Define roles

Most companies choose to implement their ISO 27001 compliance internally. But, it’s essential to consider whether it suits a project better for an in-house implementation lead, contractors, or an outside consultant.

The first step on your ISO 27001 checklist is to make this crucial decision based on your company’s expertise and your capacity to divert teams with existing responsibilities from this project for lengthy, in-depth security work.

Make a gap analysis

A gap analysis always looks at your existing systems, policies, and documentation compared to the standard. It is one of the best ways to tell what needs to be improved if you’re conducting your own ISO 27001 gap analysis checklist.

You’ll walk away with a personalized compliance roadmap to set goals for how long it will take to get compliant.

You don’t waste time and money on projects not tied directly to certification because this helps define what should be done and how long it will take.

Create and record the elements of your ISMS that are necessary for certification.

When a company undergoes certification for the first time, it needs to set up parts of the ISO 27001 information security management system.

Your ISO 27001 will have policies and procedures to protect your systems from cyberattacks. It includes people, processes, and technology, so it will require looking at how information is accessed, when and by whom.

You’ll easily access all information to store, share, and protect data. You’ll also have policies for people outside the company who tries to access it without permission or violate the terms of service. While you do that, consider both physical and digital evidence.

Perform a risk analysis internally

After you know your data’s characteristics and dimensions, it’s essential to document the risks associated with that data. You might use an ISO 27001 asset management checklist, ISO 27001 network security checklist, ISO 27001 firewall security audit checklist, or an ISO 27001 risk assessment checklist to help you identify and document these threats.

Risk management is a complex process, but it’s not impossible. The first step is to determine how you’ll identify risks and the severity of those risks. A risk matrix can help you prioritize that high-likelihood and high-impact risks.

Then, by reviewing your response plan for each bet, you’ll know what you should do. Using an ISO 27001 data center audit checklist will help document your quality control and security procedures in detail for external data centers.

Put together a Statement of Applicability (SOA)

It’s time to explore everything you can do to protect your data and privacy.

The ISO 27001 Data Protection 1 guidelines give you 114 possible controls. Select those that address the risks you identified in your risk assessment.

Then write a statement about how these controls will help safeguard the confidentiality and integrity of your information.

Implement your controls

With the ISO 27001 controls and your ISMS, you’ve ensured that all your policies and rules are in order. However, now it’s time to apply your policies to your systems.

You may need to update software, procedures, or guidelines to ensure that your work habits reflect the organization.

For example, if you’ve verified that data will be encrypted using cryptography, you’ll need to update the encryption software.

Inform your internal team about your ISMS and security controls.

Training is one of the most common pitfalls in the implementation process.

Though cybersecurity touches many job descriptions and the daily activities of many employees, training is a way to demonstrate your commitment to security while building a culture of safety with your employees.

Employees should get training on the ISMS, risks, why processes establish, and the implications of failing to maintain compliance.

Perform an internal audit.

When your company is undergoing an audit, it’s essential to ensure that your internal controls are up to snuff.

An internal audit will prepare you for the official audit and test your new systems. It can conduct by a team of trusted employees or an external reviewer. It also allows you to find potential problem spots before the official audit.

If you’re interested in trying out an ISO internal auditing checklist, try using the ISO 27001 self-assessment checklist or an ISO 27001 Internal Audit Checklist.

Conduct the ISO 27001 certification audit with an accredited ISO 27001 lead auditor.

You’ll need your International Organization for Standardization and Control document audited and verified by a recognized accreditation body before your ISO 27001 certification will be accepted.

This process helps you audit your documentation and ensure you have the controls necessary to protect your enterprise from outside threats. They’ll conduct a two-step process: first, they’ll review your documentation and then assess your controls.

You’ll want to focus on these steps when adopting ISO 27001, meaning there’s no need to audit and get certified before your system is authorized.

You’ll be able to get ahead of the process by using a checklist that delineates major and minor nonconformities in each step. Once you address all of the significant nonconformities, you’ll receive ISO certification for your software.

Prepare a strategy for maintaining certification.

ISO 27001 is a robust standard that lasts for three years. However, it’s important to conduct risk assessments, and surveillance audits each year to ensure nothing has changed.

Furthermore, you’ll need to prepare new documentation for your renewal audit, which happens once every three years. You must also update your policy and systems continually and provide ongoing staff training so that they’re up-to-date on all of these new changes.

You’ll need to complete multiple minor checklists to fulfill an ISO 27001 standard. As your needs change, use resources like an ISO 27001 Annex list, which includes mandatory steps for the management system and ISMS, or a surveillance audit checklist that can operate in more sensitive industries.


ISO 27001 is a widely-used security standard that assesses an organization’s risk posture and provides guidelines for improving cyber security. Implementing ISO 27001 not only enhances an organization’s cybersecurity but can also help improve customer confidence by demonstrating a commitment to protecting customer data. If you’re interested in moving your business towards a more secure position, consider implementing ISO 27001 as your first step.