25 January 2014

Interpreting ISO 27001 Controls and Objectives

I continue working my way through the ISO 27001 Standard Document.  When I look at Appendix A, it appears I may be about to make a breakthrough in terms of understanding.  The title is Controls and Objectives.  For this first time this looks like a list of practical things one has to do to comply with the ISO 27001 Information Security standard.

For example, at A.5.1.1 is declares “An information security  policy document shall be approved by management, and published and communicated to all employees and relevant external parties.”  What this practically means is that at minimum I need find a model Information Security policy, insert my company’s name, sign it and stick it  up on the company website and wahey – route one compliance with A5.1.1!  To do things properly, I will have to tailor the policy to the specific requirements of a secure data erasure company.    I am starting to understand what is practically being asked for by ISO 27001 the information security standard.

The next four controls up to A6.1.3 aren’t as easy  A5.1.1. but they could be met with a bit of thought and paperwork.  I turn the page and there are more controls.

A6.1.4 I says I need an authorization process for new information processing facilities.  I get this but how do it in a small organisation?  Does this mean mandatory testing process for any new bit of kit or software?  Would my company  have the resources for that?

A6.1.5 talks about the need to have Confidentiality Agreements or NDAs in place which is fair enough and clearly understood.

A6.1.6   and A6.1.7 require the maintenance of contacts with authorities and special interest groups in security forums or specialist associations.  I don’t know what this means in practice though.  What kind of authorities are they talking about?  Does this means government, police or what?  Is one meant to have meetings with them?  I am also not part of any security related professional associations- and, if I was going to be, which ones should I try and be an member of?  And again what does “maintain contact” mean exactly?secure service for erasure of confidential data

Having recently been spurred on by the appearance of my “Control of Documents and Records” friends I am now getting bogged down again.  I wonder what lies in the pages ahead.  So turn over and see more controls. I turn again and there are more.  And again – more.  I gulp – it feels like I am desperately reaching for air in the face of a massive wave of controls which is about to overwhelm me.

I turn the page 5 more times before I get to the end of the list of ISO 27001 Controls and Objectives – I am just looking at the page numbers now – closer focus is detrimental to my well-being.  The wave is right on top of me – what do I do to escape?

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