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ISO 27001:2022 Clause 4.2: Understanding The Needs And Expectations Of Interested Parties

This version of clause 4.2 is applicable to both ISO 27001:2022 and ISO 27001:2013.

Read the requirements of ISO 27001 Clause 4.2: Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties, which ensures that the organisation determines interested parties relevant to the information security management system (ISMS), and those parties' requirements.

The organisation shall determine:

  • Interested parties that are relevant to the information security management system;
  • The relevant requirements of these interested parties;
  • Which of these requirements will be addressed through the information security management system.”

ISO 27001 Interested Parties

So who or what constitutes an interested party? An interested party can be an individual stakeholder or a group of people who are affected by the organisation’s activities. An interested party may include, but is not limited to, employees, management, directors, partners, suppliers, and customers.

According to the ISO 27001 standard, the organisation must determine the interested parties in terms of its ISMS. The number of interested parties depends upon the size and type of the organisation. Each of these interested parties may have different needs and expectations.

Understanding the Needs and Expectations of Interested Parties

Understanding these differing needs and expectations is crucial when considering your ISMS. For example, customers want their data to be secured at all times, while on the other hand, employees want their data to be secured while resources are available to support their job roles.

The organisation must then determine the requirements of the individual interested parties, whether that’s legal and regulatory requirements, contractual obligations or any other related requirements, while balancing the organisation's needs.

To effectively balance out these factors, organisations should consider carrying out stakeholder mapping, where the different interested parties are assessed based on their levels of power and interest in the ISMS. Those with high scores for both are your key stakeholders and their needs and interests must be considered closely, while those with low scores have less influence. Stakeholders with high power but low interest should be kept satisfied, while stakeholders with low power but high interest should be kept informed. It’s worth considering how you define both of these categories – while “power” could be thought of in terms of internal organisational influence (such as a company director or board member), it might also come in the form of a particularly influential customer, or a regulatory or legal body whose needs must be fulfilled.

In summary, organisations should ensure they have carried out robust stakeholder mapping and considered the expectations and needs of all parties relevant to and interested in its ISMS.

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