Much like the fear of performing on stage, the fear of audits can be highly concrete. No matter how extensively you have prepared, it is not uncommon that you fear missing out on doing something critical for your success. This fear intensifies when you implement a “document-heavy” standard like the ISO 27001 standard. Thankfully, ISO 27001 audit will help you ensure that you have met all the requirements, satiating all your fears. An overview of the ISO 27001 audit checklist will be provided in this article, giving you a checklist of specific to-dos to complete before you appear for the external/certification audit.
What is an ISO 27001 Audit? Introducing ISMS Audit
Before discussing ISO 27001 audit checklist, let’s talk about the audit. An ISO 27001 audit is a structured, formal and unbiased assessment of your organisation’s Information Security Management System (ISMS). Such assessments are conducted by a certified and independent third-party auditor that assesses the operations of your ISMS to ensure that it meets the ISO 27001 requirements and can adequately maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your sensitive data. ISO 27001 consultant can help you meet all the requirements through the obtaining process. During the audit, your organisation’s policies and procedures are reviewed to assess if your security controls are effective, efficient and relevant.
There are two types of ISO 27001 audits, namely, internal and external audits. The external audit comprises the primary certification audit, the annual periodic surveillance audit and the re-certification audit conducted at the end of the three years certification cycle.
The ISO 27001 internal audit is done to iron out any inefficiencies before the organisation presents itself to an accredited external auditor for the final audit.
Is an ISO 27001 Audit Needed?
Unlike other frameworks dealing with information security, such as the System and Organisation Control Two (SOC 2), ISO 27001 certification audits are not done annually. Once you achieve certification, the next certification audit will only happen at the end of the three-year cycle unless you commit any compliance blunders or fail to do the surveillance audits. All audits, regardless of intensity, help you achieve compliance, prevent expensive errors and improve efficiency. These benefits justify the efforts that you need to conduct an ISO 27001 audit. Read ahead to find out more about the benefits of ISO 27001 audits.
Benefits of ISO 27001 Audits
There are many benefits of conducting ISO 27001 certification audits. Some of these include:
- Maintaining and Monitoring Your ISMS: ISO 27001 audits allow you to maintain and monitor your ISMS, checking their effectiveness while keeping you on track with the standard requirements.
- Providing Valuable Insights: Information security is an ever-evolving domain, and a lot can change in a few months in a business environment. ISO 27001 audit helps you identify whether such changes or trends affect your security posture, allowing you to stay compliant throughout.
- Assessing Your Information Security Risks: New information assets get added as your business develops. ISO 27001 audit helps to keep your inventory updated so that all information assets, especially the newer ones, are assessed, protected and regularly monitored.
- Ensuring Staff Awareness: Audits can be used as an educational and empowering tool for your staff, imbibing them with the appropriate knowledge about security policies to foster an organisation-wide security culture.
Five Steps of ISO 27001 Audit Checklist
Whether you are conducting an internal audit or undergoing an external certification audit, here is a simple checklist with five easy-to-follow steps to adhere to.
- Step One: Create an internal security team- Gather a team of internal resources to spearhead your compliance process during the different stages of designing, building and monitoring the ISMS. This team could compromise on different designations, such as security officers, people, operations, et cetera. The purpose of this team is to answer all the queries raised by the external auditor during the certification audit.
- Step Two: Ensuring ISMS scope and plan are in alignment- Collaborate with the heads of different processes to review the scope of your ISO 27001 certification based on the information, processes, products, functions and geographies of your organisation. Ensuring that your scope covers all the information your organisation wishes to protect is necessary.
- Step Three: Reviewing documentation- ISO 27001 has always been considered a document-heavy standard as it requires many documents such as a risk assessment plan, risk treatment plan, statement of applicability and information security plan, just to name a few.
- Step Four: Collecting evidence- Evidence collection is necessary to ensure that a trail of documents and records is available to serve as evidence of all your compliance efforts. For example, the auditor may ask for examples of your policies, including business continuity management, data backup, vendor risk management, data retention, or vulnerability management policies.
- Step Five: Incorporating internal audit findings- Ensure that all findings, recommendations and corrective actions from the internal audit report have been appropriately reviewed and incorporated into your processes. This is one of the first things the external auditor will look for during the main audit.
Edara Systems Guide Is Your ISO 27001 Checklist!
The five easy steps of conducting an ISO 27001 audit checklist include setting up an internal team, ensuring that the ISMS scope and plan align, reviewing documentation, collecting evidence and incorporating internal audit findings into the processes.
If you need help conducting an ISO 27001 audit or applying for ISO 27001 certification, the Edara Systems team can help you. This team is made of the most professional ISO consultants in Australia. To contact these consultants or to find more useful information about the ISO certification visit their website.