Why ISO Certification Is Worth It

ART04x - edited feature imageISO certification offers autonomous validation that ascertains a company’s conformity to a given set of standards. Today, data security vulnerabilities have evolved and hence, companies need to show their clients and auditors proof of continual protection.

ISO Certification:
Who Needs It and Why?

What is ISO?

The International Standards Organization (ISO) was established in 1946 by twenty-five countries that sent delegates to the Institute of Civil Engineers in London.  The organizations’ main purpose was to create unified industrial standards. The Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO) established measures that determined the certification process to be used. CASCO establishes the guidelines that third-parties use to ascertain whether a company meets ISO certification standards.

ISO Compliant

There is a difference between being ISO accredited and ISO certified. ISO compliance deals with meeting the requirements of one specific standard.

Being ISO compliant means that a company chose one or more standards and followed them to the best practices within those standards. ISO compliance touches on decision-making that formulates policies, procedures, and processes that are in line with specifications.

In ISO certification, third parties use the CASCO criteria as a basis for conducting internal audits in an organization. Internal audits look at whether an organization meets the policies, procedures, and processes that are in line with ISO standards that a company has chosen to follow.

ISO accreditation defines the CASCO third-party assessor that conducts internal audits in the organization. Accredited bodies require an independent assessment to ascertain that they meet CASCO standards. Since the ISO vets these auditors, their reviews of other organizations are trustworthy.

Documents Required for ISO Certification

The ISO certification process comes in different ways. Every standard has different documentation that makes compliance a tedious process. Before you become ISO certified, you need to determine the type of certification you want.

ISO certification in IT focuses on these top certification standards: ISO 27001, ISO 19001, and ISO 31000.

Documents Required for ISO 9001 Certification

This type of certification documents the requirements needed for a quality management system (QMS). In quality management, a company has to document the procedures and responsibilities that it follows for quality and control. While this standard applies to any industry that needs quality control for improvement, it provides an unmatched perspective for dev ops and compliance.

ISO 9001 audit assesses systems, methodologies, and products. The documentation needed includes both mandatory and non-mandatory information. Mandatory documents are control procedures for documents, records, procedures, internal audit process, as well as control of non-conforming procedures, corrective action methods and, preventative action protocol.

Documents Required for ISO 27001 Certification

This type of certification touches specifically on developing an information security management system (ISMS) that safeguards the privacy, integrity, and availability of information as part of the risk management process.

There are many documents necessary for auditing when it comes to this standard. The documents required include ISMS scope, data security policy, risk assessment and mitigation policy, statement of applicability, risk assessment report, collection of assets, acceptable use of policy, access control policy, operating procedures, safe system engineering policies, supplier security policy, incident management procedure, business continuity procedure, and compliance requirements.

Documents Required ISO 31000 Certification

This standard creates a framework for enterprise risk management (ERM) that calls for oversight from the Board of Directors and executive management.

Audits that are required for this type of certification need documentation for process elements approach, principles of risk management, or maturity model approach to risk. The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) acknowledges that while its assessment guidelines align to 31000, other frameworks may also be in line with the ISO requirements. Therefore, selecting a framework to manage ISO 31000 and its requirements can work as a “two for one” strategy.

Cost of ISO certification

ISO certification is an expensive process. Firstly, companies are required to obtain the necessary training for all employees involved in the execution and maintenance of the certification. In other instances, there is need to employ consultants to assist in the execution of compliance processes. In addition, companies should also consider the hidden costs that come from employees concentrating on program execution rather than their regular jobs.

Certification also includes two stages of independent third-party audits. Certified bodies that charge money conduct these audits. For instance, the ISO 90001 compliance involves two stages of auditing. Certification bodies may also charge for off-site document assessment. The initial assessment can cost around $2,700 to $3,375.

Maintaining ISO certification is another expense that organizations incur as they must conduct assessment audits between the years of certification in order to ensure prolonged compliance. Monitoring costs range from $1,350 to $2,025.

Organizing all the documents necessary for executing ISO programs and ensuring compliance is a costly procedure.  With the help of GRC experts, a company accesses content that can map multiple standards.

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About Ken Lynch

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity's success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at ReciprocityLabs.com.

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