Staying ISO Compliant With Remote Workers

Written by Kayla Coco-Stotts on May 31, 2020

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For years, organizations seeking to meet compliance requirements have based security processes on meeting standards established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). While the way we work has changed in response to a global pandemic, the need for organizations to maintain a rigid security posture of course hasn’t diminished.

Being ISO compliant helps you defend your organization while also unifying your users, technology, and processes in a centralized management system. Below, we’ll cover what standards information security organizations must meet to reach ISO/IEC 27001 compliance, and how they can do so while also supporting a remote workforce.

What Is ISO?

Founded in 1947, ISO develops internationally recognized standards for technology and business operations. ISO regulations cover a number of activities, including making products, managing employees, delivering services, handling trade associations, etc. To learn more about ISO standards, you can check out this list on popular ISO standards across different industries. 

For IT departments to achieve ISO certification, organizations of any size must adhere to ISO/IEC 27001 standards on information security management. To keep network information secure, organizations must create an information security management system (ISMS), which requires that leaders:

  • Systematically examine the organization’s existing information security risks
  • Implement comprehensive security controls that address risk avoidance
  • Adopt an overarching management process that ensures security controls continue to meet the organization’s needs on an ongoing basis

So, while organizations implement various security protocols across their remote workforce, an ISMS is meant to ensure that financial information, intellectual property, and employee details are centrally secured and managed.

Systematically Examine Information

Organizations looking to stay ISO compliant while remote must examine their information security risks, take account of potential vulnerabilities, and understand the impact those vulnerabilities may have on their security posture.

A key component of an ISMS is making sure you know what is happening within your IT infrastructure at all times, and that only the right people are accessing the right resources. That means controlling who has access to what with overarching identity management tooling. It also means you need to have continuous visibility into all network traffic, and that the information has to be easy to access. Use event logging tools to monitor users and their systems, and in doing so, you can detect potential risks within your infrastructure.   

Implement Comprehensive Security Controls

A viable ISMS includes a comprehensive suite of controls that addresses typical risk factors in an organization. Even while remote, you need to establish processes for your users and their IT resources to maintain security. This may include:

  • Enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible
  • Training employees to use long, complex, and unique passwords
  • Enabling full disk encryption (FDE) for systems
  • Utilizing AV/AM software
  • Applying current software updates

Your organization can implement comprehensive security controls by operating under a zero trust security model. By treating every instance of resource access as a potential threat, you’re protecting both users and your IT infrastructure from a number of attack vectors.

Adopt Overarching Management Processes

Finally, you can stay ISO compliant with a remote workforce by ensuring your security controls continue to meet the organization’s information security needs on an ongoing basis. Centralize your identity and access management (IAM) tooling so you can automate security processes across virtually all resources.

Many organizations still meet compliance requirements while using point solutions to connect users to resources like disparate operating systems, applications, networks, IaaS platforms, and more. However, while remote, admins run into issues with maintaining control over users and their machines, as user identities are more difficult to manage over multiple platforms.

By centralizing your approach to identity management from the cloud, you can automate user provisioning and implement secure processes across your entire fleet of systems. Doing so ensures you meet compliance requirements now, and that you can quickly adjust your infrastructure to suit future demands.

Staying ISO Compliant With JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service 

JumpCloud is here to help your organization stay ISO compliant in the face of this new way of working. JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service integrates with legacy systems to consolidate identity management infrastructure in one platform so you can manage users and systems from anywhere, on any platform.

Not only does DaaS act as an overarching management platform built to make remote work happen, DaaS provides built-in MFA, cloud LDAP and RADIUS, and SAML 2.0 web authentication so admins can grant user access to their resources from one location.

For system management, IT teams use JumpCloud Policies to remotely implement cross-OS requirements such as lock screen time, remote storage, and enforcing FDE and MFA. Also, features like System Insights provide IT teams with the toolset they need to oversee their cross-OS fleet remotely.

Additionally, Directory Insights provides comprehensive logs on directory, application, system, and network authentication events. 

Learn More

Interested in learning more about how you can stay ISO compliant while remote? Check out our resource on enabling compliance through a cloud directory service. You can also register for a personalized demo to see Directory-as-a-Service’s identity management capabilities in action.

Kayla Coco-Stotts

Kayla is a content writer at JumpCloud with a B.A. in Print Journalism from the University of Kentucky. She hails from St. Louis, Missouri, and loves to eat good food and hike Boulder's beautiful trails when she is not writing.

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