What is an ISMS?

ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management System

An Information Security Management System (ISMS) outlines and demonstrates an organization’s management strategies for information security. The basic goal is to protect three aspects of information: confidentiality, integrity and availability. The ISMS defines how an organization identifies risks and opportunities in relation to valuable information and associated assets, and how it will overcome these risks and opportunities. 

An ISMS has a set of rules that a company needs to establish. The purpose of these rules is to: 

  1. Identify stakeholders and interested parties and their expectations of the company’s information security
  2. Set clear objectives on what needs to be achieved with the ISMS
  3. Identify any potential risks and opportunities 
  4. Define controls and mitigation methods to prevent or combat risks and meet expectations 
  5. Implement controls and other risk treatment methods
  6. Continuously measure controls and actions to ensure they are performing as expected
  7. Continuously improve the ISMS 

When implementing ISO 27001, the standard will help you ensure that you meet all 7 steps through policies, procedures and other types of documents.

The Purpose of the ISMS

Overall, an ISMS is a combined set of controls that help combat security breaches. Without having a framework and processes in place, information security becomes unmanageable. The benefits of implementing an ISMS, like ISO 27001, allow your organization to protect all forms of information, including digital, paper-based, intellectual property, data, personal information and more. The better and more organized your ISMS is, the more resilient and protected your company will become from data and information breaches.


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