The traditional route to ISO 27001 certification is time-consuming, tedious, and stressful.

Normally, you'd need to complete a thorough risk assessment and gap analysis, then design controls and write policies from scratch. You'd need to train your staff on security best practices and make sure they all review the new policies. And you'd have to update spreadsheets and grab hundreds of screenshots to use as evidence during your formal audit. 

It all means dedicating multiple team members and company leaders to overseeing compliance, and likely hiring a consultant to assist you.

Compliance automation software can do a lot of this heavy lifting for you, saving hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars on audit preparation and consultant fees. Below, we’ll explain what compliance automation software does and share tips for deciding if it’s the right choice for you.

What is compliance automation?

ISO 27001 automation software simplifies and speeds up the certification process. It eliminates hundreds of hours of manual work from the process of preparing for your audits and maintaining certification.

Normally, audit prep involves tracking dozens of documents in spreadsheets and grabbing screenshots to share with your auditor as evidence. Compliance software integrates with your existing tech stack to pull that information for you.

Here are some other powerful benefits of ISO 27001 software:

Saves time and money

Most startups don’t have a dedicated security and compliance team. CEOs, CTOs, and lead engineers are left to create and implement security controls, fill out time-consuming security questionnaires, maintain hundreds of documents, and manage the entire audit preparation process. All of this busy work means fewer resources available for other high-priority, revenue-generating projects.

Streamlines policy creation

Instead of writing all of your own policies from scratch, the best ISO 27001 automation platforms include a library of auditor-approved policy templates that you can customize for your business needs.

Continually monitors your systems and internal controls

Secureframe goes beyond audit prep to help you build and maintain a best-in-class security program. Our platform monitors your tech stack 24/7 to alert you of non-conformities, making it easier to maintain continuous compliance. And our team of security, privacy, and compliance experts will offer personalized guidance based on your unique systems and business needs. They’ll be there at every step of the compliance journey, from scoping your audit and identifying gaps to keeping your entire security program running smoothly. 

Simplifies the audit process for both you and your auditor

Software solutions make the process of collecting and transferring evidence to your auditor easy and straightforward. It saves you both from the back-and-forth of submitting additional evidence or manually re-testing controls. Secureframe has established relationships with highly regarded auditors. It all adds up to faster audits with fewer headaches for everyone.

Makes it easier to maintain compliance

Secureframe can automatically collect evidence for your surveillance and recertification audits. And because our software continuously monitors your tech stack, you'll be able to fix issues quickly and proactively instead of scrambling in the weeks before an auditor shows up at your door.

Simplifies compliance across frameworks

ISO 27001 has a lot of overlapping requirements with SOC 2 — approximately 80% according to AICPA criteria mapping. And both can be essential security frameworks for growing companies looking to expand into lucrative new markets.

Instead of starting from ground zero, compliance software can help map what you’ve already done for ISO 27001 to other information security frameworks. It'll be faster and easier to achieve additional certifications and avoid duplicated efforts.

While ISO 27001 automation can be incredibly beneficial, it’s important to avoid relying too much on a tool. Company stakeholders must continue to prioritize a strong security strategy, own audit scope and risk analysis, and understand how internal controls are designed and implemented. Use the software to automate tedious and time-consuming tasks like evidence collection, threat notifications, and vendor risk management.

How to choose a compliance automation platform

The security, privacy, and compliance software landscape is a fast-growing space, with an increasing number of vendors to choose from. Keep these questions in mind as you evaluate potential solutions to help decide which is the best fit for your organization: 

  • Are your chosen security frameworks supported? Be sure to consider any you may need as your company grows.
  • Is the number and depth of integrations enough to save your team from excess work?
  • What is the level of customer support? What channels are available to receive support? Does that support extend through the audit itself?
  • Does the vendor have established relationships with respected auditing firms? 
  • What audit scope is included in the pricing package? Look for clear, transparent pricing without hidden costs.

Key features of compliance automation software

Automated evidence collection

Eliminating tedious, manual tasks is one of the core advantages of ISO 27001 compliance automation. Look for a solution that offers a wide range of integrations that automatically collect evidence to simplify your audits.

Vendor management

Managing vendor risk can be incredibly complicated. Choosing a tool that collects all of your vendor agreements and security certifications in one spot simplifies the entire process. 

Policy library

If you don’t already have a set of internal security policies, creating them all from scratch can be time-consuming and confusing. Many ISO 27001 automation tools offer a library of templated policies that are approved by a team of auditors, making it much easier and faster to build out your policies and ensure they’re compliant with ISO 27001 requirements.

Employee onboarding and offboarding

Educating your team on ISMS policies and processes is an essential part of ISO 27001 compliance. Compliance automation software can verify that every member of your team completes security training and policy reviews. When you need to revoke access for former employees, the software can make that easy, too.

Continuous monitoring

Compliance doesn’t end with certification. Choose a tool that alerts you to issues that could threaten your compliance. Tools like Secureframe will even provide detailed guidance for correcting each issue so you’ll know for sure it’s fixed. 

Expert, end-to-end support

Look for solutions that have a team of experienced former auditors on staff. At Secureframe, our team will help you before, during, and long after your audit.

ISO 27001 auditors will likely have follow-up questions no matter how well prepared you are. Having a team of compliance experts by your side can help you field technical questions and requests for additional evidence. Plus they can offer personalized security advice based on years of experience.