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ISO/IEC 27007
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ISO/IEC 27007:2011 Information technology — Security techniques — Guidelines for information security management systems auditing

Introduction

ISO/IEC 27007 provides guidance for accredited certification bodies, internal auditors, external/third party auditors and others auditing ISMSs against ISO/IEC 27001 (i.e. auditing the management system for compliance with the standard).

ISO/IEC 27007 draws heavily on ISO 19011, the standard for auditing management systems, providing additional ISMS-specific guidance.

Structure

The standard covers the ISMS-specific aspects of compliance auditing:

  • Managing the ISMS audit programme (determining what to audit, when and how; assigning appropriate auditors; managing audit risks; maintaining audit records; continuous process improvement);
  • Performing an ISMS MS audit (audit process - planning, conduct, key audit activities including fieldwork, analysis, reporting and follow-ups);
  • Managing ISMS auditors (competencies, skills, attributes, evaluation).

The main body of the standard mostly advises on the application of ISO 19011 to the ISMS context, with a few not terribly helpful explanatory comments.  However the annex lays out in more detail specific audit tests concerning the organization’s compliance with the main body of ISO/IEC 27001

Other guidelines for ISMS auditing

Here are some complementary advisories on ISMS auditing:

  • ISACA IS auditing guideline G40 concerns Review of security management practices. The guide explains ISACA’s view of how IT auditors should audit the ISMS. It specifically mentions an ISO27k ISMS;
  • To audit the information security controls as opposed to the management system, see ISO/IEC 27008.

Status of the standard

The standard was published in November 2011. ISO 19011 was also revised and republished in 2011.

The standard is currently being revised.

April status update ~50 pages of comments have been made on the DIS version of the revised standard, suggesting that a further round of review may be required before it is finalised. The editors are naturally resisting significant changes to the standard (especially its scope) at this late stage. The revised standard may therefore not surface before the end of 2017.

Personal comments

This standard concerns ISO27k compliance auditing, a particular form of auditing with a very specific goal: to assess whether the audited organization is fulfilling the obligations laid down in ISO/IEC 27001 in respect of its ISMS. There are many other types of audits with quite different goals. Please don’t make the mistake of assuming that all auditors are so-called “tick-and-bash” compliance auditors, or that all audits are compliance audits! For a peek at the broader remit and different operating styles and techniques of IT auditors, see the IT Audit FAQ.