A part of the planning for an ISO 27001 certificate is determining the estimated cost of the exercise and gathering the funds. The impact on sales and market acceptance makes up for the costs involved. Every organization would want to allocate a budget to ensure the certification is successfully achieved.
There are fixed costs regarding the fees to be paid to external auditors and the signing authorities. However, the final prices are different for every organization depending on the data structure of the ISMS, the size of the company in various terms, office locations, and the usage of external consultants and agencies.
Cost Of ISO 27001 Certification
Several factors determine the accumulative cost of ISO 27001 certification, including the organization's size. Naturally, you'll pay less if your organization is smaller than those with a bigger organization. However, when assessing your own ISO 27001 compliance expenses, it might be helpful to have specific numbers in mind.
So, we were able to string together an average scale that summarizes the cost of ISO 27001 certification in 2022. Companies should budget up to $40,000 for audit preparation, $15,000+ for the certification audit, and $10,000 per year for maintenance and surveillance audits
Here is the breakdown of the entire cost in the following table:
ISO 27001 Certification Costs
Audit Preparation Costs (including gap analysis, pen testing, and standard requirements)
Implementation Costs (including security training, new tools, and productivity loss management)
Starting from $1K annually
Certification Audit Costs (including internal audit, certification, and surveillance)
Total ISO 27001 certification cost
All three stages of certification, namely, preparation, implementation, and auditing process cost, have been explained in a detailed manner below to help you understand the entire process.
There are both mandated and variable costs in the preparation stage. Mandatory costs include the fixed cost of buying a copy of the standard and a copy of the guide to implementation from the ISO website. The total cost of this is $350.
The following costs differ depending on the strategy adopted by the company. However, you can reduce these variable costs by hiring technology-enabled consultants such as Scrut, who reduce your workload with their specialized tools.
The following are the critical costs during the preparation phase:
Consulting fees: External consultants can oversee the process and use their experience of having done the ISO 27001 certification multiple times. These are people who, for a fee, can handle the task end-to-end.
Gap assessment: Building an ISMS that meets the standards set by the ISO is a primary task. A consultant can be brought in to precisely analyze and design the path from the present state of the information system to the one that would be required to fulfill the compliance regulations.
Risk Assessment & Testing: One of the requirements of ISO 27001 is that the assessor must test a company's security system. It is a mandatory requirement to demonstrate that various vulnerabilities of the ISMS are actively discovered and addressed. Thus, as part of the process, companies get third-party teams to conduct penetration and vulnerability tests to identify the weak spots of the security system. The costs of these tests depend on several factors, including the servers, IP addresses, and applications being used.
The Annex A of the ISO 27001 lists 114 controls, including security policies, managing various assets, access, training, and other features. Implementing these is a part of the cost structure. Here are the main factors that influence the implementation costs:
Employee training: Employee training is primarily essential to fulfill two objectives. Firstly, training some key employees who are part of the core team so they can oversee the certification exercise. Secondly, employee training is also required for those whose day-to-day activities are impacted by implementing the ISO standards.
Security and other related software: Specific software will be required to address risks and strengthen information security. While this may result in additional costs, it will be helpful in cutting down several other expenses resulting from a breach of security. Companies such as Scrut can save time and money for their clients by using tried and tested technology in implementing ISO 27001 compliances.
Indirect costs: Departments across the organization must invest time and resources to implement the ISO 27001 regulations properly. Although it is time-consuming, this will strengthen the company's overall security. But, there will be indirect costs in terms of less productivity in various departments such as sales, marketing, engineering, strategy, etc. Your organization can mitigate this cost by having a seasoned team do the implementation.
Employing external auditors who are authorized to conduct the audit for the ISO 27001 certification is one of the unavoidable costs. There are three stages of the audit process, and they are as follows:
Stage 1 audit: This audit is about reviewing documents and assessing the company's preparation for ISO 27001.
Stage 2 audit: This is an audit that is required to assess the implementation of the various controls and match the documentation with the on-ground application.
Annual review: The ISO 27001 is valid for three years. Every year your organization must conduct an audit to show adequate compliance with the various rules.
The costs of this audit are also to be paid by the company. There are also costs arising from the certification renewal every three years.
Conclusion: How to be cost-effective?
Various mandated and variable costs are involved in getting the ISO 27001 certification. Some of the key costs result from acquiring the latest documents about the standards set by ISO 27001 and a guide on how to implement them. All other costs depend on how well the process is designed and implemented, along with various other factors, such as the size of the company and the existing ISMS. The costs can rise if a company uses a trial-and-error system to get this done, and productivity costs can also increase substantially in such cases.
The ROI justifies the costs incurred in getting the ISO 27001 certification. It is better to spend well once and for all rather than incur the risk of being rejected by external auditors. One of the smart ways to be cost-effective is to seek a technology-enabled company like Scrut that will save both time and money for your organization by doing the hard work for you.
Scrut Automation is a smart and radically simple Governance, Risk, and Compliance automation platform for growing startups and mid-market enterprises. With Scrut, Compliance teams can reduce ~70% of their manual effort in continuously maintaining compliance towards SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS, and privacy laws like HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA. Schedule your demo today to see how it works.