Skip to main content

What is ISO?

Before discussing ISO27001, let’s review a brief history of the ISO, or International Standardization Organization. The ISO was established after World War II to create international standards that would guarantee the safety, reliability and quality of products and services across national borders. The first standard, ISO/Ra:1951, was published in 1951.

Since its founding, ISO has published over 22,000 standards spanning all facets of business and technology. Among other things, these standards serve as guidelines for the B2B sector when choosing suppliers and partners. After 75 years, ISO has firmly established itself as an influential player that contributes significantly to standardisation and quality assurance across various industries.

What is ISO27001?

In short, ISO27001 is an international standard that deals with information security. This standard is an international data legislation that defines the requirements for an Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is a systematic and structured framework for protecting companies’ data. The key elements of ISO27001 include:

  1. Data overview
  2. Policies
  3. Risk management
  4. Security measures
  5. Audits
  6. Awareness
  7. Certification

Overall, implementing ISO27001 demonstrates that you take information security seriously. This can increase trust with customers, partners and stakeholders because it shows that you have established and effective processes to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their information. You can even be certified in ISO27001 by an authorised certification body. In effect, this serves as a further guarantee that you protect data.

Want help managing ISO27001?

In our newsletter you get tips and tricks for dealing with privacy management from our founder Sebastian Allerelli.

When you sign up for our newsletter you get a license for one user to ShareSimple, which will give you a secure email in Outlook. This special offer is for new customers only, with a limit of one freebie per company.

ISO27001 and GDPR

ISO27001 and GDPR provide two essential frameworks for information security and personal data protection. While ISO27001 outlines the creation and maintenance of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) to identify and manage threats and vulnerabilities, GDPR focuses on protecting individual privacy rights by establishing rules for how you process personal data. Violations of GDPR can lead to significant fines. Despite the differences, ISO27001 and GDPR complement each other. Implementing ISO27001 can help businesses meet GDPR requirements for data security and risk management, and both frameworks work together to create strong personal data protection and compliance with international standards.

How to comply with ISO27001?

Complying with ISO27001 requires a systematic approach to establish, implement, maintain and improve your Information Security Management System (ISMS). Here are some steps that can help an organisation meet ISO27001 requirements:

Data overview

First, identify all information security-related assets and evaluate the associated risks. This includes, for example, assessing threats, vulnerabilities and consequences.

2. Politics

Formulate an information security policy that reflects your commitment to protect information. Then, make sure this policy is communicated and understood across your organisation.

3. Risk management

Next, develop a structured risk management process that includes risk assessment, risk treatment and risk monitoring. This helps identify and manage threats and vulnerabilities.

4. Security measures

Then, implement appropriate security measures based on identified risks and requirements in ISO27001. This can include technical, organisational and physical security measures.

5. Revision

Afterward, put processes in place for regular monitoring and evaluation of the ISMS. This includes internal auditing, management review and data breach management.

6. Awareness

At the same time, ensure employees are trained and aware of information security measures and their role in maintaining data security.

7. Certification

Finally, have an authorised certification body audit your ISMS to assess whether you comply with ISO27001 in order to get ISO’s seal of approval.

Applying ISO27001 in your company is a continuous process and companies must regularly review and update their ISMS to ensure effective protection of information. In essence, the certification is a confirmation that the organisation meets international standards for information security.

Start your GDPR cleanup where it is needed the most

Sensitive data can tends to accumulate in the employees' e-mails. With a GDPR Risk Scan from DataMapper, you get a report that shows any potential GDPR risks in the company's e-mails.

Need help?

To meet ISO27001 requirements, firstly, it’s crucial to understand the sensitive data you handle. This is essential for identifying information security assets and evaluating risks. Once you know the data you have, you will be prepared to choose appropriate security measures to protect it. Further, you will be able to improve the way you process data and train your employees to do the same. Indeed, this knowledge creates the foundation for a strong information security culture that are in line with international standards.

With our data discovery tool DataMapper, you get an overview of the sensitive data you have at your disposal, which is the basis for complying with security standards such as ISO27001.

Sebastian Allerelli

Founder & COO at Safe Online
Governance, Risk & Compliance Specialist
Follow me on LinkedIn to get tips on GDPR →


How to handle sensitive personal data


How to find personal data with datamapping tool


How to prepare for a data audit