.
It's up to management to ensure information security. We have compiled a number of best practices for those who want to take the temperature of their organization's information security work.
ISO 27001 is your starting point
There are a number of standards that can ensure an organization's information security, the most common of which is ISO 27001.
This standard places high demands on the information security management system, which takes a systematic approach to managing business information to ensure that data remains secure.
ISO 27001 can be implemented in both small and large organizations in any industry, and there are a number of best practices to follow. Before you get to that point in the process, however, your organization should take a thorough look at what valuable information you possess and how it is stored. A comprehensive mapping of your current information security efforts is essential for a successful outcome with the ISO 27001 standard.
With the mapping in place, it's a good idea to keep the following in mind:
1) Get support from management
Information security cannot be implemented or maintained without management support. It's a project that starts at the top and works its way down.
Management commitment must ensure that there are sufficient resources to implement, manage, develop and maintain information security.
2) Risk assessments as a starting point
No matter what part of information security needs to be addressed, it is essential that it is always based on a risk-based approach. Vulnerabilities and threats must be identified so that risk assessments can be made in relation to the organization's risk appetite.
The goal is to get an overall picture of the risks facing the organization so that resources can be prioritized and, most importantly, the identified risks can be mitigated.
3) Preparation of the SoA
The standard requires an SoA (Statement of Applicability) to be created in order to document the scope of controls for each item.
With SoA software, you ensure that the organization covers all relevant points, and most importantly, that the work and decisions are documented correctly.
4) Employee training
Information security depends on employees, which is why training and awareness programs should be provided on a regular basis.
There is no technology that can secure information from human error - for example, clicking on a phishing or malware link - and employee behavior must be taken seriously.
5) Regular review and update
For the information security system to be effective, it should be reviewed by management at regular intervals as part of the internal audit.
The results of the audit and periodic review are documented and maintained, and any recommendations are implemented.
Why use ISO 27001?
Applying ISO 27001 may seem like an extensive process, but there are many benefits to implementing the standard.
First and foremost, ISO 27001 serves as a systematic approach to information security management. It is a management tool that helps companies protect valuable information - including personal data - in a secure and trustworthy way.
ISO 27001 also makes it possible to avoid costly fines and financial losses associated with unintentional information security failures or attacks.