ISO® 27001 vs ISO® 27002: Differences, Similarities & Benefits
Security and compliance professionals in these fields play a crucial role in protecting sensitive data and ensuring organizational integrity. To navigate this complex landscape effectively...
Sep 21, 2023
Security and compliance professionals in these fields play a crucial role in protecting sensitive data and ensuring organizational integrity. To navigate this complex landscape effectively, these individuals need to understand the differences between ISO® 27001 and ISO® 27002, two key information security standards.
In this guide, ISMS Connect, aims to clarify the distinctions between these internationally recognized standards. Whether you are looking to build a strong foundation of information security, improve control implementation, or delve into risk assessment and treatment, this guide will be a valuable resource.
Join us as we explore the specific roles and contributions of ISO® 27001 and ISO® 27002, empowering you to make informed decisions based on your organization’s unique needs. Knowledge is power in information security, and this guide is designed to empower professionals in their important roles.
ISO® 27001 vs. ISO® 27002: Overview
ISO® 27001 and ISO® 27002 are two related, but ultimately very different standards for information security management. We’ll get to the details in a moment—for now, here’s a quick overview of the differences:
Focus: ISO® 27001 is a management standard that defines how to run an Information Security Management System (ISMS) and protect sensitive information. ISO® 27002 provides guidelines for implementing controls within an ISO® 27001 framework.
Purpose: ISO® 27001 is a certification standard, while ISO® 27002 offers best practices for controls. To put that another way, organizations can be certified against ISO® 27001 but not against ISO® 27002.
What Is ISO® 27001?
It provides a systematic approach to managing sensitive company information to maintain security. The standard defines ISMS requirements and offers guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and improving said ISMS.
Organizations can pursue certification for ISO® 27001 through a third-party audit of their ISMS to ensure compliance with the standard. This can be a complex and confusing process given the complexity of the standard—which is why resources like ISMS Connect are so helpful.
We simplify the ISO® 27001 compliance process through step-by-step guides, pre-filled document templates, and on-demand support designed specifically for SMBs. Get the support you need to implement a complaint ISMS without expensive, inflexible consulting services.
How Can ISO® 27001 Benefit You?
Enhance Credibility and Boost Resilience
ISO® 27001 certification helps to increase your organization’s credibility by demonstrating that you have implemented a comprehensive information security management system that meets international standards. It also helps to improve your organization’s cyber resilience by identifying and managing risks related to the security of data owned or handled by the company.
Adhere to Business, Legal, Contractual, and Regulatory Mandates
ISO® 27001 certification goes beyond just meeting information security standards—it establishes a robust framework for organizations to systematically identify and manage risks.
This proactive risk management approach not only strengthens security but also enables organizations to align with various business, legal, contractual, and regulatory obligations. By consistently and measurably addressing security concerns, organizations can better meet these requirements and safeguard their sensitive information effectively.
Avoid Fines and Penalties
By implementing an ISO® 27001-compliant ISMS, organizations can proactively safeguard their data and reduce the risk of regulatory fines and penalties stemming from data breaches or security incidents.
In the event of a breach, having an ISMS in place can show regulators that the organization took reasonable precautions, potentially mitigating the severity of any fines imposed and helping maintain its reputation.
What Is ISO® 27002?
ISO® 27002 offers essential guidance on the information security controls that organizations should put in place to meet the requirements of ISO® 27001. This guidance is aimed at those responsible for initiating, implementing, or maintaining ISMS.
The focuses on the CIA triad:
Confidentiality: Restricting information access to authorized individuals.
Integrity: Safeguarding data accuracy and completeness.
Availability: Ensuring authorized users can access information when needed.
ISO® 27002 comprises introductory and main chapters covering various control aspects such as organizational, personnel, physical, and technological control. While ISO® 27002 itself isn't a certifiable standard, adhering to its recommendations brings organizations closer to meeting ISO® 27001 certification requirements.
How Can ISO® 27002 Benefit You?
Better Awareness of Information Security
ISO® 27002 provides organizations with a comprehensive set of controls that can be implemented to manage information security risks. By following these controls, organizations can improve their awareness of information security risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them.
Improved Risk Management Processes
ISO® 27002 provides a framework for managing information security risks systematically and consistently. By implementing the controls outlined in ISO® 27002, organizations can improve their risk management processes and ensure that they are identifying and managing risks effectively, consistently, and measurably.
Global Business Opportunities
Complying with ISO® 27002 can help organizations demonstrate their commitment to information security management to customers, partners, and other stakeholders. This can help organizations gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace by demonstrating that they have implemented internationally recognized best practices for information security management.
ISO® 27001 vs. ISO® 27002: Key Differences
ISO® 27001 provides an outline of each aspect of an Information Security Management System (ISMS), with specific advice being found in additional standards. ISO® 27002 is a supplementary standard that focuses on the information security controls that organizations might choose to implement. It dedicates an average of one page per control, explaining how each control works, what its objective is, and how you can implement it.
Organizations can certify against ISO® 27001 but not against ISO® 27002. That’s because ISO® 27001 is a management standard that provides a full list of compliance requirements, whereas supplementary standards such as ISO® 27002 address one specific aspect of an ISMS.
ISO® 27001 applies to all types of organizations, regardless of their size, industry, or nature of business. It provides a universally adaptable framework for managing information security. In contrast, ISO® 27002 is particularly relevant for organizations seeking detailed guidance on implementing security controls.
Regarding control domains, the controls within ISO® 27002 share identical names with those found in Annex A of ISO® 27001.
For example, in ISO® 27002, control 5.3 is labeled as "Segregation of duties," whereas in ISO® 27001, it appears as "A.5.3 Segregation of duties."
The distinction lies in the depth of coverage—on average, ISO® 27002 provides a comprehensive explanation of one control spanning an entire page, whereas ISO® 27001 allocates only a single sentence to each control.
ISO® 27001 and ISO® 27002 differ in terms of compliance in several ways. ISO® 27001 places a strong emphasis on compliance with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements. It provides a framework for organizations to establish, implement, maintain, and improve their ISMS. ISO® 27001 focuses on conducting risk assessments and mitigating identified risks to safeguard data.
On the other hand, ISO® 27002 offers guidance on selecting, implementing, and managing security controls based on an organization’s specific information security risk environment. It provides more detailed information and guidance on the controls listed in ISO® 27001 Annex A. ISO® 27002 helps organizations apply the framework developed in ISO® 27001 to implement the appropriate security controls tailored to their unique needs.
Which ISO® Standard Should You Use and When?
Every standard from the ISO® 27000 series has a specific purpose and focus.
ISO® 27001 focuses on building an ISMS, while ISO® 27002 focuses on implementing specific controls for that ISMS. ISO® 27005, on the other hand, is all about risk assessment and management.
To achieve compliance with ISO® 27001, organizations should use its requirements to guide how they design and build their ISMS. Once an organization has identified which controls it will implement, it can use ISO® 27002 as a reference to learn the specifics of how each control works.
If you’re confused by the ISO® 27001 compliance process, ISMS Connect can help.
We break down the often complex topic of information security management for SMBs and help you get certified without high costs or consultants. We maintain a community where customers can directly access templates, guides, and help from consultants to get ready for certification by themselves.
Olaf Pätz, CEO of Outerscore GmbH, expressed his satisfaction with the excellent preparation achieved by the company. Through ISMS Connect’s guides and expert advice, Outerscore GmbH was able to understand and fulfill the requirements. As a result, ISO® 27001 certification was achieved quickly and painlessly.
ISO® 27001 and ISO® 27002 are two standards for information security management. ISO® 27001 is a management standard that defines how to run an Information Security Management System (ISMS) and protect sensitive information. ISO® 27002 is a code of practice with guidelines for implementing and improving information security management.
Following these standards can enhance credibility, improve cyber resilience, and ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
If you need assistance with information security management, consider ISMS Connect. We help SMBs understand and achieve certification without resorting to expensive consultants.
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