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ISO 22301 Certification: The Business Continuity Management System Standard

Advantages of an ISO 22301 Certification

Having an ISO 22301 certification provides many benefits and communicates to your clients that you are confident in the policies, procedures, and processes in place at your organization to protect against business disruptions. Some of the advantages of having an ISO 22301 certification include, but are not limited to:

  • Transparency: Insight into every area of your organization’s processes and information security practices.
  • Improvement Strategies: The ISO 22301 certification will provide you with an understanding of the areas of vulnerability and improvement, allowing you to make changes and enhancements to your BCMS.
  • Reduced Downtime: If a security incident or data breach occurs, your organization will have its business continuity processes in place to reduce downtime and resume business operations in a fast and efficient manner.

What Is ISO 22301 Certification?

The ISO 22301 certification is part of a suite of standards introduced by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a worldwide federation of national standards bodies, which specifies requirements for setting up and managing an effective Business Continuity Management System (BCMS). The requirements outlined in the standard are meant to: plan, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain, and continually improve a documented management system to protect against, reduce the likelihood of occurrence, prepare for, respond to, and recover from disruptive incidents when they arise (ISO 22301:2012).

An ISO 22301 certification assists organizations in implementing a BCMS that will meet the needs of the organization, considering legal, regulatory, and industry requirements, as well as the products, services, and processes in place at the organization. Additionally, the standard is used to mitigate and control the risks of exposure to internal and external threats, ensuring organizations can effectively respond to security incidents, data breaches, and more.

The Importance of a Business Continuity Management System

As the ISO 22301 standard states, a BCMS emphasizes the importance of:

  • understanding the organization’s needs and the necessity for establishing business continuity management policy and objectives,
  • implementing and operating controls and measures for managing an organization’s overall capability to manage disruptive incidents,
  • monitoring and reviewing the performance and effectiveness of the BCMS; and
  • continual improvement based on objective measurement.

Disruptions to an organization can happen at any moment and continue to increase worldwide. It’s imperative organizations have a plan in place to respond and resume business operations as fast as possible. Implementing a BCMS will protect your organization from the downtime occurred by cyber threats.

What Types of Organizations Does ISO 22301 Apply?

The ISO 22301 standard and certification applies to any organization and industry regardless of size that wishes to:

  • establish, implement, maintain and improve a BCMS,
  • ensure conformity with stated business continuity policy,
  • demonstrate conformity to others,
  • seek certification/registration of its BCMS by an accredited third-party certification body; or
  • make a self-determination and self-declaration of conformity with this International Standard.

Organizations who are data center providers, offer infrastructure as a service or offer their customers the equipment or tools needed to run their business are all prime examples of organizations who would rely on a BCMS to mitigate risk, and would want an ISO 22301 certification.

In Conclusion

Receiving an ISO 22301 certification communicates to your clients that you have developed, planned and tested your BCMS and its ability to restore business operations in an efficient and effective manner, in case a disruptive event was to occur. With extensive experience providing ISO audits, A‑LIGN can assist your organization with the implementation of a BCMS and ensure it meets the needs of your stakeholders and customers.