ISMS revision in 2023

Focus on risk management through ISMS

Staying secure. What to look during 2023
Antony Desmond
6 March 2023
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Having an ISMS in place is a no brainer decision for any company who understands the value of data and information. As we look to the future, cybersecurity and information security will continue to be critical areas of focus for organizations and becoming more integrated with physical security on premises. In 2023, we can expect to see an increase in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to enhance threat detection and response capabilities and even additionally, the adoption of zero-trust architectures will become more widespread, with a focus on securing all endpoints and data access points. A good ISMS contains a set of policies and procedures that systematically manages an organisation's sensitive data to minimise risk and ensure business continuity, by addressing employee behaviour and processes, as well as data and technology, and can be tailored to specific types of data or implemented comprehensively throughout the organization, however most of the ISMS were written during 2021 and 2022, during a period before the (re)-rise of AI, and these need clear to be revised. 

With the evolution of AI language models, and AI cognitive cells, together with smart housing, will be possible to have data-centers and general premises requiring different levels of security and compliance, and there was never a better standard then the ISO27001 to provide the basis of how to implement this. The ISMS framework, when designed to protect sensitive data and mitigate risks associated with it, will ensure that an organisation's data assets are secure and protected from physical security breaches. It provides a systematic approach to identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks that could lead to security breaches and even interacting with AI to forecast these risks. This includes measures such as access control, security monitoring, and incident response procedures, which through effective risk management, organizations can prevent unauthorised access to sensitive information, protect against theft and vandalism, and ensure that their physical security systems are secure and reliable.

Understanding the risks

Understanding the risks

A clear vision of the risk is required to successfully implement the ISMS. Cybersecurity risks and threats can come from various sources, (internal and external). These threats can lead to data breaches, theft of personal information, financial fraud, and system downtime, among other consequences. External actors such as hackers and cybercriminals, as well as internal actors such as employees or contractors with access to sensitive information keep evolving and as technology continues to advance, new cybersecurity risks and threats emerge, making it essential for individuals and organizations to stay vigilant and implement effective cybersecurity measures to protect  themselves from potential attacks.

Staying secure. What to look during 2023

Among so many threats, it is, therefore, imperative for companies to be proactive in identifying potential risks and implementing effective cybersecurity measures to protect their infrastructure and organization. This includes not only protecting against external threats but also ensuring that employees are trained to recognize and report suspicious activity that may pose a threat to the organization's security. Companies must take a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity and physical security, including implementing robust policies and procedures, providing employee training, and continually monitoring and updating their security measures to stay ahead of potential threats.

Identifying Risks and Mitigation Strategies

Identifying Risks and Mitigation Strategies

As organizations become increasingly reliant on technology to conduct their operations, the importance of cybersecurity and information security cannot be overstated. In recent years, cyber attacks have become more sophisticated, and the potential consequences of a data breach have become more severe. To mitigate these risks, organizations need to implement effective Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) that prioritize both cybersecurity and physical security while managing sensitive data, policies, and procedures to minimize risk and ensure business continuity.

One of the best approaches is to include in the scope of the ISMS a policy of risk awareness discovery and risk graduation and evaluation. General vision would be by having trained personel identifying risk patterns and reporting, due to the recent developments in AI, it is possible to automate the awareness radar and consequently evaluate the patterns and report them directly to the CIO/CISO and security department. Although AI can cover all the digital scope, the same cannot avoid risks initiated by human- or nature-related doing such as workspace violence and natural disasters. In such cases clear policies based on risks assessments to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities need to be in place. As such, a possible alternative is to include an AOR (Awareness Oversight Reaction) plan within the ISMS scope.

Staying secure. What to look during 2023

Policies, procedures, and training are critical components of a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy and when made effective, they provide clear guidelines and expectations for employee behaviour, while training ensures that employees have the knowledge and skills needed to comply with these policies and procedures. Together, these elements can help mitigate potential risks and minimise the impact of security breaches, while being essential for ensuring that employees understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining a secure work environment. At the same time, they provide a framework for managing sensitive data, outlining who has access to it, and what actions should be taken in the event of a security breach. Policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure they remain relevant and effective in mitigating potential risks.

Training is another critical component of a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy. It provides employees with the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and respond to potential risks, including how to identify phishing emails, the importance of strong passwords, and how to report suspicious activity. Training should be conducted regularly, and employees should be tested periodically to ensure they retain the information and skills they have learned.In addition to policies, procedures, and training, it is also essential to regularly assess risks and implement appropriate security measures. This includes implementing access controls, monitoring systems for suspicious activity, and providing ongoing employee education and awareness campaigns.

ISMS Implementation phase

ISMS Implementation phase

As businesses become more reliant on digital technologies and data storage, ensuring the security and integrity of sensitive information has become a top priority. The implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a vital step in achieving this. An Information Security Management System (ISMS) is a framework designed to help organizations manage and protect their information assets. It encompasses policies, processes, and procedures for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and therefore a very complex system to be implemented.

Implementing an ISMS offers many benefits, including:

  • Enhanced security and protection of sensitive information

  • Improved compliance with regulatory requirements

  • Increased customer confidence and trust

  • Improved risk management

  • Improved business continuity

Overall implementation process

Implementing an ISMS can be a complex and time-consuming process, but following a structured approach can help simplify the process. Here are the steps involved in implementing an ISMS:

Step 1: Define the Scope and Objectives

The first step in implementing an ISMS is to define the scope and objectives of the system. This involves identifying the information assets that need to be protected, as well as the risks associated with these assets. The scope of the system should be clearly defined, and the objectives should be aligned with the organization's overall business goals.

Step 2: Conduct a Risk Assessment

The next step is to conduct a risk assessment to identify and assess the potential risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the organization's information assets. This involves identifying the assets at risk, the threats to those assets, and the vulnerabilities that can be exploited by those threats. A risk assessment should be conducted periodically to ensure that the risks are managed effectively.

Step 3: Develop Information Security Policies and Procedures

Based on the results of the risk assessment, the organization should develop information security policies and procedures. These policies and procedures should cover all aspects of information security, including access control, data classification, incident management, and business continuity.

Step 4: Implement Controls

The next step is to implement controls to mitigate the risks identified in the risk assessment. Controls can be technical, administrative, or physical in nature, and should be designed to address specific risks. Examples of controls include firewalls, antivirus software, access controls, and backup and recovery procedures.

Step 5: Monitor and Review

Once the ISMS is implemented, it is important to monitor and review its effectiveness. This involves conducting regular audits and assessments to ensure that the system is working as intended and is meeting the organization's objectives. Any weaknesses or gaps in the system should be identified and addressed promptly.


  1. What is the purpose of an ISMS?

    An ISMS is designed to help organizations manage and protect their information assets by providing a framework for identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.

  2. What are the benefits of implementing an ISMS?

    Implementing an ISMS offers many benefits, including enhanced security and protection of sensitive information, improved compliance with regulatory requirements, increased customer confidence and trust, improved risk management,


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