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Adhering to ISO 27001 Fortifies Your Data Security & Bottom Line

By: Blair Felter on June 13, 2018

According to the 2017 Cost of Data Breach study by IBM and the Ponemon Institute, the odds of suffering a data breach are as high as one in four. The prevalence of these damaging issues has compelled many organizations to take more proactive steps to protect their data and their customers’. Many of those forward-thinking businesses have followed the security guidelines outlined by ISO 27001.

The international information security standard provides a framework for companies to best protect their data. In fact, ISO 27001 is the only global auditable standard that specifies requirements for effectively managing and measuring information security management systems.

Especially if you conduct business with foreign companies, ISO certification can be an important indication of your company's trustworthiness. Though no organization can reasonably guarantee complete protection against data breaches, adhering to ISO 27001 will fortify your security and best protect you against future issues.

Safeguarding your Data and Dollars

The high-profile data breaches of organizations such as Yahoo, eBay, Target, Uber, and JP Morgan Chase are more and more common. The cumulative number of consumers affected by those five companies’ breaches exceed 3.7 billion users. The total damage of such far-reaching attacks can only be estimated.

IBM and Ponemon Institute’s 2017 study found that the estimated average total cost of a data breach was $3.62 million. The average cost per record was $141. That puts the total combined cost of the breaches mentioned above at $531 billion. From the cost of reputation damage and lost customers to the cost of service interruption, fines and legal fees, there is a massive price to pay for any weakness in your data security.

Reasonably, every business is afraid of the impact of data breaches and leaks. The responsibility to keep your data safe – whether customer data, internal employee records, or intellectual property – is yours.

Businesses adopt ISO 27001’s practices because the security standard is regarded as the accepted global benchmark for the effective management of information assets. In fact, ISO 27001 strengthens the controls that are in place for SSAE 18, SOC 2, HIPAA / HITECH, and PCI DSS.

Implementing the safeguards outlined by ISO 27001 will best protect your critical information from cyber attacks, as well as staff negligence, fraud, and natural disasters. Even more, the impact of this certification extends beyond the direct protections of these practices.

Taking Advantage of Business Opportunities

Many companies seek ISO 27001 certification because they conduct business overseas. In many cases, the certification is a requirement. More and more organizations are demanding ISO 27001 registration in the supply chain. According to 451 Research, this is especially true for companies in the SaaS and cloud computing markets. JSC Consultant Solutions adds that “Bids and tenders from UK Government Departments require products and services to be accredited to IL2 or IL3, which [also] requires ISO 27001 certification.”

If you’re looking for a competitive edge in certain parts of the world, an ISO 27001 certification can be a unique selling point. It shows that your organization takes cyber security seriously and understands what it takes to protect your clients’ sensitive data.

The United Kingdom’s IT Governance echoes these sentiments, writing “ISO 27001 certification demonstrates credibility when tendering for contracts and can make the difference between winning and losing tenders.” In countries such as India and Japan, ISO 27001 compliance is even a legal requirement. To no surprise, some of the biggest global brands have adopted the security standards – from Google and Microsoft to Cisco and Verizon.

Business opportunities aren’t limited to potential deals either. ISO 27001’s clear delineation of information risk responsibilities helps organizations maintain compliance productivity and efficiency during rapid growth. It also helps to minimize the frequency of external audits.

Are Your IT Partners Protected?

Using ISO 27001 can protect your organization’s reputation, as well as your information assets. But your reputation also depends on your partners and their security practices. They too have to  do everything possible to minimize their risks of data loss. Especially if you use public clouds and colocation data centers, ISO 27001 certification is essential.

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