Have you ever gone out and bought something cool, like the latest model smartphone, only to notice a week later that a newer, improved model is already on sale? Constantly keeping up with the changing market can seem overwhelming, and a business’ information security systems are no different. For example, your business may implement a potential safeguard to protect its operations against phishing scams, and yet discover that it still falls prey to them, as the scammers adapt their methods in order to detect any potential information security weak spot, and breach it.
While a business may find it challenging to safeguard against all potential information security threats, the implementation of a clear set of information security guidelines, which can be tailored to address the specific context of your business operations, increases its chances of safeguarding their confidential information, maintaining their good working relationship with clients, and upholding their reputation.
ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised Information Security Management System (ISMS), which works at providing business’ with an established set of information security guidelines that they can apply to operations to safeguard their business from potential security threats. However, the implementation of this standard is just the first step a business should take in working towards safeguarding their operations. In order to ensure that their work practices remain of the highest standard and in-line with current market trends, business’ should be conducting regular internal information security audits of their systems, to ascertain what is working successfully, what is not, and what steps need to be taken to rectify potential issues.
When implementing an ISO 27001 internal audit, it is recommended that business’ follow a clear, logically structured checklist, consisting of:
- An initial systems comparison review: This consists of cross-checking to see that what is outlined in your ISO 27001 Standards plan matches what has been implemented. Following this, the identification of the key stakeholders of your Information Security Management System ensures that your business is adhering to a logical, easy to follow guideline in which a detailed chain of command in outlined, so people know which department or staff member to go to if there is an issue with any aspect of the ISMS.
- An outline of the regular auditing procedures, to be distributed amongst staff: A plan outlining what the audit is, what it aims to achieve and the regular intervals at which it will be conducted, allows relevant staff to plan for the auditing within their workday, and account for it by preparing relevant documentation.
- Field reviewal of your ISMS: A crucial stage of the process, this step sees the actual reviewal and assessment of internal ISMS procedures, including gauging the effectiveness of the ISMS in the office, by discussing it with relevant staff members, conducting performance tests to validate its effectiveness and filling out a post-test reviewal, in which its success rate is catalogued.
- A post-audit report for management: In order for management to reach a decision about the effectiveness of their ISMS, a report of the findings will need to be delivered to them, outlining key points such as the scope and objective of the initial audit, the key findings of the assessment in conjunction with an analysis of them, and recommendations of what steps need to be taken to keep their ISMS working effectively.
How frequently should my business conduct ISMS audits?
There is no hard and fast rule for the intervals between internal audits that business’ should be taking. This is because the specifics can change due to the size and scope of your operations, and the ways in which it conducts its dealings. The Certification bodies behind the ISO 27001 Standards recommend that you conduct an internal audit at periodic intervals, ranging from one to three years. If you would like some clarification regarding the specific needs of your business, and the ways to tailor internal audits to maximise efficiency and quickly detect and problem solve against potential information security threats, please call Anitech’s security systems consultants on 1300 802 163 to achieve ISO 27001 compliance. They will be able to discuss with you the requirements of your business, and what kind of auditing procedures need to be implemented to keep it running smoothly. Remember that an audit is an Authoritative Uniform Diagnosis of Information Threats, so let’s work at mitigating them.