Challenging IS and ISM Standardization for Business Benefits - A business-practitioner’s viewpoints
Challenging IS and ISM Standardization for Business
Benefits - A business-practitioner’s viewpoints
Academician, International Academy for Quality (IAQ)
Venture Knowledgist Quality Integration
firstname.lastname@example.org , www.QualityIntegration.biz
February 17, 2010
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under the Creative Commons 3.0 License
(Mention the origin)
Challenging IS and ISM Standardization
for Business Benefits
Key themes: IS = Information security
1. General ISM standardization ISM = Information security
2. Guiding principles and basic terminology in ISM standards management
3. System approach in ISM standards
4. PDCA model in the standardization
5. Business integration in the use of ISM standards
6. Business realities and ISM standardization
7. Business leaders’ awareness and commitment
8. ISM performance and development
Focus on the ISM standardization of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC 27 (IT
security techniques) - ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards
International information security standardization is a part
of the general standardization with its pros and cons
All standardization aims at:
General standardization consists of • Improved business performance and
international (ISO, IEC and ITU), regional, confidence, and quality of products
national and business branch standardization: (goods and services)
* Standards are voluntary but may become • Decreased operational costs
obligatory through reference to the standards in • Improved communication between people
contracts, regulations, etc. and in company
internal standardization * Cons of general standardization:
* Standards may consider both product • There is uneven and unbalanced groups of
characteristics and managerial, operational or voluntary people participating the
technical issues * standardization work.
* A consensus approach is the core of the • Management of the standardization is weak.
standardization process * • Only communally interesting issues are
accepted to the final standard texts mainly
due to the consensus principle.
Pros of general standardization: • Only trivial means to implement the standard
• Broad acceptance and distribution of the texts clauses may be considered in the standards.
• Extensive expertise in preparing and commenting • Handling of the issues in the standard text is
the standards superficial.
• Wide commitment and recognition • Standardization process is very slow.
3 • No restrictions for innovative implementation • Standard publications and participating in
standardization are expensive.
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC27 Standardization committee
”IT security techniques”
The committee works with generic methods and techniques for information security and its
management. The title of the committee does not reflect the whole area of the work in the
committee. There are five working groups (WG) in the committee:
All the working areas of the
committee are practical topics to
be applied in organizations.
However, many texts are rather
complicated or theoretical and
not easily adoptable into
organizational business cases.
Particularly difficult is to
recognize the consistency in the
There is a serious need to a family planning
for the whole standards structure of the committee
Basic standards for ISM of the family include three standards, ISO/IEC 27000, ISO/IEC 27001,
ISO/IEC 27002 that are the most recognized reference documents for professional information
security management world-widely.
These basic standards should be understood as a composite package. However, many
users take them only as separate documents.
Roles of the individual standards and the package entirety are difficult to recognize even by
the experts and the ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 committee members.
In addition to the basic set of standards, there are many other standards in the family, including
ISO/IEC 27003, ISO/IEC 27004, ISO/IEC 27005, ISO/IEC 27006:2007, ISO/IEC 27007 and ISO/IEC
27011, and numbered drafts now at least until the standard ISO/IEC 27059 and all together ISO/IEC
JTC1/SC27 has under consideration more than one hundred different subject items.
There are also other international standards not prepared by ISO/IEC JTC 1 SC 27 that are
considered as parts of this same family of standards, e.g. ISO 27799 for information security
management in health care.
There is a serious need to a family planning for the whole standards structure of the committee in
order to avoid confusion and failures in the use of the standards. The user should clearly
understand the whole set of the standards series and the position and role of its individual
A chaotic standardization situation
for business practitioners
In addition to ISO/IEC 27000 standards, there are lots of other "competing" international
standards and de-facto standards considering information security management. E.g. ISO/IEC
20000, ITIL, COBIT, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Basel ll, FISMA, HIPAA, GLBA, NIST, etc. include also
information security aspects.
These references may have many same or similar elements but there is not necessarily
consistency e.g. in terminology and structure of realization.
ISO/IEC 27000 standards have complicated links with many other management standards issued
by other standardization bodies. Information security management standardization cannot be
isolated from these other management standards. Many different management standards are (or
even must be) applied simultaneously in organizations.
ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards follow the same methodology that has been used in the
well-known and much used ISO 9000 standard series for the quality of management.
However, the result is very questionable. There should be much closer relationship between
ISO/IEC 27000 and ISO 9000 standardization.
Naturally in organizational cases ISO 9000 should be applied in ISO/IEC 27000
applications because ISM should be understood as a part of good management, and also
ISO 9000 applications should take into account information security issues.
Integrated use of different management standards is under consideration among
6 standardization bodies but not yet achived any satisfactory results.
What are the basic guiding principles
for the foundation of ISO/IEC 27000 standardization?
There are not any clear guiding information security management (ISM) principles defined
particularly for the ISO/IEC 27000 standardization as e.g. there are quality management principles
(QMP) in the case of ISO 9000 standards.
Guiding ISM principles or core ISM values and concepts are the foundation for a decisive
ISM realization and standardization. They are beliefs and behaviors of business-integrated ISM
found in high-performing organizations for integrating IS performance and operational
requirements within a results-oriented business.
ISO/IEC 27001 refers to OECD’s nine complementary principles for information security management
“The adoption of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) model will also reflect the principles as set
out in the OECD guidelines governing the security of information systems and networks.”
This is referred only in ISO/IEC 27001 and is not valid for the whole ISO/IEC 27000 standards
family, and otherwise OECD principles do not cover the whole scope of ISO/IEC 27000
Factually the whole referred sentence is absurd because correlation between PDCA model
and OECD principles is at least unclear.
Without a consistent foundation of guiding principles of the ISO/IEC 27000 family have very
obviously developed on the basis of individual, spontaneous and inconsistent initiatives.
ISO 9000 quality management principles, QMP
These principles can be used by senior management as a framework to guide their organizations
towards improved performance. The principles are derived from the collective experience and
knowledge of the international experts:
* Principle 1: Customer focus
* Principle 2: Leadership
* Principle 3: Involvement of people
* Principle 4: Process approach
* Principle 5: System approach to management
* Principle 6: Continual improvement
* Principle 7: Factual approach to decision making
* Principle 8: Mutually beneficial supplier relationships
Factually these are principles for a good organizational
management. They are relevant for:
all areas an organization’s business management
all expert disciplines wihin business management,
8 including information security
Basic terms and definitions are not considered
consistently or logically in the ISO/IEC 27000 standards.
• Definition of information security: “Preservation of confidentiality, integrity and availability of
information, and ... other properties can also be involved”
This not any proper definition. It is only an open list of issues. The definition is reactive, not
covering proactive aspects.
The definition should be consistent with the concepts of information, knowledge and security.
Basic dimensions characterizing information security in its “definition”, integrity, availability and
confidentiality, are very difficult concepts to understand by business people. Even experts have
different opinions about these concepts.
• The key concept information security management (ISM) has not been defined at all in the ISM
• Privacy is a very central and significant concept in the ISM standards. Its role is vague in the standards.
• The definition of information security assurance (ISA) and its relationship with ISM are unclear in the
• ISO/IEC JTC1/SC27 has also started to consider the governance. This is causing confusion among
standards users because the relationships among the key managerial concepts are clear:
(Organizational) business management, corporate governance, IT governance (ITG), ISM,
information security governance (ISG), and ISA. These are used in many documents. Business
people should be able to deal with the concepts consistently and effectively in practice.
9 • There is no systematic concept analysis in the ISM standards as used e.g. in the standard ISO 9000.
Defining the concept
information security management
For time being, one of the most central concepts, ”Information security management”,
has not been defined at all in the ISO/IEC 27000 standards family.
The definition may be, however, created by the reference to the standardized definitions
of other analogical concepts, e.g. quality management and risk management:
Information security management: Coordinated activities to direct and control an
organization with regard to information security
Note: Information security management is not management of information security
but management of an organization. This means an integrated information security
Information securuty management is a responsibility of the business
management, and it is taking place through the managing actions of business
Experts have assisting roles both in information security management.
ISO 9000 Quality management principle #5:
System approach to management
”Identifying, understanding and managing interrelated processes as a system contributes
to the organization's effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its objectives”
• Integration and alignment of the processes that will best achieve the desired results.
• Ability to focus effort on the key processes.
• Providing confidence to interested parties as to the consistency, effectiveness and
efficiency of the organization.
Applying the principle of system approach to management typically leads to:
• Structuring a system to achieve the organization's objectives in the most effective and
• Understanding the interdependencies between the processes of the system.
• Structured approaches that harmonize and integrate processes.
• Providing a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities necessary for
achieving common objectives and thereby reducing cross-functional barriers.
• Understanding organizational capabilities and establishing resource constraints prior to
• Targeting and defining how specific activities within a system should operate.
• Continually improving the system through measurement and evaluation.
11 This principle is relevant for all areas of organizational management.
3728/2.1.2010/jan An organization is managed as one single system.
Information security management system (ISMS),
a core concept in information security standardization
There are two elements in the concept information security management system, ISMS:
1. Management System (of an organization), MS:
- System to establish policy and objectives (of an organization) and to achieve
2. Information security, IS:
- A qualifier (attribute) characterizing a management system (MS)
characterizing how IS is taken into account in the management system
ISMS = = IS of/in/for MS
ISMS =/= System for information security
ISMS is a concept for systematic approach, “systematicity”, for IS in an organization’s
ISMS is principally aimed for organization’s own internal business management needs
In fact, the concept ISMS is not at all needed for practical management approaches in
organizations. It has caused a lot of confusions, especially when translated into
12 different languages.
Information security management (ISM) and information
security assurance (ISA) - Difference and consistency
There are two different but consistent viewpoints to managing information security in an
A. Information security management (ISM) for organizations’ internal management needs
B. Information security assurance (ISA) that aims to create and strenghten confidence
among an organizations’ external stakeholders. ISA is chiefly a communication issue.
ISA is a part of ISM!
ISO/IEC 27000 standards do not make clear linkages between ISA and ISM. For this standards
ISO/IEC 27001 and ISO/IEC 27002 have the most essential role. Now their relative positions are
not clear. A natural possibility is to apply the same approach as in ISO 9000 standards series
with the standards ISO 9001 and ISO 9004:
ISO/IEC 27002 is for ISM (Guidance)
ISO/IEC 27001 is for ISA (Requirements)
ISO/IEC 27002 should never be understood as a guidance for ISO/IEC 27001 clauses.
Standards should be applied creatively in the both domains of ISM and ISA.
Two principal domains, management and assurance,
of the organizational management
AA/B Organization A
AB/C Organization B1
Organization C Aim of the approaches:
Organization B2 M Excellence (internal interest)
MC A Confidence (external interest)
- MA, MB, MC:O rganization-internal (business) management (system)
- AA/B, AB/C: Assurance between organizations (based on organization-internal management system)
At all organizational levels there should be consistency among these disciplines. Both management
14 and assurance consist of many different expertises.
Information security management and assurance as
consistent parts in an organization’s management
ISM business system aspects ISM = Information security
management (focus on excellence
of a business approach), ISO/IEC
ISA = Information security
assurance (focus on confidence for
Tailoring case-by-case conformity in an organization’s
product provision), ISO/IEC 27001
ISM covers the whole business
management system (BMS).
System (*) is a set of interrelated or interacting A system’s Management
elements (processes). creators and
- A system is an entity that maintains its existence
and functions as a whole through the interaction of
its parts. A system
- A system has always an aim or purpose defined (and its elements)
by the system’s creators or owners. The system is
just created to accomplish its aim.
- A system has interactions and transactions with
its environment to get input from and to provide Inputs and outputs through
output for system’s stakeholders. Stakeholders interactions and transactions
may set requirements to the system.
- A system is managed as a whole. Management is System environment
based on knowledge and information and PDCA (Stakeholders and system-competitors)
management model (feedback).
An organization is a system. System management domain System requirements
Internal interest External interest
16 Effectiveness and efficiency Effectiveness
(Ref. Russell's paradox)
3732/20.1.2010/jan (*) Ref. ISO 9000 definition
The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) is a recognized
multipurpose model for business management.
The PDCA Model (called also as Deming / Shewhart Cycle) has a long history and a great variety of
different applications, possibilities, and uses in the field of general business management:
– Original PDSA (Plan-Do-Study-Act) model was created by American Walter Shewhart in the
1920’s and used for production control.
– The model became popular through American W. Edwards Deming’s lectures of managerial
quality during several decades (from 1950’s to 1990’s).
– American Joseph Juran’s Trilogy Model (1964) contains the same elements as the PDCA
model. He especially emphasized differences between control and breakthrough. His spiral
model was presented in his well-known Quality Control Handbook (1975).
– In the 1980’s Japanese Kaoru Ishikawa and Masaaki Imai emphasized problem solving and
continual improvement (“Kaizen”) according to the PDCA model.
– Later Japanese Shoji Shiba has made remarkable work by combining the original PDCA model
with the ideas of managing knowledge and of Buddhist philosophy.
– In late 1990’s and early 2000’s the SixSigma methodology for large scale business
performance improvements was developed by Motorola and became popular by its successful
application in General Electric. Also SixSigma is based on the PDCA approach.
– The PDCA model has also consistent linkages with traditional systems theory and systems
– To the international standardization the model was used at first in standards ISO 9000:2000 for
17 quality management from where it came e.g. to information security management standards a
few years later. However, it is used very superficially in standardization.
A triple PDCA (*), a model for good management:
Coordinated activities to direct and control an organization (**)
ACTING (A): PLANNING (P):
• Preventing actions • Business and
• Improving actions management models
• Re-engineering • Business plan Applying a triple PDCA model
• Communicating • Approaches and (“The Eyes of Buddha” (***)):
• Recognizing and methodology 1. Rational control (operational)
rewarding A P 2. Continual rational small step
C D improvement (operational),
CHECKING (C): DOING (D): “Kaizen” approach
• Assessing the • Deploying the approach 3. Innovative breakthrough
performance and achieving the results changes (strategic)
• Reviewing the • Controlling operational
• Corrective actions
2343x/15.12.2008/jan (*) Deming / Shewhart, (**) ISO 9000, (***) Shiba; Bodhnath Stupa, Kathmandu
Information security management: Planning, controlling,
and improving the performance of business processes
(5) New performance A P
planning Good C D
Control with the new limit
A P (4) Breakthrough
C D improvement
(2) Performance control
(3) Small step improvement
(1) Performance A P
planning Control limit Prevention C D
Bad Rectifying sporadic
3766/12.1.2010/jan (Ref. Dr. Juran: Trilogy Approach)
Integration is the main strategy for a professional
expertise approach within an organization (system)
Integration means: Expertises may include:
• Implementing effective and efficient expertise –Finance
items embedded within normal business –Quality
management activities (especially in business
processes) –Business risks
• Acting against building distinct ”expertise –Information security
systems” (i.e. lack of integration). Business- –Human resources
separated expertise initiatives are artificial. –Information and communications
One must understand and take into account the –Occupational health and safety
nature of the organizational system, its business –Environmental protection
and its realities when implementing expertise –Innovation
initiatives of business management. Integration is
always an organization-dedicated solution. –Ethics
Cross-application of all expertise areas is needed. –etc.
E.g. information security is needed in quality
management and quality in information security
of the standards ”systematicity”
Business standards are established through
orgnizations’ internal business structures and processes.
A separate management system is artificial.
21 Systematicity means illusion.
Management integration takes place at two levels
• The strategic level, where one makes decisions and undertakes measures concerning
the entire organization (business system of business processes) and considers
especially the future competitiveness of the organization.
• The operational level, where decisions and measures concerning daily management
are made and undertaken. Emphasis is on operational questions of the individual
These two managerial areas are very different by their purpose and therefore
different methodology is needed for them.
Integration covers all aspects needed for the
management of an organization.
Necessary emphases in modern X management?
– Implementing effective / efficient and business- X management
relevant X principles and methodology X of/in/for management
embedded within organization’s normal activities
of strategic and operational management
– Being able to adjust quickly to suddenly altered Dynamic and flexible
external conditions, and to resume stable business management
operation without undue delay
– Striving continuously for new organization-
dedicated innovative and unique solutions and An organization’s unique
encouraging various choices for X management approach
in different organizations.
Integrating specialized domains of management
standardization and ensuring natural business diversity
The Finnish model Finance
for integration (MSS) Product General management
quality system based on PDCA
Ethics responsibilities health and safety
and business Organizational
system identity & privacy
3342/20.8..2009/jan (Ref.: ISO Management systems standardization, MSS)
From a business
to satisfying AN ORGANIZATION
* Political impact
requirements * Consultancy
Action plans Infrastructure
+ Needs and expectations:
(Business creator) apprecia- * Price and cost
25 Profound knowledge: Business management sciences and experiences +
Expertises in quality, information security, environmental protection, etc.
Standardization and users’ business reality
Standardization Y: Issue Y / Standard element Y / Consensus process Y
Standardization X: Issue X / Standard element X / Consensus process X
Practical realization of
the subject area
Organization A: Realization elements A: Innovation process A
26 Organization B: Realization elements B: Innovation process B
Organizational information security originates
in business processes.
All business results are achieved through managing business processes. Processes adhere to all
kinds of daily doings or activities within any organization.
In integrating information security in organizations, it is important to understand
information security issues in the context of business processes. All business process
activities are very strongly information-intensive, and information flows between these
activities and between different performers and even between distant operational locations.
Information security is affected directly in real time through process arrangements, tools,
technical systems, and people in practical work and how these are managed by appropriate
and systematic practices.
However, truly effective and efficient process management implies a radical change to the
established management thinking and structures in many organizations. This should be
taken into account in information security management realizations, too.
Although the standards explicitly refers to the process approach, however, it is applied in the
standards unsystematically, inexplicitly, and poorly that does not support effectively established
business practices. E.g. ISO/IEC 27002 says: “The process approach ... presented in the ISMS
family of standards is based on ... the PDCA process.” This sentence is completely nonsense!
ISO 9000 Quality management principle #4:
”A desired result is achieved more efficiently when activities and related resources are
managed as a process.”
* Lower costs and shorter cycle times through effective use of resources.
* Improved, consistent and predictable results.
* Focused and prioritized improvement opportunities.
Applying the principle of process approach typically leads to:
* Systematically defining the activities necessary to obtain a desired result.
* Establishing clear responsibility and accountability for managing key activities.
* Analysing and measuring of the capability of key activities.
* Identifying the interfaces of key activities within and between the functions of the
* Focusing on the factors such as resources, methods, and materials that will improve key
activities of the organization.
* Evaluating risks, consequences and impacts of activities on customers, suppliers and
other interested parties.
28 This principle is relevant for all areas of organizational management.
3738/2.1.2010/jan An organization is managed as one single system of processes.
Historical notes for the process approach
• Process approach was used already in ancient plant and construction activities. The concept
is often referred to in cases of natural development.
• Through industrialization processes became an everyday concept in so called process
• From 1980’s process approach has been used for computers’ internal activities according to
structured analysis and design technique (SADT).
• In a large scale business process approach has been used comprehensively for the benefits of
business management only for less than twenty years, and during that time a lot of practical
means have been developed for that purpose.
• Process management thinking got learning from system theory and system dynamics.
• To the quality management standards ISO 9000, process concept was introduced in the 1990’s
and just in very recent years the methodology came to the other international management
standards, e.g. information security management standards.
• BPR (Business Process Reengineering) is a concept for process improvements according to
the ideas of PDCA model. It was particularly promoted by Michael Hammer, James A. Champy
and Tom Peters in the 1990’s.
• BPM (Business Process Management) has become during the recent years a popular concept
within IT experts in automating business processes according to SOA (Service Oriented
• Today organizations’ all business processes are “complex responsive processes of relating”.
What is a (business) process?
Process means a continuous(*) activity by organized resources for fulfilling organization’s
– Processes put into practice organization’s business / action plan.
– Operational every day work is done in processes. Process
– Processes produce outputs (results) to the stakeholders. (acting)
There are always processes in all organizations.
Structure (e.g. organizational structure) is a
contradictory dimension to the processes.
The both are needed – in fact they are also always
existing in organizations. They cannot be replaced by
each other. Process is the primary one, The structure Structure
should serve it.
Modern organizational processes are “complex responsive processes of relating”.
The key business management from the quality point of view is: How to manage
3041/20.8.2005/jan (*) A project is a singular or unique process.
The process/structure dilemma:
Managing for balance
Functionality Structure #1
Active Balance issues:
Skilled - Freedom / control
Agile - Awareness / instructions
Adaptive - People / systems
Flexible - Proactive /reactive
Structure (being, existing):
Planned, Built, Passive, Past, Prescribed, Stagnant
A comprehensive process management model C D
Business performance assessment and review
Process performance assessments (audits)
Re-design and Corrective Conformity
re-engineering action check
Performance control e
A business process Output s Process
Inputs data u
• require- outputs
Work activity r
• needs data e Other
• requisites Other m processes
People resources Procedures e
32 Other processes Preventive action,
New foundations for business infrastructure
Uncertainty and ambiguity
Emergence and self-organizing networks of actors
Many heterigeneous global actors in virtual networks
All linked with everything else, all linkages not known
Customers and other stakeholders differentiating with singular needs
Pradoxal freedom of the actors (”both-and” instead of ”either-or”)
Signifigance of immaterial issues (information, knowledge, services)
Informal learning and serendipity
Increased speed of activities and change
Signifigance of transaction phenomena
Complex responsive processes of relating
Simultaneous agility and maturity requirements
Immense pressure / stress of business leaders
Certainty and predictability
1544/2.9.2009/jan (Refs.:D Zohar, R D Stacey)
Problem and challenge of the information security
profession to adapt to the needs of modern society
Changed business environments cannot be avoided: “No boundaries – The old
boundaries have been obliterated. Today’s trends increase uncertainty, variety,
variability, dynamics in all areas of business management.”
” Today each of us lives
hundred years in a decade.”
Agility and society
Complexity Problem, ”crisis of information
Diversity security management”
Variety Information Preferred scenario:
security - Global adaptation: Evolution
profession in toward a synergistic society
- Breaktrough transformations
34 needed in the information
Activities within complex responsive processes
All kinds of activities
Low Innovation may exist in networking
control - “Zone of
Trial & Error
High Certainty Low
3430/15.1.2008/jan (Ref.: Stacey: http://www.plexusinstitute.org/edgeware/archive/think/main_aides3.htm l)
Information security management is based on
organizational information / knowledge
Operational procedure documents,
standards, operation records, factual
Conscious Reality of the management in the
minds of the individuals and in the
Sub- (implicit / tacit contents)
conscious – This part is the most significant
regarding to the actions for the
– The contents may change due
to time and situation and
depending on influences and
Empirical fact-based information and inherent
knowledge are needed for successful management
- explicit records Reflecting and deciding
- tacit knowledge Plan / Act
You get what
A P you measure
Environments Measuring ...
37 The performance reality of the company business processes
Business people are not adequately committed
to information security management
Studies and observations made in small and big companies and governmental offices:
• Most people in our organizations know the fundamentals and basic principles of IS
and recognize their importance, and even may be well-motivated.
• There is a lot of general and organization-dedicated IS training and education
programs for increasing awareness and skills of IS.
• Senior executives in those organizations:
– Are not really interested in information security in their own management
– Don’t understand or recognize their managing role for information security
– Have only a superficial understanding of information security
– Lack the necessary skills for managing an organization with regard to
– Senior executives are not familiar with the information security standards
– Easily delegate their responsible duties to external consultants or even
outsource the whole issue
Why business leaders are poorly commitment
to information security management?
• Basic professional IS concepts, e.g. integrity, availability and confidentiality, are difficult,
complicated and strange to business people.
• Information security management requires specific knowledge and skills.
• Guidance materials for information security management are complicated and confusing,
and difficult to realize and apply consistently:
– General standards and guidelines, e.g. ISO/IEC 27000 family of standards and OECD
– Information technology and service references that normally consider also information
security aspects, e.g. ISO/IEC 20000, ITIL, COBIT, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc.
• General management references, e.g. ISO 9000 standards, extensive and multifaceted
general management literature, and management education, e.g. MBA programmes, don’t
clarify information security as a management issue and don’t explicitly promote the issue.
• Information security is a multidisciplinary issue and difficult to cope with simple managerial
practices - and particularly in today’s turbulent business environments.
• Communication between business leaders and information security (and other related)
experts is ineffective and uncreative in general and within organizations.
• Business leaders are very busy, subjective, authoritative, and holistic generalists.
• External third party audits and certifications undermine business leaders’ active
• Business information is principally based on tacit (implicit) knowledge, and management of
39 the security of tacit knowledge is a sophisticated issue.
Consequences when senior executives don’t commit
to information security management
• Information security is not being managed business-minded and not aligned with real
• Information security is seen only as a reactive and negative question to fulfil some
• Organizations keep busy with separate and restricted information security questions
• Information security standards are not understood from the managerial responsibility
• Organizations take only “cosmetic” or superficial actions for information security
• Business leaders delegate their management responsibilities to experts or outsource
the whole issue to external consulting organizations.
• Organizations keep silent on their problems or incompetence in information security
– and suffer consequences, or hope that nothing serious will happen.
Information security management performance
is not any ON / OFF issue!
Specific actions (measures or tricks)
An organization’s business performance (from early
stage to maturity) – Information security integration
All business performances (including information security) are fuzzy issues:
Excellence 1 = perfect
Grade of business performance
with a third party
ness Need of change?
How to get the change happen?
0 = good-for-
0 10 30 40 60 70 90 100
Assessed overall business performance %
(*) Third party certifications do not define any particular level of performance.
Organizations cannot differ from the others on the basis of third party certificates
Epilog 1: Situation and challenge
There are significant inadequacies, inconsistencies and other problems in the general
international standardization and standards mainly due to the normal standardization
Individual organizations applying the general standards should highlight their own
responsibility of business leaders and experts in order to achieve the benefits.
A continuously increasing awareness and knowledge, innovations, and courage
would have required to create and implement useful and organization-dedicated
solutions when applying the standards in real business environments.
There should also be an effective cooperation of business leaders and
information security experts.
A proactive standards recognition may be promoted by active participation in
standards preparation and commenting.
Theses of the new approach for applying information
security management standards
Striving for a competitive information security integration by:
• Recognizing performance excellence instead of a narrow information security conformity
• Striving for a systematic approach (“systematicity”) of the information security in management
instead of formal and distinct information security management systems
• Using business-related information security management principles and actions instead of
fulfilling formal and general information security assurance requirements only
• Aiming at innovative and unique solutions instead of stereotyped systems
• Relying on internal business performance self-assessments and advanced information security
assurance communication instead of third party audits and certifications of “artificial”
information security management systems
• Getting advantage of tacit knowledge instead of only records of explicit data and information
• Networking with partners and recognized world-wide communities of multifarious expertise
• Supporting various ways of collaborative learning instead of narrow-minded and reactive
• Reinforcing and using company’s own internal awareness and expertise instead of passive use
of external consultants
Epilog 2: Keep your organization’s identity in
applying general information security standards
There will be also in future standards-experts who don’t understand or
don’t want to understand business realities of real organizations.
Consensus process of standardization has a detrimental influence on
the clarity and ambiguity of general standards: “Stupidity
condenses in the masses - The mob has many heads but no brains”
However, standards must not hinder creative applications of the
standards by responsible organizations.
Juhani Anttila, Independent Expert
Independent expert, Venture Knowledgist
• Expertise of more than 40 years in the field of quality and 20 years of information
• 35 years at different quality related positions at Telecom Finland and Sonera Corporation
• Several decades’ involvement with international and national standardization of quality,
reliability, information security and telecommunications
• Many years Assembly Representative and Vice President of the European Organization
for Quality (EOQ)
• A founder and developer of the Finnish National Quality Award, Developer and assessor
of the European Quality Award
• International Academician for Quality (Member of the International Academy for Quality)
• Honorary Member of the Finnish Society for Quality, Honorary Fellow Member of Quality
and Productivity Society of Pakistan
• Board member or chairman in some companies
• Expert adviser in several organizations in quality management, dependability
management, information security management, crisis management and social media,
and lecturer in some universities
• Expert in projects in some developing countries
• Contributing by writings, lectures, and speeches globally on five continents
3678x/3.5.2009/jan (Ref.: http://www.qualityintegration.biz/contacts.html )