ISO 27001:2022 - What's New? The Three Key Differences and Benefits Explained!

iso 27001 May 08, 2023

ISO 27001 is an internationally recognised standard for information security management. It provides a framework for managing and protecting sensitive information, such as personal data, financial information, intellectual property, and other sensitive business information.

The standard sets out the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system (ISMS). An ISMS is a systematic approach to managing sensitive information, including processes, policies, procedures, and controls that ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information assets.

ISO 27001 certification demonstrates that an organisation has implemented an ISMS that meets the requirements of the standard, providing assurance to customers, partners, and other stakeholders that sensitive information is managed and protected effectively. The standard is applicable to all types of organizations, regardless of size, industry, or location, and can be integrated with other management systems, such as ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 14001 for environmental management.

The ISO 27001:2022 standard, the latest update to the internationally recognised standard for information security management, brings significant changes to the way organizations approach information security. With 11 new controls, a streamlined approach to risk management, and a greater emphasis on senior management's involvement in information security, the updated standard provides a comprehensive framework for managing information security risks effectively. In this blog, we will explore the key differences between the previous version and the updated ISO 27001:2022 standard:


1. Reducing the number of controls

Regarding the number of controls, ISO 27001:2021 has reduced the number of controls from 114 in the previous version to 93. However, these controls are now structured into four categories, namely Organizational Controls, Human Controls, Technical Controls, and Physical Controls. The categorization provides a more streamlined approach to information security management, allowing for better organization and risk management. It is essential to note that the actual number of controls may vary depending on the organization's specific information security needs and risk assessment.

The first category, Organizational Controls, focuses on the management and governance of the Information Security Management System (ISMS). These controls include policies, procedures, and standards related to information security management. They also encompass the development and implementation of information security strategies, risk management frameworks, and other governance mechanisms to ensure that the organization's information assets are protected from unauthorized access or disclosure.

The second category, Human Controls, relates to the management of human resources related to information security. This includes the development and implementation of training programs, awareness campaigns, and other activities aimed at improving the information security culture within the organization. These controls also encompass the management of access to information systems and data, ensuring that employees and other stakeholders only access information on a need-to-know basis.

The third category, Technical Controls, refers to the management of technical aspects of information security. This includes the design, implementation, and maintenance of secure IT systems and networks, including access controls, encryption, and intrusion detection systems. Technical controls also encompass the development and implementation of security policies and procedures related to system maintenance, backup, and recovery.

Finally, the fourth category, Physical Controls, focuses on the management of physical aspects of information security. This includes the protection of the organization's physical assets and facilities, such as data centers, server rooms, and other critical infrastructure. Physical controls encompass the implementation of security measures such as surveillance, access controls, and environmental controls, to prevent unauthorized access, theft, or damage to the organization's physical assets.


2. Importance of risk-based thinking and a proactive approach

The ISO 27001:2022 standard also emphasises the importance of risk-based thinking and a proactive approach to information security management. Organisations are encouraged to identify and assess information security risks regularly, develop risk treatment plans, and implement controls that are proportionate to the identified risks.

The ISO 27001:2022 emphasizes the importance of risk-based thinking throughout the information security management process. Organisations are encouraged to regularly identify and assess information security risks, taking into account both internal and external factors that could impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information assets.

Once risks have been identified and assessed, organisations are expected to develop risk treatment plans that outline how they will manage these risks. This includes implementing appropriate controls to mitigate risks and reduce the likelihood of security incidents occurring.


3. Emphasis on the involvement of top management 

The ISO 27001:2022 standard places a greater emphasis on the involvement of top management in information security management. Senior management is responsible for setting the information security policy, providing the necessary resources, and demonstrating leadership and commitment to information security throughout the organization. Top management is responsible for setting the information security policy and objectives, providing the necessary resources for the implementation of the ISMS, and ensuring that the ISMS is integrated into the organisation's overall business processes. They are also responsible for demonstrating leadership and commitment to information security throughout the organization, communicating the importance of information security to all stakeholders, and ensuring that information security is a key consideration in all business decisions.

To support this greater emphasis on the involvement of top management, the updated standard requires regular reporting to senior management on the effectiveness of the ISMS and the status of information security risks. This reporting helps to ensure that senior management has the necessary information to make informed decisions about information security and that they are aware of any emerging threats or issues that may impact the organization's information security posture.

In summary, the ISO 27001:2022 standard represents a significant evolution in information security management, providing organisations with a comprehensive framework for managing their information security risks effectively. By incorporating the latest best practices, technologies, and regulatory requirements, the standard enables organizations to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their information assets, protecting their reputation, financial stability, and competitive advantage.


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