What Is ISO 27001
April 21, 2020

What Is ISO 27001?

Security & Compliance
Static Analysis

ISO 27001 gives specific requirements that an organization must meet in order to be certified by an accredited certification body following the successful completion of an audit.

The standard is a part of the ISO 27000-series — also known as the ISMS Family of Standards — which is comprised of nearly 50 Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) standards.

Here we provide an overview of what is ISO 27001 and offer guidance on how a static analyzer can help you ensure ISO 27001 compliance.

Read along or jump ahead to the section that interests you the most:

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What Is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an information security standard and is designed to help all organizations — regardless of size and industry — effectively manage their information and data security processes. It outlines requirements for how organizations must establish, implement, maintain, and improve an ISMS.

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Why Is ISO 27001 Important?

The information security standard compliance ensures that you've identified, assessed, and controlled risk. 

A critical part of the information security standard is cybersecurity risk management. This applies to:

  • External threats — such as cyberattacks.
  • Internal vulnerabilities — such as accidental breaches and human error.

Information Security Is Just One Part of Software Security

Ensuring security in software development is a challenge. That's why SAST — static application security testing — is so important. Learn more about SAST, security, and compliance.

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What Is An ISMS?

An ISMS is made up of people, processes, and technology to effectively manage information security.

Risk assessments are central to the success of an ISMS. They provide a set of controls to reduce the number of potential cyberthreats. And they offer guidance on how to capably manage the existing risks.

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What are the Benefits of ISO 27001 Compliance?

The five main benefits of complying with the information security standard include:

  1. Protects data and information from cyber vulnerabilities and threats.
  2. Demonstrates that contractual and regulatory requirements have been met.  
  3. Improves resilience to cyberattacks.
  4. Increases the ability to effectively respond to cybersecurity risks.
  5. Reduces costs associated with information security and cybersecurity.
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How to Ensure ISO 27001 Compliance?

Here's how to comply:

1. Conduct an Annual Cybersecurity Risk Assessment

You must conduct an annual cybersecurity risk assessment. For any vulnerabilities that are identified, you are required to implement adequate cybersecurity measures to address those gaps. And, you must keep clear, well-organized documentation for every measure that you take.

2. Follow Best Practice Controls

Next, you must compare your cybersecurity strategies against the 114 best-practice controls. These are outlined in Annex A of the standard.

For each control that you do not already have in place, you must either:

  • Implement the practice.
  • Provide written documentation for why those controls will not be implemented.

This collection of cybersecurity measures forms your ISMS, which must be then shared with your team along with cybersecurity best practices.

3. Get Inspected

Finally, you also need a certified external organization to conduct an inspection of your cybersecurity practices.

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How SAST Tools Can Help Ensure ISO 27001 Compliance

The information security standard may be applied to any part of an organization. In fact, you can determine the scope of the ISMS for certification purposes. It may be limited to, say, a single business unit or location.

What's more, the scope of your information security process may include areas where software is being developed. This could be a product or component that is shipped externally. Or it could be an application that is used internally.

Section A.14 describes controls that specifically relate to software development:

A.14.2.1 Secure development policy.

A.14.2.4 Restrictions on changes to software packages.

A.14.2.5 Secure system engineering principles.

A.14.2.6 Secure development environment.

A.14.2.8 System security testing.

A.14.2.9 System acceptance testing.

This is where static application security testing (SAST)  can help.

SAST tools — such as static code analyzers — inspect and analyze an application’s code to discover security vulnerabilities. Detecting these vulnerabilities is crucial, as they can leave systems open to:

  • Denial of service (DoS).
  • Leakage of private data.
  • Unauthorized changes to system behavior.

But prevention is better than cure — and a static code analyzer helps prevent the introduction of code security vulnerabilities by helping you enforce a secure coding standard.

By using a SAST tool — like Klocwork —you can accelerate compliance by:

  • Enforce coding standards and detect rule violations.
  • Detect compliance issues earlier in development.
  • Accelerate code reviews and manual testing efforts.
  • Report on compliance over time and across product versions.

Ensure Compliance With Klocwork

Klocwork is the ideal SAST tool, as it enables you to apply secure coding standards — such as CERT, CWE, and OWASP — or create custom standards and rules for your needs.

This means you can create a specific information security standard in-product to enforce the software development guidelines you need to make meeting certification requirements easier.

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