A Closer Look at the Role of ISO 27001 Controls in Information Security – Updated for 27001:2022
According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million. This staggering statistic emphasizes the critical need for...
Aug 18, 2023
According to a report by IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million.
This staggering statistic emphasizes the critical need for security and compliance professionals to understand the different ISO® 27001 controls. By familiarizing themselves with these controls, professionals can effectively mitigate risks, safeguard data, and minimize the potential financial impact of a data breach, ultimately enhancing the overall security posture of their organizations.
In this ISMS Connect guide, we’ll shed light on why security professionals must grasp the importance of TISAX certification to safeguard sensitive data, ensure regulatory compliance, and foster trust in the automotive sector.
What Are ISO® 27001 Controls?
ISO® 27001 controls refer to a set of standardized measures outlined in the ISO®/IEC 27001 standard.
These controls are designed to address various aspects of information security management systems (ISMS) and serve as a comprehensive framework for organizations to protect their sensitive data, systems, and processes from security threats and breaches. They cover a wide range of areas, including access control, risk assessment, incident management, encryption, and employee awareness.
ISO® 27001 controls are instrumental in the ISO® 27001 certification process, as they are audited during the second stage. External accredited certification bodies conduct evidentiary audits to confirm the proper deployment and functionality of an organization's technology and processes, ensuring alignment with the declared controls.
Given the scope of ISO® 27001 controls, it’s often challenging for businesses to understand and implement them into their operations. This can be a major huddle on the path to certification. At ISMS Connect, we offer on-demand tools, templates, resources, and expert guidance designed to simplify these processes and get you certified faster.
Why Do You Need to Know ISO® 27001 Controls?
It will improve your information security structure and focus
Understanding ISO® 27001 controls empowers you to improve your organization's security structure and focus in several ways. These controls provide a comprehensive framework for information security management, ensuring critical aspects of security are addressed.
By adhering to ISO® 27001 controls, you can identify and mitigate potential risks through a risk-based approach, proactively implementing security measures. Compliance with these internationally recognized controls enhances your organization's credibility and trustworthiness, as it aligns with industry standards and regulations.
Moreover, ISO® 27001 directs focus toward protecting vital information assets, streamlining security operations, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.
Avoidance and mitigation of damages
Adhering to ISO® 27001 controls enables you to identify risks and vulnerabilities within your organizations, proactively implement security measures, and develop robust incident response and disaster recovery plans. This has practical applications in real-world scenarios where organizations can:
Prevent Data Breaches: It helps you identify and address potential weak points in their information security systems.
Minimize Financial Loss: By mitigating security risks and preventing incidents, you can avoid financial losses associated with data breaches, legal liabilities, and reputational damage.
Swift Incident Response: With well-defined incident response plans, you can respond swiftly and effectively to security incidents.
Business Continuity: It ensures that you can maintain operations even in the face of security incidents, disruptions, or disasters.
Continuous Improvement: The framework encourages a culture of continuous improvement, leading organizations to refine their security measures as new threats and technologies emerge.
You’ll Satisfy Different Business, Legal, and Regulatory Requirements
With ISO® 27001, organizations can kill two birds with one stone, achieving information security and regulatory compliance in a streamlined manner.
First, ISO® 27001 certification offers a unique opportunity for organizations to address various regulations and requirements effectively. By adopting ISO® 27001 controls, organizations can achieve both information security compliance and meet other mandates such as the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (SOX), NIST CSF (Cybersecurity Framework), and GDPR.
Secondly, ISO® 27001 controls are adaptable to specific business needs and security challenges. By tailoring implementations, organizations ensure their security measures align with unique requirements, business goals, and risk appetite.
Different Organization Uses for ISO® 27001
ISO® 27001 is a versatile standard applicable to a wide range of organizations, irrespective of their size, industry, or IT/non-IT nature.
It not only ensures information security but also serves as a valuable differentiator for businesses seeking growth and new opportunities. ISO® 27001 is required for:
Organizations carrying sensitive information, regardless of size or industry
ISO® 27001 applies to organizations of all sizes and sectors that handle sensitive information. This includes financial institutions, healthcare providers, government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses dealing with customer data. Implementing ISO® 27001 helps protect this valuable data, ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
Organizations expanding their business and seeking new clients
ISO® 27001 certification can provide a competitive advantage for organizations aiming to expand their business and attract new clients. Many clients and partners prefer to work with companies that prioritize information security. Being ISO® 27001 certified demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding sensitive data, giving organizations an edge over competitors.
Contractors that need to be ISO® 27001 compliant to score projects
For certain contracts and projects, especially those involving sensitive data or government entities, ISO® 27001 compliance may be a requirement. Clients may insist that their contractors demonstrate robust information security practices. Being ISO® 27001 compliant increases the chances of winning such projects and gaining the trust of clients.
The 2022 ISO® 27001 Controls
ISO®27001:2022 is the latest version of the ISO®/IEC 27001 Information Security Management standard, released to help organizations protect their data and assets from cyber threats. The changes in this version are mostly cosmetic, including restructuring and refining existing requirements.
The new version comes with 93 controls, including 11 new ones. 24 controls were merged, and 58 controls were revised to align with current cybersecurity and information security requirements.
While the core management processes of ISMS remain the same, the control set in Annex A has been revised to address contemporary risks and their corresponding controls.
The controls are now categorized into four groups:
An attribution taxonomy now accompanies each control.
The ISO® 27001:2022 update also introduces a new structure for security controls, consisting of five attribute categories:
Control types: Preventive, Detective, and Corrective.
Cybersecurity concepts: Identify, Protect, Detect, etc.
Security domains: Governance and Ecosystem, Protection, Defense, etc.
Properties of information security: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability.
Operational capabilities: Governance, Asset Management, Information Protection, etc.
These five attributes assign one or more values to each security control. The purpose of this change is to enhance the grouping and sorting of controls, making it easier for users to find the relevant controls based on their specific needs.
For instance, if you are interested in implementing controls related to governance, you can simply filter the controls by this attribute and access a list of relevant controls to choose from.
Now, let's delve into each control and its practical applications:
Organizational (37 Controls)
Organizational controls categorized as ISO 27001 Annex A 5.1 to 5.37 cover various aspects of data protection and govern an organization’s overall approach. They consist of policies, rules, processes, procedures, and organizational structures, among other measures.
New controls included are:
5.7: Threat Intelligence
5.23: Information security for use of cloud services
5.30: ICT readiness for business continuity
Threat intelligence is a valuable control addition in this context. It goes beyond simply identifying malicious domain names and helps organizations gain a deeper understanding of potential targeting methods. By leveraging this threat intelligence information, organizations can enhance their information security approach and make more informed decisions.
Identify patterns and trends in cyber threats to proactively protect against potential attacks.
Share threat intelligence with other organizations to create a collective defense against common threats.
Use threat intelligence to prioritize security efforts and allocate resources effectively.
Continuously monitor and update threat intelligence to stay ahead of emerging threats.
People (8 Controls)
ISO 27001 Annex A 6.1 to 6.8 comprise the People Controls. They play a crucial role in helping organizations manage the human element of their information security program, including processes for onboarding and offboarding, as well as responsibilities for incident reporting. They establish guidelines for how employees interact with data and each other.
This theme addresses the practical application of remote work, confidentiality, nondisclosure, and screening to effectively manage how employees interact with sensitive information in their day-to-day roles.
It is worth noting that ISO 27001:2022 does not introduce any new controls specifically related to this theme. However, organizations can still utilize the existing controls to ensure the secure handling of sensitive information in remote work environments.
Physical (14 Controls)
Numbered ISO 27001 Annex A 7.1 to 7.13, physical controls refer to protective measures put in place to ensure the security of tangible assets. These safeguards can include entry systems, protocols for granting guest access, procedures for disposing of assets, protocols for storing sensitive data, and policies regarding keeping work areas clear of confidential information. These measures are crucial for maintaining the confidentiality of important data.
This category specifically addresses measures taken to guard against physical and environmental risks, including natural disasters, theft, and intentional damage. One of the new additions to the physical controls is 7.4, which pertains to physical security monitoring. This involves utilizing surveillance systems, access controls, and security personnel to monitor and protect physical assets, ensuring the safety and integrity of the environment.
By actively monitoring for unauthorized access, suspicious activities, or potential security breaches, organizations can proactively respond to threats and mitigate risks in real-time. This helps to maintain a secure and protected physical environment, minimizing the potential for damage or loss due to external threats.
Technological (34 Controls)
Specifically ISO 27001 Annex A 8.1 to 8.34, technological controls define the regulations and processes that corporations should follow to establish a secure and compliant IT infrastructure. It encompasses authentication, encryption, and preventing data leakage. This includes implementing authentication methods, configuring settings, developing BUDR strategies, and maintaining information logs.
The new technological controls include:
8.1: Implementation of data masking
8.9: Management of configurations
8.10: Deletion of information
8.12: Prevention of data leakage
8.16: Monitoring of activities
8.23: Application of web filtering
8.28: Adoption of secure coding practices
Data leakage prevention is a significant addition to this category, requiring substantial time and financial investment for initial implementation.
Another noteworthy control is web filtering, which outlines how organizations should filter web traffic to prevent users from accessing malicious websites.
ISO® 27001 controls are a critical component of information security management, providing a structured approach to protect valuable data and ensure business continuity. And for SMBs trying to navigate the intricacies of information security management and achieve ISO® 27001 certification, ISMS Connect is the solution.
With ISMS Connect, SMBs can confidently pursue certification, ensuring their information security practices meet the highest standards with guides, templates, expert support, and an active community.
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