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Information Security Management System


In accordance with regulations, organizations must establish an Information Security Management System (ISMS). What is an ISMS and how does an ISMS support your organization's information security and privacy?

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Information Security Management System

The Netherlands is one of the leaders in processing data. As an organization, you must be able to demonstrate to what extent you are in control of the applicable legislation. A well organized information security is a continuous process that needs to be secured within the organization. Not only technical solutions are involved, but also personal actions.

In accordance with regulations, organizations must establish anInformation Security Management System (ISMS). What is an ISMS and how does an ISMS support your organization's information security and privacy?

What is an ISMS?

An ISMS supports you in implementing, tracking and reporting on processes. For example, think about how the process goes when applying for a passport and how data is processed and stored securely. In doing so, it helps you raise the level of information security in an organization.

Do you meet the elements of the PDCA cycle? Then the organization has a conclusive ISMS. The PDCA cycle consists of four steps, namely Plan, Do, Check and Act. Below we describe the four steps.

What is the meaning of ISMS?

ISMS stands for Information Security Management System and is a management system for information security. The term 'System' does not mean a system, but a closing PDCA cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act), a quality cycle, Deming circle or policy cycle. Often this cycle is implemented through the use of an ISMS tool.

Plan (policies and procedures).
In this first step, a plan is created that clearly defines the intended results.

Do (implementation and executions).
Here we are concerned with the implementation and realization of the approved plan. During implementation, activities and performance are continuously recorded and assessed. The human factor is perhaps the most important in privacy and information security.

Check (analyze for improvements)
In this step, the results obtained are compared with the results your organization envisions. The differences are evaluated and the causes of possible differences are identified.

Act (adjust procedures, policies or performances)
In this step, adjustments are made after the evaluation, if necessary. Measures are then taken to still achieve the planned results.

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"We are working on the 'Three Lines of Defense model (3LoD)' for security and privacy.

LIAS ISMS is an inseparable part of this."

Freddy Dijkstra - CISO at Municipality of Leeuwarden
logo municipality of leeuwarden

How does an ISMS support information security and privacy?

An ISMS forms the basis for the organization's information security by providing support in organizing, setting up, managing and optimizing information security and privacy. To monitor progress, an ISMS gives you insight into what is needed to be in control. In this way, an ISMS helps to control and improve processes and policy.

Robust information security requires an ISMS that takes into account three pillars: people, processes and technology. So there is a need to look at information security from a holistic perspective, and you could use some help with that. This is where the need for an ISMS support tool comes in.

An organization meets this requirement when:

  • rules and principles have been established regarding information security and privacy (usually in the form of an information security policy);
  • The vulnerabilities and areas for improvement were examined (risk analysis);
  • An improvement plan has been established;
  • Monitor the quality of the progress of the implementation of the improvement plan.

A properly implemented ISMS supports and ensures that:

  • There is a structured way to manage information security within an organization;
  • provides evidence and assurance that an organization has met the standards requirements;
  • Improves the governance of information security within the organization.
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What functionalities does an ISMS tool have?

Whatever tooling you choose, it must support, simplify and reinforce the PDCA cycle. Of course, all kinds of things can be kept in a spreadsheet or documents, but good tools ensure that the organization keeps track of everything in context and makes timely adjustments.

An ISMS tool facilitates collaboration through the ability to assign responsibilities and assign tasks. It provides insight into the status of standards, explanations and the ability to reference evidence. In doing so, an ISMS tool supports compliance with formal requirements such as documentation requirements and audits.

With complex issues in information security legislation such as the Baseline Information Security Government (BIO), there is no moment when all the boxes are ticked and the organization is 'done'. There is a constant need for planning, analysis, evaluation and adjustment. Colleagues involved and those responsible in an organization work together on this improvement cycle throughout the year.

de PDCA cyclus voor informatiebeveiliging en privacy met een ISMS

Which organizations work with an ISMS?

The primary goal of many organizations is to serve the citizen as best as possible. A great goal! The challenge for professionals is to include information security and privacy as a quality aspect in their daily practice. An ISMS can be implemented by any organization - public or private, large or small, from municipality to hospital.

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