KISS or optimise your ISO27k ISMS?

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From time to time as we chat about scoping and designing Information Security Management Systems on the ISO27k Forum, someone naively suggests that we should Keep It Simple Stupid. After all, an ISO27k ISMS is, essentially, simply a way of managing information security, isn’t it?

At face value, then, KISS makes sense.

In practice, however, factors that complicate matters for organizations designing, implementing and using their ISMSs include different:

Business contexts – different organization sizes, structures, maturities, resources, experiences, resilience, adaptability, industries etc.; Types and significances of risks – different threats, vulnerabilities and impacts, different potential incidents of concern; Understandings of ‘information’, ‘risk’ and ‘management’ etc. – different goals/objectives, constraints and opportunities, even within a given organization/management team (and sometimes even within someone’s head!); Perspectives: the bungee jumper, bungee supplier and onlookers have markedly different appreciations of the same risks; Ways of structuring things within the specifications of ‘27001, since individual managers and management teams have the latitude to approach things differently, making unique decisions