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Information security of a new level: updating the ISO standard

Information security of a new level: updating the ISO standard

Why does an IT business need ISO certification?

In a world of dynamic technological development and information sharing, security, efficiency, and quality are becoming key components of success for any IT company. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certification is a necessary step in providing high standards of management. This kind of certification demonstrates the high level of the company's work and raises its positive perception in the eyes of customers and competitors.

ISO certification provides a company with a competitive advantage, especially in international markets, where it can be a mandatory condition for participation in tenders. Compliance with market requirements is another important advantage, as in many industries, ISO certification is a prerequisite for cooperation with large corporations and government agencies. Certification also contributes to effective risk management, in particular, the ISO 27001 standard helps companies protect confidential data, which is so important in the digital world. 

What is ISO 27001 certification?

ISO 27001 certification is a process by which an organization is tested and verified against the requirements of a standard that sets out requirements for information security management systems (ISMS) designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information within an organization and is the fourth most common certification of all ISO standards.

Getting ISO 27001 can demonstrate an organization's strong commitment to protecting customer and partner information, complying with legal and regulatory data security requirements, and increasing trust and competitiveness in the marketplace. 

As business management, operations, technologies, and requirements change over time, the standards for meeting these requirements also need to change. Since May 2024, the certificate of the previous version of ISO/IEC 27001:2013 has stopped being valid. Instead, the ISO/IEC 27001:2022 standard came into effect, where certain adjustments, additions, and generalizations were made. Organizations that will receive this certification for the first time after April 2024 will be provided with an updated version, and companies that already have an old-style certificate will have to update it by October 31, 2025.

Why has ISO 27001 certification changed?

  • Compliance with modern threats and technologies 

Information security is a dynamic field constantly changing under the influence of new technologies. Updating the standard is necessary to take into account the latest advances in technology and modern cyber threats. For example, the growing use of cloud services and remote work requires new approaches to security.

  • Improved flexibility and scalability 

The new changes are designed to make the standard more flexible and adaptable to different types of organizations, regardless of their size or industry. This allows companies to more easily integrate the standard into their existing processes and management systems.

  • Simplification and optimization

Combining and simplifying some categories helps to reduce the complexity and administrative burden of implementing the standard. This makes the certification process more efficient and less resource-intensive.

  • Improved risk management efficiency

Updated risk assessment and management approaches help organizations more effectively identify, assess, and manage risks in today's information environment. This contributes to a more proactive approach to security.

  • Alignment with other standards

The update of the standard also promotes better compatibility and alignment with other international standards, such as ISO 22301 (Business Continuity Management). This facilitates the integration of different management systems and improves overall management effectiveness.

  • Meeting regulatory requirements

Regulatory requirements for information security are constantly changing. Updating ISO 27001 helps organizations more easily meet these requirements, reducing the risk of fines and penalties.

  • Increase competitiveness 

Companies that comply with the latest information security standards can gain a competitive advantage. They can demonstrate to their customers and partners a high level of data protection, which strengthens their reputation and trust in the market.

Main changes

In the 2013 version of the standard, there were 14 categories, the number of which has been reduced to 4 after the implementation of the changes. The regrouped categories include:

  • Organizational (This category refers to the policies, procedures, and measures that an organization implements to manage information security. It includes information security policies, information security organization, asset management, access management, risk assessment and management, and business continuity);
  • Human (This category covers measures related to the human factor in the context of information security. It includes training and awareness of employees, personnel management, and distribution of roles and responsibilities among employees);
  • Technological (This category includes technical measures aimed at protecting information systems and data. It includes access control to information systems and data, encryption of confidential information, protection against malicious software, management of the security network, events, and configurations);
  • Physical (This category covers measures aimed at protecting physical assets and premises from unauthorized access, damage, or loss. It includes physical protection of premises, access control to premises, equipment protection);

Also, the categories of ISO/IEC 27002:2013 contained 114 controls. Now they include only 93, where 24 have been grouped and 58 have been updated. The remaining 11 controls are completely new:

  • Information about risks

This control involves collecting, analyzing, and using information about cyber threats to improve the organization's defense. This includes monitoring current threats, sharing information with other organizations, and adapting security measures based on the information received.

  • Information security for cloud services

Controls are focused on ensuring the data security and information assets that are processed, stored, or transmitted through cloud services. It includes requirements for cloud service providers, risk management, and security monitoring of cloud environments.

  • ICT readiness for business continuity

Covers activities to ensure that information and communications technology (ICT) is ready to support business continuity in the event of incidents or disruptions. This includes planning, testing, and updating ICT processes and systems to ensure their resilience.

  • Physical security monitoring

This control involves the use of physical security monitoring tools, such as video surveillance, motion detectors, and access control systems, to prevent unauthorized access to premises and protect physical assets.

  • Configuration management

Covers the processes of managing information systems and software configurations to ensure their security and integrity. This includes maintaining a configuration registry, controlling changes, and performing regular audits.

  • Information deletion

Control refers to the secure removal of information from systems and storage media to prevent unauthorized access to confidential information after it has been deleted. This includes methods of data destruction, encryption, and overwriting.

  • Data masking

Covers the use of data masking technologies to protect confidential information while it is being used in testing, development, or analysis. Masking allows you to create realistic, but not authentic, copies of data to protect the original data.

  • Data leakage prevention

Includes measures and technologies to prevent sensitive information from leaking out of the organization. This may include systems to monitor and control data transmission, analyze user behavior, and restrict access to sensitive data.

  • Activity monitoring

Provides for continuous monitoring of activities in information systems to identify anomalies and potential security incidents. This includes collecting and analyzing logs, using intrusion detection systems and automated monitoring tools.

  •  Web filtering

This control refers to the use of web traffic filtering technologies to prevent access to dangerous or inappropriate web resources. This may include blocking malicious sites, controlling access to certain categories of sites, and analyzing web traffic.

  •  Secure coding 

It covers the implementation of secure coding practices during software development. This includes using code security standards and guidelines, conducting regular reviews and vulnerability testing, and training developers in secure coding practices.

How will the updated certification affect business?

The ISO 27001 certification update includes several key changes that affect businesses, especially in the area of information security management. The main focus is on updating the context of the organization, which includes a thorough analysis of external and internal factors that may affect information security. This means that companies now have to assess their environment more deeply, taking into account all possible risks and threats.

Another important change is the strengthening of the role of management. Under the new requirements, top management must be more involved in the information security management process. They must demonstrate their commitment and actively support all measures aimed at protecting the company's information resources. In addition, the changes to the standard include new and revised control measures that take into account modern threats and technologies. This means that companies will have to modify their current systems and procedures to meet the new requirements.

There is also a strong focus on risk management, with an emphasis on proactively identifying and mitigating risks before they become a danger. These changes are pushing companies to take a more structured and systematic approach to information security management. Businesses should invest more resources in staff training, technology upgrades, and regular audits to ensure compliance with new standards. In the long run, this can help to increase the level of data security, reduce the number of incidents, and improve the company's reputation among customers and partners.

NetLS Software Development plans to obtain this certification next year, which will confirm our competence in the field of information security. This will allow NetLS to emphasize its commitment to high standards of information security management, which will strengthen the trust of customers and partners and increase market competitiveness.

We have long been working on our professionalism and innovative approach to software development. The company is constantly working to improve its services by introducing advanced technologies and practices. The renewed ISO 27001 certification will be another important step towards ensuring the highest standards of safety and quality in the company's work.

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