What separates a successful, thriving business from an unsuccessful, struggling one? There are many factors that contribute to a successful organisation, including filling a necessary gap in the market, providing customers with high quality goods and services, doing preliminary research to identify the types of business’ that have been successful within the community, and so on. Another factor is an ability to change business practices in accordance with changes within the industry or even society, and understanding that certain practices that may have at one stage been suitable have since become outdated due to changes in technology, the industry, federal or state laws, rules and regulations, and so on. Further, business’ that change their practices to keep up with market trends are the ones that maximise their chances of thriving in a competitive marketplace.
It is like this with all aspects of business practices, but it has never been more apparent than with business information security. For example, as many organisations’ now have employees access confidential business information in a work from home environment, business’ that want to ensure that their confidential client information is safe and secure are taking extra security measures to ensure this is the case. This can include password protection on work laptops, automatically logging out of work accounts after a set period of inactivity, and so on. These extra business information security protocols achieve the goals of securing confidential business information from potential threats and demonstrating to staff and stakeholders that the confidentiality of their information is a high priority for the business.
A gap analysis looks at where your business currently is and works to getting it where it should be.
However, as the need for strong business information security is such a crucial concern for organisations, it is worthwhile to approach it in a methodical, logical manner. The international information security standards evident within ISO 27001 help business’ plan for their future by analysing how their past and present helped shape them into the business they are today, specifically analysing past information security successes and oversights, to build on what was successful, and to prevent data breaches from reoccurring. This is achieved by conducting a gap analysis in which staff from all different departments are spoken to in order to develop a profile of the effectiveness of the current information security systems in place. Once the strengths and weaknesses of the current information security system has been catalogued, the business can then work out the specifics of the kind of information security systems the business needs in the future in order to remain competitive, the ways in which this differs from the system currently in place, and the steps they need to take to smoothly implement the new information security system.
This requires your business to analyse its information security systems in a three-fold manner:
- Looking to the past, to plan for the future: This initial step requires business’ to look at the kinds of information security systems that have been implemented throughout their organisation in the past, and work out what systems were very successful, which ones had a modicum of success with room for improvement, and which ones did little to nothing to preserve the confidential information of the business, that is, they were unsuccessful. By charting the advancements your business has made in information security, you are able to objectively understand what works and what does not, how well certain systems fit within your organisational structure, and so on.
- Taking stock of the present: The next step requires business’ to research how all the information security systems they have had in place up until now have helped shape the business to its current state. An effective method to enhance business information security is recognising the strengths of prior security systems that have been in place, and building on them, rather than starting from scratch. For example, if the business has been largely successful with protecting confidential data, via passwords, except for one breach on a stolen laptop, the business could look at keeping their password system in place alongside the implementation of a new information security system to run concurrently with it, in which work laptops are logged out automatically after a set period of inactivity. These kinds of dual information security measures ensure that business’ can continue to work with what has been successful for them, while expanding on this framework to allay for any potential weak points.
- Getting past the present by looking to the future: After a business has analysed their current information security systems, they should have a firm profile of where they are now, and where they need to be in the future. They will then be able to recognise the specific gaps in their information security systems, and start implementing a new information security system, which builds on the strengths of their existing one, while taking preventative measures to ensure the weaknesses are contained. This ensures that the Information Security Management System that the business has in place is one that all staff feel comfortable with, have a degree of familiarity with, and builds on their existing strengths.
An effective Information Security Management System works alongside your business practices to improve them
One of the key strengths of the ISO 27001 Standards is that it can be specifically tailored to business’ of all industries, shapes and sizes. This is because it provides a demonstrably successful framework of information security standards that can be tailored to the specifics on your business, by ascertaining the specific security requirements of your organisation, and working out what areas of its standards would benefit from their implementation. Further, it is simple and user-friendly, as the scope of its standards can be used in whatever capacity the individual business requires. For example, if a business feels that they already have strong, effective information security system within their operations, the ISO 27001 Standards can work at building on them and expanding them to be even more secure, rather than a from scratch implementation.
On the flip side, if a business feels that their current information security standards are vastly ineffective and they would like a complete overhaul, then ISO 27001 can also be used as a model and guide, by providing several demonstrably true standards that organisations’ can implement to ensure the confidentiality of their data, and the peace of mind of their staff and stakeholders. Rather than speculate about the ways in which your business might benefit from the implementation of the ISO 27001 standards, please give Anitech Group’s safety systems consultants a call on 1300 802 163 for a free consultation. They will be able to discuss with you the specific requirements of your business, the information security risks it faces, and how ISO 27001 can help strengthen your business’ security and good-standing. Remember, that one single vulnerability is all an attacker needs to compromise your organisation, and ISO 27001 is here to protect you from that.