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Strategic Guide to becoming an ISO 27001 Certified Lead Implementer

May 2022 by MARIA FORSBERG

Information is a valuable asset in any organization, irrespective of its forms such as printed, written, or electronically stored. Organizations are now duty-bound to foresee how their information is regulated, how it is used, and how it is protected by vendors. Organizations are also expected to assess how the expectations of their customers and trading partners affect their pre-existing Information Security Management processes.

 

Managing information security goes far beyond keeping hackers out of an IT network. It has grown from a departmental issue to a corporate governance issue, that demands professional management and oversight as per the international standards. Moreover, many high-profile IT security violations have recently brought to the fore, an urgent need to protect critical data in organizations, especially in the era of Internet-of-Things. Therefore, the Information Security Management System (ISMS) is put in place to protect proprietary data in order to prevent security breaches. The stakeholders expect accountability with respect to confidentiality as well as the availability of the data. It would be a major setback for an organization to have its sensitive information hacked or stolen.

 

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But, how to know if the organization's information security is good enough to address all of these expectations?

ISO 27001 is an Information Security standard that provides mandates for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an ISMS (Information Security Management System). It is a holistic process adopted to manage IT-related risks and information security for an organization. The ISO 27001 Lead Implementer certification attests your ability to implement the formal structure, governance, and policy of an ISO 27001 conforming Information Security Management System (ISMS).

An ISMS based on the international standard ISO/IEC 27001 will help you in implementing an effective framework to establish, manage and continually improve the security of your information. The organization can further get proof of its adherence to these standards by getting a respected ISO/IEC 27001 certification.

 

Why should your Boss consider getting you ISO certified?

Most often companies do not invest in maintaining ISO standards for numerous reasons:

  • Their clients have never actually heard of ISO standards
  • The Company is hardly concerned about cybersecurity
  • Management thinks it’s too difficult for their team to handle
  • It’s too expensive and they cannot see a return on investment

The top reason is that the regular security budgets are not very helpful in developing an organization that conforms to ISO standards. While assessing the ISO standards that actually help, companies don’t go any further, and the ones that do, get lost in the paperwork. It’s only when the framework is fully customized and implemented, that you see the true benefits of ISO standardization and its certified professionals.

For the last decade, ISO 27001 certification has been the de facto standard for security programs across the globe and why companies often fail to adhere is because:

  • Grossly underestimating the level of effort
  • For Marketing their products
  • Doing it just to land a big contract
  • Tying the certification to an overtly aspirational deadline
  • Undervaluing the help of an ISO certified professional
  • Having unclear business goals in mind.

These reasons are usually exacerbated by not getting senior leadership support, and then failing to tailor ISO to the company’s needs. This is why very often organizations end up with a stalled project and an external consultant taking all the blame. No wonder, ISO 27001 certification is surely becoming a must-have for almost any business now.

 

How will ISO benefit your organization?

  1. Customer Satisfaction: Assure customers that their confidential data is safe and secure leading to better trust
  2. Legal Compliance: Comply with statutory and regulatory guidelines to avoid legal issues and unnecessary fines.
  3. Effective Risk Management: ISO 27001 certification will assist in ensuring that sensitive customer information is protected against cybercrime.
  4. Business Growth: Customers will be sure of buying your products or services leading to a massive increase in sales and revenue.
  5. Due Recognition: Your company may become globally recognized with proven business credentials which will expand its market presence across the globe.
  6. More Contracts and Tenders: ISO standards are mandatory for government tenders or contracts, thus, ISO certification may be considered crucial in getting more business.

 

How will ISO certification help you as a Certified Lead Implementer Professional?

  • To begin with, you can help your organization set up an Information Security Management System.
  • As a Certified Lead Implementer Professional, you will be able to lead a team for the implementation of ISMS in an ISO-conformed organization.
  • A Certified Lead Implementer Professional is equipped to scale the implementation of ISMS throughout the organization.
  • You will gain the knowledge and skills required to manage and monitor the Information Security Management System in line with the current ISO 27001 standards of best practice.
  • You can play a pivotal role in ensuring that your organization successfully improves upon the protection of their data to meet their needs regarding market penetration and corporate governance.

Above all, you will be able to expand your competency in Information security and improve your resume which will open avenues for an increased earning potential.

Getting certified is fairly simple and can be accomplished completely online.

 

How to get qualified for the ISO 27001 LI Certification

  • Become a member of Certified Information Security (CIS): if you are not one already and pursue a CIS credential.
  • Attend the required course: live or online for your CIC credential. Prerequisite training to become eligible for ISO 27001 Lead Implementer certification includes:
    • Policy Workshop: ISO 31000 Enterprise Risk Management
    • Policy workshop: ISO 27001 Information Security Management
  • Pass the Certified ISO 27001 Lead Implementer Exams. For this certification, candidates must pass the two exams associated with Risk Management and ISMS. Exams are administered online and can be taken at the convenience of your home. You can also take the test through the CIS eLearning Center. Your exam results will be declared automatically upon completion of your exam.
  • Submit your professional endorsements and a CV: Certified ISO 27001 LI is an entry-level information security credential and does not require prior related experience. Complete your exams and submit your three Candidate Endorsement Forms to the Certification Department at CIS Headquarters. The completed application along with the documents can be e-mailed to: certification@certifiedinfosec.com
  • Gain final approval from the certification committee and become certified by CIS. You will officially become certified once your exam and other credentials are approved by the certification committee, after which your certification kit will be mailed to the provided address.

If you do not pass the prerequisite exams in your first attempt, after the completion of your required course and practice tests, the CIS will allow you re-takes at no additional charge until you successfully pass your certification exams.

 

What Options Do You Have While Approaching ISO Training And Certification?

1. Option 1: Enroll in a preparatory training program

If your employer is paying for your training and certification, you should consider purchasing Readynez’s complete ISO 27001 Lead Auditor training program. This will include all the needed resources, all required training programs, all recommended practice exams, and all required certification exams. Taking the right training program is a win-win for both you and your employer because it allows your company to purchase all of your necessary resources at once.

2. Option 2: Do the preparation yourself

If you are paying for it yourself, you may just want to go with the flow and practice free online test exams to get you ready for the finale. After you complete some practice exams and revisions, chances are that you’ll feel more confident and ready.

 

What does the Cost break-up look like?

The Required CIS Membership Application Fee and other dues sum up to a figure meandering around $100. There is an added cost of the required training for the Enterprise Risk Management exam and the Information Security Management systems exam, costing around $399 and $299 respectively, via the online mode. There are Instructor-led options as well, costs of which are variably higher as compared to the online option.

 

How difficult is the ISO 27001 exam?

The ISO 27001 standard itself is 30-odd pages long and has just 114 controls. However, for every control, there is an average of 4 additional aspects to consider from the 90-page long ISO 27002. The first ISO 27001 control is A.5.1.1 - which is a set of policies for information security that shall be defined and approved. Now, while this sounds simple, there are at least 19-20 suggested Guidance factors behind it. This does not necessarily mean that the exam is unpassable. It simply indicates that you should be prepared with a hundred percent commitment to the process from the very beginning.

 

How to sail through in the first attempt?

  • There is no special pre-condition to taking the exam, provided you have undergone the right preparatory training. You can attend the 3-day course, crafted by experts at Readynez, and ensure that you are setting yourself up for success from the beginning.
  • Revise all the quizzes to prepare your brain for the expected questions in the exam, although the revision tests are no match for the actual exam.
  • Study all the slides and make notes to revise later.
  • It is an open-book exam but this will not guarantee a passing score in the exam because it's hardly useful, looking at the questions asked.
  • Out of 80, half the questions are scenario-based, of which, 10-15 lines for each question. Some questions that are not scenario-based appear to be straightforward but need some out-of-the-box thinking to do. Some prior cybersecurity skills would definitely help.
  • You must try to answer all the questions completely within the first 2 hours and spend the remaining one hour revising your answers and attempting the unanswered questions left behind.
  • Do not be in a rush to finish the exam and wait to submit your sheet.
  • Attend an immersive online ISO 27001 Foundation training course
  • Get an understanding of ISO 27001 by reading the standard:

Usually, an ISO auditor reviews your company’s documentation to check that the ISMS has been developed in accordance with the Standard. You, as a certified professional, will be expected to present evidence of all critical aspects of the ISMS. The auditor will further analyze the policies and procedures in greater depth and check how the ISMS works on the ground, with an on-site investigation. The auditor will also interview key staff members to verify that all activities are undertaken as per the specifications of ISO 27001. Apart from having experience in implementing an ISMS within your organization, you will be expected to possess an ISO 27001 Lead Implementer training and certification, if you do not have one already.

No project can be successful without the support of the organization’s leadership. You will also be required to implement policies that induce employees to inculcate good habits such as a clean desk, locking computers before leaving their workstations, and so on. ISO 27001 supports a process of constant improvement. This requires that the performance of the ISMS be constantly evaluated and reviewed for efficiency and compliance, apart from identifying improvements to existing processes and controls. Practical knowledge of the audit process is also crucial for the Lead Implementer responsible for ISO 27001 compliance.

If you are prepared for this long haul, Readynez is here to assist you. Our intensive training will help you develop the skills you need to become ISO 27001 certified. You will also become able to lead a team of auditors by using the most widely recognized surveillance principles - procedures, and techniques.

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Through years of experience working with more than 1000 top companies in the world, we ́ve architected the Readynez method for learning. Choose IT courses and certifications in any technology using the award-winning Readynez method and combine any variation of learning style, technology and place, to take learning ambitions from intent to impact.

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