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ISO 27001: A beginner’s guide

Dr. Heather Buker |

May 13, 2022
ISO 27001: A beginner’s guide


Are you looking to take on an ISO 27001 certification? Or have you chosen to build your ISMS around ISO 27001?

This beginner's guide is for you. We will cover several topics around ISO 27001 - what it is, its purpose, and more.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an ISO framework that helps companies manage the risks to their business. It stands for International Standards Organization, an independent organization with representatives from various countries who agree on standards and policies.

ISO has developed ISO27001 in response to the growing need for international standards, and this document is designed as a management tool against security risks, including intentional threats or accidental events. 

ISO 27001 provides guidelines for security management systems to protect information assets at any time during their life cycle. An ISO Audit is also another way of assessing the effectiveness of a company’s security management system.  

The ISO 27001 framework is a set of guidelines that helps companies manage the risks to their business. It provides guidelines for security management systems to protect information assets at any time during their life cycle and includes elements such as risk assessment, resource availability, or data classification.  

An ISO audit can also be carried out by assessing the effectiveness of a company’s security management system - but what are we talking about?

In this article, we'll discuss how you can get started with ISO27001 and why having it if your company deals with confidential data or has customers around the world is so important. 

ISO Framework and the Purpose of ISO 27001

The ISO framework is a combination of policies and processes for organizations to use. This framework helps organizations of any size or industry to protect their information through the adoption of an Information Security Management System (ISMS). ISO 27001 is an ISO standard for ISMS that provides guidelines to an organization on how best to protect their information assets from intentional threats or accidental events, which can be broken down into three stages: 

  • The Design Stage - creating the policies and procedures to help you meet your objectives.
  • Implementation & Operation- ensuring that the ISO27001 security policies are carried out daily.
  • Assurance - taking ISO 27001 objectives and implementing them to ensure they work as expected. ISO 27001 ensures that your data is safe during any stage of its life cycle, from design through destruction.

Why Is This Standard So Important? 

The Standard is an important milestone for companies aiming to protect themselves and their data. Companies can also certify against ISO 27001, providing a valuable assurance of protection to clients and partners. 

ISO 27001 is a recognized standard worldwide; because of this, it will be easier for organizations to find more work opportunities. Individuals can get certified by attending a course and passing the exam. The certification proves their skills to potential employers. 

ISO27001 certificates can be achieved by adopting and implementing ISO 27001 standards in the company – also known as an ISO Audit, which will assess how well your security management system meets ISO requirements. An ISO audit consists of one or more internal audits (also called self-assessments) followed by a final independent assessment undertaken by an ISO27001-certified auditor. The internal audits will assess the organization’s ability to satisfy ISO requirements, while the final independent assessment determines whether ISO 27001 has been correctly implemented by conducting an audit of your ISMS against the ISO checklist document to see if the company can prove that its security management system meets ISO standards.

Experts Guide to ISO 27001 - lilac 

What is an ISMS? 

An Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a set of guidelines that companies need to establish to: 

  • Identify what stakeholders (specifically) want to know about the company's information security and how it meets their needs.
  • Use all the controls and other risk treatment methods.
  • Continuously monitor if the implemented controls work as expected.
  • Identify the potential risks for the information. 
  • Define controls and other mitigation methods to limit or eliminate the risks. 
  • Set clear objectives for the information security team. 
  • Make continuous improvements that will benefit the ISMS system.

These rules can be formally documented as policies, procedures, and other types of documents or established processes and technologies that are not documented. ISO 27001 identifies which documents must exist at a minimum. 


In conclusion, ISO 27001 is the international best practice for information security management, and therefore its benefits transcend many industries. ISO27001 certification isn't just about ISO itself but also how well you follow those guidelines, which means that once organizations receive their certificates, they must maintain them through continuous evaluation and improvement.

Getting ISO certification starts with identifying what you'll need to implement ISO standards successfully. These include procedures, roles, or responsibilities, then doing an inventory audit first to see if ISO27001 is a good fit for your organization, including identifying all the risks and analyzing what they are (e.g., new information systems, outsourcing). Lastly, get certified by hiring a qualified auditor who will assess whether you're meeting ISO compliance standards or not.

If you would like more details on how ISO 27001 will benefit your organization, then contact 6clicks today. 

Learn more about how 6clicks automates your ISO 27001 compliance automation quickly.

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Dr. Heather Buker

Written by Dr. Heather Buker

Heather has been a technical SME in the cybersecurity field her entire career from developing cybersecurity software to consulting, service delivery, architecting, and product management across most industry verticals. An engineer by trade, Heather specializes in translating business needs and facilitating solutions to complex cyber and GRC use cases with technology. Heather has a Bachelors in Computer Engineering, Masters in Engineering Management, and a Doctorate in Information Technology with a specialization in information assurance and cybersecurity.