A Detailed Comparison: ISO 9001 and ISO 27001

A Detailed Comparison: ISO 9001 and ISO 27001

ISO 9001 and related standards are often compared. There are a few reasons for these comparisons. First, ISO 9001 is the standard most companies have heard of, and many are already compliant with the standard. Comparing it to other ISO certifications can reveal how much of a gap there is between what has already been achieved and what remains to be done. Comparisons also occur to confirm how much overlap there is between ISO 9001 and other ISO standards. These are important decisions for businesses. Achieving multiple ISO certifications is something to tout, but it also can represent a sizable investment of time and money.

Comparing ISO 9001 with ISO 27001

Unlike other ISO standards, which tend to be focused on organizational or managerial quality management, ISO 27001 focuses on Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). This makes it more niche than many other ISO standards, but it also makes ISO 27001 a potential benefit for any company in any industry that wants to make progress in avoiding serious cybersecurity breaches.
What is ISO 9001:2015?

ISO 9001:2015 is a quality management standard, or QMS. Achieving ISO 9001 status reflects your company’s commitment to quality and also offers independent validation of your quality management system. Achieving an ISO standard can also assist in differentiating you from the competition. Smithers has years of experience in certifying companies to this standard, and we offer a myriad of resources to assist in your compliance journey, including a helpful checklist and several different gap analyses, including one between ISO 9001 and 45001.  ISO 9001 is built on the Plan-Do-Check-Act framework (PDCA). ISO defines PDCA as a “cycle of continual improvement, with risk-based thinking at each stage.”

What is ISO 27001?

While ISO 9001 might be called “the grandfather” of ISO standards, ISO 27001 is much newer and less well-known. Published in 2005, the standard was revised in 2013 and then again in 2022. The ISO 27001 standard is not a requirement for all companies, whereas ISO 9001 is universal. It also is distinct from NIST SP 800-171 in that it does not have anything to do with Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI). It is a cybersecurity standard of sorts, but the primary focus, as mentioned above, is the ISMS. An Information Security Management System is a system that helps companies monitor and protect their data.

Just as ISO 9001 helps maximize the efficiency of a quality management system, ISO 27001 drives compliance with cybersecurity controls that will maximize the security of information. ISO 27001 is an international standard, so it is ideal for companies that work with clients abroad. It is not, however, a direct replacement for the European GDPR standard, which focuses on protection of personal data.

Comparing ISO 9001 with ISO 27001

Smithers has created a detailed guide for your reference that will assist in determing the following:

  • If you are ISO 9001 certified, should you pursue ISO 27001 as well?
  • If you decide you should achieve ISO 27001 certification and are already ISO 9001 certified, how much of a gap is there to fill?
  • If you are interested in both standards, what is the most efficient and effective way to achieve both ISO 9001 and 27001 certification?

While the downloadable guide will help answer many questions, it is probable more questions will arise for your company as you explore the information. Contact us to learn more about these standards as well as how they can overlap with complying to NIST/CMMC and Cyber Insurance requirements.

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