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ISO 27001 and an information security management system (ISMS)

What is ISO 27001?

The International standard for the quality management for information security management systems (ISMS) is the ISO/IEC 27001:2013 (ISO 27001). 2013 is the latest version of the standard, which identifies the technical specifications that organisations should adopt to acquire ISO 27001 accreditation.

The standard is a benchmark for organisations to demonstrate that they follow best practice on information security. With cybercrimes on the increase, it is important that organisations within GCC countries have strategies in place for information security.

The benefits of gaining the ISO 27001 accreditation ensures that you have considered all aspects of your information security and that you are adopting best practice guidelines in a consistent and cost-effective manner.

What is an Information Security Management Systems (ISMS)?

The ISO/IEC 27001 guidance indicates that ISMS is a “systematic approach for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving an organisation's information security to achieve business objectives".

It is important to recognise that the security of information is broad-ranging and there are many steps that should be taken to protect data. Organisations that fail to take a strategic approach to their information security may leave themselves open to a breach in security. Therefore, organisations should ensure that any initiatives implemented are integrated and there no gaps to guarantee the effectiveness of the strategy.

Find out how to implement an ISMS >>>

What is an ISMS?


Why implementing ISO 27001 in the GCC Countries became essential

Cybercrimes rise in the GCC Countries

According to IBM study 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, which explores the implications of data breaches on businesses located in Saudi Arabia and United Arab of Emirates combined, the study identified the following:


18.54 million SAR

is the average total cost of data breach

6.9% increase

in the total cost of a data breach in 2017 VS 2016


580 SAR

is the average cost per lost or stolen record

9.8% increase

in cost per lost or stolen record in 2017 VS 2016


Examples of the cyberattacks on the GCC companies


Saudi Aramco

faced the worst cyberattack in the world history, over 35,000 computers have been damaged within hours by a computer virus known as Shamoon


Dubai Police

their social media accounts were hacked


Saudi Aviation Agency

thousands of its computers have been wiped by a cyberattack


Etisalat UAE

the website was hacked and disrupted by unknown party


RAKBank and BankMuscat

faced one of the biggest cyber fraud, a USD $45 million has been stolen by cyber mafia.


Booming information security in the GCC Countries

With an increase in cybercrimes in the GCC countries, particularly in the last 5 years, most organisations in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries realise that protecting their information assets is vital to their core survival, they also realise that implementing ISO 27001 can be a cost-effective means to demonstrate to customers that quality assurance is of paramount importance to their organisation.

Statistically, according to the ISO Survey 2015, the number of the achieved ISO 27001 certificates by the GCC companies in 2015 is much higher than what achieved in 2011, and it has been achieved by several industries such as construction, engineering services, water and gas supply, information technology, electric, Pharmaceuticals, hotels and restaurants and many other industries.

The high demand of the GCC organisations on acquiring the ISO 27001 reflects the size and the expanding in the cybercrimes that affected a lot of the GCC industries in the last 5 years, that’s why It has become essential for them to adopt innovative and rigorous strategies to keep their information out of the reach of exploiters.

Below is the percentage of the increase of the achieved certificates in 2015 compared to what achieved in 2011:


ISO27001 in UAE


ISO27001 in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

ISO27001 in Bahrain





ISO27001 in Kuwait


ISO27001 in Qatar


ISO27001 in Oman






Advantages of ISO 27001 Certification


Avoid financial penalties due to data breaches


Protect your information and intellectual property rights


Protect your reputation


Satisfy audit requirements


Gain a competitive advantage with new and existing clients


Build trust globally



Read about the advantages of ISO 27001 certification


How to Implement an ISO 27001 – Compliant ISMS?

Implementing an ISO 27001-compliant ISMS will include the following elements, in no specific order:


Get board commitment and secure a budget


Review and implement the required controls


Develop internal competence


Develop management system documentation


Identify interested parties, and legal, regulatory and contractual requirements


Conduct staff awareness training


Scope the project


Measure, monitor, review and audit the ISMS


Conduct a risk assessment


Get certified


Read about our complete approach to implementing an ISMS >>


How IT Governance can help?

At IT Governance, we understand that every organisation is different and can support you with the implementation of ISO 27001 through the variety of resources that we offer.

ISO 27001 resources


Why choose us?

  • IT Governance has over 15 years experience of supporting organisations with the implementation of the ISO 27001 standard.
  • We are ready to support smaller organisations achieve accreditation within just three months.

We specifically offer:

  • Several compliance tools, packaged solutions and online training courses designed to suit your organisations requirements.
  • Consultancy to your organisation to help you achieve success.
  • A pricing structure that meets your company's needs with no hidden costs.

Read more about our consultancy services >>


Download our free ISO 27001 Resources

These ISO 27001 resources will give you more information about the ISO 27001 Standard and the benefits of achieving it, as well as it will guide you to the implementation of ISO 27001-compliant ISMS:


Don’t Risk It – Cyber Secure It with ISO 27001

If your organisation stores information electronically, then you are a target for cyber criminals, watch the below video for more information

Watch Now



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