Today we’re going to continue our series and ask a key question: does ISO 27001 certification make you more profitable, and if so, how? The potential for organisation change outlined in a management system like ISO 27001 allows your organisation to aspire to be the best in your industry, outdoing the competition when it comes to a proactive approach to information security. The true value of this is often neglected, only to be found once it’s too late, and the organisation has been hacked or hit by a ransomware attack.
We mentioned last week that a customer’s voting power can be found in the form of their wallet, and the public’s sentiment is constantly changing. These days, the buying public is overall more progressive when it comes to environmental considerations, safety, and perhaps most significantly, the safety of their financial and personal data when they’re purchasing from you. organisation. Too often, the true value of an information security management system like ISO 27001 isn’t found until it’s too late, so let’s take a look at how it can protect your organisation from online threats, inspire confidence from your customers and potentially make you more profitable moving into the future.
So let’s take some time out and first discover what ISO 27001 is, how it works, and how it can make your organisation more profitable once it’s put into action in the context of your operations, no matter how big or small.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is an internationally-recognised Information Security Management System that requires your organisation to address key areas of your operations and policies to ensure that you’re vigilant about protecting the sensitive data that you’re hosting inside your organisation’s network. ISO 27001 provides organisations – big and small – with a framework to protect their information, educate their staff as to the best practices surrounding information security and instil risk-based thinking when it comes to potential threats to your organisation. This framework provides you with the applicable technical, physical and legal controls of information security, and allows you to prepare a robust policy that addresses potential risks and ensures the integrity of the data you’re protecting.
Quite simply, ISO 27001 certification shows to all your major stakeholders – your customers, suppliers, staff and more – that you’re not only able to keep the information and data you house safe and secure, it shows that you’re proactive in maintaining and protecting that data into the future as the threat environment continues to change. With Information Security certification, you’re displaying clear intent to protect that data, and that it is inseparable from your organisation’s mission statement and core values as a high-level competitor on the market.
Why is ISO 27001 Certification Important?
An information security management system like ISO 27001 is one of the most impactful tools your organisation has to keep its data safe, and ensure that you’re inspiring confidence in your key stakeholders when it comes to information security. As we’ve seen in the past, it can take decades to build up a robust and trustworthy organisational reputation, which, in the wake of a cyber attack, often leaves companies big and small reeling. IBM’s latest Cost of a Data Breach report states that organisations can expect a $5.3 million clean-up bill in the aftermath of a cyber attack.
Interestingly, authors of the IBM report stated that organisations with a cyber security or information security policy were significantly better off than their unprotected counterparts. The report says that on average, costs associated with a data breach on an organisation with no response or information security plan were said to be $5.2 million. This figure dropped to $2 million for organisations that had implemented a policy.
For most organisations, this is something that they cannot afford, and highlights the cost-effective nature of implementing an Information Security Management System to reduce your risk of a data breach. Getting certified with an Information Security Management System also allows you to expand your organisation’s size and scope, considering that large scale and government tenders are commonly offered only to organisations with accreditation similar to ISO 27001.
Does ISO 27001 Certification Make Your Organisation More Profitable?
Having your organisation certified to a system like ISO 27001 can help make your organisation more profitable in a number of ways. First, as we’ve just discussed, the financial impact of being unprepared for a cyber attack can be absolutely devastating to small, medium and even large-scale organisations. Quite often, hackers look for easy avenues to launch their attacks, and they recognised that small and medium sized organisations often put information security on the back burner until a threat presents itself. In this way, you can inspire confidence from regulators and customers alike that your organisation is taking a proactive approach to information security risks, and is constantly looking for ways to keep sensitive data safe from prying eyes.
This customer and regulatory confidence can manifest itself in a number of ways, be it additional purchases or recommendations from customers and suppliers, or the ability to bid on tenders and projects that are reserved for organisations that have an information security system in place. Attaining one of these projects may well prove the difference between your organisation stagnating and scaling up to its full – and more profitable – potential moving into the future. You can also mitigate the threat of your organisation being hit by a large-scale fine in the wake of a data breach, train your staff with the best practices of cyber security and ways to keep the data of your customers safe.
Finally, and perhaps most significantly, the risk-based thinking approach to information security threats and improvements in your organisation can identify new areas that you can both innovate and invest in. There is no limit to the potential of profitability when it comes to this aspect of ISO certification, and in the process of outlining your strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats, you may well discover a problematic aspect to tackle or a new-found avenue for profitability or confidence-inspiring means of operating.
An information security management system isn’t something that does the work for you; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. However, the process of actually doing the work can provide an organisation with invaluable information and opportunities for improvement that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. If you’re interested in finding out how, please get in contact with the Best Practice team to organise the next step of your certification journey.