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Do you need ISO 22301 if you have ISO 27001?

Being ISO 27001 certified can help your organisation to demonstrate that it is actively managing risks relating to the security of information and data held, but what if your business operations were interrupted by a disaster or major incident, and how would this impact data-reliant services, such as SaaS, PaaS or other cloud-based data processing systems that require operational systems?

Having a robust business continuity framework is important to demonstrate to stakeholders, including suppliers and customers, that your business can continue to operate, no matter what it faces.

The effects of COVID-19 brought the need for robust continuity management to the forefront, as many businesses had to adapt to continue providing products and services. With the pandemic seeing a huge increase in staff working remotely, companies needed to adopt new conditions quickly to continue work processes and carry out business operations while ensuring the information and data they hold are secure.

The 2021 Horizon Scan Report found that two-thirds of organisations implement business continuity management systems. Surprisingly, only 12.5% of businesses are officially certified, and the remaining 52.4% use it merely as a guideline.

Is your business ISO 27001 certified? Find out how we can help you gain ISO 27001 certification.

How to create a business continuity plan and why you should do so

What is ISO 22301?

ISO 22301 is specification for a business continuity management system (BCMS) that can be used by companies to assist continuous operations, and reduce the risk that they are affected by downtime potentially occurring from disasters or any unexpected disruptions to usual business.

ISO 22301 certification emphasises the importance of implementing the delivery of products and services during unplanned events, which could be anything from:

  • IT failure.
  • Cyber attacks.
  • Weather-related incidents.
  • Transport strikes.
  • Pandemics.
  • Accidents.

The ISO 22301 framework can help minimise disruption and loss of revenue to your business if you’re faced with unexpected interruptions to your business’ way of working and fosters a culture of continuous improvement and the adoption of an internationally recognised management system.

Build business resilience with ISO 22301 alongside ISO 27001

Benefits of ISO 22301

Implementing a BCMS to ISO 22301 certification can help businesses identify risks to business operations and decide on the most effective controls to put in place to minimise the impact should a disaster occur.

Benefits include:

  • Keep your business going – Being ISO 22301 certified can help companies ensure organisations continuously improve their BCMS and maintain specification through regular auditing, ensuring your business is prepared for any disaster and continues running.
  • Reduce revenue loss – Implementing an ISO 22301 certified BCMS can help ensure that should a disaster strike, your business has procedures in place to avoid a loss in productivity and downtime, minimising revenue loss.
  • Save costs – Having a certified BCMS can save your business money from reduced insurance premiums, and demonstrate to insurers that you have an effective BCMS in place.
  • Enforce company reputation – Proving your business is certified in a robust BCMS can instil customer trust and increase your business’ reputation.
  • Gain a competitive advantage – Being ISO 22301 certified can give your business a competitive advantage and allow you to tender for contracts requiring a BCMS system, and reinforce trust in your ability to operate as part of a wider supply chain.

Find out more about the benefits of ISO 22301 for your business.

What are the similarities and differences between ISO 27001 and ISO 22301?

Similarities between ISO 27001 and ISO 22301

Both ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 address the important issue of protecting data and information for your business.

Both standards include the following management aspects:

  • Providing an internal audit.
  • Control of documents.
  • Management review.
  • Training to increase awareness.
  • Action planning to correct issues.

If your organisation has already implemented controls needed to be ISO 27001 certified, you are likely to have the foundations in place to be compliant to meet the requirements of the ISO 22301 certification for business continuity management.

Differences between ISO 27001 and ISO 22301

A frequently asked question between the two ISO standards is: doesn’t ISO 27001 cover business continuity anyway?

This is perhaps where the biggest difference between the two standards lies.

The simple answer is that ISO 27001 is not as comprehensive in business continuity documentation as ISO 22301.

ISO 27001, on its own, can offer initial business continuity support but cannot suffice to fully protect your business against unforeseen circumstances that could impact the continuity of your business.

ISO 22301, however, offers more detailed business continuity principles such as:

  • Policies.
  • Strategies.
  • Impact analysis.
  • Plans.
  • Testing and exercises.

Business continuity planning diagram

How can both ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 help your organisation?

Organisations involving critical infrastructure can demonstrate they comply with the EU legislation on cyber security NIS Directive by implementing the framework of both ISO 27001 and ISO 22301 standards.

Being certified for both ISO 22301 and ISO 27001 shows your company’s commitment to information security throughout the business, which entails cyber security and the more detailed business continuity security the two standards can provide when implemented together.

Becoming ISO 27001 certified is an important way to protect your company’s information and data from potential threats, which can help to protect business continuity. However, to be fully protected from any possible disaster threatening your business, the more comprehensive ISO 22301 business continuity management system gives your business the best protection against the unknown and can help your business continue to run should the worst happen.

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