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ISO 27001 and IAM


Brendon Rod

Chief Evangelist

ISO 27001 and IAM Implementation Roadmap 

For any business to flourish in the current times, compliance with security is crucial.

So, understanding the compliance standards and how they will ironclad organizational security is essential. If your company is eyeing ISO 27001 certification (or recertification), ensuring the effectiveness of your controls is paramount. This ensures your information security management system aligns seamlessly with ISO 27001 requirements.

This is where ISO 27001 and IAM, aka Identity and Access Management, meet and greet and promise robust security with compliance architecture for your organization – irrespective of size and industry. 

Before delving into details of ISO 27001 implementation and how IAM supports this implementation, it is essential to understand the basics of ISO 27001 and its relation with IAM.

Keep reading to learn more.

Understanding ISO 27001: A Comprehensive Approach to Information Security Management

The ISO 27000 series, particularly ISO 27001, is recognized globally as a benchmark for information security.

This standard provides a framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS). At the heart of ISO 27001 is its focus on risk management – a critical aspect of information security management. By identifying, evaluating, and addressing risks to information assets, ISO 27001 helps organizations protect their data effectively.

A key component of ISO 27001 is its detailed set of controls and best practices outlined in Annex A, which organizations can implement based on their specific risk assessment. These controls cover various areas, including but not limited to Identity and Access Management (IAM), which is crucial for preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information.


In essence, ISO 27001’s comprehensive approach encompasses multiple facets of information security, ensuring a robust and resilient ISMS that safeguards the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of organizational data.


ISO 27001 Basics

The ISO 27001 standard underlines the need to implement robust methods like unique employee IDs or usernames.

This helps identify each employee uniquely. Closely tied to authentication and access control mechanisms, the identification ensures that only authorized personnel have access to crucial information assets. Additionally, ISO 27001 highlights the reasons for protecting and securing the confidentiality of your personal information and aligns them with legal requirements and privacy principles.         

Before delving into the ISO implementation roadmap, let’s understand what ISO is and how it works.


ISO 27001 History

Leading international standard, ISO is focused on information security.
It was published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The publication was in partnership with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).


ISO Framework and its Purpose

The ISO framework is a group of requirements for defining, implementing, operating, and improving your Information Security Management System (ISMS). ISO is the leading standard recognized by the ISO for information security.


The purpose of ISO 27001 is to protect your organization’s information systematically and cost-effectively. It safeguards an organization’s information regardless of its size or industry.


How Does ISO 27001 Work?

ISO 27001 has one significant philosophy that is based on a process of managing risks.
Figuring out where the risks are and then treating them through implementing security controls or safeguards.


ISO 27001:2022 Controls Overview

As we delve deeper into the relationship between IAM and ISO 27001, understanding the exhaustive scope of the ISO 27001:2022 standard is critical.

This latest iteration of the standard includes 93 controls, grouped into four distinct categories:

  • Clause 5: Organizational Controls (37 controls): These focus on overall organizational policies and structures.
  • Clause 6: People Controls (8 controls): These are centered on the management and security of human resources.
  • Clause 7: Physical Controls (14 controls): This category deals with the physical security aspects.
  • Clause 8: Technological Controls (34 controls): These controls are related to the security of information systems and technology.

Understanding these categories is vital for a comprehensive approach to information security.

Identity and Access Management and ISO 27001

Identity and Access Management play significant roles in various ISO 27001 controls.
A robust IAM solution can have a substantial impact on ISO audits, especially in a rapidly digitalizing world.

Understanding ISO 27001 Controls and Acsense’s Alignment

ISO 27001 is a comprehensive framework for managing and securing information assets.

Central to this framework is the Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is a systematic approach comprising policies, procedures, and technical measures used to protect and manage an organization’s sensitive information. An ISMS is designed to ensure data security by proactively managing risks and ensuring ongoing compliance with international standards.


Acsense’s Alignment with ISO 27001 Organizational and Technological Controls


A 5.1-5.37: Organizational Controls

  • Information Security Aspects of Business Continuity Management (BCM):
    • Acsense’s Role: Acsense’s robust backup and recovery solutions, including an up-to-date hot standby tenant for immediate failover, align with the BCM aspects of ISO 27001. This alignment is crucial for ensuring data protection during operational disruptions, which can range from natural disasters to ransomware attacks or internal changes like acquisitions.
    • Redundancy Measures: Acsense supports the redundancy principle by maintaining an inventory of spare parts and duplicate hardware and software, which is vital for business continuity.
  • Compliance:
    • Acsense’s Role in Compliance: Under regulations like GDPR, organizations face substantial penalties for information security failures. Acsense supports ISO 27001 compliance by providing recoverability reports, continuous data integrity checks, and a robust audit log of activities and changes, ensuring organizations are prepared for compliance risks and audits.

A 8.1-8.34: Technological Controls

  • Operations Security:
    • Acsense’s Role: For securing information processing facilities and systems as part of the ISMS, Acsense aligns with configuration management capabilities. This includes managing and replicating multiple environments and backing them up, which is essential for organizations with a heavy technological focus.

Through these alignments, Acsense not only provides specific IAM resilience solutions for key ISO 27001 controls but also enhances the overall security posture and compliance readiness of your organization.


Acsense’s Role in ISO 27001 Compliance

Acsense’s IAM Resilience Platform specifically contributes to certain controls within ISO 27001:2022. Our platform plays a significant role in enhancing Technological Controls by providing robust cloud-based IAM solutions that align with the standard’s requirements. However, it’s important to note that Acsense is not a blanket solution for all ISO 27001 controls but focuses on delivering targeted improvements in key areas.

Benefits of ISO 27001 Certification For Better IAM

There are numerous benefits of ISO 27001 certification for better IAM.

Let’s learn how exactly ISO 27001 certification will benefit your organization. 

1. Enhanced Information Security

ISO 27001 offers a broad framework for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). With ISO controls, your organizations can identify and mitigate information security risks. The result is better security of your sensitive data.

2. Reduced Risk of Data Breaches

One of the most significant benefits an ISO27001 certification offers organizations is minimizing the likelihood of cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security incidents. Thus ensuring organizations save huge costs of legal and financial repercussions. ISO 27001 does this by identifying and proactively addressing risks and vulnerabilities.

3. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

ISO 27001 is essential when your organization wants to avoid penalties, fines, and damage to its reputation. ISO 27001 helps your organization align with legal and regulatory compliance requirements for information security and data protection.

4. Competitive Advantage

ISO 27001 gives you a competitive edge because numerous customers, clients, and partners prefer to work with businesses that have proven their commitment to data security and compliance.

Identity and Access Management and ISO 27001

ISO 27001 and Identity and Access Management are crucial for your organization’s online health and safety.


Reason: Identity and Access Management play significant roles in various ISO 27001 controls. But that’s not all. A robust IAM solution has a substantial and successful impact on ISO audits.


The need for robust Identity and Access Management must be addressed in the current scenario, where digitalization occurs at  breakneck speed.


The ISO 27001 Implementation Roadmap

Phase 1: Initiating the Process

Phase 1 helps define the objectives of the Information Security Management System (ISMS).

It considers the business goals and information security requirements of an organization. It outlines the ISMS scope and identifies the system’s boundaries and applicability. This is where an individual or a team responsible for monitoring the ISO 27001 implementation is designated. The selected individual or the team is considered a bridge between top management and the rest of the organization.

Phase 2: Leadership and Commitment

This is where the top management commits to their support and actively participates in implementing ISO 27001.

This is also the phase where the team responsible for ISO implementation communicates the importance of information security and the benefits of ISO 27001 certification to the entire organization. This is where each role and responsibility of an individual is clearly defined in the ISMS implementation. The step aims to ensure that everyone understands their roles in information security maintenance and contributes to ISMS’s success.

Phase 3: Planning

In this phase, your organization must conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify and evaluate potential threats and vulnerabilities to information security.

This is also where you develop a risk treatment plan to address and mitigate those identified risks.
The organization’s risk appetite is also considered here. This is where the team creates a framework for the ISMS, which includes policies, procedures, and documentation.

This is also the phase where the processes required for the ISMS are clearly defined, keeping in mind the organization’s structure, operations, and information security requirements.

Phase 4: Implementation

This is the step where the team develops and communicates information security policies. The policies are aligned with the organization’s objectives and legal/regulatory requirements.

This is also where the team ensures that all policies are understood and followed at all levels of the organization. This is where the team needs to implement all the necessary controls to address identified risks and vulnerabilities. The team implements security measures and safeguards to protect information assets, both physical and digital.

Phase 5: Performance Evaluation

The team establishes a system to monitor and measure the performance of the ISMS against the set objectives here.

It also implements the key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the effectiveness of information security controls. Conducting regular internal audits is another way to evaluate performance, and the team does it to assess ISO 27001 requirements compliance and the effectiveness of the ISMS.

Further, the team identifies the areas of improvement and takes corrective actions based on audit findings. 

Phase 6: Improvement

This is the first step in the last phase of ISO 27001 implementation, and it addresses non-conformities and issues identified during internal audits or through other monitoring mechanisms.

It is where the team/individual implements corrective actions to rectify problems and deploy preventive measures to avoid recurrence. This is where the team needs to conduct regular interviews with top management to assess ISMS performance and whether it is aligned with the business goals or not. The team then uses management reviews to make informed decisions about further improvements, resource allocation, and the ISMS’s overall effectiveness.

Conclusion: Enhancing IAM Resilience with Acsense and Okta

As the digital security landscape evolves, integrating sophisticated IAM solutions like Okta with Acsense’s robust data protection, backup, and recovery capabilities becomes crucial.

While Okta excels in managing access and identities, Acsense complements this by fortifying the resilience of your information security infrastructure, particularly in areas emphasized by ISO 27001:2022.

At Acsense, we understand that true resilience in IAM extends beyond just managing access. It involves protecting the very data and systems that identities interact with. Our platform seamlessly aligns with Okta’s IAM solutions, providing an additional layer of security through continuous data protection, efficient backup solutions, and comprehensive compliance with audit logging requirements, ensuring adherence to ISO 27001 standards.

Contact us to explore how the synergy of Acsense and Okta can transform your approach to IAM and data security.


1. What are the ten steps to implement ISO 27001?

  1. The ten steps to implement ISO 27001 are:
  2. Organizational context
  3. External organizational context
  4. Information security policy
  5. Management approval
  6. Risk assessment
  7. Risk treatment plan
  8. Risk measures
  9. Statement of applicability
  10. Internal audit
  11. Management review

2. How to Implement ISO 27001 Step by Step:

  1. Understand Requirements: Familiarize yourself with ISO 27001 standards and Annex A controls.
  2. Define Scope: Decide which parts of your organization the ISMS will cover.
  3. Risk Assessment: Identify and analyze security risks to your information assets.
  4. Implement Controls: Select and apply suitable controls from Annex A to mitigate risks.
  5. Develop Policies: Create security policies and procedures based on the controls.
  6. Training and Awareness: Educate employees and stakeholders about security practices.
  7. Internal Audits: Regularly audit the ISMS for compliance and effectiveness.
  8. Management Review: Have top management periodically review the ISMS.
  9. Continual Improvement: Continuously refine and enhance the ISMS based on audit and review findings.

3. What is the ISO 27001 standard implementation?

The ISO 27001 standard implementation applies a framework for an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS). ISO 27001 sets out the policies and procedures to protect an organization and includes all the legal, physical, and virtual risk controls required for strong security management.

4. What are the six stages of the ISO 27001 certification process?

The six stages of the ISO 27001 certification process are:

  1. To create a project plan
  2. Define the scope of your ISMS
  3. Perform a risk assessment and gap analysis
  4. Design and implement policies and controls
  5. Complete employee training
  6. Document and collect evidence

5. What is the Total Number of Controls in ISO 27001?

  • Current Edition (ISO 27001:2022): The latest version of ISO 27001, updated in 2022, encompasses a total of 93 controls. These are organized into four main categories, streamlining their structure for easier implementation and management.
  • Previous Edition (ISO 27001:2013): In contrast, the 2013 edition of ISO 27001 included 114 controls, which were categorized into 14 different groups. The reduction in the number of controls and restructuring in the 2022 update was aimed at improving clarity and applicability.

6. What is an ISMS (Information Security Management System)?

  1. Systematic Approach: Framework for managing sensitive organizational information securely.
  2. Risk Management: Identifies, evaluates, and addresses risks to information security.
  3. Policies and Procedures: Involves clear guidelines and protocols for managing information security.
  4. Security Measures: Includes both technical (like access control, encryption) and physical controls (like secure facilities).
  5. Continuous Monitoring: Regular reviews and updates to adapt to evolving threats and business needs.
  6. Standard Compliance: Ensures adherence to information security standards such as ISO 27001.
  7. Goal: Protects information from threats, ensures legal compliance, and maintains data integrity and confidentiality.




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