How to approach ISO 27001 as a startup?
You founded a few months ago, maybe yesterday or even already celebrated anniversaries.
But slowly you realize that if you could guarantee more seriousness and security for your service than your competitors on the market, you could have signed a few more contracts. Sure, you probably do everything right, but customers like to rely on certifications in terms of data security and trust. Fact.
It also makes sense for you and your employees to protect yourself... So you're looking for a way to take your startup to the next level, both externally and internally, as a reliable company that handles customer data securely? Welcome to ISO 27001! And don't worry, you won't lose the spirit of a wild startup if you make a serious effort to establish a system in the company that creates order and clarity.
Why should you choose ISO/IEC 27001?
Isn't this certification usually associated only with large companies? No, the standard is so flexible that it can be adopted by startups and small companies, which significantly increases the chances on the market!
Okay, so what would you have to do now?
How to approach ISO 27001?
1. Make a decision!
Why should a startup choose ISO 27001? You are just a small startup company. Don't you have anything better to do? For example, first, try to grow like crazy and conquer the world? And then, when your startup has established itself as a market player, maybe it's time to think about things like ISO 27001. To grow like crazy as a B2B company, you also need to be able to sell to big companies. From experience, pretty much the first question big companies asked is whether you were ISO 27001 compliant. ISO certification will allow a startup to grow faster.
2. You are never too small to take safety seriously
It really doesn't matter how small you are. Security is always an important consideration. Plus, if you tackle it now, your ISMS can grow with you. Waiting until you're big to get ISO certified will only make it more difficult and time-consuming to make the transition. ISO certification is not a one-time moment, but a process, and the sooner you start, the sooner it becomes second nature.
3. Take your time
ISO certification is not something to be taken lightly. Yes, the benefits are worth it, but be aware that it may cost you some time. Make sure you have that time available. Make a plan. If you want to implement a new compliance framework, you need to consider the scope of controls. Just consider which areas of your business need to comply with ISO 27001 and implement an ISMS. If you run a smaller company or startup, the scope doesn't matter as much, you can include any team in the scope.
4. Make it a team effort
To become ISO 27001 compliant, the entire organization must know and follow the protocol. So everyone needs to be trained to know exactly what this means for their role in the organization. It may not be much in some cases, but it's always something. It's important that everyone is convinced that this new way is the right way.
5. Do not make it too complex
Some requirements of the ISO 27001 standard appear to be "overkill."
For smaller organizations unfamiliar with concepts such as management reviews or steering committees, some of the requirements of ISO 27001 may seem excessive.
Similar to platform selection, organizing policies, processes and procedures, and audit-related information (management reviews, internal audit reports, etc.) becomes much easier when the ISMS is largely consolidated on one platform. This makes it easier to maintain access control.
For more details on ISO 27001 and how to get started, download our free ISO 27001 for Startups Guide. We will help you from the start!