ISO 27001 Certification: The Ultimate Guide To Success

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Want to know more about ISO 27001 certification? 

You’ve come to the right place.

According to the latest ISO survey, almost 60,000 organisations around the globe now have a valid ISO 27001 certificate, each issued by certification bodies that have been accredited by members of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).

If you’re based in the UK, you will be audited and certified by a UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited certification body. Wherever you are in the world, ISO 27001 is internationally recognised, therefore all organisations are measured against the same standard.

By achieving ISO 27001 certification, you give your customers the signal that you mean business when it comes to information security, and more importantly, their information security.

In this article we’ll explore what ISO 27001 certification is, why you need it, and how to achieve it – you’d better believe it! Too cheesy?

Seriously though, this subject is boring enough, so you won’t find jargon-filled explanations that make your head feel like it’s about to explode. By the end of this blog, you’ll know everything you need to about getting your ISO 27001 certificate quickly and affordably – and it won’t hurt one bit.

I’m Stuart Barker: Founder of High Table, ISO 27001 Ninja, and author of that famous, life-changing ISO 27001 Toolkit. But more on that later…

Shall we dive in?

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the leading international standard for information security. Simply put, it’s a set of guidelines and best practices required to create and maintain an effective information security management system (ISMS).

An ISMS is a framework of policies, procedures and controls designed to monitor and protect your organisation’s sensitive data.

By implementing an ISMS, you can better protect your information and assets from cyber threats, data breaches, and other security risks.

What is ISO 27001 Certification?

ISO 27001 certification is an independent verification that confirms that your organisation’s ISMS aligns with the ISO 27001 standard. 

An accredited certification body conducts an audit of your organisation’s ISMS. Here, they check whether the correct risk assessments, policies and controls are being implemented and developed. If all requirements are met, your ISO 27001 certificate is issued and your organisation is ready to rock.

By achieving ISO 27001 accreditation, existing and potential clients, partners and stakeholders can see that you are committed to continual improvement by implementing an ISMS that adheres to global best practices.

The difference between ISO 27001 certification and compliance

If your organisation is following some or all of the ISO 27001 guidelines, this is known as compliance with the ISO 27001 standard.

If a certification body has audited your ISMS and have deemed it in compliance with the ISO 27001 standard, this ISO 27001 certification, and this is what leads to bigger and better opportunities for your business.

Why your business needs ISO 27001 certification 

Does your organisation handle personal information, financial data or intellectual property? Then you should implement ISO 27001. If you deal with any kind of confidential information (who doesn’t these days?) getting your ISO 27001 certificate is important.

Big or small, the size of your organisation does not matter when it comes to getting ISO 27001 certified. You could be a one-man-band trying to win a significant client, or a small startup desperate to bid for a lucrative tender, whatever your situation – clients and stakeholders need assurance that their information is safe.

More organisations than ever expect suppliers to be ISO 27001 certified, so, if you’re not, Houston, you may have a problem. ISO 27001 certification is your information security badge of honour. Without it, you’re missing the opportunity to showcase your commitment to protecting your clients’ information, and you could find yourself missing out on business altogether.

Reasons why organisations are more likely to choose ISO 27001 certified suppliers:

  • ISO 27001 is the recognised and respected standard for information security management
  • Confident that their sensitive information and data is protected from security threats
  • Confirms the supplier’s commitment to following international best practices
  • Saves them time and effort authenticating the supplier’s security procedures
  • Can help build trust and with customers and stakeholders
  • Minimises the risk of data breaches and cyber attacks
  • Offers a competitive edge over suppliers who are not ISO 27001 certified
  • Can save on costs due to improved security measures and risk management
  • Can create a culture of continuous improvement and ongoing risk assessment

How ISO 27001 certification will benefit your business

Getting ISO 27001 certified doesn’t just benefit your customers, it’s a no-brainer decision for your business, too. Here’s why:

  • Can help you win bigger, meatier clients – who doesn’t want that?
  • Can help you hold onto existing business
  • Many of the ISO 27001 conditions also satisfy GDPR and data protection requirements, which will show regulatory bodies you mean business when it comes to risk management 
  • ISO 27001 accreditation will help you build and maintain a sound reputation
  • Data breeches are expensive – ISO 27001 will keep you on the right side of the law
  • Implementing IS0 27001 will help you streamline your processes

How to get ISO 27001 certified

The ISO 27001 certification process is notorious for being complicated, expensive and slow. At High Table, we’ve turned this on its head. Our aim is to make ISO 27001 accessible for everyone, and now there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

3 routes to ISO 27001 Certification

There are 3 routes to ISO certification:

  1. By following an ISO 27001 toolkit and doing it yourself (10x faster and 30x cheaper)
  2. By subscribing to a faceless online ISMS portal (fees, fees and more fees)
  3. By hiring a consultant (who will charge the earth to do the job for you)

As you make your way through this guide, we hope you discover the best ISO 27001 accreditation method for you. We believe in cutting the cr*p, getting to the point, and arming you with the tools to achieve ISO 27001 success.

How to prepare your business for ISO Certification

Every organisation is unique with different needs, which affects the level of preparation required. It depends how big your business is, as well as how compliant you are with the ISO 27001 standard to begin with. Here’s what you can do to get ISO 27001 ready:

  1. Undertake a gap analysis to uncover where you company is failing to meet the standard.
  2. Devise an implementation plan that demonstrates how you will address these gaps.
  3. Educate your team on the requirements and how you plan to align with the standard.
  4. Make sure all ISMS documents are up to date, including policies and procedures.
  5. Perform internal audits to give you peace of mind that your ISMS is functioning as it should, and that your staff are up to speed on what is required.
  6. Book your certification audit with a certification body

The ISO 27001 certification process, explained

To achieve ISO 27001 certification, there’s a strict process to follow. You’ll need to demonstrate to the auditors that your ISMS is in great shape and fully complies with the standard. 

6 steps to ISO 27001 certification victory

Follow these steps to ISO 27001 certification victory:

  1. Identify the information assets that need protection and the processes that need to be included in the Information Security Management System (ISMS).
  2. Identify the risks to the information assets and evaluate their impact. This helps to prioritise which risks to address first and what controls to implement.
  3. Once the controls have been identified, the organisation needs to implement them. 
  4. Conduct internal audits to make sure that the ISMS is operating properly and meets the ISO 27001 standard.
  5. Conduct a management review of the ISMS to make sure it’s meeting the organisation’s goals and objectives.
  6. An external certification body will perform an audit to determine whether the ISMS meets the ISO 27001 standard. If it does, ISO 27001 certificate granted. Done and dusted.

Your eyes are glazing over, aren’t they? Just think how much time and effort you’d save if you followed the King of all ISO 27001 toolkits instead. We’ll just leave that there…

What requirements are mandatory for ISO 27001 certification?

Before an external ISO 27001 certification audit can happen, here are the requirements that must be in place:

Complicated, isn’t it? Why not skip the hard work and shortcut your ISO 27001 certification.

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The cost of getting ISO 27001 certified completely depends on the path you take.

You’ll need to cover two sets of costs in the certification process:

  1. The cost to implement and run the ISO 27001 ISMS 
  2. The cost to book the certification audit 

What you end up paying depends on these factors:

  • The size of your business
  • How risky you are seen to be
  • The UKAS accredited certification body you decide to go with

The question is, do you want to do it yourself, or instruct someone to do it for you? 

A Comparison of ISO 27001 Implementation Options and Costs

Considering the approaches of doing it yourself, getting a contractor or employing High Table let us compare typical expected costs side by side.

Do It Yourself

£500

30 to 90 days duration

Comes with all templates, policies, guides

Track record of delivery and certification

Show me ISO 27001 Do It Yourself >

Consultant

£5k to £15k

5 to 15 days duration

Comes with all policies

Track record of delivery and certification

Show me ISO 27001 Consultant >

Employee

£40k + per year

6 to 12 months duration

Needs to write all policies

Contractor

£39k to £160k

3 to 12 months duration

Will write all policies

Often, people don’t know there’s more than one route to certification and end up getting stung.

If you have time on your side, the cheapest and easiest way for a small business like yours to get ISO 27001 certification is by going down the High Table ISO 27001 Toolkit route.

But, if you’re time-poor and need someone to take it completely off your hands, or coach you through the process – MAKE SURE YOU DO YOUR RESEARCH! Consultants don’t have to cost the earth. (If they do, you’re with the wrong one!)

How long does it take to get ISO 27001 certified?

The ISO 27001 certification process is different for every business and takes as long as it takes. As a rough guide, factor in around 3 months: 30 days to implement the information security management system and ISO 27001 itself, plus a further 60 days to implement and evidence the required controls.

Here are some stumbling blocks that can impact the process:

  • Your ability to book a certification audit based on their availability
  • Your ability to implement and evidence the required ISO 27001 controls

Does ISO 27001 expire?

Once you’ve been accredited, your certification will last three years, but your auditor will expect your ISMS to be continually monitored, maintained and improved. Annual surveillance audits will ensure that your ISMS continues to meet the ISO 27001 standard throughout that time, and, when the three years are up, it’s time for recertification. This process will reassess your ISMS, including Clauses 4-10 and each applicable Annex A control.

How to fast-track your ISO 27001 certification with High Table

You’ve reached the exciting bit.

First, ask yourself these questions: 

  1. Would you feel comfortable waiting around for months whilst the ISO 27001 consultant you’ve hired to get you certified drags the process out far longer than required?
  2. Would you be happy knowing you’re paying way over the odds for the privilege?
  3. Would you enjoy wasting months of their time and effort writing soul-destroying documents and policies?

We’re guessing your answers were along the lines of (f*ck) no.

Then this one’s for you.

If you’re a small business or novice consultant looking for the fastest, cheapest, easiest way to gain ISO 27001 certification, keep reading.

ISO 27001 made easy with High Table

With almost 25 years’ experience, knowledge and wisdom in the information security world, High Table has become the fastest growing ISO 27001 company, globally, by injecting life into ISO 27001.

Was it a dated, stuffy industry? TICK

Was it almost impossible for small businesses to access ISO 27001 certification? TICK

Was the certification process too hard for small businesses to perform without guidance? TICK

And that’s why we chose to transform the process and make implementation easy.

The benefits of using High Table to help you get ISO 27001 certified

Here’s why you should choose us to get help you nail your ISO 27001 accreditation:

  • We guarantee your certification. 
  • We won’t overcharge you or drag the process out like most consultants.
  • We don’t charge subscription fees like online ISMS portals.
  • We’ll let you in on the secrets the industry doesn’t want you to know about.
  • You won’t find a YouTube channel bursting with free ISO 27001 guidance and helpful advice anywhere else.
  • You’re dealing with genuine people, not corporate robots! We’re honest, upfront and fun to work with.
  • Oh, and just in case you were wondering, we’re 100% UKAS ISO 27001 certified. (It’d be slightly awkward if we weren’t.)

The faster, easier, cheaper route to ISO 27001 certification

So, there you have it. Everything you could possibly need to know about achieving ISO 27001 certification. 

Who wouldn’t want to save time, money, and too much effort?

Want to get serious about information security? 

Fast-track your way to guaranteed certification and bigger wins for the future with the most value-for-money ISO 27001 Toolkit on the market.

Your ISO 27001 certification solution is just a click away… You’ll find it in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

ISO 27001 Toolkit Business Edition

Do It Yourself ISO27001

Stop Spanking £10,000s on consultants and ISMS online-tools.