ISO 27001 for the financial industry


As a financial business, your business relies on trust. Your customers trust banks, investment firms, and other financial institutions to look after their hard-earned money and financial information. In this digital world, staying cyber-secure is more important than ever. Well, that’s where ISO 27001 comes in. ISO 27001 for banks and other financial companies can be a powerful tool to show customers and clients that your business has robust processes and procedures in place to defend against cyber attacks.


What is ISO 27001?

Before we dive into the specifics, what is ISO 27001? It’s the international Standard that outlines the requirements for an Information Security Management System (IMS). Essentially, it’s a framework that helps your business to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve information security practices.


How does ISO 27001 support financial businesses?

A 2024 report by BlackBerry Global found that 50% of cyber attacks are targeted towards the finance industry. Businesses like yours often hold data like customer names, National Insurance numbers, account details, transactions and more. So a data breach can have huge consequences, both financially and reputationally.

Here are some of the biggest ISO 27001 benefits and ways the Standard can empower your finance business:

Enhance security

This Standard helps financial businesses to identify risks and implement controls to mitigate them. Through risk assessments, businesses can find areas where further controls are needed and implement measures including:

  • Physical security
  • Access control
  • Data encryption
  • Incident management

Comply with regulations

Legal regulations and requirements are another vital aspect that needs to be considered when it comes to information security. The likes of GDPR must be followed, and ISO 27001 can provide a path to compliance for businesses like yours.

Boost customer confidence

As with many of the ISO Standards, 27001 proves to customers and clients that your business has visibly made the effort to protect their data. As we mentioned at the start, trust is everything, especially when customers are relying on you to protect their money and information.

Reduce operational costs

Cyber attacks and data breaches often come with a heavy price. By preventing these from happening, you can limit costs associated with cyber attacks.


Scope of ISO 27001 for banks and other financial services

The brilliant thing about ISO 27001 is that financial institutions can tailor the framework to address their specific needs, including:

Protecting customer data: From account details to transaction history, ISO 27001 makes sure that robust controls are in place to effectively safeguard sensitive customer data.

Securing financial transactions: The Standard focuses on securing online banking platforms, payment gateways, and other financial transaction systems to prevent fraud and unauthorised access.

Mitigating inside threats: There’s the risk that cyber attacks and data breaches come from within businesses. However, ISO 27001 promotes strict access control procedures and employee awareness programmes to tackle this threat.

Protecting intellectual property: Whatever intellectual property your business may own, whether it’s algorithms or financial models, this Standard can help keep it safe from unauthorised access.


Key ISO 27001 controls for the financial services industry

ISO 27001 provides a flexible framework but some controls are particularly relevant for the financial sector such as:

  • Access control (A.6.1.1, A.6.1.2, A.6.2.1, A.6.3.1)
  • Data Security (A.12.1, A.12.5, A.12.6)
  • Incident Management (A.16.1, A.16.2, A.16.4)
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) (A.17.1, A.17.2, A.17.3)
  • Security Awareness and Training (A.7.2, A.7.3)

Learn more about the ISO 27001 controls and its changes over the years.


ISO 27001 for banks best practices

Full engagement from stakeholders

Building a robust ISMS requires support and engagement from all stakeholders and the entire organisation. This is so you have all the resources you need for the project to be successful.

Risk-based approach

Financial institutions face a diverse range of security threats. ISO 27001 promotes a risk-based approach, and through risk assessments you’ll identify security threats, vulnerabilities and other potential threats/impacts.

Continuous improvement

Information security is an ongoing process. When you’ve achieved certification, it doesn’t stop there. Regular audits and reviews will help your business to continue hitting the high standards that ISO 27001 demands.

Integration with business processes

For ISO 27001 to be a success, you want the ISMS to integrate seamlessly with the processes that your business already has. When you partner with Citation ISO Certification we’ll support you with the ISO 27001 implementation.


The road to certification

Our three steps to certification are simple:

  • Gap analysis: We’ll check your current process and procedures in line with ISO 27001 requirements and make recommendations on how you can meet the Standard’s requirements.
  • Getting you up to Standard: Now with your new information security management system, it’s time to make the changes. With reminders to keep you on track and templates to support you, your business will have everything it needs to make sure all records and documentation are in place.
  • ISO certification: With the final step, an ISO 27001 Auditor will check that you’ve addressed the gaps in your ISMS and that everything is in place. Then finally, you’ll be recommended for certification!


How Citation can help your finance business get ISO 27001 certified

ISO 27001 for financial services can really help to take your business’ information security and cybersecurity to the next level. Ready to become data-secure? You can gain ISO 27001 certification through our quick and easy three-step certification process!

Discover more about our ISO 27001 costs and ISO 27001 audit, or take a look at our guide to ISO 27001. Request a quote today, or call our team on 0333 242 8316 to learn how we can help you.

While you’re here, take control of your compliance 24/7 through our online management system platform, Atlas ISO. This comes with the additional benefits of built-in document controls, digital templates and more!

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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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