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Information Security Management System (ISMS)

Definition - What does Information Security Management System (ISMS) mean?

An information security management system (ISMS) is a set of frameworks that contain policies and procedures for tackling security risks in an organization. The focus of an ISMS is to ensure business continuity by minimizing all security risks to information assets and limiting security breach impacts to a bare minimum.

Techopedia explains Information Security Management System (ISMS)

BS7799, which is derived from ISO 17799, provides the necessary specifications for documenting, designing and implementing an ISMS.

An ISMS accounts for an organization's different elements, such as:

  • Human resources (HR)
  • Organizational processes and procedures
  • Information and technologies

Key ISMS factors are:

  • Data integrity: Access restriction and protection of data from unauthorized resources
  • Availability: Organizational information available to authorized resources without any issues
  • Confidentiality: Protection of information from unauthorized resources

Benefits of implementing an ISMS are:

  • Decrease in downtime of IT systems
  • Decrease in security related incidents
  • Increase in meeting an organization's compliance requirements and standards
  • Increase in customer satisfaction, demonstrating that security issues are tackled in the most appropriate manner
  • Increase in quality of service
  • Process approach adoption, which helps account for all legal and regulatory requirements
  • More easily identifiable and managed risks
  • Also covers information security (IS) (in addition to IT information security)
  • Provides a competitive edge to an organization with the help of tackling risks and managing resources/processes
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