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CSM top tip of the month: Establish your Information Security Management Committee early

In our top tip series, Hicomply’s digital ISMS experts and customer satisfaction specialists, Zoe and Laura, share their advice for businesses working towards information security certifications. From essential policies to best practices, the Hicomply team is here for you.

This month, we want to talk about taking a proactive approach to establishing your Information Security Management Committee (ISMC).

An effective ISMC is there to drive your information security management system strategy and ensure its long-term usability and success. Your committee will oversee the development, implementation, and operation of vital information security procedures and policies both within your business and across your supply chain. It also helps to foster a strong culture of cybersecurity throughout your entire organisation.

Committees can vary in size and make-up depending on the organisation. You might have twenty people in your ISMC, or you might have ten, or five. What’s important is that every factor of your business is represented, and every member of the committee shares a commitment to making positive information security changes.

Why organise your ISMC early?

It’s best for an ISMC to be established and formalised as early on in your ISMS journey as possible, because this will give your information security management system both focus and support from the outset.

While an ISMC doesn’t guarantee organisational security, it does offer an important tool in helping your business reduce risk and smooth its compliance journey.

Core responsibilities should be shared fairly across your ISMC, and communication is key. Members of the committee must agree on what is critical to accomplish for your ISMS, and how to go about it. This will help you not only set goals, but hit them.

Who should be on your committee?

Every ISMC is different, and the members who make up a committee will vary depending on the size and sector of the organisation in question. However, ideally a strong committee should include your Chief Information Security Officer (Chair), Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Chief Architect, Human Resource Manager, and Head of Marketing.

Your committee may start out small and grow with time. Many ISMCs begin with only IT representation defining the initial scope of your project, but this should be temporary. Any ISMC should mature with your security efforts, ensuring the integration of information security across your business.

How often should your committee meet?

Committees should hold an information security management forum (ISMF) at least quarterly, sometimes monthly, depending on the size and objectives of your organisation.

Many risk aversion and assessment management protocols require regular review, and having a regular meeting in place can help ensure that your information security efforts are making a positive difference. If they aren’t, quarterly meetings provide an opportunity to reassess your procedures and see what more can be done to protect your business.

Smooth the road to compliance with Hicomply

Hicomply’s ISMS software takes the heavy lifting out of compliance, making it easy to assess completed, in-progress and outstanding tasks, with all the tools you need in one, secure place.

Our platform does the work for you, with fast and simple ISMS scoping, real-time updates, automated risk management, and all your policies under one roof. Build, house and manage your ISMS within a single, industry-leading platform.

The numbers speak for themselves. On average, our customers see a 50% reduction in implementation costs and timescales, and a 5x Return On Investment. So take the hard work out of cybersecurity by investing in Hicomply for your business.

Not currently using Hicomply? Ready to find out more about what the platform can do for you? Book a demo.

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