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There is a lot of confusion over the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and there appear to be different interpretations being put forward as to how businesses should comply.

GDPRThe new regulation reinforces best practices within the DPA (Data Protection Act) and PECR (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) already in force in the UK.

A major factor that has made organisations take more notice of GDPR than the existing regulations are the significant fines that can be handed out for non-compliance:

Up to €10 million or 2% of annual global turnover of the previous year, whichever is higher. Or, up to €20 million or 4% of annual turnover of the previous year, whichever is higher. *

ISO 27001
Organisations that are already certified to ISO 27001 have a head start to help them comply with GDPR.

Certification will require a robust and auditable Information Security Management System (ISMS). This provides a solid base to meet GDPR.

The route to certification will include the implementation of a range of security and data management processes that are also relevant to GDPR compliance, including:
  • Regulatory and contractual compliance.
  • Risk assessment.
  • Security of systems and data.
  • Reporting of a breach to regulators and individuals affected.
  • Management process and control.
  • Data access control.
  • Encryption of data.
  • Continuous evaluation and improvement.
  • Improved communications to employees and customers.
Benefits of ISO 27001
Compliance with ISO 27001 goes beyond the requirements of GDPR and includes business continuity planning in the event of an incident, improving management processes and increasing profits by:
  • Carrying out risk assessments that will identify where data is held and areas that need to be improved to minimise threats to data security.
  • Giving customers greater confidence, through audits, that their data is being used correctly and is in safe hands.
  • Improving resilience to threats within the organisation and from external sources.
  • Providing effective procedures that will help the organisation to recover following an incident.
  • Improving tendering prospects for new business, particularly Public Sector, when compliance with certain standards are mandatory.
Certification provides proof that you have been externally audited to meet the standard and can give you an advantage over your competitors.

Call one of our team on 0121 241 2299 to discuss how ISO 27001 can help you meet your GDPR obligations.

*https://www.eugdpr.org/key-changes.htm
 
A 17 year old from Norwich recently pleaded guilty to seven hacking offences relating to data breaches suffered by the communications giant Talk Talk.

The cyber-attack cost the company £42 million and it was fined £400,000 for security failings which enabled the teenager to access customer’s data “with ease”.

These breaches are becoming more frequent and with this in mind, the government has recently announced a new 5 year plan to tackle the problem. The government will pump £1.9 billion into a scheme to help fight cyber-crime and develop a world class cyber security industry and workforce.

Part of the strategy is to ensure organisations have the necessary processes in place to help prevent cyber-attacks.

Cyber-crimeNational Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond said:
“Britain is already an acknowledged global leader in cyber security thanks to our investment of over £860 million in the last Parliament, but we must now keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face. Our new strategy, underpinned by £1.9 billion of support over 5 years and excellent partnerships with industry and academia, will allow us to take even greater steps to defend ourselves in cyberspace and to strike back when we are attacked.”

Protect your business with ISO 27001
It is not only large corporations that are under attack; small and medium sized organisations are also being targeted and reporting a rise in cyber-attacks on their businesses.

One way of ensuring that your management team and employees are working to effective processes for minimising the risk of a cyber breach is to achieve ISO 27001 certification. The standard is internationally recognised and establishes processes for identifying data at risk, assessing threats and putting in place systems, controls and procedures to minimise the risk.

ISO 27001 will provide a strategic plan for your business that will ensure you and your workforce are capable and ready to deal with a cyber threat.

ISO 27001 certification will also demonstrate to your customers that you have implemented controls and procedures that will help to maintain continuity of supply and security of their data. In some cases, it may be a requirement when tendering for business, particularly in the public sector.

Find out more about what is involved in achieving ISO 27001 by talking to one of our experienced advisors.
The growth in online business is benefitting companies throughout the UK, but there are risks involved with this continuing expansion.

UK businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to hacker-attacks that aim to steal data that can be sold on the open market to fraudsters. Hacking can also disrupt business operations and systems, this can have a devastating impact. The time and resources needed to recover from a breach, loss of data and damage to a company’s reputation can run into the millions of pounds.

However, it is not just large organisations that are at risk; figures indicate that 74% of small businesses have suffered a cyber breach (figures reported in 2014/2015).

How can ISO 27001 protect my business?

Cyber_risk_insuranceRisks can come from a variety of sources including:
  • Employees, deliberate act or accidental through lack of understanding
  • Hacker-attacks, on computers and servers
  • Phishing, via emails
  • Loss of hardware, such as laptop or removable media that get into the wrong hands
  • Home and mobile working, leading to a reduction in security levels
  • Malware infection
Any one of the above risks could cripple an organisation and lead to an expensive and time consuming recovery.

Certification to ISO 27001 provides an effective information security management system (ISMS) that can be implemented throughout the organisation.

An effective ISMS will identify potential risks and establish a management processes that will help to eliminate, or minimise the effect of an incident, when it occurs.

A disaster recovery plan is established to ensure organisations can get back to “business as usual” as quickly as possible following a breach.

Continuous monitoring and improvement of the system is carried out through annual audits to maintain your ISO 27001 certification. This will identify any new threats or gaps in procedures, to help you maintain a high level of protection.

For more information call one of our team to discuss how ISO 27001 can benefit your organisation.
 
One of the risks facing businesses in 2016 is the increase in cyber crime.

Balloon-popping-business-riskThe ISO 27001 international standard provides an effective information security management system (ISMS) focused on identifying areas of risk and developing a system for managing and minimising those risks.

Areas at risk include:
  • Computer hardware and systems
  • Data stored locally and off site
  • Intellectual property
  • Employees’ personal details
  • Data and equipment belonging to contractors
  • Suppliers’ assets
  • Customer information
Threats come from a variety of sources including natural disasters, hacker attacks, computer viruses and the consequences of stolen information.

As a result of an incident, an organisation could not only be faced with the costs of putting right the damage and coping with the effects on the business, but could face legal implications connected with the breach.

Costs can run to millions of pounds and with cyber attacks and unpredictable weather conditions increasing, it is more important than ever to manage the risks to your business.

How will ISO 27001 protect my business?
First stage is to appoint an experienced ISO 27001 consultant who will help you to set up an effective management system tailored to your business. They will identify the risks to your business and develop a process to manage those risks together with an ongoing system of monitoring and continual improvement.

Working with members of your team, your appointed consultant will be able to apply industry best practice and using their experience, provide a workable system that will:
  • Review current procedures
  • Identify risks
  • Assess threats to assets
  • Highlight gaps and areas for improvement
  • Establish a system of management and control
  • Provide processes and procedures
  • Continually improve the system with audits and reviews
ISO 27001 Certification
Once you are satisfied that your ISMS is established in line with the requirements of ISO 27001, you will be ready for auditing by an independent accredited certification body. In the UK, you should check they are UKAS accredited.

For more information contact one of our team.
Many businesses operate quite successfully without being ISO certified; however in today’s crowded market place, being certified by a UKAS accredited certification body can give you a competitive edge. It may even be a requirement before you can start the relationship.

Goldfish_jumping_continual_improvementFor example, if you are looking to access new markets, getting certified will give potential customers confidence in your management systems and your ability to meet their requirements. The standards are international and are therefore recognised across global markets.

When you have a robust management system in place, your business will be able to streamline operations and improve productivity that will help to increase profits.

By assessing risks from natural disasters, accidents, cyber-crime or mismanagement, you will be able to mitigate their impact on your business.

Environmental disasters get much more publicity these days and keeping ahead of regulations and legislation is more important than ever. Demonstrating your commitment to reducing the impact that your operations have on the environment will enhance your reputation with your employees and customers.

There are a wide range of international standards available for organisations of all types and sizes and you can select the most relevant for your business.

The ISO standard or standards that you choose to meet your particular needs will help to meet the everyday challenges and risks faced by all organisations.

These are some of the more popular standards available:
  • ISO 9001     Quality Management Systems
  • ISO 14001     Environmental Management Systems
  • OHSAS 18001     Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems
  • ISO 27001     Information Security Management Systems
  • PAS 43         Safe Working of Vehicle Breakdown and Recovery Operators
  • NHSS 17     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery at Highway Construction Sites
  • NHSS 17b     Quality Management for Vehicle Recovery and Removal on Controlled Roads
  • PAS 80         Automotive Garage Services - Service and Repair of Vehicles
  • HACCP         Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Systems

The benefits to businesses are wide ranging and will provide a management system and structure that will help your business to become more efficient and sustainable.

Do you need ISO certification? Call us for a free, no obligation discussion to find out which ISO standard you need for your business. We are a UKAS Accredited Certification Body.

 
This is not the first time we have written about the vulnerability of businesses to cyber-attacks and the latest government survey does nothing to allay those fears. Though the statistics show that incidents of cyber-crime have reduced slightly, the costs of dealing with these breaches has almost doubled.

ISO_27001The following statement has been taken from the 2010 to 2015 government policy paper published 7th May 2015.

81% of large corporations and 60% of small businesses reported a cyber-breach in 2014.
With the cost for the worst cyber-security breach estimated between £600,000 to £1.15 million for large businesses and £65,000 to £115,000 for smaller ones, the government must look at new ways to protect businesses and make the UK more resilient to cyber-attacks and crime.”

Businesses affected by cyber crime
There have been some high profile cases:

eBay
Hackers managed to access an eBay corporate account to gather user’s personal information.

JP Morgan Chase
A neglected server provided access to contact details for its account holding customers.

Home Depot
Payment systems were infected with malware that allowed hackers to steal credit card details.

Employees’ responsibility
It is not just about server access; employees are much more mobile these days and carry around company information on laptops and mobile phones. Data is stored on removable media which can be copied or lost.
Malware can infect company computers and mobile phones. To protect against these risks, you will need to establish policies to ensure employees know what they should and shouldn’t do.

ISO 27001 information security management system
There are numerous ways an organisation can protect against cyber-crime. Choosing an internationally recognised standard that provides an auditable method of monitoring, protecting and managing information is one option.
Achieving ISO 27001 certification provides a framework of policies and procedures that will help prevent a security breach and limit the impact of a cyber-attack.

Using experienced consultants, you will be guided through the process, identifying any risks and tailoring the management process to your individual requirements. This will help to keep costs and disruption to a minimum should an incident occur.

Other benefits include:
  • Customers and business partners will have more confidence in your ability to keep their information safe.
  • Continuity of supply following an attack.
  • More reliable systems for storage of information.

ISO 27001 provides for a regular auditing procedure so you can continually improve your processes and keep up to date with the latest security measures to stay one step ahead of the criminals.

 

Cyber_crimeAccording to the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses, The Voice July/August 2014), a smaller number of businesses are experiencing information security breaches and cyber attacks than a year ago.


This sounds like good news but the downside is that the cost of dealing with incidents has increased significantly (research carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers).


In 2012, the average cost of the worst security breach they experienced was between £35,000 and £65,000 and in 2013 it was between £65,000 and £115,000. These amounts are significant enough to severely damage your business.


Think about all of the data that your organisation stores on digital devices; client and employee information, business critical data, accounting records.


Prevention is always better than cure and one way to mitigate the risks of cyber crime is to have a robust system of management in place. This will not only minimise the chances of a breach but will also reduce its impact on the business, should an attack get through your defences.


It’s not just the cost of rectification that can damage your company; recent high profile cases have shown that a company’s reputation is also at stake.


Information Security Management System (ISMS)
ISO 27001 accreditation provides an auditable management process to international standards and provides a structure to help you improve the security of your information.


The management process you implement will provide a “best practice” system that will help you to identify the risks and maintain the necessary controls to minimise or eliminate the possibility of a security breach.


ISO 27001 certification will demonstrate that your company’s security management system has been independently assessed and verified.


Benefits of ISO 27001 certification include:

 

  • An internationally endorsed best practice framework to manage cyber threats and attacks
  • Supplier and customer confidence in your security systems
  • Reduces costs if a breach does occur
  • Protects your company’s reputation
  • A plan to limit data loss and return business systems to normal


ISO 27001 auditors
You should always use a trusted certification body, which is UKAS accredited.


This is a specialist area and you will need an experienced auditor to work with your team to provide a system that will work for your particular information protection requirements.


Ideally they will have experience of your particular industry sector and can use their knowledge of best practice to provide the best possible system.