ISO 27001 Certification Cost

Join us as we learn more about ISO 27001 certification and how much your organization should expect to spend to get certified.

Robust cybersecurity and compliance for SaaS are among the top concerns of today's SaaS providers and other corporate boards. To meet these demands, many companies choose ISO 27001 certification. It shows their commitment to managing information security and following best practices for protecting sensitive data.

Although ISO 27001 is valuable, it has significant implementation and maintenance costs. This page examines the overall cost of ISO 27001 certification and whether it is worth your investment.

Is ISO 27001 Certification Worth It?

Pursuing ISO 27001 certification is worth it. It helps your organization avoid the costs of breaches. Meeting all the requirements gives you a clear advantage in the competitive business world. It shows to customers, partners, and shareholders that you have taken solid steps to protect their valuable data. Being ISO 27001-certified helps reduce the risks of data breaches. It also ensures sustainable business continuity if an event occurs.

Why ISO 27001 Certification Is Important

When evaluating a company's ISO 27001 certification cost, it is important to undertake a cost-benefit analysis. Here are some of the reasons to consider:

Reduce Cybersecurity Risks

ISO 27001 supports businesses by systematically implementing a practical, proactive approach to cyber risk management. Its structured approach assesses and prioritizes risks while implementing corresponding controls to proactively address them. This, in turn, can greatly reduce the probability and impact of data breaches and other cyber incidents. Moreover, ISO 27001 compliance emphasizes incident response and business continuity planning, which ensures SMBs can better handle cyber-attacks and other business disruptions.

Showcase Solid Commitment to Data Security to Stakeholders

Security breaches are increasing in volume and complexity. Key business stakeholders, like customers and partners, are worried. They are worried about how organizations use their sensitive data. An ISO 27001 certification provides clear proof of your commitment to protecting valuable data. This is great for business growth as customers generally choose brands that take data security seriously.

Provides the Competitive Edge You Need to Entice New Business

It helps you show your best security practices to those you already serve. Also, it gives you a clear edge for attracting new business. As data security takes center stage, ISO 27001 certification is becoming a vital contractual requirement, especially for government and other lucrative contracts from international companies. Big clients understand the risk of sharing data with third parties. They know breaches can harm their brand. To them, this certification is a solid tool for choosing a supplier.

Ensures Ongoing Compliance With Regulatory Requirements

ISO 27001 incorporates a methodology that ensures compliance and assurance within a business. A comprehensive risk assessment is required to achieve and maintain certification over time. During the risk evaluation, organizations assess current processes. They identify and fix weaknesses that could stop them from meeting regulations. As a result, ISO 27001 certification ensures ongoing compliance with annual audits, proving your organization is secure both now and well prepared for any future eventualities.

Improve Operational Efficiency

Before being ISO 27001 certified, organizations must evaluate and enhance several internal processes regarding cybersecurity. Meeting these requirements has added benefits. They include new operational efficiencies, automated workflows, and effective data asset management. The overall result is greater cost savings, faster processes, happier customers, and improved reputation.

Who Needs to be ISO 27001 Certified?

ISO 27001 aims to show stakeholders that your organization sees security as a top priority. While it isn't a legal requirement, customers and partners may require the certification before you can do business with them. With that said, ISO 27001 certification is for organizations that handle customer data, such as SaaS providers. Here are the industries that need an ISO 27001 certification process based on the sensitive data they manage:

How to Become ISO 27001 Certified

Obtaining the ISO 27001 certification isn't quick or easy. Consequently, you need to plan on spending significant time and resources to become compliant and certified. The compliance journey involves the following key steps:

Step 1: Assign Roles and Prepare Your Team

The first step to getting ISO 27001 certification is to assign certain employees or contractors to some compliance tasks. The team's overall goal is to oversee the project and ensure a smooth implementation process.

Step 2: Define ISMS Scope

ISO 27001 specifies the key requirements you must meet to be certified. But, how you meet these requirements is based on many factors. These include your information, operations, and more. So, it is crucial to set the scope of your information security management system (ISMS). Do this before starting your certification journey.

Step 3: Evaluate the Current Security Posture

The next step is undertaking an internal risk assessment to ascertain your security posture. This analysis provides insights on how your ISMS could be breached or failed. You will implement ISO 27001 in a manner that minimizes the identified risks.

Step 4: Implement Security Controls and Document Policies

After identifying all potential risks, address each gap and choose the controls to implement in Annex A or the controls to minimize the risks. Leverage this resource to develop a list of controls to implement and ensure compliance with ISO 27001 standards.

Step 5: Train Your Internal Team

A vital requirement of ISO 27001 is to train your internal staff on security techniques to prevent data breaches. Staff training equips employees with skills to identify data breaches and how to mitigate them.

Step 6: Prepare for Audit Documents

Once you have added the needed security controls, prove they are there to your ISO 27001 auditor. Your auditor may also need other documents. These include the scope of your ISMS and the statement of applicability. Also, the information security policy, internal risk report, risk treatment plan, and any other needed document to show your ISMS works.

Step 7: Hire an External Auditor

The next step is to prepare for the assessment by choosing an external ISO 27001 certification auditor. It is worth noting that the International Organization for Standardization doesn't offer ISO certification itself. You obtain the certification through an independent body that adheres to ISO's CASCO standards.

Step 8: Undertake Preliminary Assessment

Most auditors will perform a preliminary screening to determine whether you meet the basic requirements for ISO 27001 certification. If this assessment reveals gaps, the auditor will inform you of areas of your ISMS that require improvement. If you pass the initial screening, you will move to the next step.

Step 9: Stage 1 Audit (Documentation Audit)

The next step is stage 1 of your ISO 27001 certification audit, commonly referred to as the documentation audit. During this stage, the auditor assesses your ISMS's documentation. They do this to determine the security controls you are using. If you fail this evaluation, the auditor provides remedial actions you should take before moving to the next stage.

Step 10: Stage 2 Audit (Compliance Audit)

This stage is also called the compliance audit. It involves testing the controls in your ISMS and verifying that they work as intended. If this audit reveals gaps or failures that compromise your security, the auditor provides remedial actions to take. If you pass this stage, you will be declared compliant. You will be issued your ISO 27001 certification.

How Much Does ISO 27001 Certification Cost?

The ISO 27001 certification cost for a company varies based on several factors. The top factors that impact the cost are organization size and ISMS system complexity. The certifying organization and the external auditor you choose matter. On average, this cost ranges from $6000 for small businesses. It's over $40000 for large businesses with intricate systems. Here is a detailed breakdown of these costs:

ISO 27001 Standard

Documents detailing the ISO 27001 standard and implementation guide are not available to the public, meaning you need to purchase them. In total, acquiring these documents will cost you an average of $350.

Internal Audit

An internal audit done by an expert internal employee is required as part of ISO 27001 compliance. The cost of internal audit ranges from $0-$6000.

Gap Analysis

As outlined in the above steps, you need an external auditor to assess the areas of your ISMS that are not compliant with ISO 27001. Hiring an external auditor for this process costs between $5000 to $8000.

Penetration Testing

You also need a pen test to test your information security and reveal any vulnerability that actors can exploit. This may cost you between $5000 to $20,000, depending on the complexity of your system.

Training Costs

Security training for all employees is a requirement of ISO 27001. The cost of the training depends on the type of training and the size of staff. It also depends on the consultant you hire to conduct the training. If you are doing the training through a consultant, expect to pay approximately $15,000 per training session.

Security Tools and Software

Some ISO 27001 certification requirements involve buying and implementing new software that protects you. Expect to pay upwards of $10,000 for these tools.

Continuously Monitoring and Updating Controls

ISO 27001 certification requires organizations to implement a continuous improvement strategy for screening systems for breach attempts and security gaps. Although your inner team can do this, it will eat a significant amount of their time each year. Hiring an external consultant will set you back $6000 to $8000.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 Audit Costs

Typically, the two audit stages are packaged together in terms of cost. Expect to pay anything from $14,000 to $16,000 for this process.

Surveillance Audit and Recertification Costs

Your ISO 27001 certification is valid for a maximum of three years. You need to undertake regular surveillance audits and recertification audits to maintain compliance with ISO 27001 requirements. Failing a surveillance audit will force you to go through a full recertification audit once more. Once the three-year term ends, you have to renew the certification through a full audit. Each recertification audit costs between $14,000 to $16,000, while surveillance audits cost approximately $6000 to $7500.

Is it Hard to Get ISO 27001 Certification?

As outlined above, becoming certified isn't a quick-fix affair. Several steps are involved. They range from defining your ISMS scope to training your team on ISO 27001 certification and doing thorough audits. The time to get the certification varies by organization. It depends on many factors. Consequently, you should expect to spend approximately one year to be fully compliant and certified.

What is the Value of ISO 27001 Certification?

Although achieving certification is costly, it offers unmatched value for your organization. First, ISO 27001 processes can help you systematically and proactively manage and protect sensitive information, reducing the risk of data breaches and cyber threats. This can be a valuable achievement in the current highly volatile cybersecurity world. To pass the certification exam, organizations must demonstrate clear business continuity plans that help them continue to operate in the face of disruptive events.

Getting certified helps you comply with many laws, rules, and contracts about information security. It can also help you win and keep customer trust. Your organization shows commitment to high information security. It does this by showing clients, partners, and stakeholders a certification. Being ISO 27001 certified also differentiates your organization from competitors, providing a competitive edge in markets where information security is a critical factor.

Should I Get ISO 27001 Certified?

If you are an international business aiming for any security certification that guarantees immense benefits beyond improving your cybersecurity posture, then it should be ISO 27001. As mentioned, most big organizations, including multi-national corporations, need you to be certified. They need this before they can do business with you. An ISO 27001 certification, therefore, gives you a clear advantage against competition by demonstrating security is a top priority for your business.

Obtaining certification, however, can be costly. Creating compliant ISMS is expensive. It involves preparing documentation, training employees, and completing certification audits. These tasks can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take up many hours. Outsourcing your certification needs can be an effective way to reduce these costs and achieve greater efficiency.

Trava Can Help You Achieve ISO 27001 Certification

If you need help to become ISO 27001 certified, our experts at Trava are ready to assist. We provide tailored compliance and cybersecurity advisory solutions designed to protect your digital assets and help your organization achieve fast compliance with new regulations. Allow us to guide you through your ISO 27001 certification journey with expertise and a personal touch. Contact us today.