The ISO 27001 is the international standard for information security. As new threats continue to emerge and existing ones evolve, meeting ISO 27001 standards become increasingly relevant for businesses in all sectors. It is designed to provide a framework for implementing an effective information security management system (ISMS). This helps protect against online threats, most notably data breaches. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how the ISO 27001 certification boosts a business’s data breach security.


Risks posed by data breaches 

Oftentimes, cyber criminals will target areas of data storage to get access to sensitive information. This can be personal data held by the business on employees, customers, or that relates to its confidential operational activities. Whatever the case, a data breach typically results in this data being stolen and encrypted with the use of malware or viruses. The attacker then has the ability to extort the business for the return of the data. As a result, the business might suffer significant financial damage. 

On top of this, when consumers share their personal data, they trust businesses to store it securely. A breach can therefore cause loss of confidence in an organisation, in turn leading customers to go elsewhere. Even if the data can be restored after a breach, the disruption caused will still incur financial losses and lead to reputational damage. This is in addition to the fact that customers will be faced with the hassle of changing their account login details. 


The ISO 27001 2022 certification 

To be ISO 27001 certified, businesses abide by the three principles of the standard when implementing their ISMS. These are: 

  • Confidentiality – only a select number of individuals in the organisation can access sensitive data. 
  • Integrity – sensitive data needed to support the day-to-day operations of the business is stored securely. Measures are also taken to prevent the damage or erasure of this data during processing. 
  • Availability – data needed to satisfy consumer expectations and support operations is readily available to the appropriate parties. 

To obtain the ISO 27001 certification, you must provide evidence that your business’s ISMS has been created with these principles in mind. The application requires you provide information relating to context, management, actions, resources, implementation, monitoring, and system improvements. The result is that your business is more prepared for cyber attacks and has a greater ability to respond to them.  

The ISO 27001 certification is also recognised all over the world. As such, any business that holds it has an accreditation for excellence in information security. This is particularly valuable for businesses that frequently process and store personal user data, as well as those with those that sell technical products and services. 


Data breach protection with ISO 27001 2022 

When the ISO27001 was last updated in October 2022, a new requirement to prevent ‘data leakage’ was added. While the standard already contained measures that help secure businesses against data breaches, this annex made it explicitly clear there was a focus on this area of cyber security. It states, “Data leak protection measures should be applied to systems, networks and any other devices that process, store or transmit sensitive information”. This is broken down into: 

  • Preventative – controls should be in place that prevent threats from progressing and causing damage. These measures can be thought of in the same way as threat hunting, with the use of both human skills and automated software required. 
  • Detective – measures and strategies that inform the response plan once a breach is identified. This includes technologies that ensure an organisation gains awareness and information of a data breach. 

To implement these measures, we first recommend identifying possible exfiltration channels (ways that the unauthorised transfer of information can occur). These areas can then be monitored by the business to check for any data risks and identify actions that could lead to a breach. Common channels include email, third party software, portable storage devices, messaging apps, cloud services, and printing machines. 

In terms of detective measures, a company-wide cyber response plan also has the effect of raising awareness around data breach risks. It provides employee information security training, thereby ensuring best practices are followed for protecting sensitive information. 


Expert cyber security consultancy services 

Data breaches are becoming more and more frequent, attracting increasing amounts of media coverage. As such, it pays to make sure your business has a substantial level of information security. The ISO 27001 certification cost can be significant for small and medium sized businesses, so it’s important you implement the necessary measures before applying. As your cyber security partner, CyberWhite has a deep understanding of ISO 27001 standards. Contact us today and we can start our plan-do-check-act process to put the proper controls in place.