ISO 27001 certification requires a substantial investment of time, money, and effort to achieve.

But it doesn’t have to be so costly and time-consuming.

Automation can slash the time and money needed to achieve compliance by making the entire process more efficient.

How long does ISO 27001 certification take without automation?

Because ISO 27001 certification requires so much manual work, it’s worth breaking the process down into pre-audit prep and the audits themselves.

The pre-audit phase typically lasts 1-4 months, consisting of:

  • Scoping your ISMS
  • Evaluating your information assets 
  • Conducting a risk assessment and risk treatment plan 
  • Completing a gap analysis
  • Implementing new controls
  • Writing new policies and procedures
  • Training your employees
  • Compiling the necessary audit documentation and evidence
  • Completing a readiness assessment and/or internal audit

The stage 1 audit can take around 4 weeks and the stage 2 audit can take approximately 2 months, depending on the scope and complexity of your ISMS and the number of additional evidence requests and control tests your auditor has to issue.

The auditor will gather and review all of your evidence documentation, interview members of your team, and finally issue your ISO 27001 certification.

Once you achieve certification, the work continues on maintaining it. This includes monitoring and improving your ISMS in preparation for your surveillance audits at the end of years 1 and 2, as well as the recertification audit at the end of year 3. 

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost without automation?

Like the certification timeline, ISO 27001 compliance costs vary depending on:

  • The scope and complexity of your ISMS
  • Whether you’re pursuing a new certification or completing a surveillance audit
  • The level of prestige of your auditing firm

On average, companies can expect to pay up to $40,000 during the audit preparation process, $15,000+ for the certification audit itself, and $10,000 per year for maintenance and surveillance audits. 

In addition to the formal audit, ISO 27001 costs often include:

Penetration testing

With a penetration test, also known as a “pen test,” a company hires a third party to launch a simulated attack designed to identify vulnerabilities in its infrastructure, systems, and applications. It can then use the results of that simulated attack to fix any potential vulnerabilities. A professional ISO 27001 penetration test costs between $2-8k, depending on the size of your organization and the scope of your systems.

Security tools and training

Fixing gaps in your data management system can mean purchasing new security tools. You might also need to invest in employee security training or even hire more employees.

Consulting fees

Some companies without an internal compliance team choose to hire an ISO 27001 consultant. These security consultants can help conduct a gap analysis, create a remediation plan, and assist in audit prep. If you choose to hire a consultant, expect to pay an additional $1,500-$2,500 per day, depending on the scope of your systems.

Between preparation and the certification audits themselves, the total cost of achieving ISO 27001 compliance can land between $35k and nearly $100k. And because ISO 27001 certification needs to be maintained and renewed, many of these are recurring annual costs.

Why automation is a game-changer for ISO 27001 audits

Secureframe’s compliance automation streamlines the entire ISO 27001 audit process, saving teams hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars spent writing security policies, collecting evidence, performing readiness assessments, and hiring security consultants — but the benefits of automation go beyond time and cost savings.

In a survey conducted by UserEvidence, Secureframe users reported a range of benefits, including:

  • 97% strengthened their security and compliance posture 
  • 95% saved time and resources obtaining and maintaining compliance
  • 89% sped up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks 
  • 85% unlocked annual cost savings
  • 71% improved visibility into security and compliance posture

Let's take a closer look at these benefits of Secureframe's compliance automation solution below.

Strengthens your security and compliance posture

Using Secureframe, you can understand exactly what you need to do to meet ISO 27001 requirements and track your progress towards being audit-ready. You’ll get a real-time view of what’s in place and what you can do to improve before bringing in your auditor.

You can also leverage our team of in-house compliance experts and their decades of audit and consulting experience. They can work with you to understand your company’s specific requirements, provide tailored advice for an ironclad security posture, and guide you through a successful audit.

Saves time and resources

If your organization relies on a manual approach to compliance, you’ll need to:

  • Collect screenshots and documentation for evidence over and over for each ISO 27001 audit
  • Track dozens of tasks in spreadsheets, some of which need to be performed annually, quarterly, or on another recurring basis to maintain compliance
  • Complete thorough risk assessments and gap analyses regularly as your business grows and industry standards evolve
  • Create a risk register and asset inventory in spreadsheets and keep those up-to-date
  • Write ISMS policies from scratch and ensure they stay updated and that employees review them as they onboard and at least annually after that
  • Monitor your controls and infrastructure to identify any issues and remediate them as quickly as possible

As your organization spends more resources on repetitive manual tasks like these, the complexity and costs of ISO 27001 compliance rise sharply. Secureframe automates these manual tasks, reducing the time and resources it takes for your organization to achieve and maintain compliance.

Speeds up time-to-compliance for multiple frameworks

As your compliance program expands beyond ISO 27001, Secureframe can help reduce the time and effort required to comply with multiple frameworks. Secureframe automatically maps the control set and underlying tests of the ISO 27001 framework to the requirements of another framework. By doing so, organizations don’t have to waste valuable time and resources creating independent sets of controls, performing redundant tests, gathering the same evidence, and repeating other activities to comply with multiple frameworks that have common controls.

That means, if you add a new framework to your Secureframe instance, you will automatically see where you stand with that framework and how it overlaps with ISO 27001. Due to such common overlap across frameworks, existing Secureframe customers adding new frameworks never start at 0% when adding a new framework to their instance. 

Unlocks cost savings

ISO 27001 compliance is an extremely cross-functional practice, where the assets under scope span multiple teams, including engineering, security, compliance, leadership, risk, IT, and HR. As a result, many compliance activities are performed by various teams that actually own the assets in question. This is why typical compliance automation software has focused on automating workflow aspects around cross-functional collaboration, such as ticket lifecycle management, cross-functional control ownership, alerting, and reporting.

However, Secureframe acts as an all-in-one solution and removes the need for many of these compliance activities to be human exercises at all. By reducing the amount of manual work that teams need to perform, Secureframe drastically lowers workflow and collaboration requirements, which leads to massive cost savings across the entire compliance function.

Improves visibility into your security and compliance posture

From your cloud infrastructure to your vendor ecosystem, we continuously scan and monitor your tech stack and alert you of vulnerabilities. This helps you get your ISO 27001 certification faster and stay compliant.

This automated continuous monitoring, combined with deep integrations and dashboards, provides your organization to with a holistic view of your compliance management program so you can see how your ISO 27001 controls are performing over time and if there are any non-conformities or compliance issues across your tech stack.

Thousands of companies trust Secureframe to streamline ISO 27001 compliance. If you’re ready to get started, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.