What is an Information Security Management System?
Information Security is integral to any active organization, and, as businesses around the world enact a greater network-based presence while facing a growing number of threats to their data, cyber security efforts must be handled with greater care and reliability than ever before. This is accomplished by an information security management system (ISMS), which assists organizations in managing the security of their information assets, such as financial information, intellectual property, and employee details, or information entrusted to them by customers or third parties.
An Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a structured and systematic approach to managing company information. It provides businesses with a framework to manage information security and other IT related risks, with wide-ranging controls to keep data secure from diverse security threats. An ISMS uses a risk management process that comprises organizational structures, people, policies, processes and IT systems. An organization’s objectives determine ISMS Implementation, the size and structure of security requirements, and the procedures employed.
In short it is a centrally managed framework for keeping an organization’s information safe. A set of policies, procedures, technical and physical controls to protect the confidentiality, availability and integrity of information. It is either applied to the entire organization or only a specific area where the information it seeks to protect is segmented (the scope). It includes not only technical controls but also controls to treat additional, more common risks related to people, resources, assets and processes.
A global increase in data breaches has caused heightened information security concerns across all industries. Considering the significant financial and legal damages caused by breaches, all businesses with valuable information should consider implementing an information security management system.
An ISMS is often developed by a team established by IT stakeholders, comprising board members, managers, and IT staff. The team is tasked with designing, implementing and maintaining a set of policies that comply with ISO 27001, the international standard for information security management systems. A compliant ISMS should become an integral part of your company’s culture that functions to maintain strong information security across the organization.
ISO 27001 is a category of international standards developed by ISO and International Electro technical Commission (IEC). It outlines the criteria that businesses can follow to maintain the security of their information assets. ISO 27001 is designed around the PDCA, Plan–Do–Check–Act model:
a) Plan – The ISMS team should define the organization’s problem and collect data to establish security vulnerabilities.
b) Do – The team should develop and implement a solution and establish controls to gauge how effective the solution is.
c) Check – Using your control measurement, perform a comparison before you implemented the solution and after.
d) Act – Document the results of your solution and make notes of changes to be implemented during the next PDCA cycle.