When it comes to effectively managing a business, safeguarding it from potential work health and safety risks, information security threats, and ensuring that it operates in an efficient, streamlined manner, it is crucial to be thorough, and adequately address the needs of individual departments. This helps the business understand and develop the scope of its requirements and ensures that the Management Systems and Standards they implement are well-suited to their needs, and thus, will be able to assist them in reaching their operational goals.
To elaborate, if a company were looking to strengthen its Occupational Health and Safety practices, and thus develop a safe, supportive workspace, they would benefit from the implementation of an OH&S Management System, which would assist them in identifying potential physical and mental health and safety threats, and work at minimising the risks. However, while an OH&S Management System would be efficient in helping an organisation protect itself from overt work health and safety risks, it would not be as effective in assisting the operations reduce its paper trail and become more socially sustainable. For that, a business would benefit from looking into other more specific Management Systems, that deal with other business issues and concerns, and thus, could be specifically tailored to the operations, to strengthen its business processes.
Companies looking to uphold the CIA of the information they work with – Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability – would benefit from the implementation of the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Standards. These standards help business’ develop an effective Information Security Management System (ISMS), which provides companies with demonstrably successful, internationally certified, strategies, processes, and fault-checks that they can implement across their organization to maintain their CIA of their information. These standards adopt a broad approach to what constitutes information that needs to be secured, and distinguishes itself from conventional Information Technology safety protocols through addressing a wider scope of potential information security concerns, including digital, physical, and verbal information security concerns.
This means that the standards will not only help your business uphold the integrity of the information you are actively seeking to protect, it will also help raise general awareness amongst the organisation as to the scope of business information that needs protecting. This can encompass both IT related data, including emails, business workstations, login privileges, and so on, and non-IT related information, such as the business’ physical paper trail, information discussed in meetings, being aware of which employees are privy to what information, and so on.
How implementing an ISMS will benefit your business
One of the central benefits of implementing the ISO 27001 Standards is its High Level Structure, which allows for easy integration of the Standards into existing operational processes and structures within an organisation, especially when the business has already implemented other Management Systems, such as ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems.
However, as the ISO 27001 Standards are specifically designed to help business’ uphold the security of their information through identifying potential weak points and threats and safeguarding against them, it is important for companies to recognise the specific strengths and benefits of implementing these standards, and how the specific controls and domains of these standards are tailored to help companies strengthen their information security processes. For example, while the ISO 9001 Quality Management System may also have a similar end goal as these standards – of helping business’ operate to the best of their ability in a hassle-free manner – those standards help companies streamline their operations in a different manner, and thus are quite distinct from ISO 27001.
Make sure your business chooses the appropriate Management System
It is important for companies to understand the particulars of the Management System they are implementing, and the exact way it helps them to achieve their operational goals. This ensures that their business objectives are covered by the standards, and that the Management System they are implementing is the one most suited to their needs. In particular, business’ should:
- Properly define the scope of their business objectives, and the specific ways they want the Management System to help them reach their goals. By thoroughly defining the scope of their objectives, they will have a clear understanding of their specific goals, and what steps need to be taken to achieve them. They can then identify the most suitable Management System for their needs, rather than a more generalised one that may help them reach their objectives in a round-about manner.
- Work to understand the scope of the Management System they are looking to implement. For example, the ISO 27001 Information Security Standards encompass much more than strategies related to upholding digital security. An effective ISMS also concerns human resources, business continuity, management support, compliance, and physical security. By implementing these standards your business will not only work at upholding the information security issues that it was initially concerned about, it also stands to develop a broader understanding of what constitutes effective information security, how to identify weak spots, how to raise staff awareness of potential information security issues, and so on.
- Conduct a comprehensive audit of their existing operations to ascertain where they are at now, and where they need to get to in order to reach their business objectives. This is known as a gap analysis and is a necessary step for business’, so they can effectively complete the Management System’s Statement of Applicability (SoA). This process helps business’ to understand the scope of potential risks, and provides them with the opportunity to justify why they have selected certain control and safety measures over others. This stage provides business’ with the opportunity to thoroughly assess their needs, and familiarise themselves with the particulars of the Management System they are implementing, thus ensuring that it meets their requirements.
- Familiarise themselves with the risk management process, which sees them developing an auditing system where they pre-emptively identify potential risks to the operations, and then take pro-active steps to ensure that the potentially harmful effects to the business are mitigated. By doing this, business’ are developing a more thorough understanding of the range of potential risks and threats to their operations, as well as building up their knowledge of how to deal with such issues in the future.
- Understand that their needs and requirements may be significantly different to the needs of other business’, even those in the same industry. This means that companies should treat the process of implementing the Management System on an individual level, rather than an industry one. This means auditing the specifics of their operations and working out how a Management System could help them reach their specific operational goals, as opposed to working off industry templates or pre-filled worksheets, which in addition to doing little to help the company reach its goals, may result in confusion, as issues that applied to business’ within the same industry may not apply to yours.
A Management System is great for your business
In short, the implementation of a Management System helps business’ to achieve their existing operational goals, align their processes and practices to industry regulations, and identify potential areas of concern that they may have overlooked. It is clear that while there are numerous benefits to implementing a Management System across your organisation, companies need to be mindful of their specific goals and objectives, to ensure that the Management System they choose to implement specifically addresses their needs.
If you would like to find out how the ISO 27001 or ISO 9001 Standards, or other relevant standards, could be applied to your organisation to help it achieve its goals in a clear, methodical manner, then please give Anitech’s consultants a call today on 1300 802 163. By telling them about your business, including its structure and objectives, they will be able to help you identify an effective Management System, specifically tailored to your business’ needs. Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic way to start 2021?
Please click here to read more about some of the benefits your business stands to gain by implementing an ISMS.