ISO 27001 Contact With Special Interest Groups

I am going to show you what ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact With Special Interest Groups 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 5.6 Contact With Special Interest Groups is an ISO 27001 control that requires an organisation to establish and maintain contact with security related professional associations, forums and interest groups.

Purpose

Annex A 5.6 is both a preventive control and a corrective control that ensures the appropriate flow of information takes place with respect to information security.

Definition

The ISO 27001 standard defines Annex A 5.6 as:

The organisation should establish and maintain contact with special interest groups or other specialist security forums and professional associations.

ISO 27001:2022 Annex A 5.6 Contact With Special Interest Groups

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Implementation Guide

You are going to have to ensure that

  • you identify and document any professional associations, forums or interest groups you are involved with

People often scratch their heads at this one but have a think about what technology you are involved with. Are you part of a security vendors newsletter, patch notification, or user group. Are you a developer that has access to beta and early release development tools or versions of software for testing and implementation? Worse case can you join a local security chapter, attend a local event, sign up to a government communication scheme on information security threats.

What you are showing is that you are involved in getting knowledge about best practice, you are up to date with current best practices, that you get early warnings of alerts, advisories and patches. It can show that you got specialist information security advice and share and exchange information. Sign up to the High Table newsletter and tick the box.

Templates

Everything you need to meet this control is provided in the ISO 27001 Toolkit which has been designed so you can DIY your ISO 27001 Certification.

How to comply

To comply with ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 you are going to implement the ‘how’ to the ‘what’ the control is expecting. In short measure you are going to:

  • List anything that you think is relevant no matter how tenuous the link
  • List forums you are in, newsletters you sign up to, vendor communications you get on patching
  • Consider joining or signing up to local security chapters or government communications
  • Look at the technology you have and see if there are any special interest groups that apply to it that you can join

How to pass an audit

To pass an audit of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact With Special Interest Groups 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 are involved in a special interest group

They will check that you are part of a group. It is unlikely they will dig too deeply. Who ever you say is part of a group may be asked about it, their involvement and what they get from it.

Top 3 Mistakes People Make

The top 3 Mistakes People Make For ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 are

1. You didn’t register with any special interest groups

Not even one person in your company could find even a tenuous link to something that would satisfy this and they fail you on it.

2. You registered but you didn’t engage

You thought it was a tick box so you registered and you never engaged. As a result you actually have no idea what the special interest group is, does or gives you as benefit. At least before the audit have a basic understanding of what you signed up to.

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.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 FAQ

What are examples for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups?

Examples of special interest groups are
Developer Forums
Newsletters on information security
Being on vendors patching mailing list
Being part of a security forum

Why is ISO 27001 Contact with Special Interest Groups important?

Some would argue that ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups is not that important as it is glaringly obvious. I am not here to disagree with you. But the standard wants these things documenting so document them.
The purpose of this control is to ensure appropriate flow of information takes place with respect to information security.

Do I have to satisfy ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups for ISO 27001 Certification?

Yes. Clearly it is stating the bleeding obvious but this has never stopped the standard before it wont stop it now. They are explicitly required for ISO 27001.

How do you find relevant specialist interest groups?

We heard about this new thing called ‘Google’ that apparently is a great source to find them.

Do I have to write a list of special interest groups that I am part of? Really?

Yes.

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 sample PDF?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Sample PDF in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

Where can I get templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups?

ISO 27001 templates for Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups are locatedin the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

How hard is ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 is not hard. It is stating the bleeding obvious.

How long will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 Contact with Special Interest Groups take me?

ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 will take approximately 1 hour to complete if you are starting from nothing and doing it yourself.

How much will ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 cost me?

The cost of ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 will depend how you go about it. If you do it yourself it will be free but will take you about 1 hour so the cost is lost opportunity cost as you tie up resource doing something that can easily be downloaded.

Are there free templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6?

There are templates for ISO 27001 Annex A 5.6 located in the ISO 27001 Toolkit.

Is there an online ISO 27001?

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

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Controls and Attribute Values

Control typeInformation
security properties
Cybersecurity
concepts
Operational
capabilities
Security domains
PreventiveConfidentialityProtectGovernanceDefence
IntegrityRespond
AvailabilityRecover