What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the information security standard that creates rules for an information security management system (ISMS). Information security addresses the technology that companies use, the processes they follow, and the people who handle their data.

Compliant delivers UKAS accredited ISO 27001 certification to help businesses, nationwide in demonstrating that they have systems in place to protect corporate information and data, whether this is online or offline.

Does ISO 27001 cover GDPR data protection

Why are ISO 27001 and GDPR important?

Both ISO 27001 and GDPR are important because they ensure people’s data is kept secure. ISO 27001 and GDPR help secure and advance an organisation’s storage and security systems. They are both important in the following ways:

Data confidentiality, availability and integrity

Both ISO 27001 and GDPR ensure that information remains confidential, secure, available, and maintains integrity. Measures should ensure that data is stored on time and guarantee data security, such as encryption.

Risk assessment

ISO 27001 and GDPR require companies to conduct risk assessments before handling sensitive data. A risk assessment will identify vulnerabilities and threats beforehand so that the company can choose appropriate measures. Compliant can help with appropriate risk assessments and highlight any areas of concern.

Vendor management

ISO 27001 and GDPR require organisations to identify outsourced services. They also provide organisations with guidance on how they should handle suppliers.

Breach notification

Both ISO 27001 and GDPR require organisations to report data breaches immediately when they discover them. GDPR requires companies to report these breaches within 72 hours of the incident.

Importance of ISO 27001

Compliant’s ISO 27001 package contains policies with physical, technical, and legal rules that support a company’s IT risk management processes. These rules apply to businesses operating in various industries, including commercial, academic, non-profit, and government organisations. Implementing ISO 27001 has multiple benefits including:

Asset management

ISO 27001 requires that each organisation protect its assets. One way to keep track of their assets is by identifying them, recording them, and writing down how people should use them.

Operational security

The ISO 27001 standard controls the operational procedures and responsibilities in every organisation. The standard outlines how you can divide employees’ responsibilities out and who will lead in each area. It also outlines the change management, the system’s operations and documents every step.

Access control

ISO 27001 helps companies control how they use information and prevents unauthorised access to systems and/or facilities where information or devices are stored. Organisations gain by creating blacklists, white lists, and authorisation lists. In addition, organisations will have access to application and system control methods, like giving privileges to admins and highly ranked people in each section.

Information security and incident management

Compliant recommends ISO 27001 because it ensures that organisations report incidents and act on them immediately. The standard outlines protocols people should take when reporting IT weaknesses and events. It also gives insights into how those responsible for IT can manage these incidents and improve the process over time.

Human resource security

ISO 27001 ensures that organisations assign and train employees about their information security responsibilities. Once everyone knows their role in an organisation any breaches can easily be traced. As a result, companies can take formal disciplinary action against employees that cause information security breaches.

Business continuity

ISO 27001 helps organisations to create a business continuity management protocol. In an information breach or hack, the company can quickly get back on its feet by following the steps outlined. As a result, the business will avoid any loss.

Importance of GDPR

As mentioned before, GDPR plays an important role in ensuring that a company’s information is safe. But, as of September 2020, many companies were fined because of several types of violations. However, the main work of the GDPR is not to give organisations fines but to focus on information security. GDPR is important for individuals as well, in the following ways:

1.   Protecting data

GDPR protects a broader scope of data in organisations. It requires organisations to protect personal information like names, national insurance numbers, identification cards, driving licenses, and many more.

2.   Ensures organisations acquire consent from individuals

Organisations should not find malicious ways of acquiring people’s data. The right way should be when people willingly submit their information to an organisation hoping that it will be secure. GDPR ensures that organisations have the explicit consent of their customers. Also, GDPR protocols state that organisations should record proof of approval, and all the approvals are clear and precise.

3.   Users have extended rights to their data

Customers have the right to know how organisations use their data. They can check:

  • How much information the company has about them
  • If the organisation is in the process of transferring data to other service providers

One of the greatest rights that GDPR offers is the right to have data erased from organisations. Customers have rights over organisations and can request that they delete personal data.

4.   Organisations get huge fines for non-compliance

As we have mentioned above, companies get fined when they commit violations. These violations include transmission to other parties without consent, change, loss, and accidental destruction of personal data. Compliant is helping businesses to avoid hefty fines for misuse of data.

5.   They give organisations strict notification rules

If a data breach occurs, the organisation has no reason to delay reporting the incident unless it is malicious. GDPR gives organisations up to 72 hours to report breaches when they discover that an incident has occurred. If a company does not report within 72 hours, they should provide information on why they were delayed.

Win contract with ISO

Benefits of being ISO compliant

Attract new clients and compete equally

Many businesses and clients are skeptical about joining companies with weak security protocols and being ISO compliant shows that you offer services to clients aligned with the rules. ISO 27001 assures new clients that their data is safe in your hands. The certificate also maintains current clients’ confidence because they feel safe and secure. Companies can use their certification as a competition tool because ISO compliance keeps you a step ahead of competitors in your industry and globally.

You will reduce the penalty charges on breaches

There is a penalty cost that your company will need to pay in the event of any data breaches. Companies like Uber, British Airways, Equifax, and Facebook were issued with some of the highest penalty charges in 2019 by the FTA.

 Therefore, having ISO 27001 in place reduces the cost that your company will spend if there are any breaches of information. These penalties can cause a business to suffer a substantial financial loss.

Protect the company’s reputation

When Facebook breaches were promoted over social media, the news, and investigative documentaries, many people became weary of staying on the platform. In the same way, you could lose many potential and current clients if there are any breaches. However, having ISO27001 will reduce the risk of any data breaches.

More people will trust your business with their data, earning your company gains a good reputation over time.

You will comply with every other company, industry, Country, and international rules

Complying with ISO rules ensures that your company follows business, contractual and regulatory requirements internationally. ISO incorporates several security controls that go hand in hand with the European Union’s GDPR and the Directive on Security of Network and Information Systems in the UK laws.

Improves your company’s structure

Under ISO 27001 companies must have an employee record that defines the role of every individual and department. If your company complies with ISO standards, they will have clearly defined roles from the beginning. You will know which employee or department is in charge of which asset. You will also have protocols for disaster prevention and management. Your employees will know what to do if a risk occurs because everything is outlined in the information risk responsibilities.

The benefits of being GDPR compliant

Many companies view GDPR as limiting because of the many regulations. However, there are some benefits that GDPR offers to organisations, which include:

You will gain customers’ trust

Customers will see that you collect and properly store their data and will be more confident when they interact with your system or organisation.

You, will, have better data security

Research around the US and Europe shows that the first entry point for cyber-attacks is through an organisation’s server and website. The other common cyber-attack entry point is cloud servers.

GDPR has a framework that organisations can implement to ensure that information security in systems are adhered to. GDPR actively works to improve data security.

You will save money on maintenance

GDPR ensures that your data inventory is updated, which will prompt people to let go of legacy and outdated applications. You will therefore not spend money on these obsolete applications.

Your organisation will work with new and improved technologies

GDPR has protocols that improve your application security, endpoints, and network by helping you migrate to improved technology. The current technology trends include cloud computing, BYOD, and visualisation. These tools help you manage large amounts of data, process or access information faster.

Third-party applications help monitor and track the system’s performance. They record activities and report unusual behaviour on people’s behalf.

Improve your decision making

Have you heard of cases where customers complain that a financial app keeps rejecting their applications? Such minor things can cause organisations to lose customers.

GDPR ensures human intervention because these systems can be faulty or have errors. Therefore, a company’s data is consolidated, making it easier to access and understand.

ISO 27001 and GDPR compliant

How ISO 27001 ties in with GDPR

GDPR ensures that companies maintain data privacy, while ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised standard that focuses on information security.

Adhering to both ensures that:

  • Organisations store users’ consent forms and data is easily accessible when users or any authority requests it.
  • Users can request, obtain, and reuse their data for their purposes across services.
  • Users can request that an organisation destroy their data.
  • Users can restrict how an organisation uses their data.

Organisations use ISO 27001 best practices to guide and stay GDPR compliant.

5 Steps to becoming ISO 27001 compliant

We have seen the benefits of ISO 27001 for a business, but are you aware of how you can become ISO 27001 compliant? Here are a few steps that will help to get you started:

Step 1: Training and knowledge preparation

Every employee should understand the benefits of ISO 27001 to integrate the protocols into your organisation successfully. So, you should train your employees by appointing a person of responsibility internally. Compliant supports businesses by training employees. Training documentation should be stored on the system and website so that anyone can access it in the future.

Start by scoping the ISMS or your ISO partner and decide on which information assets to protect. You can also estimate how long the project will take.

Step 2-Documentation

You should document every step, from developing and implementing the system to testing, objectives, procedures, process flow diagrams, work instructions, and how to record and store customer information.

It would help to create an ISMS policy that outlines roles and responsibilities. You can also develop a way to raise awareness through internal and external communication, all of which Compliant can support with.

Step 3: Implementation

Compliant will help your business to implement the ISO 27001 information security procedures.

We implement a risk management framework to identify, evaluate, and choose risk treatment options. We also create and compare controls with your company’s policies.

Step 4: Internal gap analysis

ISO 27001 requires an organisation to have an employee or department perform auditing. For many organisations this isn’t a viable option. Compliant will support with audits and highlight the areas of an organisation that are non-compliant with ISO 27001.

Step 5: Certification

Businesses can choose to acquire a certification from a recognised national accreditation body. So, the accreditation body you select will review the system documentation and check whether your company has established controls. The accreditation company will also conduct an audit to test whether the procedures are working. Compliant partners with several recognised accreditation bodies and will work with you to select the most appropriate one.

How long will it take my business to become certified?

The amount of time it will take to become certified will depend entirely on your organisation. Here at Compliant we usually recommend three months from start to finish. We will help you to comply with ISO’s set of standards by providing a successful framework.


Numerous organisations and information systems actively manage people’s information today. If there is no form or structure to moderate how these organisations or information systems handle people’s data, it can be abused. That is why ISO 27001 and GDPR exist. We have found that new companies and SMEs can easily implement ISO 27001 to stay compliant and our monthly payment options make the process extremely affordable. 

Check out our case studies for success stories. The documents that we provide are proof of the implementation of an information security management system and compliance to ISO 27001.

View our full range of ISO certifications including ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and ISO 45001 or visit our website calculator for a no-obligation ISO proposal. For further information on any of the above contact Danielle at danielle.barry@compliantfm.com.