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ISO 27001 vs 27002: Understanding the Key Differences

Keeping information safe in today’s high-tech world is of utmost importance for businesses. Serious consequences, such as financial losses, hindered brand image, and regulatory and compliance issues, are caused by data breaches, cyberattacks, and other security incidents. ISO 27001 vs 27002 will be discussed.

Two standards are ISO 27001 vs ISO 27002 which often come into the spotlight. To describe ISO 27001 vs 27002, it can be said that ISO 27001 is the international standard that best describes practices for an ISMS (information security management system), and ISO 27002 is a supplementary standard that explains how to implement the security controls defined in the Annex of ISO 27001.

ISO 27001 vs 27002 Detail:

An overview of ISMS is provided by ISO 27001 but goes into a different level of detail than ISO 27002. The latter is dedicated to roughly one page per control, explaining how to implement each. ISO 27001 is kept concise to maintain clarity and simplicity. ISO 27002, however, offers the nitty-gritty details for those who need a deeper dive.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is an international information security standard. The foundation of the ISO 27000 series is ISO 27001. An internationally recognized standard is ISO 27001 which is described as a systematic approach to maintaining sensitive company data, ensuring its confidentiality, integrity, and availability. This series comprises various documents related to different facets of information security management. ISO 27001, however, is the centerpiece. The implementation requirements for an ISMS are laid by it and an overview of what’s necessary for achieving compliance is offered. For organizations that obtain ISO/IEC 27001 certification, the ability is improved to defend against cyberattacks and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive and confidential information.

How does ISO 27001 operate?

ISO 27001’s primary function is safeguarding a company’s confidentiality, integrity, and information.  What has to happen to avoid such problems by doing a risk assessment (i.e., risk mitigation or treatment) can be decided by you. As a result, the primary principle of ISO 27001 is risk management,  identifying and treating hazards by applying security controls (or safeguards) is included in it.

What is the significance of ISO 27001?

The most valuable information with ISO 27001 standards can be protected by the company.  Companies can also obtain ISO 27001 certification. Individuals can become ISO 27001-certified by taking a course, passing an exam, and demonstrating their abilities. ISO 27001 is widely accepted all over the world, which creates business opportunities for organizations and professionals.

Why do we require ISMS?

With the implementation of this standard, four critical business benefits can be realized by a corporation:

  • Comply with legal requirements:  Several laws, regulations, and contractual obligations exist concerning information security, and the good news is that most of these issues can be remedied by applying ISO 27001.
  • Gain a competitive edge:  If certification has been obtained by your firm, an advantage may be held over competitors in the eyes of clients concerned about their information security.
  • Reduced expenses: The core tenet of ISO 27001 is the prevention of security incidents. Every occurrence, no matter how big or small, costs money. Your company will save money if they are avoided.
  • Improved organization: More time is needed to pause fast-growing businesses and clarify their processes and procedures.

When it comes to ISO 27001, organizations are tasked with several key steps:

  • Form a Project Team and Begin the Project: The journey is begun by forming a dedicated project team and getting the project underway.
  • Conduct a Gap Analysis: A comprehensive assessment is helped to identify where the organization stands concerning information security.
  • Scope the ISMS: Defining the scope of your Information Security Management System is vital in determining what areas require attention.
  • Initiate High-Level Policy Development: Policies that set the tone for your information security practices are developed.
  • Perform a Risk Assessment: Potential risks are identified and assessed for information security.
  • Select and Apply Controls: Identified risks are addressed to determine the appropriate controls.
  • Develop Risk Documentation: Documenting risks, their impact, and mitigation strategies.
  • Conduct Staff Awareness Training: Ensure all employees are informed and aware of information security practices.
  • Assess, review, and conduct an internal audit: Regular assessments and internal audits are used to monitor and improve ISMS effectiveness.
  • Opt for a Certification Audit: Seeking certification to validate compliance with ISO 27001 standards.

What is ISO 27002?

On the other hand, ISO 27002 is a complementary standard that is provided with detailed guidelines. Best practices for implementing the controls specified in ISO 27001 are provided. It is often called the “Code of Practice for Information Security Controls” and is a practical, hands-on companion to ISO 27001. While ISO 27001 sets the framework, ISO 27002 dives deeper into the specifics. It focuses on the information security controls that organizations can choose to implement. These controls are derived from Annex A of ISO 27001, often the go-to reference for information security experts. However, a detailed explanation of how it works, its objectives, and guidance on implementation is provided by ISO 27002.

Relationship Between ISO 27001 and ISO 27002:

You can see that ISO 27001 and ISO 27002 are closely related. ISO 27001, can be said to show the requirements for establishing an ISMS, while ISO 27002 guides selecting and implementing specific security controls to meet those requirements.


  • Certification: Certification can be sought by organizations through ISO 27001, a management standard. Compliance with its comprehensive requirements can be confirmed through ISO 27001. In contrast, ISO 27002 is a supplementary standard addressing specific aspects of ISMS and isn’t used for certification.
  • Applicability: All information security controls are not applied to every organization. ISO 27001 acknowledges this by emphasizing the importance of assessing risk to identify and prioritize information security threats. ISO 27002, however, risk assessment is not explicitly mentioned. So, if reliance were to be placed solely on ISO 27002, determining which controls are relevant to your organization would be challenging.

When to Use Each Standard:

The choice between ISO 27001 and 27002 has been dependent on your organization’s needs. And the information security journey is being reached. Here’s a simple guideline:

  • ISO 27001: If the implementation or planning of ISMS is underway or a high-level understanding of information security best practices is sought, ISO 27001 is considered the go-to standard.
  • ISO 27002: Once the specific controls to be implemented have been identified and detailed guidance on executing them effectively is needed, ISO 27002 is the reference standard.

In the world of information security, ISO 27001 and 27002 are complemented by each other. The stage is set by ISO 27001 while the script is provided by ISO 27002.

The recognition of ISO 27001 vs 27002 has been deemed critical. ISO 27001 is what is used by you for a high-level and straightforward perspective. These are made easy to understand and keep clear. Organizations can get certified with the comprehensive requirements laid out by 27001. On the other hand, there are no certifications that come from 27002. It is a supplementary standard for ISO 27001 vs 27002 but is equipped with detailed execution guidance. In the meantime, an idea can be gained by you regarding the ISO 13485 certification cost.

When choosing which standard to use, it is considered where your organization is in its information security journey. For newcomers or those who have just started an ISMS project, ISO 27001 has been ideal because of its general understanding of best practices. Specific controls will be complicated since there are none, so newcomers must graduate to 27002.

In conclusion, the distinction between ISO 27001 and 27002 has been laid in the fact that these two standards do not compete; rather, they work together in the information security mission. When combined, an approach is provided that enables organizations to protect their data and systems effectively, ensuring that no flaws are slipped through the cracks. ISO 27001 is regarded as a stage setter, while ISO 27002 is utilized as a script for successful security practices.

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