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.