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ISO 27001 Checklists

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Published October 16th, 2020

What is the ISO 27001 Standard?

The ISO 27001 standard focuses on information security that provides a framework for the Information Security Management System (ISMS). It helps the organization to protect their data in a systematic way and maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets to stakeholders.

This article covers:

What is an ISO 27001 Checklist?

An ISO 27001 checklist is a tool used to determine if an organization meets the requirements of the international standard for implementing an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS). Information security officers use ISO 27001 audit checklists when conducting internal ISO 27001 audits to assess gaps in the organization’s ISMS and to evaluate the readiness of their organization for third party ISO 27001 certification audits.

ISMS is the systematic management of information in order to maintain its confidentiality, integrity, and availability to stakeholders. Getting certified for ISO 27001 means that an organization’s ISMS is aligned with international standards. Even if certification is not the intention, an organization that complies with the ISO 27001 framework can benefit from the best practices of information security management.

What Policies are Required for ISO 27001?

Clauses 4.1 through 10.2 are the core requirements of the ISO 27001. It helps discover process gaps and assess the readiness of the organization for the ISO 27001 certification. Below are the clause requirements:

  • 4. Context of the Organization
    • 4.1 Understanding the organization and its context
    • 4.2 Understanding the needs and expectations of interested parties
    • 4.3 Determining the scope of the information security management system
    • 4.4 Information security management system 
  • 5. Leadership
    • 5.1 Leadership and commitment
    • 5.2 Policy
    • 5.3 Organizational roles, responsibilities, and authorities
  • 6. Planning
    • 6.1 Actions to address risks and opportunities
    • 6.2 Information security objectives and plans to achieve them
  • 7. Support
    • 7.1 Resources
    • 7.2 Competence
    • 7.3 Awareness
    • 7.4 Communication
    • 7.5 Documented information
  • 8. Operation
    • 8.1 Operational planning and control
    • 8.2 Information security risk assessment
    • 8.3 Information security risk treatment
  • 9. Performance Evaluation
    • 9.1 Monitoring, measurement, analysis, and evaluation
    • 9.2 Internal audit
    • 9.3 Management review
  • 10. Improvement
    • 10.1 Nonconformity and corrective action
    • 10.2 Continual improvement  

Is ISO 27001 Mandatory?

ISO 27001 is not universally mandatory for compliance but instead, the organization is required to perform activities that inform their decision concerning the implementation of information security controls.

7 Practical Tips for Implementing ISMS for ISO 27001 Certification

It takes a lot of time and effort to properly implement an effective ISMS and more so to get it ISO 27001-certified. Here are some practical tips on implementing an ISMS and getting ready for certification:

  1. Review processes and ISO 27001
    Familiarize staff with the international standard for ISMS and know how your organization currently manages information security.
  2. Get employee buy-in
    Help employees understand the importance of ISMS and get their commitment to help improve the system.
  3. Conduct risk assessments
    Determine the vulnerabilities and threats to your organization’s information security system and assets by conducting regular information security risk assessments and using an iso 27001 risk assessment template.
  4. Implement controls
    Information security risks discovered during risk assessments can lead to costly incidents if not addressed promptly.
  5. Conduct gap analysis
    Use an ISO 27001 audit checklist to assess updated processes and new controls implemented to determine other gaps that require corrective action.
  6. Internal audits and employee training
    Regular internal ISO 27001 audits can help proactively catch non-compliance and aid in continuously improving information security management. Employee training will also help reinforce best practices. Conducting internal ISO 27001 audits can prepare the organization for certification.
  7. Prepare for certification
    Prepare your ISMS documentation and contact a reliable third-party auditor to get certified for ISO 27001.

Technology to Help Streamline ISMS

Getting certified for ISO 27001 requires documentation of your ISMS and proof of the processes implemented and continuous improvement practices followed. An organization that is heavily dependent on paper-based systems will find it challenging and time-consuming to organize and keep track of documentation needed as proof of ISO 27001 compliance.

iAuditor, a powerful mobile auditing software, can help information security officers and IT professionals streamline the implementation of ISMS and proactively catch information security gaps. Conduct ISO 27001 gap analyses and information security risk assessments anytime and include photo evidence using handheld mobile devices. Automate documentation of audit reports and secure data in the cloud. Observe trends via an online dashboard as you improve ISMS and work towards ISO 27001 certification.

To save you time, we have prepared these digital ISO 27001 checklists that you can download and customize to fit your business needs.


Erick Brent Francisco

SafetyCulture staff writer

As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.