Download your free ISO 27001 Implementation Roadmap

Learn the ropes of obtaining and maintaining the ISO 27001 certification. From gap analysis to risk management, this guide is a must-have for Heads of IT looking to get officially certified. Download the roadmap (no contact details needed) or read it all below.

Our guide features:

  • What to expect during the ISO 27001 certification process
  • Tips for maintaining your ISO 27001 certification long-term
  • Best practices for managing risks and assets
  • How DataGuard can help you get certified
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ISO 27001 Implementation Roadmap: How to get (and keep) your certification

A clear plan makes the road to ISO 27001 certification much less daunting. Use DataGuard’s implementation roadmap as your guiding star to get and stay certified.

See ISO 27001 certification as a continuous exercise

We keep saying “get and maintain” your ISO 27001 certification, and for good reason. See this process as a constant exercise because getting ISO 27001 certified is just one checkpoint in the overarching information security certification journey.

Your organisation is a living organism – strategies and processes shift, you add new assets, purchase new software or start new partnerships. Your information security status changes, exposing you to new threats.

So even after you’ve achieved the certification, regularly review your Information Security Management System (ISMS), monitor assets and risks, and check whether applicable controls are in place. This will help keep your information secure and ready for unforeseen cyberattacks and ensure you are fully prepared to re-certify when it comes to it (see illustration below).



Your ISO 27001 pathway: What & How 

On the road to ISO 27001 certification, every stop is important, be it a gap analysis or an internal audit as a rehearsal for the external.

Every part plays a role in preparing and maintaining your ISMS so it meets the ISO 27001 guidelines. Throughout the years, we’ve helped companies in various industries achieve their ISO 27001 certification. We kick things off with a gap analysis.  


1. Pinpoint any possible gaps 

To protect your assets, you need to know where your weaknesses lie.

Consider gap analysis a litmus test to assess your organisation’s information security status. It helps evaluate your business and identify which necessary processes and security measures you already have in place and which ones you might need to add. Gap analysis provides a holistic view of how well your setup fits the ISO 27001 security standard and what changes need to be made to prepare for the external audit (more on this later).

Here’s why gap analysis is important:

  • Spotting vulnerabilities: Gap analysis is similar to a security audit. It helps you identify weak spots in your current security setup. 
  • Playing by the rules: Different industries have their own security rules. Gap analysis is your guide to ensuring you're ticking all the boxes to stay in the game. 
  • Smarter resource and budget planning: Gap analysis helps you use your resources wisely. Knowing your weak spots early can help you plan your budget better. 
  • Keeps you on your toes: Gap analysis isn't a one-off deal; it's a routine check-up to keep your organisation in tip-top security shape as it grows and evolves.  

How we make it easier:

To conduct gap analysis in your company, we start with simple self-paced questionnaires. Once you provide the answers, your DataGuard expert will help prepare a project plan to improve your information security maturity. 


2. Gain an overview of your information assets 

Stay organised from the get-go.

What digital information in your organisation needs protection? Or, in other words, what’s at stake? In this ISO 27001 certification phase, you review and organise all your information assets, especially those that need extra protection. 

Review and manage all your digital information, including who has access to it. This way, you’ll gain a complete overview, and it’ll be easier to figure out what security steps are needed to keep those assets safe and sound.

Here’s why asset management matters:

  • Protects your valuables: Think of asset management as safeguarding your digital treasures, such as customer records, to keep them private and accurate. 
  • Ensures legal compliance: Companies must comply with various information security regulations. Managing information assets helps you stay compliant. 
  • Find what you need whenever needed: Good information asset management lets your team find and use data easily, making work faster and smarter. 
  • Lifecycle planning: Asset management declutters your digital space. Knowing when to create, store, or delete digital information brings clarity and reduces risk exposure. 
  • Staying updated: Digital info and threats never stop changing. Regular asset management helps keep up with the most recent trends and dangers. 

How we make it easier:

We give you a platform for asset management. All your information assets that require protection are under one roof, and we help you take care of it. You can import existing assets or create new ones in one centralised space.


3. Identify and manage risks 

Risk management is a systematic approach to safeguarding your organisation's data and digital infrastructure.

This is where you identify and track any risks affecting your company’s information security.

Here’s why asset management matters:

  • All risks in one overview: You know what to expect. Similarly to gap analysis, risk management helps identify potential threats and vulnerabilities. 
  • Staying out of trouble: By keeping an eye on risks, you minimise legal headaches and fines; you’re more likely to stay compliant with industry regulations. 
  • Your reputation stays intact: Risk management allows you to nip any threats in the bud. You safeguard your reputation by anticipating potential issues.

How we make it easier:

Identifying risks can be difficult if you're doing it for the first time or don’t know much about the process. We help identify and track any risks affecting your company’s information security goals in one platform. No prior risk management knowledge is needed - our experts, videos and guides support you throughout. Plus, you can review your existing risks on dashboards in real-time. 


4. Create documentation

As you progress to ISO 27001 certification, you’ll need proper documentation to support security policies and procedures. This will also help you stay organised.

Here’s why this matters:

  • Sets safety rules: Information security documentation outlines the essential rules for safeguarding data and digital systems. 
  • Puts plans into action: Once the rules are set, documentation guides organisations in implementing security controls, such as firewalls and access restrictions.
  • Essential to compliance: You’ll need specific policies and documents to show compliance and prepare for the audit. 

How we make it easier:

Access any ready-to-use templates for policies and procedures on our platform—no more tedious manual work of creating everything from scratch. Plus, our experts will help you review the documents to ensure their audit readiness. 


5. Train your team on security 

Continuously educate employees and stakeholders about security policies and best practices to enhance overall information security awareness.

Here’s why that’s important in the context of ISO 27001 certification:

  • Everyone’s on the same page: Everyone understands and follows the standardised information security practices mandated by the certification. 
  • Less risks: Well-informed individuals are better equipped to identify and address potential security risks. 

How we make it easier:

You can enrol your employees in our on-demand security training courses via DataGuard Academy, an interactive e-learning feature on our platform. The courses cover basic GDPR, information security training, and specialised topics such as phishing, incident response and AI.


6. Run an internal audit

Consider your internal audit a rehearsal before the external one.

An external auditor assesses your ISMS in safeguarding sensitive information, managing risks, and ensuring compliance with the ISO 27001 requirements. While an external audit is conducted by an accredited certification body (CB), an internal audit is run by you independently, unless you collaborate with a partner like DataGuard.

Here’s why an internal audit is so important:

  • Identify weak areas: Internal audits help pinpoint vulnerabilities in information security practices, allowing for preemptive fixes before the external ISO 27001 audit. 
  • Smooth external audit: By addressing issues beforehand, internal audits pave the way for a smoother external ISO 27001 audit, increasing the likelihood of successful certification. 

How we make it easier:

We take the stress of running the internal audit off your hands. Our experts help run an internal audit for you to ensure you have all the policies, controls and processes to pass the external audit. To date, our clients have a 100% first-try external audit pass rate.

7. Maintain your certification

Complying with ISO 27001 standards doesn’t end with getting officially certified after a successful external audit.

As new risks arise or your organisation changes, you must continuously review and adjust your information security efforts where needed to maintain the certification.

How we make it easier:

We help update your assets, mitigate risks, conduct employee training, ensure policies and controls are up to date, and ultimately prepare your organisation for annual surveillance audits.

Achieve your first ISO 27001 certification in as little as 3 months

Prepare for the ISO 27001:2022 audit now with up to 75% less work and successfully achieve certification.

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