Implementing ISO 27001 in SMEs

Implementing ISO 27001 in SMEs – The Main Barriers to Adoption

ISO 27001 is now seen as the “go-to” information security management standard for modern businesses. Originally developed by the International Organization for Standardization and first published in 2005 it offers an excellent framework to improve and strengthen data security protocols. Achieving ISO certification enables organisations of all sizes, structures and sectors to demonstrate they follow best practices regarding the security of the information they hold and handle.

Common barriers to implementing ISO 27001

You would think, therefore, that small and medium sized enterprises or SMEs would be falling over themselves to implement it, and to work towards certification. However, you’d be surprised to learn that there are a number of common barriers that many businesses throw up in response to this idea. Let’s tackle the main objections below.

It will take time away from other crucial business processes

Every business has a range of processes and procedures that must be completed each day. Faced with yet more tasks to fit in, it is very easy to reject these extra ones, perceiving them as unnecessary or of lower value. However, achieving competency in ISO 27001 can have significant advantages for your organisation, both now and in the years to come.

It may be that additional employees need to be taken on, or existing duties shuffled, to create the time necessary to focus on implementing the ISO standard. But as you discover more of its benefits and how it can help to safeguard your sensitive data, it is easier to see why devoting time to this is so important.

Information security systems aren’t relevant to SMEs

Many SMEs don’t see ISO 27001 as being relevant to them – well, nothing could be further from the truth. Information security is vital for all organisations, of all sizes. To some, SMEs may seem less relevant in this discussion when compared to major corporations and multinational businesses however, any business could fail in its duty to preserve and protect customer details and information. And in today’s information intensive environment the costs of failure in this area can be severe in terms of penalties, fraud, litigation, reputational damage, loss of trade secrets and intellectual property – the list goes on. That’s without considering the potential for lost business in the future.

There are more important tasks to complete

What could be more important than taking care of your business critical data to protect it from prying eyes, theft or corruption? This could include information about your customers, suppliers, investors, new products, market research, procurement and more. It’s therefore critical that you can demonstrate to your customers and other stakeholders that the information you hold is kept secure, and they can see that you take your duties seriously in this respect.

Beginning the process of implementing ISO 27001 won’t be easy, but it is a challenge that should be met by every organisation as the benefits can be significant.

Preventing data breaches before they happen with ISO 27001

It’s often easier (and less damaging) to stop something happening in the first place than to repair the damage after it has happened.

Without a well-developed information security system lots of time may be spent coping with and finding solutions to disruptive data breaches, theft or other forms of attack in the future. If time is not spent now putting the right security systems in place to prevent this from happening significant resources could well be wasted resolving issues that need not have happened in the first instance.

So, if you value your business, it’s certainly sensible to explore ways in which the ISO 27001 standard can be adopted, and sooner rather than later. Once you begin to explore the possibilities of its implementation, it becomes easier to see how these and other issues can easily be resolved, especially when looking towards the positives that lie ahead.

World-class information security frameworks

Quality Management Systems deliver a comprehensive range of world-class management systems including the development and implementation of ISO 27001 based information security frameworks, systems auditing, training and software solutions to organisations wishing to improve their data security protocols, build resilience, safeguard business-critical information, and achieve ISO 27001 certification quickly and efficiently.

If you would like to learn more about our management systems, and how we can help you develop world-class data security processes please get in touch today.

Further reading…

More information about ISO 27001 and information security systems … here →