A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

Cybersecurity is a high priority for companies around the world — about 54% of companies have experienced a cybersecurity attack in the past year. With such a looming threat, companies have high security standards for the vendors they work with and often require them to be ISO 27001 certified.

While ISO 27001 compliance can help you create new clients, there are some costs to consider before starting your ISO 27001 implementation. In this article, we’ll break down the expenses to expect over the course of your ISO 27001 compliance project.

ISO 27001 certification costs

What does it mean to be ISO 27001 certified?

The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, is a well-respected organization based in Switzerland that develops various standards, including ISO 27001. While they created the standard, they cannot directly offer compliance certifications.

Certificates that verify your ISO 27001 compliance are issued by third-party organizations that perform ISO 27001 audits as a paid service. This is part of the reason the price for ISO 27001 certification varies so much. 

While ISO doesn’t issue certifications, it does have a set of standards that you need to abide by to get certified. ISO also suggests making sure that your provider is accredited in your country. If you choose a certification provider that meets these criteria, and you successfully perform the audit, your ISO 27001 certification will be accepted by customers around the world.

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The costs of ISO 27001 can vary significantly based on several factors. Total expenses can range from $6,000 to more than $40,000 for large businesses with complex systems.

Here are some of the top factors that will impact the cost of your ISO 27001 certification:

  • Your organization size
  • The complexity of your information security management system (ISMS)
  • The certifying organization you choose
  • The external auditor you choose‍

The different stages of your ISO 27001 implementation and audit have different price tags. In the next section, we’ll consider the expenses in the order that you’ll incur them: Preparation and implementation, Stage 1 and 2 audits, and surveillance audits.

How you approach ISO 27001 compliance

One of the first steps in your compliance project and budgeting exercise will be determining how you plan to reach compliance. There are three approaches you can take, each with different price points: a DIY approach with your internal team, hire a consultant, or use a compliance automation platform.

Option 1: Implementing ISO 27001 internally

Many organizations start their compliance journey using a DIY approach. They will assign internal employees to implement the ISO 27001 security practices and prepare the organization’s ISMS for audit. 

Depending on the size and structure of your organization, you may have a team of professionals with ISO 27001 experience that can reach compliance without external help. In this case, you’ll be saving money by not needing to hire a consultant.

For teams that lack experience with ISO 27001 or that lack the right tools to reach compliance, the cost of getting compliant will likely be higher. This is because it will likely take the team longer to implement the controls and may even require training or external support to reach compliance. 

Option 2: Hiring a consultant

ISO 27001 is an intricate information security standard. One path toward ISO 27001 compliance is hiring a consultant to lead your compliance project. These consultants have in-depth knowledge of the ISO 27001 standard and can guide you through the process of getting compliant. They can let you know what needs to be done, assign tasks to the right professionals, recommend vendors as needed, and ensure that you reach compliance and pass your audit. 

Hiring a consultant is a significant expense, especially if your company’s cybersecurity structure is less mature. A rough estimate for hiring a consultant is in the range of $30,000.

Option 3: Using an automated compliance platform

An automated compliance platform is the middle point between a DIY approach and hiring a consultant. Compliance automation platforms are designed by security experts to guide your compliance project and automate a significant portion of the manual work. 

A compliance automation platform can perform the following functions:

  • Integrate with your systems against the ISO 27001 requirements and determine which you have and haven’t met.
  • Help you assess and manage the risks your organization faces. 
  • Collect evidence of your compliance with various ISO 27001 requirements, which you’ll need to provide to your auditor.
  • Provide templates to help you reach compliance more efficiently.

A compliance automation platform may save you money by making your compliance process more efficient and saving your business engineering hours.

Preparation costs

The costs of preparing to launch your ISO 27001 project can vary, but there are several key expenses to include in your ISO 27001 implementation budget:

Purchase the ISO 27001 standard

You’ll need to purchase the documents that detail the ISO 27001 standard and the implementation guide, as these are not publicly available. It costs $350 in total: $125 for the ISO 27001 standard and $225 for ISO 27002, the implementation guide for ISO 27001.

Internal audit

An internal audit is a required part of ISO 27001 compliance. You’ll need to conduct an internal audit before undergoing a certification or surveillance audit with an external auditor. It will help you uncover any gaps you have and identify what needs to be matured or changed before your audit. An internal audit can be done by a knowledgeable internal employee that hasn’t worked on your organization’s ISMS or by hiring an outside auditor. 

Since you may not need to hire an external auditor, the price of an internal audit can greatly vary between $0-$6,000. 

Gap analysis

A gap analysis assesses what areas of your ISMS are not compliant with ISO 27001. This analysis — whether performed internally, done via compliance automation platform, or by hiring an external auditor — helps you understand which ISO 27001 requirements you’ve already met and which you still need to implement. 

Hiring an external auditor for this can cost between $5,000-$8,000. If you use a compliance platform, a gap analysis is often included in the cost of your tool.

Penetration testing

A penetration test is an evaluation that puts your information security to the test. While there are many different types of penetration tests, it generally involves hiring a professional hacker to attempt to hack your system to identify the weak spots in your security posture. Depending on who you hire and how complex your system is, this can cost between $5,000 to $20,000.

Implementation costs

With the steps you’ve taken to prepare, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you’ll need to do to become ISO 27001 compliant. The cost of your implementation will vary greatly depending on whether you chose a DIY approach, to hire a consultant, or use compliance automation. 

Here are some factors to consider that could impact the cost of your implementation: 

Training employees

Any employee could unknowingly provide hacker access to your organization’s data. This is why security training for all employees is a requirement of ISO 27001. The cost of this training depends on what training you’ve already conducted, the size of your staff, and if you hire an external consultant to conduct the training. It roughly costs up to $15,000 per training session when done via a consultant.

Security tools and software

Some of the requirements of ISO 27001 involve buying and implementing software to protect your data. Some examples include firewalls, antivirus software, ongoing vulnerability scans, mobile device management software, and password managers. Many of these tools come with a cost depending on how many employees you have, computing capacity, or other factors. Expect to spend upwards of $10,000 depending on your staff size and how many tools you implement.

Continuously monitoring and updating controls

Part of the ISO 27001 requirements is establishing a strategy for continuous improvement, which means doing ongoing screenings of your system for breach attempts and security gaps. Your in-house team may be able to do this, but it will require roughly 400 hours of their time each year. You could also hire an external consultant which usually costs $6,000-$8,000. Continuous monitoring is often included in the cost of a compliance automation platform and removes much of the time your team would need to spend screening for security gaps. 

ISO 27001 stage 1 and 2 audits costs

You’ll need to complete an audit to verify your ISO 27001 compliance and get certified. The first part of the audit is called the stage 1 audit, during which your auditor will review your documentation and determine if you’re ready to move forward. Stage 2 is the certification audit when your auditor will investigate your ISMS and determine if you’ve met the ISO 27001 requirements.

These two stages are typically packaged together in terms of cost. The price will vary based on the auditor you hire, how complex your ISMS is, and other factors. If you expect your audit to be more time-intensive, it will likely also cost more. Expect the price to be in the $14,000-$16,000 range.

ISO 27001 surveillance audit and recertification costs

Your ISO 27001 certification is valid for up to three years, but to maintain your compliance, you’ll need to undergo routine surveillance audits and recertification audits. This is an abbreviated audit to ensure you’re upholding the ISO 27001 requirements. If you fail a surveillance audit, you’ll need to do a full recertification audit again. After the three-year term of your certification, you’ll also need to renew your certification again by going through the full audit.

Each recertification audit costs the same as an original certification audit — between $14,000-$16,000. Surveillance audits cost less at roughly $6,000 to $7,500.

How can I reduce my ISO 27001 cost?

Automation can save your business time and money during your ISO 27001 certification process. Vanta’s Trust Management Platform can help you identify and assess your risk, prepare for an audit, and collect documentation — saving your business time and money. What’s even better is that we include the cost of your audit in the price of the platform when you select a Vanta-vetted auditor.

Schedule a demo to learn how you can simplify your ISO 27001 audit.

Preparing for an ISO 27001 audit

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

Cybersecurity is a high priority for companies around the world — about 54% of companies have experienced a cybersecurity attack in the past year. With such a looming threat, companies have high security standards for the vendors they work with and often require them to be ISO 27001 certified.

While ISO 27001 compliance can help you create new clients, there are some costs to consider before starting your ISO 27001 implementation. In this article, we’ll break down the expenses to expect over the course of your ISO 27001 compliance project.

ISO 27001 certification costs

What does it mean to be ISO 27001 certified?

The International Organization for Standardization, or ISO, is a well-respected organization based in Switzerland that develops various standards, including ISO 27001. While they created the standard, they cannot directly offer compliance certifications.

Certificates that verify your ISO 27001 compliance are issued by third-party organizations that perform ISO 27001 audits as a paid service. This is part of the reason the price for ISO 27001 certification varies so much. 

While ISO doesn’t issue certifications, it does have a set of standards that you need to abide by to get certified. ISO also suggests making sure that your provider is accredited in your country. If you choose a certification provider that meets these criteria, and you successfully perform the audit, your ISO 27001 certification will be accepted by customers around the world.

How much does ISO 27001 certification cost?

The costs of ISO 27001 can vary significantly based on several factors. Total expenses can range from $6,000 to more than $40,000 for large businesses with complex systems.

Here are some of the top factors that will impact the cost of your ISO 27001 certification:

  • Your organization size
  • The complexity of your information security management system (ISMS)
  • The certifying organization you choose
  • The external auditor you choose‍

The different stages of your ISO 27001 implementation and audit have different price tags. In the next section, we’ll consider the expenses in the order that you’ll incur them: Preparation and implementation, Stage 1 and 2 audits, and surveillance audits.

How you approach ISO 27001 compliance

One of the first steps in your compliance project and budgeting exercise will be determining how you plan to reach compliance. There are three approaches you can take, each with different price points: a DIY approach with your internal team, hire a consultant, or use a compliance automation platform.

Option 1: Implementing ISO 27001 internally

Many organizations start their compliance journey using a DIY approach. They will assign internal employees to implement the ISO 27001 security practices and prepare the organization’s ISMS for audit. 

Depending on the size and structure of your organization, you may have a team of professionals with ISO 27001 experience that can reach compliance without external help. In this case, you’ll be saving money by not needing to hire a consultant.

For teams that lack experience with ISO 27001 or that lack the right tools to reach compliance, the cost of getting compliant will likely be higher. This is because it will likely take the team longer to implement the controls and may even require training or external support to reach compliance. 

Option 2: Hiring a consultant

ISO 27001 is an intricate information security standard. One path toward ISO 27001 compliance is hiring a consultant to lead your compliance project. These consultants have in-depth knowledge of the ISO 27001 standard and can guide you through the process of getting compliant. They can let you know what needs to be done, assign tasks to the right professionals, recommend vendors as needed, and ensure that you reach compliance and pass your audit. 

Hiring a consultant is a significant expense, especially if your company’s cybersecurity structure is less mature. A rough estimate for hiring a consultant is in the range of $30,000.

Option 3: Using an automated compliance platform

An automated compliance platform is the middle point between a DIY approach and hiring a consultant. Compliance automation platforms are designed by security experts to guide your compliance project and automate a significant portion of the manual work. 

A compliance automation platform can perform the following functions:

  • Integrate with your systems against the ISO 27001 requirements and determine which you have and haven’t met.
  • Help you assess and manage the risks your organization faces. 
  • Collect evidence of your compliance with various ISO 27001 requirements, which you’ll need to provide to your auditor.
  • Provide templates to help you reach compliance more efficiently.

A compliance automation platform may save you money by making your compliance process more efficient and saving your business engineering hours.

Preparation costs

The costs of preparing to launch your ISO 27001 project can vary, but there are several key expenses to include in your ISO 27001 implementation budget:

Purchase the ISO 27001 standard

You’ll need to purchase the documents that detail the ISO 27001 standard and the implementation guide, as these are not publicly available. It costs $350 in total: $125 for the ISO 27001 standard and $225 for ISO 27002, the implementation guide for ISO 27001.

Internal audit

An internal audit is a required part of ISO 27001 compliance. You’ll need to conduct an internal audit before undergoing a certification or surveillance audit with an external auditor. It will help you uncover any gaps you have and identify what needs to be matured or changed before your audit. An internal audit can be done by a knowledgeable internal employee that hasn’t worked on your organization’s ISMS or by hiring an outside auditor. 

Since you may not need to hire an external auditor, the price of an internal audit can greatly vary between $0-$6,000. 

Gap analysis

A gap analysis assesses what areas of your ISMS are not compliant with ISO 27001. This analysis — whether performed internally, done via compliance automation platform, or by hiring an external auditor — helps you understand which ISO 27001 requirements you’ve already met and which you still need to implement. 

Hiring an external auditor for this can cost between $5,000-$8,000. If you use a compliance platform, a gap analysis is often included in the cost of your tool.

Penetration testing

A penetration test is an evaluation that puts your information security to the test. While there are many different types of penetration tests, it generally involves hiring a professional hacker to attempt to hack your system to identify the weak spots in your security posture. Depending on who you hire and how complex your system is, this can cost between $5,000 to $20,000.

Implementation costs

With the steps you’ve taken to prepare, you’ll have a clear understanding of what you’ll need to do to become ISO 27001 compliant. The cost of your implementation will vary greatly depending on whether you chose a DIY approach, to hire a consultant, or use compliance automation. 

Here are some factors to consider that could impact the cost of your implementation: 

Training employees

Any employee could unknowingly provide hacker access to your organization’s data. This is why security training for all employees is a requirement of ISO 27001. The cost of this training depends on what training you’ve already conducted, the size of your staff, and if you hire an external consultant to conduct the training. It roughly costs up to $15,000 per training session when done via a consultant.

Security tools and software

Some of the requirements of ISO 27001 involve buying and implementing software to protect your data. Some examples include firewalls, antivirus software, ongoing vulnerability scans, mobile device management software, and password managers. Many of these tools come with a cost depending on how many employees you have, computing capacity, or other factors. Expect to spend upwards of $10,000 depending on your staff size and how many tools you implement.

Continuously monitoring and updating controls

Part of the ISO 27001 requirements is establishing a strategy for continuous improvement, which means doing ongoing screenings of your system for breach attempts and security gaps. Your in-house team may be able to do this, but it will require roughly 400 hours of their time each year. You could also hire an external consultant which usually costs $6,000-$8,000. Continuous monitoring is often included in the cost of a compliance automation platform and removes much of the time your team would need to spend screening for security gaps. 

ISO 27001 stage 1 and 2 audits costs

You’ll need to complete an audit to verify your ISO 27001 compliance and get certified. The first part of the audit is called the stage 1 audit, during which your auditor will review your documentation and determine if you’re ready to move forward. Stage 2 is the certification audit when your auditor will investigate your ISMS and determine if you’ve met the ISO 27001 requirements.

These two stages are typically packaged together in terms of cost. The price will vary based on the auditor you hire, how complex your ISMS is, and other factors. If you expect your audit to be more time-intensive, it will likely also cost more. Expect the price to be in the $14,000-$16,000 range.

ISO 27001 surveillance audit and recertification costs

Your ISO 27001 certification is valid for up to three years, but to maintain your compliance, you’ll need to undergo routine surveillance audits and recertification audits. This is an abbreviated audit to ensure you’re upholding the ISO 27001 requirements. If you fail a surveillance audit, you’ll need to do a full recertification audit again. After the three-year term of your certification, you’ll also need to renew your certification again by going through the full audit.

Each recertification audit costs the same as an original certification audit — between $14,000-$16,000. Surveillance audits cost less at roughly $6,000 to $7,500.

How can I reduce my ISO 27001 cost?

Automation can save your business time and money during your ISO 27001 certification process. Vanta’s Trust Management Platform can help you identify and assess your risk, prepare for an audit, and collect documentation — saving your business time and money. What’s even better is that we include the cost of your audit in the price of the platform when you select a Vanta-vetted auditor.

Schedule a demo to learn how you can simplify your ISO 27001 audit.

Get started with ISO 27001

Start your ISO 27001 journey with these related resources.

ISO 27001

The ISO 27001 Compliance Checklist

ISO 27001 is the global gold standard for ensuring the security of information and its supporting assets. Obtaining ISO 27001 certification can help an organization prove its security practices to potential customers anywhere in the world.

The ISO 27001 Compliance Checklist
The ISO 27001 Compliance Checklist
ISO 27001

ISO 27001 Compliance for SaaS

On 10 October at 2 PM BST, join the Ask Me (Almost) Anything with Herman Errico and Kim Elias, compliance experts at Vanta. They’ll answer (almost) all your questions about ISO 27001 compliance.

ISO 27001 Compliance for SaaS
ISO 27001 Compliance for SaaS
ISO 27001

ISO 27001 vs. SOC 2: Which standard is right for my business?

Complying with security standards such as ISO 27001 or SOC 2 can help boost your business, but for technology startups, security compliance is often lower on the list of company priorities.

ISO 27001 vs. SOC 2: Which standard is right for my business?
ISO 27001 vs. SOC 2: Which standard is right for my business?

Get compliant and
build trust, fast.

Two wind turbines on a white background.