In terms of data security, every organisation must comply with several standards that they need to achieve to get the compliance that every institution yearns for. If one of the company’s main goals is to get an ISO 27001 certification, you need to complete all the requirements.
One of the main components of the certification process is going through a certification audit, where a highly-knowledgeable expert from an accreditation body inspects your organisation to look into your information security management system (ISMS). If they determined that you can meet the requirements, they would let you get the certification.
To prepare for an ISO 27001 certification audit, there are several things that you need to know.
What Happens During An ISO 27001 Security Audit?
The ISO 27001 certification audit aims to confirm if your organisation completed the ISO 27001 requirements. As they check if your ISMS complies with the requirements, the auditor will also list down any issues that they will encounter, and all the areas that require improvements. It will help you increase your chances to get the certification.
Different Stages Of External ISO Audit
Three different stages take place during an external ISO audit. It includes:
During the first stage of the external ISO audit, the certification body will evaluate all your documents and the methodologies that you adopted when carrying out the ISO 27001 requirements. By this time, the auditors will be given a chance to get familiarised with your institution. They will go over your files, including your Statement of Applicability, the inventory of our assets, the scope statement of your ISMS, your risk assessment, and all the risk treatment methodology that you implemented.
A couple of months after the completion of the Stage 1 audit, the designated CB will go back to your organisation to look into the implementation of your management system. The CB will also figure out the degree of compliance under the requirements set by the standards that you want to achieve. The process of the Stage 2 audit includes:
- Audit Plan – The CB will mail a two-week audit plan during the audit day. It will stipulate the plan that they will conduct while in your facility. By this time, they will request that all your managers and staff are on the site when necessary.
- Opening Meeting – As the audit begins, the auditors will call for a meeting where they will explain what will happen, what they expect, and what they want to achieve during the auditing process.
- Conduct Audit – When the meeting concludes, the auditor will start the auditing process that was included in the auditing plan. By this time, they would want to evaluate how your ISMS will manage. They may also interview your staff and observe how the managers show their leadership skills.
- Closing Meeting – Once the Stage 2 audit is over, the auditors will meet again to talk about your organisation’s opportunities for improvements (OFIs) and the areas where you need to improve your compliance.
- Audit Report – After finishing the Stage 2 audit, the auditors will make a summary regarding their findings, particularly the OFIs and the non-conformances.
The third stage of the external ISO audit process involves several follow-up audits to make sure that your organisation consistently complies with the requirement. To prevent any surprises, your organisation must conduct several internal audits to see if you are implementing the requirement before the external auditors arrive.
After passing the challenging ISO 27001 audits, you will have higher chances of getting the certification. But always make sure that you are prepared to go through a long series of audits even after getting the certification. It means that you are continually maintaining and boosting your system despite getting the certificate.
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