Vanta is known for providing the fastest path to audit, but beyond that, we’re on a mission to secure the internet. We’ve helped nearly 3,000 companies prove their security and most recently, it was our turn to follow suit. Earlier this month, we received our ISO 27001 certification and along this journey, we learned a lot for our team and for our product.
What is ISO 27001?
ISO 27001 is a globally accepted international standard that was developed to help organizations protect their information and supporting assets in an organized and cost-effective manner through the implementation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS). An ISMS consists of processes, technology, and people that help you protect and manage your organization's information, and your customers’ data, through effective risk management. To pass your ISO 27001 certification audit, all of these controls need to be proven to the auditor, and it can be a lot to take on.
Why we wanted ISO 27001
Like many US-based companies, we pursued ISO 27001 to demonstrate the strength of our security practices to potential customers globally. We have seen firsthand how SOC 2 and ISO 27001 open doors to new business, there was no way we weren’t going to take the extra steps to put our best foot forward while looking to grow internationally.
Our ISO 27001 journey
We took this opportunity to put our product to the test. What usually takes six to 12 months to complete, we did in three. In addition to the time savings, the Vanta platform helped us cut down on the number of people involved and the amount of time they had to dedicate to the process.
Leveraging our platform, only two of our over 200 employees had to spend more than a couple hours on this process – Vanta’s Head of Cybersecurity and Data Privacy, Matt Cooper, and Security Lead, Rob Picard. Other parties involved included Christina Cacioppo, Founder and CEO, Ari Shahdadi, Head of Ops, Biz Dev and People, and Matt Spitz, Head of Engineering, all had to carve out just a couple hours to review the results of the risk assessment, internal audit, and policy updates and perform the formal management review.
In addition to limiting the amount of human capital required to make it through audit, we saw other big advantages from the platform.
- Automated guidance: We were prompted for all the evidence we needed - we didn’t have to figure out what was missing on our own. Given the breadth of the ISO 27001 audit, manually tracking what evidence you’ve collected is a pain at best, and nearly impossible at worst. Vanta keeps track of the evidence you’ve uploaded and makes it clear where the gaps are.
- Visibility: Vanta’s transparent rollout processes made the people management side of compliance painless. We could clearly see who completed their training and accepted policies, and the status of laptops and other equipment, which made it easy to remain compliant throughout the audit.
- Adaptable processes: Vanta has more than doubled our headcount over the past year, and yet our platform has remained nimble and scaled to fit our needs. As we refreshed policies, pushing them out to the entire company was a frictionless process. And given the growing complexity of our security needs, the ability to define and upload custom evidence ensured we were able to map our policies to the required clauses and controls.
This wouldn't be an authentic recap of our audit if we didn’t share that even with experts and a highly automated platform - ISO 27001 certification is hard. But that’s what makes this such a coveted standard, becoming ISO 27001 certified is an accomplishment often rewarded with more closed deals and more prospects.
One piece of advice we can offer is to be prepared to speak to the entirety of your ISMS. Vanta makes it clear which policies you have in place. By spending a bit of time reviewing them and the clauses they support, you’ll successfully make your way through the meticulous interview process.
As for the product, we’re not above critquiring ourselves. We identified some UI changes for our status reports, ways to rework the way controls are assigned, and a few improvements to our policy templates which were addressed in a release earlier this month.
Learning from ourselves and the thousands of companies we’ve served is how we continue to innovate, optimize, and build thoughtfully for the future. If you’re interested in pursuing ISO 27001 with the industry’s most experienced automated compliance platform, schedule some time to speak to the Vanta team today.