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Effective ISO 27001 Risk Assessment

Organizations of all types and sizes collect, store, process and transit information that is valuable to them and to their clients. Safekeeping that information is vital to protect against threats both deliberate and accidental. The adoption of ISO/IEC 27001 helps organizations keep this information secure.

ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard for Information Security Management which details the requirements for the adoption of a risk management system and process for reviewing and confirming security controls in an organization. The standard helps organizations ensure their processes in place are in line with regulatory, legal, and contractual obligations and are working towards the end goal of security. Risk Assessment is an integral part of the ISO/IEC 27001 Standard as it helps organizations determine, analyze, and evaluate vulnerabilities in their Information Security Processes. In this article ISOUpdate and Narendra Sahoo cover the significance of Risk Assessment and steps to an effective ISO/IEC 27001 Risk Assessment.

Why is Risk Assessment Important for your Organization?

Risk Assessment relating to information security is imperative for organizations to understand various threats and risks to their critical data and what or who their infrastructure is or could be exposed to. It is an essential step to consider when developing an information security management system as it forms a strong foundation for the organization’s security program. The process of Risk Assessment helps identify threats and further helps mitigate the various risk of incidents that could affect the operations of an organization. The process of conducting regular risk assessments helps direct an organization’s focus towards the most critical and highly risk-prone areas of the organization’s infrastructure and determining where weaknesses lie. Below are steps to effective ISO/IEC 27001 Risk Assessment to help your organization.

Risk Assessment Framework

ISO/IEC 27001 Standard (Clause 6.1.2) asks organizations to define and apply a Risk Assessment process that is objective, identifies the information security risks and their owners, analyses and evaluates the risks and provides consistent and comparable results. Organizations shall adopt an approach that addresses the core security requirements in terms of regulatory and contractual requirements. Organizations must tailor their approach based on the following parameters to establish a strong Risk Assessment framework.

The risk parameters include:

  • Risk scale which is based on the likelihood of an incident occurring (frequency of occurrence) and the level of impact (financial loss, reputational damage, operational disruption) that the incident may have on the organization.   
  • Risk appetite which determines the acceptable level of risk to which the organization can withstand.
  • Scenario-based risk which determines the possible events that might affect the security of assets.
  • An asset-based (or process based) risk assessment that determines critical assets (records of personal data, financial data, and medical data) that may be exposed to various risks.

As defined in Clause 6.1.1, when planning your information security management system, risks and opportunities relating to the management system should be addressed to ensure its intended outcomes can be achieved. Risks and opportunities should also be addressed to allow the system to prevent or reduce undesired effects and allow for continual improvement.

As an organization, you must have a process in place to consistently address your plans and actions to identify, assess and treat these risks and opportunities, and how as an organization you will integrate and implement them into your information security management system and its processes as well as the process owners who will champion these tasks. As said by ISMS “Quite simply this means documenting the process for risk identification, assessment and treatment, then showing that is working in practice with management of each risk” – source

Identifying Risks

Identifying risk is the most critical part of Risk Assessment. Identifying risk typically involves determining critical assets that require protection, a possible threat that may impact business operations, and the vulnerability in the business process or asset management or security controls that may result in an incident that impacts the organization.

Asset-Based vs Risk-Based Approach to Risk Assessment

Risk-based approach is a systematic method that identifies, evaluates, and prioritizes threats facing the organization. It is a customizable method that enables the business to tailor their cybersecurity program to specific organizational needs and operational vulnerabilities. By utilizing a risk-based approach to risk assessment organizations use risk to balance the operational performance of the assets against the asset life-cycle cost.

Asset-based approach asks organizations to conduct a risk assessment to determine where your weaknesses are, how likely it is that those weaknesses will be exploited and the impact each one will cause.

The Risk Assessor needs to identify potential risks that may compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of assets and analyse the impact of the organization. Your organization should determine which approach works best for your organization, and what resources you need to ensure its success. This process of risk assessment should be continual and consistent within your organization.

Source: Conducting an asset-based risk assessment in ISO 27001 by Vigilant

Analysing Risks

Risk analysis involves understanding and determining the way an incident may occur and affect your business. This involves identifying possible ways in which identified vulnerabilities found from your asset-based on risk-based approach process can be exploited internally or externally. The analysis must also include an assessment of the likelihood of the incident occurring and the level of impact that it would have on business.

Risks should also be analysed based on whether the organization has in place baseline security controls for effectively addressing the identified risks.

Organizations shall identify controls in place to strengthen the security measures. This should further include evaluating the current controls to determine whether they work appropriately or should be replaced, modified, or supported by additional controls.

Evaluating Risks

The identified and analysed risk(s) must now be evaluated and rated based on their severity. This evaluation should include rating the risk level on a scale of low, medium to high or your internal scale that makes sense for your organization. Risk grading is subjective by nature and should be standardized or based on a set criteria for consistency across your management system.

Evaluating the risk also helps identify whether or not the risk falls within “acceptable levels” of risk. Based on the risk rating, the organization must identify the highest rated risks and, prioritize their resources accordingly to address risks based on their level of severity. With this, the organization must also evaluate the impact of risk on internal and external business and its impact.

Risk Management & Treatment Options

Once the identified, analysed, & evaluated risks are classified, the organization should make an informed research-based decision to mitigate the risk. Generally, the response to addressing the identified risks is classified into four categories. This includes:

  • Modification which involves implementing security controls.
  • Retention of risks which means accepting that the risk falls within the acceptable levels.
  • Avoiding the risk by altering the circumstances causing the eventuality of risk.
  • Share risk with an insurance firm or with a third party who is equipped to manage the risk

The organization needs to identify current controls that are in place and controls that should be established to mitigate and/or reduce risk. 

Reviewing and Monitoring

An organization must consistently review, update and improve the information security management system (ISMS) to ensure that the controls added or in place are effective, appropriately established, and working as intended. The Risk Assessment process must be repeated consistently to ensure your organization has accounted for all the changes and the constantly evolving threat landscape. This process of identifying, analysing, evaluating and monitoring should be seen as an opportunity to continually improve the ISMS and implement control that can address the evolving risks.

Final Thought

Risk Assessment is an ongoing process and should be conducted on an ongoing and consistent basis to ensure your organization is mitigating, eliminating and controlling risks to internal and external threats to your information security. Re-evaluating the security controls and risks regularly can help businesses devote resources accordingly and address the potential threats periodically. Further, Risk Assessment helps businesses make an informed decision for establishing strong security measures and progressive outcomes for the business. 

Author Bio

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QSA, PCI QPA, CISSP, CISA, and CRISC) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA
InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.

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integrated audits

What Is an Integrated Management System? 

An Integrated Management System (IMS) is a single management system that combines all related processes and components to meet the requirements of more than one management standard into one overarching system designed to be easier to manage and operate. Integration can be executed by an organization of any size, relating to any sector, and is typically done to lower operating costs and simplify a mature management system. These systems have linkages integrated within them that help processes to be managed smoothly and without duplication. 

An integrated audit assesses an integrated management system with the same set of documentation, policies, processes, and procedures. This can lead to a lower certification cost as well as fewer interruptions to the organization itself.

Benefits of Integrated Management Systems 

By implementing more than one standard within one overarching integrated system, businesses can develop a mutual or single management system component such as policies, objectives, resources, or processes and integrate their processes, saving organizations time and money.

As individual systems are integrated to show a coherency between their objectives, processes, and resources, there is an improvement in accountability and responsibility. Using integration to create a sense of consistency in one’s organization allows the system to become less complex and more easily understood by interested parties. Consistency also helps establish a mutual set of objectives that are important to the organization.

Integration also eliminates redundancy by taking a systematic approach towards decision-making. This is usually not the case when management standards are implemented due to the layers of hierarchy and inability to streamline decisions. As the processes become better equipped to accommodate change, we often see a reduction in bureaucracy. 

Establishing cross-functional teams and merging them with process owners can make decision-making and deployment easier. Integrated management systems also allow organizations to conduct integrated audits and assessments, which help with time management and reduce costs.

Auditing Multiple Standards Utilizing Integrated Audits

Integrated audits can lead to fewer work floor interruptions, more streamlined processes, and better consistency with objectives across various systems. An organization can also theoretically save time by having a single audit for multiple certification standards, which may be a cost saving alternative to booking multiple auditors for multiple audits.

This however will depend on the capacity and capabilities of your Certification Body. One saving that could be of benefit to your organization is with integrating audits, your employees only need one stretch of time booked to accommodate the audit, compared to potentially two or three separate occasions for multiple audits over an extended period of time if you have not integrated your system and audits.

Even if it is time conserving, audit time depends on the extent of the integration of the management system and its documentation, the capability of the auditees to provide information on multiple system standards and lastly, the availability of auditors that can audit integrated systems.

Planning Integrated Audits & Schedules

When planning an integrated audit, your organization should focus on a single audit plan and create an audit matrix that clearly shows all the subsections of the different management systems. It should include the processes within the scope of the audit and address the applicable standard requirements during the assessment of these processes. Due to the common requirements throughout some standards, integrated audits can cover multiple standards at once when looking at certain aspects of your company and its processes. For example, internal audit and management review requirements are common to all management standards and would only need to be audited once during an integrated audit.

The audit team as a whole must satisfy the competence requirements as relevant for each management system standard covered by the scope of the audit of an IMS.

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Myths of ISO 9001 Certification - ISOUpdate

This article was originally published by here and has been expanded and updated by Aurion ISO Consultants and ISOUpdate.

ISO 9001:2015 Certification is seen by many as an essential Standard all organizations should opt for to enhance customer satisfaction and delivering quality first products and services. Implementing a certified Quality Management System through the framework of ISO 9001:2015 aids your organization in building a robust control system to help with quality control, achieve quality objectives, and business goals.

However, there are some myths and misconceptions that tend to surround ISO 9001:2015 that might be affecting your view or opinion of the Standard and Quality Management Systems that someone you know or work with might have. In this article, we will highlight some common myths of ISO 9001:2015 certification and explain why they just are not true!

Here are some of the common myths of ISO 9001:2015 Certification and the reality:

Myth 1 – ISO Is Complicated

ISO Certification guidelines and procedures at first instance seem a bit complicated. They are written with terms and words that we might not be familiar with or phrased in such a way that is not always the easiest to understand for newbies. We get it – there is a reason why companies offer whole courses dedicated to “understanding ISO 9001:2015”.

However, starting with the fundamentals of the quality management principles gives way to a more structured process that any organization can easily follow.

If you can overcome the initial confusion, there are a few simple steps you can take to better wrap your head around the standard.

Step 1: Consider Training

You might want to investigate what courses are available to you, either through your Certification Body, through recommendations from your consultant or auditor, who will often have ample information on ISO standards, tried and tested checklists, and frameworks to easily implement the system standard in any type of organization. You can also view courses listed on or other reputable online sources or even YouTube!

Step 2: Companion Documentation

ISO 9001:2015 has several companion documents that are available to you to help understand the standard. For example:

  • ISO 9002:2016 – Guidelines on the application of ISO 9001:2015
  • ISO 9002:2015 – Quality management – Quality of an organization – Guidance to achieve sustained success
  • ISO 10005:2018 – Quality management – Guidelines for quality plans

If you want to learn more, visit the ISO Subcommittee for Quality Systems website here.

Myth 2 – ISO Follows Very Old Documentation

ISO 9001 was first published in 1987 and historically has been revised and updated every few years. Updates has been made due to feedback, industry trends, and worldwide demand changes. Updates and revisions are made to make ISO 9001 relevant and practical to users. “ISO 9001:2015 incorporates elements such as a stronger focus on stakeholders and the wider context of an organization to fit the evolving needs of modern business” – source.

ISO 9001:2015 framework can be used across organizations of any size of business activity.

It focuses on a holistic approach by following the plan, do, check, act enabling a well-defined structure for organizations to follow. It helps in providing quality services and continually improving the processes.

Note: the year noted after the semi-colon refers to the year the revision was released. As of publishing this article, ISO 9001:2015 is the current revision of the standard. Companies certified to anything older are not considered certified.

Myth 3 – ISO 9001:2015 is Only for Large Businesses

ISO Certification Standards are designed to be generic and flexible to allow organizations to customize to their needs. Any organization can utilize the framework regardless of the size of the business type.

Note: In a smaller organization, implementing ISO 9001 could be quite easy as there will be limited staff to train, and business processes could be easily optimized to the ISO quality benchmarks.

ISO 9001 Standard is about defining, measuring, and improving processes. It provides the organization with quality guidelines and frameworks to ensure employees of all levels follow continuous improvements and best practices.

In large or small organizations, the process of the QMS System implementation is the same. Differences only occur in how each clause of the standard translates to how you do business. Custom-fit your QMS to how you best run your business and ISO 9001:2015 will work for you!

Myth 4 – ISO 9001:2015 Certification is Very Expensive

ISO Certification cost is determined by various factors such as employee size, nature of the business activity, level of technology adoption, scope of the quality management system implementation, employee training requirements, ISO Consultant reputation, ISO Certification body selected, and more.

The cost of ISO Certification implementation for an organization is often negotiable (to an extent) and does not have a fixed cost structure. It varies depending on the complexity of the ISO Certification implementation.

Note: Trusted ISO Consultants like AURION will guide you in getting ISO Certified at the lowest cost and best-in-class ISO certification implementation service.

Fixed costs are noted from Accreditation Bodies for the Certification of your QMS which is dictated by the number of employees your organization has. This will determine the number of days your audit will have to take place and is not negotiable.

Read this article to learn more about the cost of ISO 9001:2015 Certification.

Myth 5 – ISO 9001:2015 is Only for Manufacturers

The ISO 9001:2015 Certification Standard is widely in use across many industries such as hospitals, banks, universities, software companies, and other service or manufacturing businesses.

ISO Certification helps organizations to demonstrate their capabilities in delivering quality first products & services. ISO Certification is an internationally recognized standard for quality and standardization of products & services of any organization.

Guidelines and best practices apply to all types of organizations for streamlining their business operations and focus on improving the quality of services and enhance customer satisfaction.

Myth 6 – ISO 9001:2015 Requires a lot of Paperwork

Technically, there is no required documented processes or procedures in ISO 9001:2015. However, you do have to maintain documented information to support the operation of your processes and retain documented information to show processes are being carried out as planned.

Also, if you have deemed it important or necessary for your operations, you must keep documented information necessary for the effectiveness of the QMS. If you say you need it documented, you should keep it documented.

While documentation is required, the true number of things is limited, and especially in the 2015 revision. Historically documentation has been seen as a massive undertaking, however, ISO 9001:2015 is more flexible than previous revisions.

The integration of ISO Certification Standard into an organization system is more of a practical exercise than a policy manual preparation and documentation.

Documentation in ISO 9001:2015 is more flexible and your company is encouraged to document in a way that is appealing to your organization and in a way that makes sense for how your organization operates.

Myth 7- You Need a Perfect System to Get ISO Certified

In short, no – but it must be functioning. While ISO 9001:2015 offers guidelines to transform an existing management system or develop one from scratch, certification requires a few more steps. For your company and its QMS to become certified, you will need to implement the quality management system practices effectively – meaning the ISO 9001:2015 framework needs to be followed, tailored to your organization, processes need to be documented where applicable, and systems need to be audited in regular intervals.

Certification happens over a few stages and lasts for 3-year cycles including an internal and an external audit. To learn more about the Stages of ISO Certification, read this article.

What is helpful for new quality management systems is that it is a forgiving system and auditors are not auditing to find faults in your system but rather find opportunities for improvement. If you receive help from organizations like Aurion or any other local consultant, your organization can be ready for certification in approximately 3 months.

Your system does not need to be perfect – you want to have findings (non-conformances or opportunities for improvement), as it is a way to learn from your mistakes and grow – what the industry calls Value-Added Auditing.

About the Author

John Wick is an ISO Consultant working with Aurion ISO Consultants in Dubai. John likes to write on ISO Training, ISO Consulting, latest changes in ISO Standards, industry-wise benefits from getting ISO Certified. Reach out for expert consultation on any ISO related queries.

About Aurion


Aurion ISO Consultants, Dubai offers world-class ISO Services such as Training, Consulting, Certification, Implementation, and Audits in Dubai, UAE and Worldwide.

Aurion ISO Consultants is an Award-Winning Consultant firm in Dubai, UAE and one of the fastest-growing ISO Service provider in the UAE and GCC region. We have assisted 1800 clients across several countries globally.

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Written by: Narendra Sahoo


Data protection and Privacy are today the top-most priority for organizations dealing with sensitive and confidential data. There are many regulatory frameworks established around it to ensure organizations adopt industry best practices to secure their environment.

GDPR Regulation is one such framework established in the EU to ensure Data Protection and Privacy. However, due to the stringent regulation and security requirements, most organizations struggle to achieve Compliance. 

For those organizations looking to achieve GDPR Compliance, implementation of ISO/IEC 27001’s framework will make your compliance journey a lot easier. 

In today’s article, we have discussed how implementing ISO/IEC 27001 Standard will help in achieving GDPR Compliance.

ISO 27001 Standard and GDPR Compliance

ISO/IEC 27001 Certification is a recognized international standard for information security management. Although the standard is not exclusive to Personal Data Protection, yet many requirements are in common with the GDPR Regulation. 

Implementing the ISO/IEC 27001 Standard makes it a lot easier in achieving GDPR Compliance. But, ISO/IEC 27001 and GDPR can by no means be used interchangeably. ISO/IEC 27001 simply provides a framework to ensure certain measures are implemented that also facilitates the GDPR compliance regime. 

Let us take a closer look at the standard and the regulatory requirement to understand what all does ISO27001 cover in the GDPR Compliance:

What is in common between ISO 27001 Standard and GDPR Compliance?

ISO/IEC 27001 Standards can be used for achieving compliance. Given below are some standard framework that overlaps with GDPR Compliance requirements.

Risk Assessment

Risk Assessment which forms an integral part of ISO/IEC 27001 Standard, is also an essential part of GDPR Compliance. Similar to the ISO/IEC 27001 standard which includes identifying risk and applying control measures to reduce the risks to an acceptable level, GDPR requires organizations to conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to implement measures to reduce the level of risk exposure.  

Implementing ISO/IEC 27001 Standard as an integrated part of your Risk Management program will also help you meet the GDPR risk assessment requirement.  

Breach Notification 

Articles 33–34 of the GDPR Regulation requires organizations to notify authorities within 72 hours of a breach of personal data. Similar requirements in ISO/IEC 27001, which addresses information security incident management controls require organizations to report security incidents promptly and communicate the events in a way that facilitates timely and corrective actions to be taken.

Data Protection by Design

As under Article 25 of the GDPR Regulation organizations are required to implement technical and organizational measures that ensure data protection and privacy by design. It also requires organizations to protect data privacy by default and ensure only essential information required for a specific purpose must be processed and used. 

So, Privacy by Design which is a mandatory GDPR requirement can be achieved with ISO/IEC 27001 standard which also outlines requirements to ensure information security is an integral part of information systems across the entire lifecycle.

Retention of records 

The GDPR Regulation Article 30 requires organizations to maintain records of processing activities, including categorizing of data, the purpose of processing, and general description of the relevant technical and organizational security measures in place. GDPR also calls for personal information to be not stored for longer than needed. 

Similarly, ISO/IEC 27001 requires organizations to document their security processes, and details of their security risk assessments and risk treatment as per Clause 8. Further, it requires information assets to be classified, inventories, and have in place procedures to ensure the use of data use is defined.

Asset Management

The Annex A of ISO/IEC 27001 Standard which focuses on Asset Classification and Management will also include Personal Information as Information Security Assets. This will lead organizations to classify the type of Personal Data involved, where for long is it stored, its origin, and who can access it, which are all the requirements of the GDPR. This would be in the context of handling, controlling, and/or processing Personal Information.

Can ISO 27001 Certification alone be enough for achieving GDPR Compliance?

ISO/IEC 27001 Standard is an up-and-coming industry best practice for Information Security and an excellent framework for GDPR Compliance. Organizations that implemented the standard will most likely find it easy to achieve GDPR Compliance due to the many overlapping frameworks and best practices.

Implementing the standard will help ensure the protection of Personal data and help ensure the minimization of the risk. 

With many standard requirements overlapping, implementing the internationally recognized ISO/IEC 27001 standard will ease the process of compliance. Although achieving compliance to GDPR Regulation will also require the implementation of other additional security and privacy measures as stated in the GDPR Regulatory framework.


Organizations that have implemented or in the process of implementing the ISO/IEC 27001 standard are definitely in a much better position to achieve compliance with the GDPR requirements. 

The proper implementation of the ISO/IEC 27001 Standard will help organizations meet quite a few overlapping requirements. 

If you are considering taking this step, as experts at VISTA InfoSec we recommend organizations to perform a gap analysis to assess their current position and accordingly implement relevant controls for risk containment associated with confidentiality, integrity, and availability of personal data.  

Though ISO Standards may not guarantee GDPR Compliance, it comes in handy as it provides a practical framework for developing strategies, and building comprehensive policies to minimize security risks that lead to breaches. 

Organizations, in general, should consider pursuing ISO/IEC 27001 certification and GDPR for building security strong and effective measures to protect sensitive data.

Author Bio

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QSA, PCI QPA, CISSP, CISA, and CRISC) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.

Find VISTA InfoSec on Youtube

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Written by: Abroo Murtaza

Customer satisfaction should be the top priority of every company, and that is what makes certification like the internationally recognized ISO certification and CE Mark Certification that “indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area”. No matter what product it is, there is always a set standard for it to fit in.

In this article, we will highlight ISO 9001:2015 which is an international standard that helps organizations with a framework for an effective quality management system to improve performance capacity, improve company efficiency, reduce waste and enhance the customer experience through a process-based approach. Here are the benefits you should know if you are considering certification to ISO 9001:2015.

What are the Major Benefits of ISO certification?

Integrating an ISO 9001:2015 quality management system through proper implementation and continued improvement will let you focus on your business’s crucial areas and enhance its efficiency, while also uncovering areas your system is inefficient and areas of potential wasted resources. The management system will create a strong foundation for your business, allowing for smooth operation and consistent results which can translate into increased profits and improved customer satisfaction.

Improved Staff Performance:

ISO certification encourages employees to implement the methods and processes that can help identify the problems and loopholes that are hindering the effectiveness of their operations. Uncovering these areas in a timely manner and before problems arise is beneficial to the company’s bottom line and company morale.

With proper channels and processes established, employees have less risk and responsibility placed on them, and more freedom to do their job and perform better.

To put it simply an ISO 9001:2015 QMS framework is a uniquely individually constructed system within an organization specifically designed with their procedures, documents, the process for keeping the end product’s quality intact, dividing the responsibilities, and allowing for checks and balances at every point.

It also enables employee’s opportunities for things like training and outlets for system improvement like internal audits that help not only the employee grow in their role, but the organization grow with the changing needs of its customers.

Improving the Company’s Efficiency:

After a thorough survey of its working strategy, a properly implemented QMS focuses on dividing the employees’ responsibilities for quality control. This is done by assigning roles, leaders, and responsibilities for the various checks and balances in each process.

This will help improve your company’s operating efficiency and overcome anything hindering your company’s progress. This is done by ensuring no end product or service that your company produces can be allowed to go through the system without proper quality control measures in place to ensure its satisfaction level.

Even after a product is out of your control and in the hands of the customer, the QMS is still working to ensure feedback and continual improvement occurs to continue to make your company the best it can be based on objective evidence, third-party reviews of your system, and consumer feedback.

Reducing Waste and Improving Working Progress:

Instead of moving forward with blind hope that no mistakes will happen or only making changes when a mistake is made, an effective QMS asks you to focus on looking to the future and try to foresee possible problems and prepare for them. Preventative measures that minimize future problems through safety measures and protocols in the event of any foreseeable problems.

QMS helps you to get an improved strategy that directs your way towards improved working progress. It saves both time, energy, and efforts of the employees.

Enhanced Customer Experience:

Enhancing your customer’s experience is often the top goal of an organization. Happy customers are repeat customers. But how can you possibly add that to a procedure or process?

ISO 9001:2015 asks your company to focus on improving the framework of our organization, and having business processes and procedures rooted in quality.

By enhancing work quality you gain a better customer experience through smooth transitions from all aspects of the buyer’s journey, which can achieve the ultimate goal of a happy customer willing to do business with your again or share their experience.

ISO 9001:2015 also asks you to learn from your customers to find out what they enjoyed or did not enjoy through working with you. Through this continual improvement, it helps you as an organization learn and grow from your own customers, increasing the chances of creating happy customers who feel heard.

Suitable for All:

No matter what organization it is, a company or an institute, ISO certification is beneficial for all large and small companies.

Moreover, the best part is that ISO certification is globally recognized and contributes to increasing their authenticity on a broader scale.

Customers can also feel validated that you are who you say you and they are getting what they paid for through the trust gained from holding an international standard.

Looking to Validate an ISO Certificate? Check out

To Sum it Up!

Getting ISO certification is a win-win situation for the respective organization. It’s suitable for any organization, regardless of its size or industry. It helps an organization reduce wasted time, energy, and money through increased efficiency. It can add to the trustworthiness of a company and increases its credibility among people. It also is a tool to boost morale amongst employees who feel heard and not overworked.

What are you waiting for? Learn more about how you can get certified to ISO 9001:2015 by talking to an Accredited Certification Body Today.

About the Author

AbrooAbroo Murtaza is the one enthusiastic and passionate writer who love to write about traveling based on the interest of exploring new places, reading about them and then delivering the knowledge through her pen. Moreover, Abroo is also fond of writing about technology trends, gadgets like latest, mobiles, cameras etc. She thus strives to provide accurate information and knowledge in respective areas of interest and educate people on real terms.

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ISO & Ecommerce

Written by: Mohit

The fundamental goal of any business is to maximize its customer reach and scale it to new heights. To achieve these goals, you must be at the top of your game.

Customers that care about the quality and effectiveness of their purchases are inclined to spend dollars on companies because they can rely on them to meet their standards. Many potential customers are usually not confident enough to put their values in the hands of small and medium scale businesses unless a company has given them a reason to earn that trust.

Reaching out to those values of the customers, or manufacturers and helping them make their purchasing decisions can escort you to a new growth course of action. ISO standards are right for your business because they help you to reach out to new customers and create value in the global marketplace.

The purpose of standardization is to ensure consistency and safety of products, promotion of global compatibility and streamline production in various industries.

With the increase in e-commerce businesses, customers have changed their way of traditional shopping. They are more indulged in online shopping. Business owners are also shifting to the new digital mode of shopping by selling on e-commerce giants such as Amazon Seller Central. So, if you are someone who has an online e-commerce business and is passionate about taking it to the next level, do consider getting this certification.

To start an online business, you will need to look into certificates and registrations, some are mandatory like GST registration, business licenses, etc., and others like ISO are only mandatory for some industries whose clients require it – but it comes with its own set of benefits. Just like how a GST Number is crucial for a business to provide authenticity and credibility, so too does ISO Certification. GST Number will be provided as per the GST State code of the Business location, and your company will receive a Certification of Registration to the ISO Standard you are working towards, for example, ISO 9001. Every business owner must consider it for the future growth of the Organization.

In this article, we will see how e-commerce sellers need to think about getting ISO certification and what value it will add to the business.

What are ISO Standards?

The International Organization for Standardization is an international independent and non-governmental body that has a set of protocols and guidelines to ensure the safety, quality, efficiency, and performance of the products. When your business is competing in the global marketplace, it is necessary to keep the checks and balance in place. Otherwise, it would be burdensome to maintain consistency and quality across the global market.

To avoid such situations, International Standards help to maintain this level. An organization that is said to be “ISO Certified” means that the organization has fulfilled all the requirements of that standard, conducted consistent 3rd party audits, and has proven to be in compliance with the standard. You can verify this by visiting or by speaking directly with the Certification Body who issues the certificate.

The root Greek word for ISO is Isos which means equal. The main goal of the ISO certification is to help organizations become equal and provide high-class services and standards. ISO certification covers safety, quality, consistency of products and the way organizations operate their business.

The maxim of ISO standards is to ensure consistency. It can be in any field, be it social responsibility, energy management or medical equipment, regardless of the industry or scope ISO certifications are applicable

For instance, if you work in the e-commerce industry, you have different marketplaces and frameworks than those in the Automotive industry. Every business has its own set of challenges and risks, and therefore implementing ISO Standard can help you mitigate those and increase efficiencies that are recognized on a global scale.

How ISO Standards Certificates Can Help E-commerce Sellers

International Standards create a sense of confidence and reliability among consumers. ISO standard certification can be great for e-commerce sellers to gain international recognition in the global market. ISO certified companies show the rest of the world how they can work in conformity in the global market with international standards.

For customers, this ensures that the organization offers excellent services.

ISO 9001 certification verifies to customers an organizations commitment to ensuring quality, consistency, and authenticity. There are so many benefits for e-commerce sellers, some of them are mentioned below:

1. Customer Satisfaction

Customer confidence increases as standardization ensure the consistent quality of products. Standardization enables customers to be proactive in researching companies and selecting quality products and services. It illustrates the ability of the organization to constantly deliver high-quality services and products as promised by the organization by means of an effective business system that allows checks and balances along the whole process to avoid risks and increase customer satisfaction.

Customer satisfaction is a vital element of ISO 9001. This standard not only focuses on boosting sales and quality but focuses on customer reviews and feedback, so your organization is constantly understanding your customers, their needs and wants, and any changes that need to be made. This enables organizations to improve the service quality that they provide.

Gradually, the organization will generate large customer satisfaction and lesser complaints.  Over time, fewer mistakes are made, and consistency improves. Hence, ISO certification can boost customer satisfaction and will let your business grow, creating recommendations and repeat business.

2. Brand and Reputation

Whenever any company gets ISO certified, they get well known for its brand in the market. The badge is followed by creating a sustainable reputation in the market. As quality, authenticity, and consistency of the services or products are ensured, the brand name and visibility in the market gets increased.

Brand name and reputation play an important role to be recognized in the marketplace. Through ISO certification, any small or medium-sized business can get the authority to get recognized. ISO helps to increase the visibility of the organization and increase its quality.

3. International Business

Standards provide your business access to new markets. You may be eligible for government contracts, join supply chain projects, or be able to win contracts over your competitors.

Standardization enables the local e-commerce business holders to enter the global markets. By entering in the international market, you have a lower chance of being the first option for many customers who are not familiar with your brand. Being able to boast Internationally Recognized certification for quality like ISO 9001 can give your potential customers trust in your product and its reliability. We all have had one experience or many of ordering something online and the product that you receive is nothing like you expected. That will ruin the reputation of your business in the eyes of that consumer, and potentially more as they tell their story to others. And with the rise of posting on social media to bring attention to these reviews, one bad review can be detrimental to your organization. Perfecting your system using International Standards can ensure you are consistently making quality products just like the pictures on your e-commerce site, thereby negating that risk.

With consistently achievable quality and customer satisfaction, your customer reach increases, which expands the business and increases the overall profits. This can be a huge step, as entering the international market will create a brand image of your business at a global level, among the big companies. You will get to compete in the global market that will take your business to new heights.

4. Ensures online security

Just like an SSL certificate of registration on your website provides proof that the e-commerce business is inclined towards the online safety and security of its customers, ISO Certification shows your commitment too. Ownership, user credentials, use and display of any ISO Certificates are controlled by guidelines that are published by the Certification Body that issued this certificate, and therefore will be able to help anyone interested validate the authenticity of a certification. This is important as an unaccredited certification is not valid.

Organizations with a vested interest in protecting their information secure online might also what to investigate certifications like ISO 27001 to preserve the integrity and confidentiality of their customers’ information. The ISO 27001 is an international standard that defines requirements for an Information Security Management System, and it strives to ensures that sufficient security controls are set in motion within the certified organizations.

The e-commerce giant Snapdeal achieved ISO 27001:2013 certification making it among some of the e-commerce companies to do so. The certification helps in implementing an information security management system that enables organizations to gain a competitive advantage in the market, prevent cyber threats to the customers and meet supply chain demands.

So, customers would want to shop from such e-commerce portals with utmost security standards.

5. Increase in Revenue

Once your e-commerce business ISO certified, they have a quality certificate that can be advertised and respond to requests for more quotes from big firms. Consequently, ISO certificates increase your sales and revenue. Three in five companies that adopted ISO increased their revenues.

Customers like to shop from a reliable site, as ISO certification prepared organizations to take active steps to understand and prepare for risks and work towards consistency in quality, authenticity and integrity of your interfaces and it is behind the scenes processes at all levels of their organization. This enables the organization to run smoothly and focus on what they are good at, impressing their customers. This universal approach to processes across your organization will help customers feel like each stage of their journey is seamless and more consumers will come to shop from your online store as a result.

Note: Many companies require suppliers and manufacturers to be certified. You also get a chance to enter foreign markets, which is an added advantage.

The movement of goods, logistics, supply chain makes trading easy and safe when an organization has a unified and consistent process-based approached rooted in an internationally recognized standard like ISO. It is a great way to help your company understand your business and its commitments, showcase your accomplishments through certificate, and win deals through this competitive advantage.

About the Author

Mohit is an e-commerce expert at MohitECommerce. He works on many e-commerce marketplaces and helps the vendors in Amazon Seller Registration, Amazon Fba, Paytm kyc, etc. He likes to meet all types of businesspeople who are interested in stepping up into an online marketplace.

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Written by: Abroo Murtaza

While enrolment rates and the educational institutes’ resources are acceptable in developed countries, developing countries are still working on such policies and practices. ISO Quality Management System should be favoured in the educational institutions to be used for improving their teaching practices for the purpose of standardization. This is especially true with the increased reliance of distance learning as even though institutions had worked on education dynamics, children who need to should be able to efficiently and effectively finish high school online diplomas and degrees in a similar manner to what they would achieve with in-person learning.

An ISO 9001 quality management system (QMS), that is based in educational organizations, should be considered an essential element concerning the involvement in academic institutions to improve their central management of the institutes. That includes the curriculum designing, its implementation, and its outcomes in the student’s achievements by providing the evidence on the entire educational cycle utilizing capacities, from the management, curriculum design, learning results, client’s internal and external satisfaction –teachers, students, and families- and its impact by external achievement measurements.

Improvements in Teaching and Learning standards

Adopting ISO 9001 in schools can help to improve the overall teaching and learning standards of institutions through standardizes and effective processes and management systems. It also helps in improving the processes and documentation by adopting the strategies of continuous improvement through learning and growth from mistakes. Not only this, but it can even help in fault preventions instead of correction the use of various tools to determine the organizations strengths, shortcomings, and ideally preventing anything from slipping through the cracks. The processes of various checks and balances throughout various processes allow organizations to be sure mistakes that are made are caught and corrected, among other things.  ISO 9001 and an effective QMS can provide a very positive influence on the institution’s achievements by allowing teachers and employees more room for creativity in their teaching and increased focus on their students because less of their time is spent managing unstandardized approaches to their various administrative and process-based roles in their job.

Positive impacts on students learning and Teachers satisfaction

ISO 9001 can contribute a lot to improving the formative processes that positively affect the students’ learning and overall satisfaction in the institution. It allows for institutions to determine how each process affects another, and where and when shortcomings or faults can occur and how to ensure they do not. This allows your institution to focus on doing your job properly, with the assurance that the quality will not suffer. This will enhance the image of the institution as your “customers” (parents, students, stakeholders, investors, etc) can interact with your institution in a manner that feels cohesive, on-brand, organizations, and effective because you have a better systematization of managerial procedures. Even the vocational institutes use such standards for strategic focusing and a foundation for planning.

Proactive in showing benefits of quality

ISO 9001 Certification shows your institution is proactive and outwardly showing the benefits you hold over other institutes by upholding the notion of quality concepts and proving it by holding an accredited certification to stakeholders. Each QMS is unique to the organization because no two organizations hold the same set of procedures, policies, personnel, and property that make your institution tick. Obtaining certification to ISO 9001 is no small task, and often takes months to implement a QMS, and have it effective and ready for a certification audit. Those organizations who are certified should be proud and promote their accomplishment. 

Find a Consultant to help implement your ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System effectively.

Improves quality of education for workplaces

The extraordinary favour of ISO 9001 is its output that can be absorbed in any industries, including educational institutions. Adoption of a QMS has changed the learning setups of students who want more work performing arrangements or increased capacity of institutions with standardized approaches to various processes. With the added benefit of Continued Improvement, institutions can introduce different learning methods or new practical features for studies based on feedback that may provide benefits to students in their various industries. It has moved the mindsets of how quality management in educational institutions helps bring things systematic and documented.

Helps in teacher’s development

ISO 9001 can help teacher’s in their development as well. It supports in teaching-learning planning systems that include the learning resources, the realization of the teaching-learning process, the students’ assessment and feedback, and the evaluation of the general design, implementation, and results, providing evidence of the entire cycle utilizing measurements using different and specifics instruments, from the institutional organization, the curriculum design, the leaning process, their results, and impact.

Wrapping Up!

ISO 9001 has raised the quality standards of the educational institutes that have adopted it. It has provided such criteria that institute proper directions for growing and settling their work setups directionally and adequately. A QMS provides a unique and complete backbone to the educational institutions for designing their process-based approach to effectively running their institution to deliver quality education through well-made curriculums and documentations, adopting strategies and procedures for the efficient observable workings and ensuring continual improvements of their processes.

Author Bio:

Abroo Murtaza is one enthusiastic and passionate writer who loves to write about travelling based on the interest of exploring new places, reading about them, and then delivering the knowledge through her pen. Moreover, Abroo is also fond of writing about education, technology trends, gadgets like mobiles, cameras, etc. She thus strives to provide accurate information and knowledge in respective areas of interest and educate people on real terms.

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8 Components of a Top-Quality Management System

ISO 9001:2015 Certification is a popular certification standard for companies across many sectors.
ISO 9001 aims to enhance the quality of an organization’s products & services. It also helps to improve customer satisfaction and streamline business operations.

A properly implemented ISO 9001 management system can also help your organization by saving costs in the long run through increased efficiency and reduced downtime due to error.

A Quality Management System (QMS) is the backbone for ISO 9001:2015 Standard. The successful implementation of a QMS can help your organization to achieve business excellence.

What is a Quality Management System?
The Quality Management System may be a centralized system that facilitates management review, effective resource utilization, and continuous improvements. It standardizes business processes that are implemented to make sure organizations are following a consistent procedure in production and operation.

QMS requires the creating of Comprehensive Operating Procedures (SOPs) and deploying a robust Management Framework to ensure product quality is always top-notch. ISO Certification ensures continuous improvement and enhanced risk assessment. It helps in achieving a systemic approach, product quality, and process consistency across all departments of the organization.

8 Core Elements of a top-quality Management System
Quality Management System helps in achieving ISO Standard compliance, enhances process quality, and streamlines operations.

ISO 9001:2015 is based on the following principles of Quality Management:

 • Customer Focus
• Leadership
• People engagement
• Process approach
• Continuous improvement
• Evidence-based decision making
• Relationship Management

The core components of a top-quality Management System include:

  1. Quality Objectives
    QMS requires drafting the standard objectives to start with. The objectives will define the future goals and therefore the purpose of QMS.

A well-drafted objective determines the success of the QMS. It helps the organization to understand customer requirements and cater to the growing demand effectively.

2. Organizational structure and responsibilities
QMS must have the updated organizational structure and include the corresponding responsibilities to attain goals and set KPIs for every team.

There should be a clear representation of the roles and responsibilities of each team.

3. Data Management
Managing the organizational data effectively is a key requirement for the QMS system. Data Management helps in identifying the vulnerabilities and taking the required corrective actions promptly.

Inaccurate data management could lead to inconsistent product quality, operational inefficiency, and low customer satisfaction.

Hence, management must be monitoring the system with timely checks on the vulnerabilities of the business operations.

The organization must have a strong QMS to ensure all required information is collected and processed the proper way and the practice of continuous improvement is followed in analyzing the collected information

4. Processes
Streamlining of Business Operations is a vital aspect of the QMS System. All the organizational processes must be identified.

The effectiveness of resource utilization determines the respective results. All the results must be tracked and optimized accordingly.
The process optimizations follow the below steps:
• Identifying the organizational processes and resources utilized
• Defining process standards and corrective actions if any
• Setting up a way to measure continuous improvements
• Recording the changes in process, improvements, and results. Follow a uniform approach to realize a consistent result.
• Practicing Continuous Improvement to further optimize the method

5. Customer Satisfaction with Product Quality
Measuring Customer Satisfaction is another requirement of the QMS. Customer Satisfaction is the measure of quality process effectiveness.

Hence, by conducting customer interviews, feedback, surveys, the extent of customer experience delivered and satisfaction from the product or service is measured.

6. Continuous Improvements
Continuous Improvement is a must-do practice to follow for achieving consistent product quality.

For the organizational process to satisfy the requirements of ISO 9001:2015, the continual improvements practises must be documented and the control points must be tracked periodically. This will help ensure a smooth operation with quality as the top priority.

7. Quality instruments
For product companies that use ISO 9001:2015 to enhance their efficiency and service quality, the instruments used must be maintained to a high grade of quality.

The testing and calibration equipment utilized in testing the system must comply with ISO 9001:2015 guidelines.

8. Document Control
A QMS should include documented information that records all important aspects and organizational operations including the following:
• Employee Communication on critical projects or tasks
• Evidence of Process Improvements, Operational Processes, Organizational Structure, etc.
• QMS Conformity and Knowledge Sharing

All the documentation regarding the QMS should be focused on enhancing the organization’s operational processes and functions. It must be managed and monitored regularly for the continued success of the QMS.

Note: Organizations should also not fall victim to the classic “set it and forget it” mentality with QMS implementations. ISO 9001 encourages continual improvement, which means that your organization should be re-evaluating your existing processes and procedures on a fairly regular bases to understand what is working, and what is not functional for your company culture. Some processes might work on paper, but in practice they are not effective.

To learn more about implementing an efficient Quality Management System in UAE, ask our expert ISO Consultants right away!

About the Author

John Wick is an ISO Consultant working with Aurion ISO Consultants in Dubai. John likes to write on ISO Training, ISO Consulting, latest changes in ISO Standards, industry-wise benefits from getting ISO Certified. Reach out for expert consultation on any ISO related queries.

About Aurion

aurion-logoAurion ISO Consultants, Dubai offers world-class ISO Services such as Training, Consulting, Certification, Implementation, and Audits in Dubai, UAE and Worldwide.

Aurion ISO Consultants is an Award-Winning Consultant firm in Dubai, UAE and one of the fastest-growing ISO Service provider in the UAE and GCC region. We have assisted 1800 clients across several countries globally.

We provide you with a Single-Window Solution with ISO Consulting, ISO Training, and ISO Implementation and ISO Audit Services. With our ISO Certification, you can transform your business into quality first one.

Contact Us: Aurion ISO Consultants | 0097142504150 | |#213&214,6E-A Dubai Airport Freezone, Dubai |

While you are planning to implement ISO Certification Standards for your organizations, to know more about the ISO Certification standards and all ISO related services from Aurion ISO Consultants, you call us right away!

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Written by Jorine Bibi

If you’re familiar at all with the concept of ISO certification, you likely think of it with regard to businesses and large industries. These are the environments within which quality management and the standardization of practices can appear to matter most. And to be sure, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has put forth innumerable sets of standards that benefit operations in business and industry. However, ISO activity is not exclusive to these areas. It can also be useful in other fields we don’t consider as frequently — such as education.

Sure enough, in 2018 we saw the announcement of ISO 21001, designed as a new set of standards for “Educational Organization Management Systems.” It became the first international management standard for the education field, and was meant to benefit educational institutions and learners alike.

To delve further into ISO 21001 and what it means for the education sector, here are a few specific points about the standards and the people and institutions they affect.

The First Educational Organization Management Standards

It’s important to point out that this is not necessarily the first set of standards applied to education. Others, however, have been more polarizing. Most notable are the standardized tests that are used across the U.S. to help determine students’ qualifications for higher education. These have existed for a long time, and though they do help to establish an easier method for assessing and placing students, there are common arguments suggesting that they’re actually detrimental to education. An article on testing by a University of Pittsburgh professor outlined numerous ways in which standardized testing can be problematic, including such points as that testing prep takes away from learning time; that content knowledge declines in favor of testing strategy; and that schools with poor testing reputations actually lose resources.

This is not to imply that standardizing practices in education is necessarily bad. Instead, it’s to point out that there are existing examples of standardization, some of which just happen to be questionable. The ISO 21001, however, is the first global standard of its kind for the actual management of educational organizations.

ISO 21001 Benefits

Different ISO standards can be difficult to fully understand from the outside. Details in fact aren’t always even available to any who aren’t directly using said standards. By now though, enough information about ISO 21001 has become available that we can discuss its key benefits with some clarity.

A write-up by Code Acts In Education provides one of the more granular examinations of the standards, and highlights 11 specific benefits that are actually listed in an “explanatory PowerPoint” about ISO 21001. These include, but are not limited to: aligning educational mission, vision, objectives, and action plans; inclusive and equitable education for all; more personalized learning and responsiveness to special education needs; consistent processes and evaluation tools; models for improvement; and increased credibility of the educational organization. In short, ISO 21001 is designed to fully standardize the business of education — from goals, to methods, to adjustments.

Directives for Educators

From the outside looking in, we think of teaching as a learned skill more than an ongoing job. That is to say, we imagine that teachers educate themselves, train, obtain degrees, and then simply do one job for as long as they see fit to do it. In a technical sense this is accurate, but the truth of the matter is that teachers have to have the capacity to adjust.

This in fact is something that’s increasingly emphasized in the actual education of teachers as well. As Maryville University outlines for students considering taking an online doctorate in education, aspiring teachers training to educate need to learn “the leadership abilities and perspective to meet the challenges of today — and tomorrow.” That’s another way of saying that teachers are now being trained to lead by adaptation, and to be poised to embrace and capitalize on changes.

ISO 21001 standards work hand-in-hand with this increasing emphasis on adaptability by providing more guidance for a greater variety of situations. While teachers and educational leaders should still be able adapt on their own, and get creative in finding solutions to new problems, ISO 21001 provides a blueprint for a lot of the changes that may arise.

An Even Playing Field for Learners

Interestingly enough, another significant aspect of ISO 21001 standards for educational institutions — both in school environments and elsewhere — is that they can help to even the playing field for learners. This is almost ironic given the aforementioned example of standardized testing as an existing standardized education model that can actually result in less fairness between learners.

Because ISO 21001 establishes guidelines for so many scenarios related to how education is handled and how learners are to be approached and managed, the hope is that in time the standards will result in a more uniform education ecosystem. This does not mean that every institution and instructor has to be the same, or even teach in the same way. But specific problems should be addressed similarly, such that one learner facing difficulty in a given environment isn’t given less of a chance to overcome the problem than another student facing the same situation within a different institution.

It will be fascinating to see what impact ISO 21001 ultimately has on educational institutions over time. Less than two years into the standards’ availability, it’s a little bit too soon to make a determination. But the practices and potential benefits outlined above make it clear why standards like these are worth exploring.

About The Author

Jorine Bibi Author LogoJorine Bibi is an environmental blogger. She hopes that her articles provide her readers with information on what the world can do to reduce its energy use. She also believes that if we don’t address the issue of climate change soon it will be too late. In her free time, she likes to tend to her garden.

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What is ISO 27001 Gap Analysis?

Written by: Narendra Sahoo

Organizations seeking a high level of security and protection for their IT Infrastructure are advised to achieve ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001 is a globally-recognized standard that organizations use as a benchmark to audit and certify their Information Security Management System (ISMS). Achieving ISO 27001 certification simply demonstrates that the organization has a robust management framework in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the organization’s IT infrastructure. But when the organization commits to this standard of excellence, ensuring continuous compliance is critical. Conducting a thorough Assessment and Gap analysis of the organization’s IT Infrastructure and its ISO 27001 Compliance requires commitment and exceptional expertise. In today’s article, we discuss what an ISO27001 Gap Analysis is and why it is an essential part of the ISO 27001 Audit process. So, let us first quickly understand what an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis is.

What is an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis?

An ISO 27001 Gap Analysis also known sometimes as Compliance Assessment or Pre-Assessment is an assessment that provides a high-level overview of your organization’s current security posture. The assessment and report serve as a guide to organizations for achieving ISO 27001 certification.  The assessment involves comparing the organization’s existing information security controls against the requirements of ISO 27001. The Gap Analysis measures the current state of compliance against the Standard and also scopes the organization’s ISMS parameters across all business functions. Itprovides companies with the necessary information and recommendations of controls that may need to be implemented to close the gaps. The Gap Analysis helps companies understand the best way to improve and streamline their internal information security management systems to ensure they meet the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard.

When is an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis performed?

An ISO 27001 Gap Analysis is a professional assessment that is performed between stage 1 and stage 2 of the ISO 27001 Audit process. The assessment helps bridge the gap between stage 1 and stage 2 of the ISO 27001 Audit. The objective is to ensure that any ISMS gaps that were identified in stage 1 are addressed appropriately.It further helps companies prepare for stage 2 and the ISO 27001 certification process. It is important to note that a gap analysis is mandatory in ISO 27001,but only after an organization has developed its Statement of Applicability. It details the security posture on each of the 114 information security controls that are outlined in Annex A of ISO 27001.So, ISO 27001 gap analysis should be performed only for the controls from Annex A of the ISO 27001 standard and is also done before the start of ISO 27001 implementation to get a perspective on the current standing of the organization and the quantum of work involved.

What to expect from an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis?

Companies hire professional consultancies to perform the ISO 27001 gap analysis. During this course of analysis, the auditors will assess the existing information security processes, procedures, and documentation of the organization and compare these against the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard. This is done to identify areas that require improvement in their existing information security processes and procedures. The report of the analysis performed will highlight deficits in systems against the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard, and further help address the identified issues. Conducted by an ISO 27001 specialist, the analysis gives a detailed assessment and analysis report detailing the findings which include:

  • The current state and maturity of the information security processes and procedures.
  • The compliance gaps as against the requirements of the ISO 27001 standard.
  • The scope of the organization’s ISMS.
  • Details about the internal resource requirements for achieving compliance.
  • An outline plan of action indicating the level of effort required to implement ISO 27001.
  • The tentative timeline to achieve certification readiness.

What are the benefits of an ISO 27001 Gap Analysis?

  • You will get an overview of the organization’s current security posture against the requirements of ISO 27001.
  • It guides the organization in its efforts to achieve ISO 27001 certification.
  • The gap analysis scopes your ISMS parameters across all business functions.
  • The analysis gives clarity on what needs to be included in the scope of ISMS and controls that need to be implemented
  • Helps estimate the resources and budgetary needs of the ISO 27001 project.
  • Ensures translation of cybersecurity into business policies procedures and framework.  
  • The valuable insight obtained from the analysis enables the organization to plan a strategic roadmap for the implementation of necessary cybersecurity controls.
  • It also provides you with a potential timeline for achieving ISO 27001 certification.
  • The gap analysis will help the organization get closer to achieving the accredited certification.

Final thought

For those organizations looking to seek high-level security for their IT infrastructure must comply with the ISO 27001 and perform a Gap Analysis. It allows you to benchmark the organization’s existing policies and controls against the ISO 27001 standard. It will allow you to identify gap areas in the organization’s processes, policies, and controls and highlight weak areas in the system. So, to strengthen the organization’s security posture, businesses should consider performing an ISO 27001 audit and gap analysis to develop a strong business case for implementing an ISO 27001-compliant ISMS.

Author Bio

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QSA, PCI QPA, CISSP, CISA, and CRISC) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.

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