Should technology firms invest in ISO 27001?

The business case for ISO 27001

The concept for Hicomply was first conceived back in 2010 when a property technology startup’s CEO and CTO made a bold decision that it should invest in becoming ISO 27001 ahead of hiring its fifth team member. The same business was later part of a business that was acquired for $2bn.

The same team who co-founded Hicomply 10 years later have delivered ISO 27001 into numerous successful technology companies. In all cases, the benefits of building an Information Security Management System (or ISMS) certified to ISO 27001 have been well beyond delivering a certificate. The benefits have been transformational in many ways and this blog explores the main benefits:

Great technology firms use their ISMS to differentiate against the competitors

If your tech company builds an ISMS that’s certified to ISO 27001 and your competitors are not, you will have an immediate advantage over them in the eyes of all customers who are increasingly sensitive about keeping their data safe. Most enterprise-level buyers now issue complex InfoSec tender questionnaires or RFP’s. Responding to these tenders is hugely time-consuming and comes with a cost to tender. Having the right ISMS and software solution supporting it will enable your sales teams to respond quickly, improve tender management and improve your win rate.

Reduce the risk of costly incidents, data breaches & fines

Almost half of UK businesses (46%) report having cybersecurity breaches or attacks in the last 12 months leading to high penalties, and reputational damage. On top of this ever-increasing system integrations and digitisation of business processes present a heightened state of risks for all businesses. You tend to hear about the large corporate getting caught out, but all tech firms face the risk of data breaches and the fines associated with them. By securing your customer’s data you are securing your company’s future and it’s reputation. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 is £2.91 million, yet most businesses are left with inefficient, costly and paper-heavy manual processes to manage this risk. Technology businesses should be the first to show innovation in this area of their business.

Legal compliance

There is a whole raft of ever-increasing laws, regulations, and contractual requirements related to information security. Many of them can be resolved by implementing ISO 27001 as the standard gives you the perfect methodology and framework to comply at the highest level.

Build a scalable organisation

Most fast-growing companies don’t build scalable processes and procedures – as a consequence, very often the employees do not know what needs to be done, when, and by whom. Implementation of ISO 27001 helps resolve such situations, because it encourages companies to write down their main processes, enabling them to reduce lost time by their employees.

Investability

Most technology startups fail due to lack of investment and gaining investment in the current climate is more competitive than ever. Investors as part of their due diligence checks will now always look at information security alongside other top-line criteria such as finance or legal. Having an ISMS in place lowers the risk around raising capital for founders and at the exit, through reducing value chip as well as speed up due diligence and ultimately increase investor/buyer confidence.

Accelerate ISO 27001 accreditation

Gaining ISO 27001 can take as long as 12-24 months for most organisations. For technology businesses in their early stages, there are distinct advantages, as the later, you leave it the evidence,  controls and risks become more complex. Start early and reap the opportunity early. By doing so it’s wholly possible to gain compliance in as little as 6 months. You won’t regret the decision.

by Ed Bartlett | CEO | Hicomply

Dec 2020

 

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