By David Armstrong, CEO, b4b Group

In an era of rising cybercrime, there are few things more valuable than customer trust and reputation.

Indeed, according to the 2023 Cybersecurity Report by Check Point Research, global cyberattacks increased by 38% compared to 2022.

At b4b Group, we recently added the ISO 27001 standard to our list of compliance accreditations, an achievement that significantly enhances our ability to combat cybercrime.

Accreditation may not be a subject that naturally grabs everyone’s attention, and the journey to achieving it is not an easy one, but it is worth considering just how significant an impact compliance can make on businesses.

Achieving ISO 27001 requires significant investment, dedicated resources, comprehensive training, and a strong commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data protection and security. It is worth it, though.

For many businesses that hold significant amounts of customer data, accreditation is crucial as it helps protect from data breaches, unauthorised access and other cyber threats. In fact, compliance with ISO 27001 or General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is often a legal requirement.

Adherence to these legal requirements helps companies to avoid severe penalties, fines, and sanctions that result from non-compliance. This not only protects the company’s financial health but also its standing in the market.

Achieving ISO 27001 signals to customers and partners that a company is committed to maintaining high standards of data security and privacy, which enhances its reputation and can be a significant advantage.

Accreditation frameworks provide systematic approaches to managing risks associated with data handling. By following these frameworks, companies can better identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks, thereby reducing the likelihood of data breaches and other security incidents in the first place.

Another critical aspect is that accreditation requires companies to streamline their data management practices and implement robust policies and procedures. This can lead to improved operational efficiency, reduced redundancy, and better resource management – all of which are not only cost-effective but also enhance overall service quality and customer satisfaction.

In a competitive market, accreditation helps to differentiate a company from its peers. It demonstrates a commitment to high standards and continuous improvement, which can be a deciding factor for customers when choosing between service providers.

For companies that work with multiple vendors and partners, accreditation serves as a benchmark for evaluating third-party data security practices. It ensures that partners and vendors meet the same high standards for data protection, thereby reducing the risk of data breaches originating from third-party sources.

Finally, accreditation involves ongoing audits and regular assessments which help companies to identify areas for development and the most up-to-date best practices. Continuous improvement is essential in the ever-evolving field of data security to ensure that companies remain resilient against new and emerging threats.

As a telecoms and managed IT company in a fiercely competitive market, achieving ISO 27001 has been an important part of our business journey. In fact, it has the potential to be a game-changer, with the ultimate reward of enhanced reputation, deeper customer trust and greater operational efficiency.