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ISO/IEC 27001 is an international standard to manage information security. The standard was originally published jointly by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 2005, revised in 2013, and again most recently in 2022. There are also numerous recognized national variants of the standard. It details requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS) – the aim of which is to help organizations make the information assets they hold more secure. Organizations that meet the standard’s requirements can choose to be certified by an accredited certification body following successful completion of an audit. The effectiveness of the ISO/IEC 27001 certification process and the overall standard has been addressed in a large-scale study conducted in 2020.
How the standard works
Most organizations have a number of information security controls. However, without an information security management system (ISMS), controls tend to be somewhat disorganized and disjointed, having been implemented often as point solutions to specific situations or simply as a matter of convention. Security controls in operation typically address certain aspects of information technology (IT) or data security specifically. Moreover, business continuity planning and physical security may be managed quite independently of IT or information security while Human Resources practices may make little reference to the need to define and assign information security roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.