When it comes to ISO 27001 compliance, there are two types of audits that are used to test whether an organisation deserves to either maintain or obtain certification – internal and external audits. Both types of audits have a specific role to play in gaining ISO 27001 accreditation.
Why Should I Carry Out An Internal ISO 27001 Audit?
Internal audits are carried out by the in-house team at an organisation to ensure that data security standards are being maintained at a level to comply with the ISO 27001 international standard. Carried out at regular intervals throughout the year, internal audits aim to verify the effectiveness of pre-existing standards, while also assessing additional precautions to be put in place if needed.
Internal audits ensure that an organisation is fully prepared for an external audit by an independent, accredited body who ultimately awards certification.
ISO 27001 Checklist: A Step-by-Step Guide
- Choose Your Auditors
The first step on the ISO 27001 checklist is choosing your internal auditors. It’s imperative that they have a sound understanding of information security and are willing to take on the responsibility of ensuring your organisation maintains the standards of compliance. It’s recommended that the auditors are part of the senior management team, given the level of importance and responsibility involved in the task.
- Develop Standard Practices
When the team of auditors has been chosen, and a leader has been established, ensure that a list of standard practices is put in place. There must be a set of standards within an organisation in which to judge if ISO 27001 certification is being adhered to. Without these standards, it would be impossible to audit an organisation as there is no metric in which to judge current working practices against.
- Implement An ISMS Procedure
At this stage, it’s time to implement an information security management system (ISMS) procedure. This is a series of policies, codes and internal documents that steer your organisation towards and mirror what the auditors want to achieve.
At this stage, you’re essentially putting your standard practices into writing, and making them an official process in your business. It’s also important to implement a recording process, so actions can be monitored going forward.
- Understand Your Vital Information
Once you have a procedure in place, it’s important to recognise which information in your business requires the implementation of ISMS, and to what degree. You can do this by carrying out a risk assessment to determine which information warrants the greatest data security protection, given its sensitive nature. Not only will this help you determine which information needs to be protected, it will also allow you to identify potential vulnerable areas of your data security system.
- Establish Risk Management
Now that you have established which information is the priority to protect in your business, it’s vital to implement risk management controls to enable you to determine the potential damage that threats will cause, compared to how likely they are to come to fruition. Plot each type of information that your business holds on a chart, determining if the information is of low or high risk, and is the risk tolerable.
Once this has been established, implement a plan to best ensure that your organisation’s information remains safe based on that risk assessment. For example, pair information with a high risk of a breach with a high level of security, and vice versa.
- Measure Results & Review
Perhaps the most important step is measuring your results and reviewing them regularly. This will enable you to see if your procedures are working as they should and are beneficial to the business. Do this annually by comparing the results of your implementation to the standard practices and objectives established in step 2 of this guide.
Be sure to bookmark the Hicomply blog for the latest ISMS and wider data security news and research. Find out how much a data breach would cost your business on average by reading our research into the world’s biggest breaches and the financial repercussions businesses suffer as a result.
Alternatively, book a product demo today to find out how Hicomply can help secure your company’s vital information.