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Benefits of Cyber security Compliance: Why you should consider investing in ISO 27001 or SOC 2 regardless of your industry segment

The increasing rate of cybercrime post-pandemic has led many technology leaders, CTOs, and engineering professionals to apply cyber security compliance procedures to their organisations. However, some still assume that compliance only applies to IT and finance businesses, leaving other industries vulnerable to cyberattacks.

As cyberattacks can happen to anyone, this article will go over why businesses, regardless of industry, need to invest in cybersecurity compliance now more than ever, particularly in ISO 27001 and SOC 2 certifications.

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What is Cybersecurity Compliance and Why is it Important?

Cybersecurity compliance is defined as meeting the regulatory requirements needed for organisations to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the information they handle.

Compliance, then, is important as it ensures that firms are equipped with the right tools and systems to proactively mitigate security breaches and maintain good cybersecurity hygiene.

How can my Organisation Achieve Compliance?

To achieve compliance, organisations must get certifications from relevant third-party governing bodies to prove that they are using information systems equipped with the right tools and risk-based security controls to protect sensitive data.

While there are many systems available in the market, organisations should look for those that allow them to:

  • Detect and assess risks and vulnerabilities (technology and human-induced)
  • Manage and mitigate third-party risk, and
  • Conduct periodic scans and create relevant security controls to monitor system performance

In Singapore, 40% of cyberattacks target small and medium businesses (SMBs), with 54 % identifying phishing as the main threat to their business. This scenario makes systems that provide counter-phishing protection, asset scanning capabilities, and risk assessment policies such as Cyber Sierra’s particularly sought after as their protection can cover the most basic threats. 

 

Features of Cyber Sierra's Platform
Features of Cyber Sierra’s Platform

Which Certification should my organisation get?

There are many cybersecurity frameworks that one can get certified in.

However, most companies consider these two as the best indicator of high-quality information security management: ISO 27001 and SOC 2.

ISO 27001

ISO/IEC 27001 is the leading international standard that outlines the requirements for establishing, implementing, and maintaining a cyber-resilient information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS encompasses the organisation’s whole toolbox (people, processes and procedures, and technology) in managing information security risks.

The key requirement needed to comply with this framework is to develop an ISMS that addresses the following security objectives:

Security objectives ISMS need to address to comply with ISO 27001
Security objectives ISMS need to address to comply with ISO 27001(Source: https://www.itgovernance.eu/blog/en/what-is-an-isms-and-why-does-your-organisation-need-one)
  1. Confidentiality – All sensitive information will only be accessible to parties who have authorisation
  2. Integrity – Only parties with authorisation can alter information in the system
  3. Availability – All necessary information can and should be available to parties with authorisation at all times

Thus, to be ISO 27001 compliant, an ISMS must be capable of keeping sensitive information assets secure and protected.

SOC 2

Meanwhile, SOC 2 is a compliance framework that outlines the data storage, management, and processing criteria that companies must uphold to achieve a good security posture.

The framework operates based on five trust services principles: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.

SOC 2 Principles (Source: https://us.aicpa.org/interestareas/frc/assuranceadvisoryservices/aicpasoc2report)
SOC 2 Principles (Source:SOC for Service Organizations: Trust Services Criteria)

What’s interesting about SOC 2 compliance is that implementing the five principles varies depending on the company’s needs and operating models.

  1. Security: Protecting data against unauthorised access. To comply, companies implement stricter access controls, encryption, web application firewalls, and multi-factor authentications (MFA) to prevent security breaches.
  2. Availability: A system’s accessibility to the authorised parties based on the service-level agreement (SLA) they set. Network monitoring systems, disaster recovery plans, and automated security controls are crucial to fulfilling this principle.
  3. Processing Integrity: A system’s or process’ capability to fulfill its design function. For this, performance monitoring and quality assurance procedures are thus recommended.
  4. Confidentiality: Restricting access to data that only select authorised parties have clearance, such as passwords, intellectual properties, business plans, and sensitive financial information. Similar solutions to the security principle can be applied.
  5. Privacy: Adherence to the organisation’s data privacy policy and the AICPA’s generally accepted privacy principles (GAPP) when collecting, storing, processing, and disclosing sensitive information. Rigorous information security controls are then necessary to maintain this principle.

Benefits of Cybersecurity Compliance with ISO 27001 and SOC 2

1) Improves Cybersecurity Posture

According to an article in Business Wire, the pandemic has increased cyber threats to firms and individuals by 81%, thus highlighting the importance of maintaining a stronger cybersecurity posture in recent times.

With this, getting ISO 27001 or SOC 2 compliance can ensure that your business is equipped with the right tools to detect and assess risks and vulnerabilities and combat even more sophisticated attacks such as SQL Injections, MITM, DDoS Attacks, and DNS Spoofing.

2) Boosts Stakeholder Confidence

Due to their high-value reputations, getting ISO 27001 and SOC 2 certifications can boost stakeholders’ confidence in your business as it shows your capacity to implement the highest information security standards.

These certifications often double as trust assurances, with some companies taking it further by only transacting with organisations that have at least either ISO 27001 or SOC 2, making your compliance with both a competitive advantage against those who are uncertified.

3) Prevents Damages Brought by Security Breaches

Lastly, having either ISO 27001 or SOC 2 certification can help your organisation prevent damages that come with security breaches, as both require your systems to have adequate security controls to mitigate breaches at their onset.

Thus, having such certifications can then provide your business with a formidable defense against cyberattacks, especially if the risk is from third-party relationships.

Concluding Thoughts

At Cyber Sierra, we consider our clients’ cybersecurity posture the most important thing to protect their businesses. That is why we built our platform to be ISO 27001 and SOC 2 compliance-ready by integrating tools and controls such as counter-phishing protection, an automated risk register, and third-party risk management (TPRM) policies.

Easily modifiable depending on your business’s needs, Cyber Sierra’s platform is designed to offer the best thought leadership on simplifying customers’ compliance journey so that our clients can focus on achieving business growth without worrying about their cyber hygiene and security posture.

You can contact us here to request a demo of Cyber Sierra’s solutions.

Governance & Compliance

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