ISO 27001 Certification Cost – Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Home / ISO 27001 / ISO 27001 Certification Cost – Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

Introduction

In this ultimate guide to ISO 27001 Certification Cost you will learn

  • What ISO 27001 Certification Costs
  • A detailed breakdown of the costs involved
  • How to budget for your ISO 27001 project
  • Tips to significantly reduce costs

I am Stuart Barker, the ISO 27001 Ninja and this is absolutely everything you need to know about ISO 27001 Cost.

Watch the ISO 27001 Cost Tutorial

For a simple explanation and breakdown, watch ISO 27001 Certification Cost – Explained Simply

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security. It is a risk based management system that provides a framework for organisations of any size to identify and mitigate their information security risks.

What is ISO 27001 Certification?

ISO 27001 certification is the process of getting an independent third party to asses whether or not you meet the requirements of the standard by the process of performing an audit and then issuing you with an ISO 27001 certificate to show to your customers that your information security management system (ISMS) is compliant with industry best practice.

The steps involved in ISO 27001 certification are:

  • Gap analysis
  • policy development
  • implementation
  • internal audit
  • certification audit.

The list of the best ISO 27001 certification companies.

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The cost of ISO 27001 certification is based on the number of employees and is between £5,000 and £28,000.

Number of employeesTotal Audit DaysEstimated Certification Body Cost
1 -10 5£5,000
11 – 156£6,000
16 – 257£7,000
26 – 458.5£9,000
46 – 6510£10,000
66 – 8511£11,000
86 – 12512£12,000
126 – 17513£13,000
176 – 27514£14,000
276 – 42515£15,000
426 – 62516.5£17,000
626 – 87517.5£18,000
876 – 117518.5£19,000
1176 – 155019.5£20,000
1551 – 202521£21,000
2026 – 267522£22,000
2676 -345023£23,000
3451 – 435024£24,000
4351 – 545025£25,000
5451 – 680026£26,000
6801 – 8500 27£27,000
8501 – 1070028£28,000
ISO 27001 Certification Body Costs

DO IT YOURSELF

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 Toolkit Business Edition

Let us look at the typical ISO 27001 certification costs per country.

ISO 27001 Certification Cost UK

The typical cost for ISO 27001 certification in the United Kingdom (UK) is £8,000. This is the median of the small business costs. The cost of a UK ISO 27001 Certification is usually cheaper than international counter parts.

ISO 27001 Certification Cost Australia

The typical cost of Australian ISO 27001 certification is $15,000 AUD. This is the median of small business costs.

ISO 27001 Certification Cost USA

The typical cost of USA ISO 27001 certification is $12,000 This is the median of small business costs.

The external costs vary depending on your size and complexity but each of the accredited certification bodies follows guidance set down to them. The guidance provides the number of days they will take to audit you. The day rate costs vary but let us look at that guidance and show estimated costs.

What ISO 27001 Certification costs are there?

There are four categories of ISO 27001 Certification costs. They are:

  1. The cost of implementing ISO 27001 and building your Information Security Management System
  2. The cost of the actual ISO 27001 Certification and taking the test
  3. The cost of running the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System
  4. The ongoing annual cost of external certification audit

ISO 27001 Implementation Costs

Putting in place the documents, templates, policies and processes of the management system and the associated controls will take a combination of time and money. Some of the costs are known and explicit. Some of the costs are hidden and implicit.

Either you are going to pay in your time to do it yourself or in money for someone to do it for you.

The costs for implementing ISO 27001 range from a few hundred pounds to buy an ISO 27001 toolkit with step by step guides to £/$10’s of thousands to get external help. The most expensive option is an ISMS Online Platform where costs range from £10,000 to £100,000 per year.

ISO 27001 implementation costs will vary considerably depending on if you do it yourself, employ someone full time, employ a contractor or engage a consultant.

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 YourselfConsultantEmployeeContractor
circa £500£5k to £15kmin £40k per year£39k to £160k
30 to 90 days duration5 to 15 days duration6 to 12 months duration3 to 12 months duration
Comes with all templates, policies, guidesComes with all templates, policies, guidesNeeds to write all policies Will write all policies
Track record of delivery and certificationTrack record of delivery and certification
Stuart - High Table - ISO27001 Ninja - 3

ISO 27001 Certification Audit Costs

ISO 27001 Certification costs are set by the certification body. To have meaning you will want a UKAS accredited certification. It is worth shopping around. The UKAS website lists all the accredited bodies.

The costs vary depending on your size and the ‘risk’ the certification body assigns to your business.

For a small business expect to pay £6k to £8k typical as a year 1 cost.

For a medium size business expect to pay £12k to £18k typical as a year 1 cost.

You then have on going yearly costs.

What will affect your ISO 27001 certification costs?

ISO 27001 certification costs can vary based on a number of factors. The consequences of getting these wrong means that costs can up quickly and steeply.

The ISO 27001 certification costs are affected by
1. The size of your organisation
2. The scope of your information security management system
3. The risk that the certification body thinks your organisation is exposed to
4. The actual certification body that you choose

The size of your organisation

The bigger you are the more the certification body will charge you. It is a simple as that. This one is outside your control of influence but be prepared for it.

The scope of your ISO 27001 certification

You should spend time on defining your scope for certification including what is in scope and what is out of scope. The more that is in scope the more work you have to do and the more you need to be audited. Read How to Define ISO 27001 Scope as a guide.

The number of locations that are in scope

Once you have defined your scope work out how many locations are included. If they are your physical locations then an auditor will need to visit them. This will incur costs. More sites, more visits, more costs.

The certification body you choose

Not all certification bodies are equal in what they charge. As a rule, the larger the certification body, the more they will charge.

The list of the best ISO 27001 certification companies.

ISO 27001 Surveillance Audit Costs

ISO 27001 Surveillance Audits are the annual audits that are performed to maintain your ISO 27001 certification. Every year up to your recertification audit the certification body will come back and perform a mini audit to ensure that the management system is still working.

The cost of the ISO 27001 Surveillance Audit is roughly 1/3 the cost of your certification audit.

ISO 27001 Re-Certification Audit Costs

You will do a full re certification audit every 3 years. This is exactly the same as the ISO 27001 audit. The cost of the ISO 27001 re-certification audit is exactly the same as the ISO 27001 certification audit. You can expect to pay more due to the affects of inflation but the cost and process is exactly the same.

How much does the ISO 27001 on going annual external certifications cost?

ISO 27001 costs are annual. This is an ongoing processes with on going costs.

  • Year 1 cost of £6,000 to £12,000
  • Year 2 and year 3 cost of £2,000 to £5,000
  • You then start the process over again and go back to Year 1.

ISO 27001 On Going Costs

You would be forgiven for thinking that the costs for ISO 27001 end at certification. Sadly this is not the case. ISO 27001 is a management system that is based on continual operation and continual improvement. As a result of this there are several ongoing costs that you should consider. They include:

Run the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System

There are many factors to consider but in brief, if you employ someone full time expect to pay £40,000 to £60,000 per year. If you outsource it expect to pay £12,000 to £36,000 per year. If you get an existing staff member to do it expect to pay training fees for them of around £2,000 to £5,000 per year.

Annual recertification audit costs

To maintain the certification the certification body is going to audit you every year. It is actually a cycle of audits over 3 years but be prepared for audit costs for the next 2 years of around 33% of your year one cost. Then on the 3rd year you do the whole thing again from scratch with a full audit and at the full audit cost.

Annual operational costs

The ISMS and associated controls have to be operated. This will come at a cost. The cost will either be in hiring new resources or in people’s time who will be diverted from their day job to complete the mandatory tasks required.

The biggest operational cost from the perspective of the standard will be the internal audit costs. I raise this here for special consideration as this is the one area that you are likely to require specialist resource that is independent of the areas being audited. Not only does the certification body audit you but you are expected to audit yourself on an ongoing basis. You can learn more about ISO 27001 Clause 9.2 Internal Audit to understand more on the requirement and read our guide on How to Conduct an Internal Audit to see what is involved and how you can do it yourself.

Online ISMS Platform Costs

These are by and far the most significant and unnecessary cost of any ISO 27001 certification.

There are a wide variety of online ISMS platforms that offer a range of products and services. On the whole these are expensive and tailored to large, complex environments that employ a full time person to take care of information security. These are often an extra unnecessary cost that can double or even triple your ISO 27001 costs as well as tying you in to long term contracts and recurring monthly fees. It is often the case that you can engage an experienced real world consultant to take care of ISO 27001 for you verses the same costs for what amounts to a document management system.

Think very carefully before you engage an online ISMS platform solution as you will still require the skills and experience of a consultant and / or the documents and processes to operate the ISO 27001.

The ISO 27001 Cost Mistakes That People Make

Not knowing what you need

The number 1 mistake most people make is not knowing what they need and what their options are.

They get sucked in by fancy marketing.

They believe the hype, that it is hard, when in fact it is not.

They accept the high prices that are banded around without question.

Not Shopping Around

The number 2 mistake most people make is not shopping around.

An accredited certification is an accredited certification.

Whilst you might belief the hype that they are not in it for profit, they are.

The reality is costs vary wildly.

Do your research.

Get at least 3 quotes.

Choose the ISO 27001 Certification Body that meets your finance requirements, your values and your needs.

To get the ISO 27001 certification you must become ISO 27001 certified. To be ISO 27001 certified you must pass and ISO 27001 audit which to all intents and purposes is a test. The test comes at a cost.

ISO 27001 Certification Cost FAQ

What is ISO 27001 Certification?

ISO 27001 certification is the process of getting independent verification that you are meeting the requirements of the standard. The result of the ISO 27001 certification process is an ISO 27001 certificate that you can share with prospects, customers and clients.

What is the process of ISO 27001 Certification?

When you have implemented the standard, have evidence that you are operating it and have completed and internal audit you will apply for ISO 27001 Certification. The process of ISO 27001 certification is a 2 stage process.
Stage 1 will primarily look at your documentation and management system. The output of stage one is a recommendation to proceed to stage 2.
Stage 2 will look at evidence of the operation of controls. The auditor will review your documents and observe your processes in action.

Do different ISO 27001 certification bodies charge different amounts?

Yes. They will tell you that they do not work on a day rate but they do. As a result, the number of audit days will be fairly consistent between the certification bodies but the rate they charge will differ. The product at the end, the ISO 27001 certification, is exactly the same. In fact they often outsource the certification audit itself to a small pool of independent contractor auditors. This means that irrelevant of who you pay you can end up with the same auditor and will get the same product and the same outcomes. Get at least 3 quotes and shop around. Whilst the standard is the standard the amount that you are quoted or charged will be different depending on the ISO 27001 certification body that you choose.

Why do different ISO 27001 certification bodies charge different amounts?

Different ISO 27001 certification bodies charge different amounts as they have different costs to account for. The amount that they pay their staff or consultants, the amount they charge for their processes, additional services that they provide, spend on marketing all contribute to the certification bodies charging different amounts.

Do ISO 27001 certification bodies use the same auditors but charge different amounts?

Yes, sometimes. The industry relies on a pool of freelance consultants to perform that ISO 27001 audits working for multiple ISO 27001 certification bodies at the same time. Sometimes a certification will have full time, permanent staff, usually in an attempt to reduce costs. You should ask when you engage with the ISO 27001 certification body what staffing model they adopt.

How much do online ISO 27001 platforms cost?

On average the cost of an online ISO 27001 ISMS is between £10,000 and £100,000 per year. Expect to pay a set up fee and an ongoing maintenance fee. They are expensive and have many hidden fees.

What is an ISO 27001 consultants day rate?

An ISO 27001 consultant day rate will range between £400 and £1,500 per day depending on experience.

How much does an ISO 27001 consultant charge?

An ISO 27001 consultant will charge between £12,000 and £60,000 per year depending on what they do for you.

What is an ISO 27001 consultants hourly rate?

An ISO 27001 consultants hourly rate will range from £50 per hour to £250 per hour depending on experience.

What is the cost of the ISO 27001 standard?

The actual ISO 27001 standard costs around £150. Shop around. It is also only 14 pages long.

Can I get ISO 27001 certified for free?

No.

Is it possible to download ISO 27001 for free?

No.

Where can I get free ISO 27001 templates?

There are no free ISO 27001 templates that are any good. Google is your friend but ‘buyer’ beware.

We are a small company, why does ISO 27001 cost so much?

Partly because the ISO 27001 standard has been built in such a way that it excludes small business on cost. The ‘official’ framework of certification bodies is bureaucratic and doesn’t take into account the size of your organisation. They work on audit days not company size. It is not designed to be in your favour but, as they say, it is what it is.

How should you implement ISO 27001?

It sounds simple but work out what you actually need.
Fundamentally it will come down to your costs verses your time.

Can I get ISO 27001 certified without a consultant?

Yes, you can get ISO 27001 certified without a consultant. HighTable provide an ISO 27001 Toolkit that allows you to do it yourself. It provides all the templates you need and an easy to follow step-by-step implementation guide.

Is ISO 27001 certification a one-time cost?

No. There are many costs involved in ISO 27001 including annual audit costs and recertification costs.

How long does ISO 27001 certification take?

It varies based on how you go about it but it typically takes 3-12 months.

How can I find a reputable ISO 27001 certification body?

The list of the best ISO 27001 certification companies.

How can I reduce the cost of ISO 27001 certification?

The more that you can do yourself, the less it will cost you.

What happens after I get ISO 27001 certified?

ISO 27001 is a management system the you will continue to operate and each year will be audited to ensure that you are still following it.

Can you self-certify ISO 27001?

No. ISO 27001 certification must be carried out by an independent third party.

Can you fail ISO 27001 certification?

Yes, you can fail the ISO 27001 certification audit if you do not follow the ISO 27001 standard and meet its requirements.

ISO 27001 Toolkit Business Edition

Do It Yourself ISO 27001