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ISO 27000: why data security requires continuous improvement

ISO 27000: why data security requires continuous improvement
Bertrand Deroubaix
Bertrand Deroubaix Risks, Quality & Security Director

When choosing a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solution, the importance of data security cannot be overstated. ISO 27000 is more than a certificate; it’s a comprehensive data security framework that fosters continuous improvement. Learn how ISO 27001 helps protect your data.

August 31, 2021 3 min of reading

Data security breaches bring disastrous consequences to reputations, profitability and the ability of organizations to carry out core functions. Today it’s not enough for organizations to manage their own data security – to safeguard their customers’ data they must ensure the same standards for their clients. ISO 27000 compliance is one of the key ways for IT directors to ensure that clients maintain the highest data security standards. Read on to learn about ISO 27000 compliance and other measures that ensure the protection of your and your clients’ data.

The need for ISO 27000 compliance

On May 7th, 2021, hackers took control of 100 gigabytes of data from the largest fuel pipeline in the US. Headlines around the world followed the company as it shut down fuel distribution, struggled to regain control of its data, and ultimately capitulated to the hackers, paying a ransom of $4.4 million. It was a public relations disaster for the fuel giant. Subsequent investigation found that the hackers’ entry point into the fuel giant’s security system was the password of a single employee, which was found on a list of stolen passwords available for purchase on the dark web. The suspicion is that the employee may have used the same password at the office and in private life.

Lapses in data security will be exploited. Today more than ever before in history, small oversights in data security can exact a devastating price. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million, which doesn’t include reputational damage and ruined careers. To make matters worse, organizations today have to worry about more than their own personal security hygiene – weaknesses in subcontractors’ security provide backdoors into the most carefully guarded systems. This is one of the primary reasons why standards such as ISO 27000 are so important: they give organizations a way to gauge their partners’ threat readiness. So what is ISO 27000, and how does it support data security?

The ISO 27000 framework

ISO 27000 standards is a series of best practices that help organizations improve their information security. Created by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the series lays out a methodology to implement information security best practices in the form of information security management system (ISMS) requirements. These requirements address the three pillars of information security: people, processes and technology. ISO 27000 consists of 46 standards all together, but the key areas of interest to many organizations are ISO 27001 and ISO 27002.

ISO 27001 is the central standard in the ISO 27000 series, containing a set of steps to take to build up an information security management system. More than a checklist, what makes ISO 27001 a powerful tool is its support for continuous improvement. An ISO 27001 certification is the midpoint of a journey – it shows that an organization has reached a sufficient base level of data protection and is committed to following an ongoing data security enhancement plan.

ISO 27002 is a supplementary standard that provides an overview of information security measures and controls that organizations might choose to implement. Some examples include: carrying out regular risk assessments, following up on findings, creating a high-level data security committee and the assessment and monitoring of access to sensitive data.

One additional standard is ISO 9001, which presents the criteria for a quality management (QM) system, based on a number of QM principles including customer focus, the involvement of management, the process approach and continual improvement. Together the resources of ISO 27001, ISO 27002 and ISO 9001 help organizations create their individual data security systems.

How ISO 27000 compliance supports continuous improvement

Continuous improvement under the ISO 27000 framework consists of a few main parts. The first, and most straightforward, is simply keeping up with evolving threats. Organizations can also take measures to tighten security – updating password requirements, data-sharing protocols, and so on. Of greatest importance to lasting improvement is expanding the scope of data security, from infrastructure to software to services. This expansion of scope is especially critical for large organizations, for whom any weak spot is likely to be exploited. A company could be ISO 27000 certified with only an infrastructure-level of security, and for some purposes that may be adequate. But for CCaaS providers, strict attention to data security at the levels of software and services is an absolute must.

As organizations progress further along their ISO 27000 compliance journey, data security concerns play a greater and more integrated role, impacting everything from communications to software development. For example, software developers with more cursory security concerns may design a program, and then layer security measures on top. More advanced is a security by design model, in which security is built into the design from the ground up. The result is more resilient, reliable solutions.

Beyond ISO 27000

Odigo has been proudly ISO 27000 certified for 7 years. In that time Odigo has expanded the scope of data protection from infrastructure through software to services, and all software is built on a security design model. Beyond compliance with ISO 27000, Odigo also has a PCI-DSS certification, certifying the payment services modules of Odigo at delivery points of presence (POP). Odigo is committed to providing a security-first cloud-based platform that clients can trust.

Would you like to find out how Odigo can help you provide the best experience for your customers while ensuring the highest level of data security?