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How can challenges of compliance with ISO 27001 be alleviated and transformative with Continuous Controls Monitoring

Most enterprises are familiar with compliance to ISO 27001 -, the international standard for information security management systems (ISMS). However, many can often face a range of challenges when trying to be compliant with ISO 27001. There is commonality of organisational challenges, but these can vary depending on the size of business, the industry and the more specific operational challenges that they may face. However, typically businesses may broadly be faced with the following set of circumstances that prevent smooth and consistent compliance to ISO 27001:

Understanding and Interpretation:  ISO 27001 standard is complex – there is no denying that and the technicality needed to understand the requirements can be complex. Thus, attempting to interpret this for an organisations specific circumstance can be really challenging and exceedingly time consuming.

Risk Assessment and Management: There is a strong emphasis on risk assessment and management in the ISO 27001. Therefore, if enterprises do not have the right expertise and tools in place to complete this task then compliance will be nigh on impossible.

Changing regulatory compliance: Keeping up with changing laws can feel like such an onerous task. ISO 27001 compliance means that organisations must make sure that their security practises are relevant to current regulations. Not always easy!

Resource Constraints: Implementing and maintaining an ISMS requires dedicated resources, including personnel, time, and financial investments.

Documentation and Record-Keeping: ISO 27001 requires extensive documentation and record-keeping. This includes policies, procedures, risk assessments, and audit reports. This is incredibly time consuming as up to date records are required to be compliant.

Integration with Existing Processes: Enterprises have built processes over a considerable amount of time. Integrating the requirements of ISO 27001 into these processes can be exceedingly challenging because essentially those practises and workflows may need to change, so that not only requires input from teams but an understanding of how and why they need to change or how ISO 27001 weaves into the current processes.

Technology and Infrastructure: Security of existing tech and infrastructure is a critical requirement of ISO 27001. Many enterprises may not have the visibility of all their assets. They may also not have reviewed for some time whether their tech infrastructure is as secure as it could be. So updating and securing systems and networks can be a significant undertaking.

Third-Party Relationships: This is a particularly challenging aspect of ISO 27001 because it requires an organisation to know that their suppliers also adhere to the regulation. So, monitoring and contract management is required here and a desire on the third parties’ part to support compliance. Not only that but a level of trust is required that your suppliers are complying as you need them to!

Auditing and Certification: Preparing for external audits and achieving ISO 27001 certification can be a complex, manual time-consuming process, with no guarantee of success. It requires for all these components to work.




How can Enterprises use Continuous Controls Monitoring Technology to support their ISO 27001 compliance?

ISO 27001 focuses on managing and protecting sensitive information. Continuous controls monitoring can align to all controls and measures defined in the ISO 27001 and ensure that they are continuously monitored. This can be invaluable to enterprises in ensuring that they have complete oversight of their compliance posture and be able to prove this continuously, particularly for audit.

What does Continuous controls monitoring do to support ISO 27001?

There are particular features within a CCM platform that enables organisations to be able to support teams involved in ISO 27001 compliance but also provide them with the reporting and assurance they need. In particular these features include:

Real-time Compliance Monitoring: The CCM platform enables enterprises to monitor their all their security controls in real-time. This means that security measures are continuously enforced, and this significantly reduces the risk of non-compliance with any ISO 27001 requirements.

Continuous Risk Assessment: Continuous risk assessments are also another feature because the platform monitors for any potential vulnerabilities, threats and security weaknesses by connecting to your entire tech infrastructure. This means your teams have one single source of truth identifying the risks in your organisation.

Automated Data Collection: The QO CCM platform in particular connects to any data source, including logs, security systems and databases and this information can be used to assess the effectiveness of security controls in place, which is a key aspect of ISO 27001 compliance.

Documentation and Reporting: Continuous controls monitoring can also create reports so that enterprises can provide any necessary evidence for ISO 27001 compliance. This means that there is a ginormous reduction in manual efforts in gathering evidence from multiple tech draining resource time, but also it eliminates ‘point-in-time’ reports that are outdated the moment the evidence is gathered. This totally simplifies the audit process and frees so much resource.

Evidence for Certification: The customised reporting functionality also means that you have the evidence required for ISO 27001 certification. The CCM platform contains a wealth of evidence and data to support this certification process and thus means that auditors can accurately assess whether the organisation is meeting ISO 27001 requirements. It also means there is a clear audit trail and traceability of any security events, and this also supports the audit process.

Alerts and Notifications: Continuous Controls Monitoring triggers notifications and alerts when security violations occur. This means that organisations are able to react quickly to an incident from the ISO 27001 requirements.

Dynamic Security: By implementing Continuous Controls Monitoring, an organisation is able to be dynamic and adapt proactively their security controls if alerted to threats and vulnerabilities. By context, ISO 27001 aims to ensure that organisations are improving their security measures continuously, and CCM allows organisations the capacity to continually improve their security measures.

Continuous Controls Monitoring provides organisations with the capacity to be proactive rather than reactive and ‘point-in-time’. By aligning the platform to the specific requirements of ISO 27001, not only can businesses be assured of their continual compliance but have the assurance of the information that they are receiving is accurate and up to date and that their security, risk and compliance posture is being monitored, continuously.

To find out more about the QO Continuous Controls Monitoring platform, click here.


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Will has spent the last 9-years embedded in Cyber Security working with global, household names and innovative start-ups.

Passionate about bringing people and technology together, Will has worked in various settings, helping build high-growth organisations across multiple sectors. During this time, he has built an extensive network with access to some of the best talent out there.

Outside of QO, his young daughter keeps him well on his toes!

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Mark works with SMEs and charities to develop strategies to help them grow and access development capital. He is a NED, charity trustee and mentor to a wide range of people. His plural career started in 2017 after 16 years at pwc as a Deals partner working with large corporates and PE houses; at pwc he also ran the Retail and Consumer practice and was Chairman of the pwc UK Supervisory Board. Prior to pwc he was an executive director at Welcome Break and Iceland Group, and a partner at Bain and Company. He trained as an engineer at Imperial College and has an MBA from INSEAD. 

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Eamon Flavin

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Eamon is a highly regarded and massively respected technology career professional as well as serial entrepreneur. He has started, grown and successfully taken to market three technology business.

Genuinely expert in technology, Eamon has enjoyed long-term working relationships with many of the world’s top companies and organisations in finance, banking, government, manufacturing, engineering, technology and the charities sector.

He draws on unparalleled contacts and experience and provides advice, solutions and recommendations, as well as helping respond to emergencies. Eamon has grown in-house and client teams and has a gift for hiring great people.

Peter Martin

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Peter has the ability to do what many fail to and that is to consistently bring together highly professional teams and build a business environment that is supportive, agile, professional and where everyone enjoys coming into the office.

Bringing a unique blend of business acumen and technical knowledge to the role of non-exec director, Peter has already demonstrated his ability to bring an exceptional flair for dealing with complex situations with a clear, considered approach.

Personally, Peter brings humility and a strong moral compass to the team. His disarming and self-deprecating approach wins everyone over.

Anwen Haynes

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Anwen has worked in B2B and B2C marketing for over 20 years. From transforming end-to-end customer journeys in retail with strategic customer-centric plans to target driven focused strategies for B2B sales. With extensive experience in digital marketing including SEO, as well as Brand development, she loves to develop a cohesive approach to brand image and communications to drive and develop the business proposition and perception.

Alice Walker

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Alice has worked in the IT industry for 20 years. Starting in Procurement, she moved into Software Asset Management before transitioning into Customer Success Management. Working across a variety of roles for different industries as both a customer and a service provider has given her a great understanding of what makes a great service. She has always been passionate about building and maintaining great customer relationships and helping her customers achieve their goals.

Owain Rowley

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Owain has spent nearly a decade building software solutions and products within the cyber security sphere for the likes of government entities, large telecommunication companies, banks and card transaction companies.

This level of experience allows him to swiftly identify business and security processes that can be streamlined with automation, increase the efficiency of existing processes, as well as generate insightful data visualisations and models for members of an organisation at each different level.

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Ami is a finance sector career professional, with many years’ experience working in financial services, both in London and throughout the UK. In addition to financial control, she looks after HR and legal for the company.

Being a mother of two also equips her with the basic skills required to manage a senior team of management and technology consultants.

Ami’s sense of balance and perspective is an essential ingredient of the Quod Orbis culture.

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Alastair has spent the last 20 years working in Cyber Security and Risk Management. He is a passionate believer that security solutions should enable a business to take advantage of all the benefits of the digital world, while not putting the organisation’s data or productivity at risk.

Alastair has developed high-performing teams in some of the industry’s most competitive markets and launched new innovative technologies to market.

Being a rugby coach, and also having four sons at home, means he has lots of experience in keeping a passionate team in order but always has time for some fun!

Gary Penolver


Gary has 15 years’ experience in senior technology roles, and has already been closely involved in starting and taking two technology companies to market.

Totally comfortable with a fast-moving, state-of-the-art technical landscape, he helps his clients maintain and improve security and compliance.

He has a reputation for delivering pragmatic and easy to maintain solutions – business owners and managers enjoy knowing that the security and compliance is well managed and automated, properly instrumented and reported at a competitive cost point.

Honest, open, unflappable and very social, Gary is trusted by many household-name organisations to protect their, and their client’s data.

Martin Greenfield


Martin is an experienced technology and organisational transformation specialist and an excellent, proven leader and communicator in mission-critical operations, particularly in security technology.

Over the past 20 years, multi-billion pound commercial organisations, including global banks, utilities and major investment funds have trusted Martin to transform their operations to meet financial, operational and compliance targets.

Martin optimises operations, managing and transforming operational teams of between 50 and 500 people, to deliver the highest levels of audit compliance, risk management and financial efficiency.

Often working with other major consultancies and suppliers for new global corporate owners or management teams, Martin will help integrate and streamline operations on a global basis.

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