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How to Maintain ISO 27001 Certification

This post takes a closer look at this popular certification and how businesses can properly maintain their ISO certification.

Organizations need to cultivate a culture and Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) to allow compliance with the ISO standards. A properly ISO certified company will need to have a higher standard for their information security mechanisms than other businesses.

Understanding the basic maintenance requirements helps to ensure compliance. These include:

1. Following the compliance controls
2. Conducting the required yearly audit
3. Complete the awareness standards 

Aside from the regular commitments, businesses will also have to complete the renewal process. Simply put, organizations should understand how long the certification lasts and the basics of the renewal process.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at this popular certification and how businesses can properly prepare and maintain their ISO certification.

Before we dive in though, for those unfamiliar with this compliance standard, check out this overview ISO 27001.

How to Maintain ISO Certification?

After completing the long certification process, it’s vital businesses plan to maintain compliance over the long run. To do so, there’s a variety of practices companies implement to ensure they remain compliant.

1. Utilizing ISMS As a core component, its important businesses prioritize and utilize their information security management (ISMS). Practically speaking, a business must implement all procedures, protocols, and controls as required by ISO 27001 clauses.

2. Updated Documentation Another core component businesses should plan for; updating documentation to remain compliant. As business operations evolve and expand, companies should maintain their policies and procedures to reflect these changes.

Continued maintenance offers benefits when it comes time for renewal. In addition to this, businesses will benefit from having a more regular review of their policies and procedures to ensure they’re properly optimized.

3. Continued Testing and Risk Review With the digital world constantly changing, businesses must ensure they continually test and review their risks.

As new threats emerge, risk management strategies should be updated to reflect this change. The process of continuous testing helps ensure that these risks are properly identified and then mitigated, reconciled, or taken as an accepted risk.

4. Effective Internal Audits and Management Review Similar to the above point, businesses should continue their efforts to audit their systems regularly.

During these more regular testing efforts, team leaders should properly understand their system to ensure updates lead to a productive result. This will also allow leadership to be stay updated on any changes to the ISMS and actively drive changes when necessary.

5. Implement Proper Remediation Policies After discovering corrective actions, it’s important to process the necessary changes that led to a solution. Not only will this allow operations to be improved with regards to security, but it also helps with the compliance certification process. With these two important benefits known, it should be apparent to leaders the importance of ISO 27001 certification and a proper remediation policy.

How Long does ISO 27001 Certification Last?

After achieving certification, ISO 2700 is valid for 3 years. However, organizations need to manage and maintain the ISMS throughout the entire certificate's validity period. The certified body will perform annual surveillance visits and may strip an organization of its certification if it does not meet the requirements.

An ISO certification renewal is necessary after 3 years. For ISO 27001 certified companies to keep the certification, they must renew the certification or it will become invalid.

Certification Renewal

As businesses approach their certification renewal date, they should proactively prepare for the renewal. The last thing businesses want is to have to do the entire process again.

Thankfully, the renewal process is not as intensive as the initial certification. With this in mind, businesses should plan around 3 months prior to their certification expiration date to ensure they’re properly prepared.

Owners will need to review their compliance controls to ensure they fill any gaps leading to nonconformity with the standards. Furthermore, the renewal process does require an auditor in a similar capacity to become certified.

After the auditor completes the audit, businesses will be notified with a pass or fail summary. For businesses who fail the renewal process, they have 15 days after the report to reconcile any corrective actions.

Using Cobalt’s Pentesting to Maintain ISO 27001 Compliance

To maintain ISO 27001 certification, organizations often need to do continued pentesting of their systems. With an agile DevOps process becoming closer to a DevSecOps process, corporate entities and larger enterprises should consider a flexible solution to their ongoing pentesting needs.

With a properly managed pentest program, businesses can prove their information systems maintain necessary security controls. Information security forms a critical component of any organization’s security, and it’s essential to keep all information systems secure.

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About Cobalt
Cobalt provides Pentest Services via our industry-leading Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) platform that is modernizing the traditional, static penetration testing model with streamlined processes, developer integrations, and on-demand pentesters. The Cobalt blog is where we highlight industry best practices, showcase some of our top-tier talent, and share information that's of interest to the cybersecurity community. More By Cobalt
Cobalt Is Now ISO 27001 Certified
Combined with our CREST and SOC 2 Type II certifications, this achievement highlights our commitment to keeping customer and partner data safe. 
Dec 12, 2022