One of the challenging aspects for companies attempting to uphold the confidentiality of their data, and maintain effective information security across their organisation, is simply knowing where to start. After all, there are so many different factors to take into consideration, and overlooking even one seemingly minor thing could result in a potential data breach that could be disastrous for the operations. Fortunately, every problem usually has a solution, and in this case, the implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) provides companies with a holistic, unified approach to protecting their information assets, and obtaining industry compliance.
When people think about what counts as ‘information security’ for a business, they usually think of Information Technology related concerns, such as safeguarding against hackers, intercepting suspicious emails, and strong password protection. While all of that is indeed considered part of a business’ overall information security systems, it is merely one aspect of a much broader in scope issue related to protecting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the business’ information assets. To get a better idea about what business’ should, and can, be doing to maintain the information security of their organisation, we spoke to James Paul, the Senior ISMS Consultant at Anitech, to get an overview of the scope of information security challenges that business’ are facing, and what they should be doing to protect their information assets.
A profile of the kind of company that will benefit from implementing an ISMS
To start with, Paul explained that the first port-of-call for any business looking to demonstrate a commitment to upholding their information security should be getting certified to the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001: Information Security Standards. Paul explained that these internationally certified, global standards are the must-have benchmark for any business wanting to demonstrate a commitment to upholding the confidentiality of their data. Paul explained that one of the key benefits of these standards was the way in which they catered to any and all company types, by providing them with a proven successful approach to protecting their knowledge-based assets: “it covers entire industries… IT companies first get ISO 27001… having said that, it fits into any small, medium, or large enterprise, because it provides a holistic approach.” Paul went on to explain that the standards cover so much more than developing effective information technology systems, and instead provide an all-in-one holistic approach, which provides a unified solution to the entire operations: “it is not just technology, it is also people. It involves internal employees, how they are dealing with customer information, the external and internal information, the flow… it applies to all organisations.”Paul’s main point was that all organisations, no matter their size or business type, stand to benefit from the implementation of these standards, as they provide a wealth of benefits to business’, including helping them to identify the scope of their information assets, examine their existing information security systems for potential weak points, implement effective safeguarding processes in an easy, hassle-free manner, and publicly demonstrate a commitment to upholding the confidentiality of their data. Paul explained that any and every business can benefit from this kind of commitment to strong information security.
Paul further explained that it is a good idea for all business’ to get ISO 27001 certified, regardless of the strength of their existing information security system, as accreditation to this standard demonstrates to other organisations that your business recognises that there are a multitude of potential information security risks out there, and is taking active steps to protect its valuable staff, stakeholder, and customer information from them. He explained that certification to this standard can even open trading doors for business’, as “most of the companies which we started doing ISO 27001 on, they are based on the compliance requirement. They wanted to do government related business, so they need to get certified to ISO, which will give confidence to their supply chain… the business’ they deal with… it gives the confidence to customers.”
Certification brings peace of mind
Paul explained that one of the key benefits for business’ getting certified to this standard, is that it allows them to identify potential weak points within their existing information systems, and take preventative measures to ensure that the information threat is actively mitigated, and that the reputation of the organisation is upheld. Paul stated that this brings a significant benefit to organisations, one which all companies aim to obtain… peace of mind. Paul stated that certification “gives them a lot more benefits. They can sleep better at night knowing their information is protected. They have protected the image of their business by securing their information.”
Business’ that look at implementing an ISMS usually are working within a problem-solution framework. They have a potential problem, that their knowledge-based assets need to be identified then secured from all potential risks, and they are seeking a solution, an Information Security Management System, which can be implemented across their organisation, to work with it to identity the scope of information assets that need securing, and then implement proven successful strategies to achieve their goal of sustaining their operations. Paul explained that business’ approach the ISMS consultants at Anitech, to help them “protect their information and business continuity”, and that after speaking with the organisation to identify the scope of their information security requirements, Anitech helps them implement these standards, to ensure the continuity of their operations: “Sustainability is the main thing Anitech helps them with… we will help them to build a better management system” and that “we will help them strategically align business and technology. That’s what I have been doing in my thirty years of service for organisations.”
The successful implementation of an effective ISMS has many benefits for business’, and Paul stated that it can open doors for them, by demonstrating to the business community that your organisation is secure to deal with, industry compliant, and takes its information security responsibilities seriously, noting that “one company I did a Stage One ISO Compliance with, they said that they could secure more business as a result of that.”
It is clear that the business marketplace is changing significantly, and these changes can introduce a wealth of potential information risks to companies. It is important that they stay one step ahead of these potential threats, and the implementation of the ISO 27001 Information Security standards can help business’ get this edge.
If you would like to discuss how these standards could be implemented at your organisation in a smooth, hassle-free, manner, to identify the scope of its information assets and take pre-emptive measures to secure them, then please give Anitech’s ISMS consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. They will be able to work with you to identify the scope of your business’ information assets that need protecting, and explain to you how these standards can ensure the continuity of your operations. Isn’t that the kind of knowledge that is work safe keeping?
Please click here to watch a recording of Anitech’s webinar on the Importance of Workplace Information Security.