ISO 27001 Managing Information Security In The ICT Supply Chain

I am going to show you what ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain is, what’s new, give you ISO 27001 templates, an ISO 27001 toolkit, show you examples, do a walkthrough and show you how to implement it.

I am Stuart Barker the ISO 27001 Ninja and using over two decades of experience on hundreds of ISO 27001 audits and ISO 27001 certifications I show you exactly what changed in the ISO 27001:2022 update and exactly what you need to do for ISO 27001 certification.

What is ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain is an ISO 27001 control that requires an organisation to manage the risks associated the ICT products and services supply chain.

What is ICT?

ICT, or information and communications technology (or technologies), is the infrastructure and components that enable modern computing.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Purpose

Annex A 5.21 is a preventive control that ensures you maintain an agreed level of information security in supplier relationships.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Definition

The ISO 27001 standard defines ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 as:

Processes and procedures should be defined and implemented to manage the information security risks associated with the ICT products and services supply chain.

ISO 27001:2022 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain

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Implementation Guide

We discussed above that ICT means information and communications technology and we would include cloud services in that.

When we implement we are looking to build on existing best practices for information security, project management, quality management and engineering and not to replace those practices.

You are going to have to ensure that:

  • you have information security requirements when acquiring products or services
  • your suppliers propagate your security requirements through ‘their’ supply chain if they sub contract
  • you request, and understand, of product suppliers, what software components they use
  • you request and understand product security functions and how to configure it to be secure
  • you implement monitoring and validation of security requirements in your suppliers
  • you identify and document critical products and services
  • critical components and their origin can be traced through the supply chain
  • you have assurance products are functioning as expected
  • you have assurance products meet required security levels
  • you have rules for sharing information including issues and compromises
  • you have process for managing component lifecycles, availability and associated security risks
  • you have considered alternate suppliers and how to transfer to them if needed

It is always best and goes without saying, or it should, that you will acquire your products and services from reputable sources.

ISO 27001 Templates

You can save months of effort with these ISO 27001 templates that take 25 years of experience and distill it in a pack of prewritten best practice awesomeness.

ISO27001 Third Party Supplier Register Template
ISO27001 Third Party Supplier Policy Template

How to comply

To comply with ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 you are going to implement the ‘how’ to the ‘what’ the control is expecting. In short measure you are going to

  • Implement a topic specific policy
  • Implement an supplier management process
  • Include in your supplier management process supplier acquisition and supplier transfer
  • Implement a third party supplier register
  • Have agreements with all suppliers that cover information security requirements
  • Have information security assurances for critical suppliers as a minimum and ideally all relevant suppliers

How to pass an audit

To pass an audit of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain you are going to make sure that you have followed the steps above in how to comply.

You are going to do that by first conducting an internal audit, following the How to Conduct an ISO 27001 Internal Audit Guide.

What will an audit check?

The audit is going to check a number of areas. Lets go through the most common

1. That you have a supplier agreements in place

The auditor is going to check that you have agreements in place with suppliers that cover the information security requriements. It will check that those agreements are in date and cover the products and / or services acquired.

2. That you have an ISO 27001 Supplier Register

You will need an ISO 27001 Supplier Register to record and manage your suppliers. Make sure it is up to date and reflects your reality.

3. Documentation

They are going to look at audit trails and all your documentation and see that is classified and labelled. All the documents that you show them, as a minimum if they are confidential should be labelled as such. Is the document up to date. Has it been reviewed in the last 12 months. Does the version control match.

Top 3 Mistakes People Make

The top 3 Mistakes People Make For ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 are

Make sure that there is a contract, agreement, terms of business or some legal mechanism for engaging with suppliers and you have a copy, it is in date and covers what you are using.

2. You have no assurance they are doing the right thing for information security

Make sure you have done your security assessment and can place your hands on an in date certificate such as an ISO 27001 Certification for assurance they are doing the right thing. It needs to be in date a cover the products and / or services you have acquired and are using form the supplier.

3. Your document and version control is wrong

Keeping your document version control up to date, making sure that version numbers match where used, having a review evidenced in the last 12 months, having documents that have no comments in are all good practices.

Why is it Important?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain is important because suppliers represent the biggest risk to you. If they are not doing the right thing it is your reputation, your finances, your success that is stake. Get supplier management correct and reduce the risk.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 FAQ

What policies do I need for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain?

For ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain you will need the ISO 27001 Supplier Policy

Are there free templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21?

There are templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 located in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 sample PDF?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Sample PDF in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

Do I have to satisfy ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 for ISO 27001 Certification?

Yes. Whilst the ISO 27001 Annex A clauses are for consideration to be included in your Statement of Applicability there is no reason we can think of that would allow you to exclude ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 Managing information security in the ICT supply chain is a fundamental part of your control framework and any management system. It is explicitly required for ISO 27001.

Can I write polices for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 myself?

Yes. You can write the policies forISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 yourself. You will need a copy of the standard and approximately 5 days of time to do it. It would be advantageous to have a background in information security management systems. Alternatively you can download them in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

Where can I get templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21?

ISO 27001 templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 are located in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

How hard is ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 is hard. The documentation required is extensive. We would recommend templates to fast track your implementation.

How long will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 take me?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 will take approximately 1 to 3 month to complete if you are starting from nothing and doing a full implementation. With the right risk management approach and an ISO 27001 Template Toolkit it should take you less than 1 day.

How much will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 cost me?

The cost of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.21 will depend how you go about it. If you do it yourself it will be free but will take you about 1 to 3 months so the cost is lost opportunity cost as you tie up resource doing something that can easily be downloaded and managed via risk management.

Is there an online ISO 27001?

Yes, there is an online ISO 27001 at ISO 27001 Online.

Is there an online ISO 27001?

Yes, there is an online ISO 27001 at ISO 27001 Online.

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Matrix of ISO 27001 controls and ISO 27001 attribute values

Control typeInformation
security properties
Cybersecurity
concepts
Operational
capabilities
Security domains
PreventiveConfidentialityIdentifySupplier relationships securityProtection
IntegrityGovernance and ecosystem
Availability