ISO 27001 implementation and certification is a difficult sell for security analysts. When it comes to convincing upper management to take steps towards any information security goal, we have to keep in mind that they think in terms of investment versus benefit, or ROI.
This means that we have to clearly understand the benefits of ISO 27001 certification in order to make it palatable to decision-makers. There are several approaches to take here:
Compliance Readiness – ISO 27001 makes sense for organizations where information security compliance is already mandated by client, regulatory, or legal requirements. For financial, health, or government organizations that must comply with various regulations regarding data protection, privacy, and IT governance anyway, ISO 27001 can create a methodology allows itself to specific compliance regulations like SOX or HIPAA. In the language of upper management, “ISO 27001 implementation saves money on conforming to mandatory compliance regulations.”
Customer Confidence – The key objective of ISO 27001 is to ensure that confidentiality, integrity, and availability is assured for critical data assets. This can actually be strong selling point and differentiator for organizations where not all competitors can boast such claims. ISO 27001 can give your organization a marketing edge to capitalize on, especially if your organization handles sensitive customer information.
Better Performance – While security is typically about the doom and gloom of loss prevention, we have to remind ourselves that better performance can be a welcome side effect of security measures such as ISO 27001 implementation. Fewer interruptions in service, less data leakage, and happier employees increase productivity and efficiency – and this means more money for the organization.
More Organization – By establishing a formal information security framework for implementing security controls and objectives, your organization will have practices in place that it can rely on as it grows in size and scope. Rather than scrambling to determine who has to decide what, who is responsible for certain information assets, or who has to authorize access to information systems, these roles are already defined by your ISO 27001 implementation. Your internal organization is strengthened by forcing you to define very precisely the responsibilities and duties regarding your security practices.