How to Increase Your Chances of Achieving the TISAX® Certification
If you work in the automotive industry, information security is a top priority. To get clients to trust you with their data, you should work...
Jul 14, 2023
If you work in the automotive industry, information security is a top priority. To get clients to trust you with their data, you should work towards achieving TISAX® certification. It’s a well-respected standard that lends a significant boost to your credibility.
However, getting TISAX® certified takes a lot of preparation and concentrated effort. It’s no small feat – especially if you’re unfamiliar with the TISAX® standard. Luckily, services like ISMS Connect offer step-by-step guides and expert advice on how to implement TISAX® standards in your business operations.
To learn more about the TISAX® certification (and how to achieve it quickly), read on.
What Is TISAX® Certification?
The Trusted Information Security Assessment Exchange® (TISAX®) certification is a European information security standard designed for the automotive industry and managed by the ENX Association. The goal of TISAX® certifications is to raise the baseline level of information and cybersecurity among European automotive manufacturers and suppliers.
The TISAX®standard was originally based on ISO® 27001. As a result, they share many of the requirements and recommendations. However, since the TISAX® standard is tailored to the unique needs and requirements of the automotive industry, there are many key differences as well.
To enhance the likelihood of obtaining TISAX® certification, it is generally recommended that companies adhere to both standards. But remember—these standards are distinct, each requiring its own assessment.
Benefits of TISAX® Certification for Your Business
Foundational for ISO® 27001 Certification
Achieving the TISAX® certification means you’ve met almost all requirements for the ISO® 27001 standard. This should make achieving the ISO® 27001 certification much easier.
Differentiate Your Business in the Eyes of OEMs
Achieving the TISAX® certification gives you an advantage over your competitors since it proves you’ve reached a certain quality of information security management. Major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are more likely to work with you, making it easier for you to build strong business relations.
Crisis Management – Growing Importance in TISAX®
As the automotive industry evolves to incorporate new technologies, such as EVs and autonomous driving, the associated risks also evolve. You’ll need to look out for new kinds of security threats and vulnerabilities in your information security systems to reduce and ideally prevent costly incidents.
These risks can impact not only your company but manufacturers and drivers themselves, so it’s essential to maintain a high standard of security. The TISAX® standard is a fantastic benchmark to aim for as a well-respected certification that’s based on the internally-recognized ISO® 27001 standard.
Protection for Your Assets
TISAX® regulations help you keep your assets well-protected behind your security systems. You can efficiently identify and mitigate risks in your information security management system (ISMS) before they cause any serious damage and cause financial losses.
How to Increase Your Chances of Achieving the TISAX® Certification
Work With Expert Consultants
Working with TISAX® consultants is a foolproof way to boost your chances of achieving certification. There’s no replacement for experience—and TISAX® consultants know the ins and outs of this complicated process.
With ISMS Connect, companies have unlimited on-demand access to a team of expert consultants for TISAX® via chat and video calls. You’re free to ask questions, receive advice, and discuss any issues you may have.
We also provide you with comprehensive documents on implementation of TISAX®, which break down the different requirements you must comply with before achieving the certification.
The best time to start preparing for TISAX® certification (or: TISAX® Assessment) is right now.
It takes quite a bit of time to understand all the TISAX® requirements, bring your team up to speed, and implement the necessary solutions. Working through ISMS Connect’s step-by-step guides to key aspects of the process is a major time-saver, but you’ll still need to budget enough time for the project.
Start by creating a detailed (but concise) roadmap of all the activities you need to do to achieve compliance. Once you’ve mapped everything out, you can start scheduling tasks like gap analyses and risk assessments. Make sure these are assigned to specific teams of individuals and that everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
Since you’re planning ahead of time, it’s easier to determine what resources you’ll need later and allocate them accordingly. Identify any possible challenges you might be facing in the future and devise ways to bypass these issues to prevent major halts in your operations.
To keep everyone on track, setting deadlines and milestones is crucial, especially when aiming to achieve certification within a specific timeframe. It's also important to have all documentation prepared and easily accessible to the relevant parties. As you go through the process, you may need to write or update documents like information security policies.
Understand TISAX® Requirements
To pass the certification, you must familiarize yourself with the TISAX® requirements and assessment criteria.
How is the TISAX® Standard (VDA® ISA) Structured?
The official self assessment involves three main modules:
Depending on the scope of your ISMS, you’ll undergo different assessment processes. For Level 1 protection, you only need to conduct a self-assessment using the TISAX® / VDA® ISA questionnaire for all three modules.
The Level 2 TISAX® assessment, however, requires an external auditor who’s been accredited by the ENX Association. They evaluate your self-assessment and perform a plausibility check, which you must pass before they review your ISMS and TISAX® implementation.
For the highest level of protection (level 3), the external auditor is required to be on-site for your assessment.
TISAX® Assessment Objectives
When defining the scope of your ISMS, you must consider the TISAX® assessment objectives. You’re required to choose at least one objective, which you can then use as a benchmark for your information security system.
Here are the TISAX® assessment objectives:
Handling of information with high protection needs
Handling of information with very high protection needs
Protection of prototype parts and components
Protection of prototype vehicles
Handling of test vehicles
Protection of prototypes during events and film or photo shoots
Data protection with special categories for personal data
Choose objectives that are relevant to your business. Or, if a business partner requires you to obtain a certain TISAX® label, select the corresponding objective. For example, if you select the ‘handling of information with high protection needs’ objective, you’ll obtain a TISAX® label with the same name after passing the certification.
What are the TISAX® Requirements you Must Implement into Your ISMS?
TISAX® requirements may differ slightly depending on your chosen assessment objective, but generally, most of the guidelines are also present in the ISO® 27001 standard.
Here’s a brief list of some TISAX® requirements to consider:
Build and implement an ISMS
Perform risk assessments and design risk treatment plans
Create incident response plans to counter future security threats
Establish a secure infrastructure and follow best practices for information security
Implement effective security controls and procedures
Conduct periodic ISMS assessments and track performance
Follow legal regulations surrounding information security
Prepare the Requirements of Your Company
Determine which TISAX® requirements need to be implemented in your company and make the necessary preparations. If you don’t already have a suitable ISMS setup, use the ISO® 27001 standard to help you design an effective security system. This also serves as a good foundation for the TISAX® certification.
Perform Internal Assessments
Conduct regular internal audits to help you discover weak points in your information security system and check for TISAX® compliance. This way, you’re able to continuously find ways to improve your ISMS and ensure you achieve your chosen TISAX® objective(s). You can also perform these self-assessments in preparation for the official audit.
Make sure to write up all the necessary documents, which include policies and procedures, to evidence your TISAX® implementation. Your documentation should be clear and concise, as the external auditor will review them during your assessment.
Perform Gap Analysis
Conduct a gap analysis to see which areas of your ISMS still require improvement to meet the necessary TISAX® requirements (which includes your assessment objectives). You’ll be evaluating your information security procedures against the TISAX® standard to identify gaps between the two.
When performing your gap analysis, consider the following:
ISMS Maturity & Effectiveness: Take a look at the maturity and effectiveness of your ISMS. Is it properly implemented? Are there any areas that need to be fortified?
TISAX® Readiness: Make sure your ISMS is TISAX®-ready, meaning that it’s compliant with the standard’s requirements.
Implement Information Security Controls
Design and implement information security controls into your ISMS according to your TISAX® requirements. This may require changing your policies, procedures, and risk mitigation plans, so make sure to document everything. Your employees should also be trained on how to use any new controls during security awareness programs.
Any security controls you choose to implement should serve to increase the quality of your data protection, minimizing or resolving vulnerabilities in your system.
Address Findings and Remediate Gaps
If you’ve identified gaps in your ISMS after performing a gap analysis, note down your findings and start addressing them. Think of ways to bridge those gaps and bring your company closer to TISAX® compliance.
With ISMS Connect, your company gains access to detailed guides on the TISAX® certification that help you better prepare for the assessment. You can also contact our team of expert consultants to receive personalized guidance in times of need.
How do I Find the Right Partner to Help with TISAX® Certification?
Researching different partners: Search for TISAX® consultants online and compare different agencies.
Identify your needs: Determine what kind of support you require from your consultant and whether the agencies you researched fit those requirements.
Get quotes from multiple potential partners: Negotiate pricing with multiple agencies and compare them to see which one suits your budget. You can also discuss their services to get an idea of their methodology.
Ask for recommendations: If you’re struggling to find suitable TISAX® consultants, ask someone who’s experienced the certification for some recommendations.
Interview the potential partners: Once you’ve got a list of potential candidates, interview them to learn about their expertise on the TISAX® certification and how they would help you reach compliance.
Note down the details: After choosing a TISAX® consultant to hire, discuss and note down details about their fees, services, and timeline to avoid confusion later down the line.
Things to Look for in a TISAX® Consultant Partner
High-level knowledge and experience with the TISAX® certification
Work experience or proficiency in information security
Relevant credentials or qualifications
Ability to provide personalized guidance tailored toward your specific needs
Quality references and testimonials (positive reputation)
Able to give continuous support via suitable communication channels
Helps you prepare for the TISAX® certification within a certain period
TISAX® Certification Process
Online registration (includes registering your assessment scope)
Self-assessment (analyze the results to determine your TISAX® readiness)
Contact TISAX® auditor providers and request their services
Choose an auditor and have a kick-off meeting to discuss assessment details
Corrective action plan preparation (if gaps are found)
Send plan to an auditor for approval (aka corrective action plan assessment)
Exchange (share assessment results with business partners — only applicable if your partners are registered TISAX® participants)
Understand How Much it Costs
The cost of a TISAX® certification varies depending on a few factors, including:
External auditor fees (plus travel costs for on-site assessments)
Audit fees (including follow-up audits if necessary)
The assessment scope
…and so on.
On average, prices can range from $10,000 for smaller companies up to between $50,000 and $200,000. However, there are ways to minimize these costs, such as properly preparing for the assessment (to avoid correction plans and follow-up audits) and choosing an auditor close to your business (to reduce travel costs).
Also See our article on costs: Overview of TISAX® Certification Costs — An Easy Guide
For any automotive company that deals with information security, achieving the TISAX® certification can greatly improve your credibility among OEMs and open up business opportunities. In some cases, partners may even require you to achieve certain TISAX® labels, which are obtainable only after passing the certification assessment.
If you’re unfamiliar with the TISAX® certification process, meeting the requirements can seem very daunting. Luckily, services such as ISMS Connect simplify the process through step-by-step guides, comprehensive documentation, and prefilled document templates.
Choose ISMS Connect as a partner on your TISAX® certification journey.
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