Why risk assessments are crucial for ISO 27001 compliance

Experts often say that risk assessments are the most important part of an organisation’s ISO 27001 compliance project, but why is this?

ISO 27001 risk assessments are designed to provide an accurate snapshot of the threats facing an organisation’s information security at a given point in time. They are intended to help organisations discover which incidents could occur and then find the most appropriate ways to avoid them.

How does this help?

The most significant benefit of this approach is that it helps organisations proactively design security controls based on a cost–benefit analysis that’s appropriate to their business needs.

It’s impossible to account for every eventuality, industry type, business size and situation in standards and laws, so organisations should take this into account. This begins with identifying the organisation’s context: its business, specific needs, and legal, regulatory and contractual obligations.

The risk assessment process is designed to follow from this understanding, which means that the resulting security environment is suited to the organisation’s situation.

Security is designed on a cost–benefit basis, so it’s possible for an organisation to undertake the risk assessment process and discover it has ‘too much’ security in place. Accredited certification to ISO 27001 is awarded for an appropriate level of information security management, not for the highest level of security control. Too much security is as bad for a business as too little.

Get help with your risk assessments

The significance of an effective ISO 27001 risk assessment means many organisations seek help. It’s important to research what you’re trying to achieve before deciding on your course of action.

Our ISO 27001 risk assessment page guides you through the assessment process and the steps organisations should take. You can also take a look at our resources, including a green paper, books, software and training courses.

Read more about ISO 27001 risk assessments >>