Data security is a significant concern for businesses and consumers in today's digital landscape. Governments worldwide have responded by instituting stringent security regulations designed to protect sensitive information, and while companies are required to comply with all applicable laws, businesses that want to demonstrate their unwavering commitment to data security are turning to ISO 27001 certification. This globally recognized standard is a tangible testament to a company's dedication to safeguarding data and provides a competitive edge in an increasingly security-conscious marketplace.
As a leading company that actively develops cutting-edge technology solutions for advertisers and publishers, MGID recognizes the extreme importance of data security. To instill extra confidence in our partners, we sought out and recently earned an ISO 27001 certification.
In this blog post, we'll delve into what ISO 27001 certification entails, its significance, and its benefits for MGID and our clients.
What is ISO 27001 Certification?
ISO, short for the International Organization for Standardization, is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops and publishes standards for various industries and sectors. ISO 27001 is a globally recognized standard focused on information security management systems (ISMS). It provides a framework for organizations to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve their information security processes, ensuring comprehensive data protection and risk management. Only companies that comply with these standards can earn the certification.
ISO 27001 Certification Requirements
Obtaining ISO 27001 certification is no easy feat, as organizations must meet rigorous requirements. While the specific implementation varies depending on organizational size, industry, and context, the core elements remain the same. Some of the main requirements include:
- Establishing and Documenting the ISMS: Businesses need to define the scope of the ISMS, identify assets, assess risks, and implement controls to mitigate those risks, all of which must be clearly documented and accessible to all stakeholders.
- Implementing Security Controls: Robust controls must be in place to manage and monitor user access to sensitive information, ensuring that only authorized personnel can access and modify data.
- Conducting Regular Risk Assessment: Organizations must routinely thoroughly assess information security risks to identify new vulnerabilities and ensure the ISMS can effectively mitigate risks.
- Having an Incident Response and Management Plan: Businesses should have procedures and protocols for promptly detecting, responding to, and recovering from security incidents.
- Conducting Employee Awareness and Training: Organizations must invest in training and awareness programs to educate employees about information security best practices.
ISO 27001 Certification Process
The journey toward ISO 27001 certification is an intense and strict process that can take several months to complete. It's divided into two main stages - a preliminary assessment of the organization's ISMS and a full audit of the organization's ISMS – but there are several steps within those. Here's a look at the process MGID and all other companies go through:
- Initiate the Process: First, our partner team from Sekurno conducted an initial assessment to identify any gaps between our existing security measures and the ISO 27001 requirements.
- Prepare Documentation: We prepared a set of documents that describe our ISMS and were compliant with the requirements of ISO 27001.
- Conduct an Internal Audit: We conducted an internal audit of the ISMS to assess its compliance with the standards, which enabled us to identify areas where the ISMS needed improvement and address non-conformities.
- Undergo the Certification Audit: An auditor from the certification body reviewed our documentation, interviewed key personnel, and observed our operations to determine if we were compliant.
- Receive the Certification: We were found to be compliant during our audit and were issued our ISO 27001 certificate.
ISO 27001 Certification Benefits/ Why is ISO 27001 Certification Important?
By actively pursuing ISO certification, organizations can demonstrate a commitment to industry best practices, ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information assets, and establish themselves as leaders in data security. Additional benefits of attaining an ISO 27001 certification include:
- Customer Confidence: ISO certification is a powerful indicator that an organization prioritizes the security and confidentiality of its data. It instills trust and confidence in services and provides clients peace of mind.
- Reduced Risk of Data Breaches: Given that global attacks increased by 28% in Q3 of 2022 compared to the same period in 2021, any steps that harden our security posture are ones we take. The standard requires organizations to implement security controls, such as access control, encryption, and incident response, reducing the likelihood of becoming a victim.
- Operational Efficiency and Cost Savings: ISO standards promote best practices and efficiency in management systems, processes, and environmental sustainability. By implementing these standards, companies streamline operations, reduce risks, and realize long-term cost savings.
- Competitive Advantage and Differentiation: Although every organization can apply for an ISO 27001 certification, many choose not to take the extra steps or incur additional costs. When a business differentiates itself positively, it strengthens relationships with current customers, helps attract new business, and improves market share.
What Does the ISO 27001 Certification Mean for MGID Clients?
At MGID, ISO 27001 certification translates into tangible benefits for our clients. With this certification, we can provide the following assurances:
Securing Information in All Forms: We are committed to safeguarding information in all its forms, including data our clients share. ISO 27001 certification ensures that our robust security measures extend across our organization.
Increased Resilience to Cyberattacks: With ISO 27001, we have fortified our defenses against evolving cyber threats, and our comprehensive security measures and incident response protocols enable us to mitigate risks and minimize the impact of potential attacks.
Organization-Wide Protection: Our certification encompasses technological solutions and policies and procedures governing employee practices, ensuring a holistic approach to data security throughout our organization.
Responsive to Evolving Security Threats: By adhering to ISO standards, we're committed to continually adapting our security measures to address emerging threats and ensuring that the security tools we invest in provide the highest level of protection.
To secure our certification, we implemented or enhanced specific policies that control a wide range of processes, including our:
- Acceptable Use Policy
- Document Management Policy
- Human Resources Security Policy
- Information Classification Policy
- User Access Management Policy
These policies facilitate quality control processes, inspections, testing, and monitoring, ensuring that our services consistently meet specified requirements. As an ISO-certified company, we can protect our clients from potential issues and demonstrate our ability to meet customer needs, enhance our customers' experience, and continuously improve our services.
While the ISO 27001 certification process was a significant undertaking, our security team from Sekurno actively helped us prepare for and pass the certification process. We continue to partner with them to guarantee data protection and the overall security of our digital infrastructure.
Securing the Future of MGID
MGID's successful achievement of ISO 27001 certification underscores our unwavering commitment to data security. In addition to the requirements we've already met, we are constantly improving and strengthening our information security management system and implementing new policies and standards to enhance our security management. In an increasingly digital world, safeguarding our clients' valuable data will always be our top priority.