How Much Does ISO 27001 Certification Cost?

May 20, 2024

ISO 27001 standards are a critical, internationally recognized part of data security. This set of guidelines helps businesses implement robust information security management systems. In a rapidly evolving global marketplace where cybersecurity threats are ever-present, getting ISO 27001 certification is a valuable goal for every company that handles protected information. How much does ISO 27001 certification cost a business?

How Much Does ISO 27001 Certification Cost in Total?

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The cost of becoming ISO 27001 certified varies significantly by industry and organization. Many businesses pay from $15,000 to $100,000 for ISO 27001 certification when everything is said and done. In addition, there are ongoing costs to maintain certification, including training and annual surveillance audits.

What Factors Affect the Cost of ISO 27001 Certification?

The cost of obtaining ISO 27001 certification depends primarily on how much work you handle in-house and how much you outsource to consultants. Other factors include:

  • Your organization’s current information security practices
  • The total number of employees and business locations you have
  • Your company’s structure (e.g., remote workers or physical business location)
  • Your workflow, business management, and data storage platforms
  • The type of information security risks your business faces

The certifying partner you select also makes a big difference. Only accredited organizations can provide ISO 27001 certification, but there is a wide range of options approved by the ANSI National Accreditation Board. Some companies choose an internationally renowned auditor such as Ernst & Young, but this positive publicity comes with a far greater cost.

How Much Does ISO 27001 Certification Cost at Each Stage?

The cost of ISO 27001 certification differs by stage.

ISO 27001 compliance is something you pay for over time, not all at once.

ISMS Preparation Phase: ~$5,000 to $10,000

The costs of this foundational phase for information security are hard to quantify because they’re primarily internal. To prepare for an ISO 27001 audit, your team needs to perform many actions:

  • Define Your ISMS scope: Create a complete list of information, products, equipment, systems, and business locations your data security program covers.
  • Conduct a risk assessment: Determine which parts of your business are vulnerable to privacy or cybersecurity violations, such as compromised passwords.
  • Assign personnel: Develop an internal structure for information security management, assigning tasks to trustworthy personnel.
  • Train workers: Provide training for all employees on the new ISMS practices your organization has adopted.
  • Create internal audit documents: Fill out the Statement of Applicability and Risk Treatment Plan forms, detailing which security controls your organization chose to implement (or exclude), why, and how.

Planning, monitoring, and training can all impact your bottom line, technically adding to the cost of ISO 27001 certification.

Pre-Audit Preparation Assistance (Recommended): ~$10,000 to $35,000

What if you need help with ISMS design and implementation? You have several options:

  • Hire a private consultant (~$35,000)
  • Use an information security management platform (~$10,000 to $15,000)
  • Employ a chief information security officer (~$200,000 to $275,000 annually)

Consultants are expensive but offer personalized recommendations, so they can be helpful for companies with complex security needs. A CISO brings data security in-house, which is amazing but only practical for large-scale organizations that can afford the high salary.

An information security and compliance platform is a flexible option for organizations that want the benefits of a CISO without the elevated cost. Automated tools help businesses customize an ISMS framework, implement secure workflows, and track compliance.

Gap Analysis (Recommended): $5,000 to $8,000

A gap analysis is an informal “audit” for ISO 270001 compliance. Using an outside consultant or compliance platform to review your information security systems and find problems can save you money compared to repeating the cost of ISO 27001 certification.

Vulnerability Assessment or Penetration Test (Optional): $2,000 to $8,000

If you want to put your ISMS to the test against real-world risks, you can hire a specialist to perform a vulnerability assessment. Penetration testing simulates an attack against your ISMS, and may involve seeing how your organization responds to phishing attempts, employee access violations, and other threats. Pen tests can cost as much as $10,000 to $20,000 for large enterprises.

ISO 27001 Stage 1 and Stage 2 Audits: At Least $14,000 to $16,000

The cost of ISO 27001 certification includes hiring an accredited auditor to perform two separate revisions of your ISMS. The ISO 27001 Stage 1 audit looks at your information security plans on paper, checking your company’s policies and documentation.

An ISO 27001 Stage 2 audit involves an up-close inspection of your ISMS controls. Passing this audit provides you with ISO 27001 certification, which is valid for three years. For a smaller business, the audit may require about five days and cost up to $10,000. Audits for larger enterprises (175+ employees) usually take two weeks and cost from $20,000 to $30,000 in total.

Do You Have To Pay for ISO 27001 Compliance?

Should you invest in ISO 27001 certification costs at all?

Unless you’re a government contractor (or in the DoD supply chain), ISO 27001 compliance is voluntary, not mandatory. Your organization can choose to follow ISO 27001 guidelines without needing to pay for official certification. Of course, truly following through on information security best practices is challenging without assistance.

One thing to consider are your customers. In a growing number of industries, clients expect organizations to be ISO 27001 certified. They want to know that your company has strong measures in place to protect private data. This factor is especially important for financial enterprises, payment processors, e-commerce companies, and SaaS developers.

Is ISO 27001 Certification Worth It?

Once you know how much ISO 27001 certification costs, you may wonder if the time and effort required are worth it. For many businesses, the benefits far outweigh the costs:

  • Improved data security practices on an organizational level
  • More efficient data flows and information management
  • Better reputation for client privacy and security
  • Lower risk of costly data breach
  • Increased market opportunities in regions with strict data security laws, such as the GDPR in Europe

In other words, these expenses aren’t just for ISO 27001 certification. They’re also an investment in your company’s cybersecurity health.

Find Opportunities To Lower the ISO 27001 Certification Cost for Your Business

Compyl is a powerful information security management and compliance platform. Leverage automated tools to integrate, implement, document, and monitor data security compliance on an organizational level. Lower your ISO 27001 certification cost by streamlining your workflow automatically.

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