An Introduction To ISO 27001 (ISO27001)

The ISO 27001 standard was published in October 2005, essentially replacing the old BS7799-2 standard. It is the specification for an ISMS, an Information Security Management System. BS7799 itself was a long standing standard, first published in the nineties as a code of practice. As this matured, a second part emerged to cover management systems. It is this against which certification is granted. Today in excess of a thousand certificates are in place, across the world.

On publication, ISO 27001 enhanced the content of BS7799-2 and harmonized it with other standards. A scheme was been introduced by various certification bodies for conversion from BS7799 certification to ISO27001 certification.

The objective of the standard itself is to "provide requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continuously improving an Information Security Management System (ISMS)". Regarding its adoption, this should be a strategic decision. Further, "The design and implementation of an organization's information security management system is influenced by the organization's needs and objectives, security requirements, the organizational processes used and the size and structure of the organization".

The 2005 version of the standard heavily employed the PDCA, Plan-Do-Check-Act model to structure the processes, and reflect the principles set out in the OECG guidelines (see However, the latest, 2013 version, places more emphasis on measuring and evaluating how well an organisation's ISMS is performing. A section on outsourcing was also added with this release, and additional attention was paid to the organisational context of information security.

For further information, see our page explaining the ISO27001 Certification Process


The content sections of the standard are:

  • Context Of The Organization
  • Information Security Leadership
  • Planning An ISMS
  • Support
  • Operation
  • Performance Evaluation
  • Improvement
  • Annex A - List of controls and their objectives

ISO27001, ISO 27001 Certification