How to Achieve ISO 27001 Compliance with Remote Workers

Written by Kayla Coco-Stotts on April 6, 2023

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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 strict security posture hasn’t diminished.

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


The IT Manager’s Guide to Data Compliance Hygiene

How to ace your audit

What Is ISO?

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, 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 leaders to: 

  • Systematically examine the organization’s existing data security risks
  • Implement comprehensive security controls that address risk avoidance
  • Adopt an overarching business continuity 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. 

It’s worth emphasizing that certification for ISO/IEC 27001 is not obligatory. However, participating in a certification audit is an outstanding way to identify unexamined security vulnerabilities and strengthen trust with organizational stakeholders. 

Click here to learn more about the ISO certification process. 

3 Tips for Achieving ISO Compliance with Remote Workers

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1. 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. 

2. 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.

3. Adopt Overarching Management Processes

Finally, achieve ISO compliance 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.

Stay ISO Compliant with JumpCloud 

Spearheading security compliance for the first time can be daunting. The good news is that your team is probably already doing some of the actions recommended within ISO compliance standards. 

The not-so-secret secret to acing compliance is consistently maintaining IT security best practices. The JumpCloud Directory Platform helps organizations stay ISO compliant in hybrid, remote, and heterogenous work environments. JumpCloud integrates seamlessly with legacy systems to consolidate identity management infrastructure in one platform. 

It also eliminates tool sprawl by providing multi-factor authentication (MFA), mobile device management (MDM), single sign-on (SSO), password management, cloud LDAP and RADIUS, and SAML 2.0 web authentication capabilities in one place so admins can oversee user access permissions from one location. 

Want to learn more? 

Click here to dive into our IT Compliance Quickstart Guide.

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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