How to conduct an ISO 27001 gap analysis


Carrying out an ISO 27001 gap analysis might seem like a daunting task for your business. With multiple requirements, controls and themes making up the ISO 27001 Standard, you may be left wondering what the best approach to take is. Your Information Security Management System (ISMS) is the foundation of your security measures so it needs to identify risk and help you manage your cybersecurity measures effectively.

But, how do you measure the success of your ISMS? Are there any new solutions you need to find to stay compliant with the Standard’s requirements? Well, in this blog article, we’re taking a look at the ISO 27001 gap analysis, to help you close those all-important gaps and strengthen cybersecurity measures across your organisation.

What is an ISO 27001 gap analysis?

Understanding the requirements of ISO 27001 can be challenging. But, it is critical to work out exactly what you need to do to benefit the cybersecurity measures for your business. The bottom line is an ISO 27001 gap analysis is an assessment tool that can define how well-insulated your business is against cyber threats. If there are glaring weaknesses in your ISMS, your business is more susceptible to risk and you’re likely to fail compliance checks.

Defining the scope of your ISMS is an important part of the ISO 27001 process. It should communicate what your business aims to achieve and protect in your ISMS. Once your scope is finalised, you should assess how compliant your ISMS is and use the gap analysis process to frequently monitor progress against the criteria of the Standard. Our ISO 27001 implementation page offers more guidance on how to meet the expectations for ISO 27001.

Using ISO 27001 gap analysis as a springboard for success

Think of the ISO 27001 gap analysis as a one-way ticket to achieving certification and meeting your business goals. If your organisation is sufficiently protected against malicious cyber attacks, then the platform for success is much greater. The effects of a compromised business can be costly and harder to absorb, particularly if you manage a smaller organisation. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023, a third of businesses reported experiencing a cyber breach in the last 12 months. The more scrutinous you are, the more resistant your business will be to reduce the impact of cyber attackers.

What benefits does an ISO 27001 gap analysis provide for my business?

By closely scrutinising your ISMS using a gap assessment, you can start to paint the picture of which parts of your information security need attention. It may require work and time, but with the right guidance and support, the long-term benefits mean your business is protected. You can then concentrate efforts on growth and expanding your business.

Implement the findings of your gap analysis and reap the rewards of the following benefits:

  • A consistent approach for evaluating ISO 27001 compliance so you know your whole organisation is aligned.
  • Easily assess the severity of risks and identify the appropriate corrective actions.
  • Demonstrate your meticulous attention to detail to clients and partners, solidifying trust in your organisation.
  • Enables structured resource management, so you can plan and allocate budgets, personnel and time to implement any measures.
  • Integrate your gap analysis with any pre-existing security measures for a seamless transition.
  • As threats evolve, use the gap analysis tool to adopt an approach of continuous improvement and maintain a robust ISMS.

By utilising the strengths of gap analysis, you can start to progress your business by closing the gaps needed to ensure that you’re compliant with ISO 27001.

The ISO 27001 gap analysis tool explained

An ISO 27001 gap assessment is like a to-do list for your business’ security. It helps prioritise tasks and areas to improve in your ISMS. This checklist, often a template or spoken by your ISO certification provider, requires you, as a business owner or manager, to fill out requirements. The assessor then notes activities, checking if they meet the Standard’s criteria.

What does an ISO 27001 gap analysis tool contain?

Generally, there are several key steps covered in the gap analysis tool consisting of the following:

  • A sample of audited questions that lists each requirement of the Standard and the task required to meet the criteria, so you know exactly what is required.
  • A handy list of each of the ISO 27001:2022 requirements.
  • Details of the mandatory documentation needed to meet compliance
  • A full breakdown of the clauses and sub-clauses required to meet compliance.
  • A clear summary at the end of the document condenses the findings of the report. This allows you to report on the findings and easily identify the areas where gaps exist.

The introduction of ISO 27001:2022 may demand a bit more due diligence but it’s an opportunity to enhance your cybersecurity measures.

Considering ISO 27001:2022 in your gap analysis

ISO 27001:2022 was introduced to align the ISO 27001 criteria with the evolving cyber threats seen in today’s landscape. The Standard has been modernised to allow businesses greater scrutiny and flexibility in how they apply an ISMS throughout their organisation. Your ISO 27001 gap analysis needs to be reflective of this. If you already have an ISMS in place, then you’ll need to carry out a gap analysis to make sure all the controls and measures in place align with the updated Standard.

You’ll need to map out your current information security measures against the 93 ISO 27001 controls. These are now split into four main themes, Organisational, People, Physical and Technological. Your gap assessment will cover each of these four themes, including the requirement and necessary action for each clause that sits within the four themes. If you have any questions about the update, we now offer certification for ISO 27001:2022 and can help you during your gap analysis process to make sure you’ve got all bases covered.

Get support for ISO 27001 by partnering with us

If you need assistance in simplifying the compliance process for ISO 27001, we’re here to help with our expert guidance and support. You can gain ISO 27001 certification by partnering with us. Our three-step certification process is straightforward and transparent, and you can be certified within 45 days!

Gain the best insight from our ISO 27001 experts, who will impart their wisdom and knowledge, so you can develop an ISMS that meets compliance requirements.

Find out the cost of ISO 27001 and start your journey towards certification today. We’ve helped countless businesses strengthen their cybersecurity measures, and we’re here to do the same for you. Get in touch at 0333 344 3646 or email [email protected].

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About the author

  • Name:

    Serena Cooper

  • Company:

    Citation ISO Certification

  • Bio:

    Serena has worked for Citation ISO Certification since 2022, writing creative and informative content on ISO certification and consultation to help businesses reach their potential.


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