After several months in final draft mode, ISO 27001 has been published as an official standard. It essentially defines an Information Security Management System and compliments the ISO 17799 ‘code of practice’ standard. These two standards are closely aligned, but fulfill clear and distinct roles:
ISO 17799 details many hundreds of individual security controls, which may be selected and applied as part of the security management system.
ISO 27001 specifies the requirements for the security management system itself. It is this standard, as opposed to ISO 17799, against which certification is offered. ISO 27001 has also been “harmonized” to be compatible with other management standards, such as ISO 9000 and ISO 14000.
The publication of the new standard, earlier versions of which were published as BS7799-2, is likely to herald a rapid increase in interest in both information security and certification. Organizations already certified under BS7799-2 will embark on a transitional route, whereas the international status of the new certification standard is bound to have a global impact in terms of numbers following the certification route generally.