ISO 27001 Management Responsibilities

I am going to show you what ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities 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 it?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities is an ISO 27001 control that requires management to ensure that people apply information security in line with documented policies and procedures.

Purpose

The purpose of Annex A 5.4 is to ensure management understand their role in information security and undertake actions aiming to ensure all personnel are aware of and fulfil their information security responsibilities.

Definition

The ISO 27001 standard defines Annex A 5.4 as:

Management should require all personnel to apply information security in accordance with the established information security policy, topic-specific policies and procedures of the organization.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities

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Implementation Guide

You are going to have to ensure that:

  • roles and responsibilities are documented and people are briefed on them before they get access to information
  • guidelines for information security expectations are in place and they are shared with people
  • information security policies are in place and people are aware that they are mandated
  • implement information security training and awareness relevant to people’s roles
  • have terms and conditions of employment, contracts or agreements that include information security and relate to the policies
  • information security skills and qualifications where relevant are ongoing
  • you have a whistleblowing process
  • adequate resources are made available for information security related controls and processes.

Implement ISO 27001 Policies

To act in accordance with ISO 27001 information security policies and procedures you first need to implement them. Follow the guidance in The Ultimate Guide to ISO 27001 Annex A 5.1 Policies for Information Security

Document Roles and Responsibilities

It is straight forward to document the roles and responsibilities. Start with defining what the roles are. You state the name of the role and then list what the role is responsible for in terms of information security.

Example Information Security Roles

Typical roles that are required include, but is certainly not limited to:

  • CEO
  • Leadership
  • Information Security Management Leadership
  • Information Security Manager
  • Management Review Team
  • Third Party Supplier Manager
  • Business Continuity Manager
  • Information Owners
  • Information Security Incident Management

Example Information Security Responsibilities

An example of information security responsibilities assigned to a role would be the role of the CEO. Let’s take a look:

CEO

  • Sets the company direction for information security
  • Promotes a culture of information security aligned to the business objectives
  • Signs off and agrees on resources, objectives, risks and risk treatment

Ensure People are Competent

Once people are assigned then we are going to record and manage their competence to perform the role. Usually this is a measure of experience and training. You are going to create and maintain an ISO 27001 Competency Matrix.

Engage with HR

You have a reliance on HR. There are many HR process that will come into play throughout the implementation, including on boarding new employees, off boarding when people leave, disciplinary processes and more. Specific to this particular clause you are going to have terms and conditions of employment, contracts or agreements that include information security and relate to the policies. You are going to work to ensure that information security is part of all HR process as appropriate.

Communicate and Train

A large part of this control is communication and training. Actually telling people what is expected of them. Having a communication plan in place that covers what you will communicate, when, to whom and how is a great way to set a structure for the year. Telling people where policies are, how to report incidents, who they can speak to about information security are some of the basics. Alongside this you will have training on a range of topics and requirements – you can learn more in The Ultimate Guide to ISO 27001 Annex A 6.3 Information Security Awareness, Education and Training,

Templates

To help you comply the following individual templates are going to fast track your implementation. They are the ISO 27001 Policy Pack that includes all of the required information security policies already written, populated and ready to go. The Documented Roles and Responsibilities Template has the roles already defined with the responsibilities already written. For competency the great ISO 27001 Competency Matrix will get you up to speed fast.

ISO 27001 Policy Toolkit
ISO 27001 Competency Matrix Template
ISO 27001 Annex A 5.2 Information Security Roles and Responsibilities Template

These form part of the ISO 27001 Toolkit that includes everything you need for the ISO 27001 implementation.

How to comply

To comply with ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 you are going to implement the ‘how’ to the ‘what’ the control is expecting. In short measure you are going to:

How to pass an audit

To pass an audit of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities 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 main ones

1. That you have contracts in place

What this means is that you need to show that you have in date contracts in place with all staff, contractors and third parties. Those contracts will explicitly state the informations security requirements.

2. That you have security training and awareness

You need to implement information security and awareness training relevant to people’s roles. The audit will check that the training has taken place. The audit is also going to check that people have read and accepted the policies that are also relevant to their role. This is one occasion where an information security training tool can greatly help you.

3. That you have a whistle blowing process

Often overlooked, the requirement for people to be able to report information security related issues whilst being protected. Where this is applicable the process should be documented.

Top 3 Mistakes People Make

The top 3 Mistakes People Make For ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 are

1. You have no contracts in place

You need to have contracts in place and they need to include relevant information security requirements. This can often be overlooked or the contracts that you have can be out of date. It is a good idea to check before the audit.

2. One or more members of your team haven’t done what they should have done

Prior to the audit check that all members of the team have done what they should have. Do they know where the policies are? Have they acknowledged them? Did someone join last month and forget to do it? Check!

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.

FAQ

What policies do I need for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4?

The list of policies you need can be found in the ISO 27001 Policies Ultimate Guide

How do I decide which policies I need for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4?

You decide what policies you need by first completing your Statement of Applicability and then identify in conjunction with the ISO 27001 standard the required policies for your implementation.

Are there free templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4?

There are templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 located in the ISO 27001 Policy Templates Toolkit.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 sample PDF?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Sample PDF in the ISO 27001 Policy Templates Toolkit.

Do I have to satisfy ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities 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 5.4. Management Responsbilities are a fundamental part of any governance, risk and compliance framework. They are a fundamental part of any information security management system. They are explicitly required for ISO 27001.

Where can I get templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities?

ISO 27001 templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 are in the ISO 27001 Policy Templates Toolkit.

How hard is ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 is not particularly hard. It can take a lot of time if you are doing it yourself but it is not technically very hard. We would recommend templates to fast track your implementation.

How long will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities take me?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 will take approximately 1 week to complete if you are starting from nothing and doing it yourself. With an ISO 27001 Policy Template bundle it should take you less than 1 day.

How much will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 cost me?

The cost of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 will depend how you go about it. If you do it yourself it will be free but will take you about 1 week so the cost is lost opportunity cost as you tie up resource doing something that can easily be downloaded. If you download an ISO 27001 Toolkit then you are looking at a couple of hundred pounds / dollars.

How do I document roles and responsibilities?

You document roles and responsibilities in the ISO 27001 roles and responsibilities template that has pre written the required roles for ISO 27001.

How do I track information security skills for the team?

Information security skills are recorded in the ISO 27001 Competency Matrix.

How do I write a competency matrix?

A guide to the competency matrix with step by step how to create it guide in the ISO 27001 Competency Matrix Beginner’s Guide

How do I do information security and awareness training?

The best way to implement information security training and awareness is by using a tool. In addition you will maintain an information security communication plan.

Is there an online ISO 27001?

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

Why are ISO 27001 Management Responsibilities important?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.4 Management Responsibilities is important because the standard requires that information security is driven from the top down and that everyone knows what is expected of them.
The purpose of this control is to ensure that management understand their role in information security and that they ensure that all personnel are aware of their information security responsibilities. It is their job to ensure that personnel fulfil those responsibilities.

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Controls and Attribute Values

Control typeInformation
security properties
Cybersecurity
concepts
Operational
capabilities
Security domains
PreventiveConfidentialityIdentifyGovernanceGovernance and Ecosystem
Integrity
Availability