Published 9 Sep 2022
What is the ISO 27001 Standard?
The ISO 27001 standard is an internationally-recognized set of guidelines that focuses on information security and provides a framework for the Information Security Management System (ISMS). Adhering to ISO 27001 standards can help the organization to protect their data in a systematic way and maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets to stakeholders.
An ISO 27001 checklist is used by chief information officers to assess an organization’s readiness for ISO 27001 certification. Using this checklist can help discover process gaps, review current ISMS, practice cybersecurity, and be used as a guide to check the following categories based on the ISO 27001:2013 standard:
- Context of the Organization
- Performance evaluation
You can also download this ISO 27001 checklist as PDF.
This article covers:
- 7 practical tips for implementing an ISO 27001-aligned ISMS and preparing for certification;
- What is an ISO 27001 checklist and how to use it;
- technology to help implement and maintain ISO 27001 standards;
- FAQS about ISO 27001; and
- featured ISO 27001 templates.
It takes a lot of time and effort to properly implement an effective ISMS and more so to get it ISO 27001-certified. Here are some steps to take for implementing an ISMS that is ready for certification:
- Review processes and ISO 27001 – Familiarize staff with the international standard for ISMS and know how your organization currently manages information security and information systems.
- Get employee buy-in – Help employees understand the importance of ISMS and get their commitment to help improve the system.
- Conduct risk assessments – Determine the vulnerabilities and threats to your organization’s information security system and assets by conducting regular information security risk assessments and using an iso 27001 risk assessment template.
- Implement controls – Information or network security risks discovered during risk assessments can lead to costly incidents if not addressed promptly.
- Conduct gap analysis – Use an ISO 27001 audit checklist to assess updated business processes and new controls implemented to determine other gaps that require corrective action.
- Do internal audits and employee training – Regular internal ISO 27001 audits can help proactively catch non-compliance and aid in continuously improving information security management. Information gathered from internal audits can be used for employee training and for reinforcing best practices.
- Contact your auditor for certification – Prepare your ISMS documentation and contact a reliable third-party auditor to get certified for ISO 27001.
An ISO 27001 checklist is used by Information security officers to correct gaps in their organization’s ISMS and evaluate their readiness for ISO 27001 certification audits. An ISO 27001 checklist helps identify the requirements of the international standard for implementing an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS).
Assuming that the organization has implemented the necessary changes to meet the standard security requirements of ISO 27001, a checklist will help in raising security awareness and in identifying gaps in the organization. Below are steps you can take to effectively evaluate your organization’s readiness for certification:
How to use an ISO 27001 Checklist
- Determine if the organization understands the context of the information security management system.
- Verify if there is adequate leadership and policies in place to demonstrate the organization’s commitment.
- Check if the organization has a system in place for identifying and understanding risks.
- Gauge if the competence of employees, resources available, awareness, and communication are suitable.
- Determine if the organization plans, implements, and controls processes in a manner that meets the ISMS requirements.
- Confirm if the organization has a system in place to monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate the ISMS.
- Verify if nonconformities are addressed with corrective actions.
- Provide comments/recommendations.
- Sign off with name and signature as completion of the audit.
- Share with key stakeholders and use the information gathered from the audit.
Getting certified for ISO 27001 requires documentation of your ISMS and proof of the processes implemented and continuous improvement practices followed. An organization that is heavily dependent on paper-based ISO 27001 reports will find it challenging and time-consuming to organize and keep track of documentation needed to comply with the standard—like this example of an ISO 27001 PDF for internal audits.
iAuditor by SafetyCulture, a powerful mobile auditing software, can help information security officers and IT professionals streamline the implementation of ISMS and proactively catch information security gaps. With iAuditor, you and your team can:
- Conduct ISO 27001 gap analyses and information security risk assessments/risk analysis anytime and include photo evidence using handheld mobile devices.
- Automate documentation of audit reports and secure data in the cloud.
- Observe trends via an online dashboard as you improve ISMS and work towards ISO 27001 certification.
- Forget about using Excel spreadsheets
To save you time, we have prepared these digital ISO 27001 checklists that you can download and customize to fit your business needs.
FAQs about ISO 27001
ISO 27001 is not universally mandatory for compliance but instead, the organization is required to perform activities that inform their decision concerning the implementation of information security controls—management, operational, and physical. An example of such efforts is to assess the integrity of current authentication and password management, authorization and role management, and cryptography and key management conditions.
The ISO 27001 standard bases its framework on the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) methodology:
- Plan – set objectives and plan organization of information security, and choose the appropriate security controls.
- Do – implement the plan.
- Check – monitor and measure the effectiveness of the plan against set objectives.
- Act – take action on identified nonconformities for continuous improvement.
ISMS is the systematic management of information in order to maintain its confidentiality, integrity, and availability to stakeholders. Getting certified for ISO 27001 means that an organization’s ISMS is aligned with international standards. Even if certification is not the intention, an organization that complies with the ISO 27001 framework can benefit from the best practices of information security management.
Featured ISO 27001 Checklists
An ISO 27001 risk security assessment is carried out by information security officers to evaluate information security risks and vulnerabilities. Use this template to accomplish the need for regular information security risk assessments included in the ISO 27001 standard and perform the following:
- Determine sources of information security threats and record photo evidence (optional)
- Provide possible consequences, likelihood, and select risk rating
- Identify current controls and provide recommendations
- Enter as many information security risks found as necessary