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ISO for Startups: Everything a Startup Needs to Know about ISO Certification.

Building a startup isn’t easy in fact it is always a learning process for everyone whether the startup is being built by a new entrepreneur or by a person who has already built numerous businesses in the past. However, every business has its own challenges, so any two startups can’t have the same experience with –

  • Funding, 
  • Product Development, 
  • Client Acquisition, or 
  • Other Aspects of Launching a Company.

However, in the similar manner the startups’ compliance needs can also vary considerably. Because, there are numerous regulations and standards for the businesses in technology, for the businesses in healthcare, and so on! 

In some cases, a business may need to document its compliance with several standards. But if you’re in a business that uses secure data in any way then obtaining ISO 27001 will be among them. 

The basics of ISO 27001 –

In simple words, ISO 27001 is an information security standard that was developed by the “International Organization for Standardization”. However, the key focus of this security standard is your “Information Security Management System”. Putting it in other words, this information security standard has been designed to determine that whether you have the security controls in place for properly securing the data you use.

For What Kinds of Businesses  the ISO 27001 Certification is Needed?

ISO 27001 is not a law which means it isn’t legally required. But, it is also true that most of the organizations whether they’re the potential customers of your business or may be your business’ potential partners, won’t be interested in doing business with your organization if you’re not having ISO 27001 certification.

That means, the businesses that meet the following criteria should work towards getting ISO 27001 compliance and certification –

  • If your business collects, stores, transmits, or processes any form of data in any way,
  • And, if you want to do business outside your country.

How Can You Get ISO 27001 Certified?

The process for acquiring an ISO 27001 certification is a multi-step process. However, depending on multiple factors, the process can get longer for example: how prepared you are and how thorough your ISMS already is etc. But in general cases, people are required to follow the following steps to get their certification:

  • Assess your ISMS

Before you hire an auditor, you‘re required to be confident enough about your ISMS i.e. whether your ISMS will pass the ISO certification assessment or it requires some modifications. However, the best way to begin the assessment process is with your own assessment of your ISMS against the ISO 27001 controls so that you can see how you stack up. 

You can call it a ‘gap analysis’, however at, we can automate this for you by evaluating your ISMS while giving you a clear checklist of which controls you meet as per the ISO certification or which you don’t meet.

  • Fix Your ISMS

Once your gap analysis is done, you will be able to have a clear idea of what you need to do for bringing your ISMS to match to the standards of ISO 27001. So, now you can use this checklist to prioritize as well as to update your ISMS so that you can be confident enough that it will pass a formal ISO 27001 audit.

  • Choose an ISO 27001 Certification Provider

It’s important to know that the ISO has developed ISO 27001 and the organization doesn’t actually provide the certification which means you can only get the ISO 27001 certification from the third parties such 

However, the ISO organization has a list of standards that all of these third parties, their auditors, and the certifying organizations should adhere to.  So, you need to be sure to choose an ISO 27001 certification provider that adheres to all of these standards by ISO.

  • Complete the auditing process

Your ISO 27001 certification provider then starts a two-step auditing process where –

  • The first step is an informal readiness assessment which will take a cursory look at your ISMS for checking that if it measures up to the ISO 27001 standards or not. However, if your system passes the readiness assessment, then you’ll move on to the step two and that is the formal audit.
  • However, a formal audit can take a few weeks because in this audit the auditor will be thoroughly investigating your Information Security Management System. And, at the end of this audit, you’ll either be passed or failed based on what the auditor will find. 

In case you fail, you’ll have to bear the added expense of paying for a new audit once you will be done with fixing those issues. And, if you pass then your auditor will give you your full report along with your ISO 27001 certificate. However, you customers or partners may ask for both of these documents, so you should keep both of them secure.

  • Maintain future compliance

ISO 27001 Compliance is not a ‘do and forge thing’ i.e. it isn’t something that you once complete and then forget. But you will be required to have assessments each year for keeping your compliance up and running. However, for next two years, your auditor will only assess a few aspects of your ISMS randomly to see if they will still pass or not. 

If they do pass then you can maintain your certification and in case they don’t pass, then you’ll need to undergo another full audit for determining that if your certification stands or not. However, after three years, you’ll require a new full audit regardless to be recertified.

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