What is Statement of Applicability (SOA)?, What is SOA?, What is the purpose of Statement of applicability?

Statement of Applicability
Statement of Applicability

Statement of Applicability

What is SOA? The SOA is actually a mandatory requirement of ISO 27001 standard. Through this you demonstrate applicability of all the controls in your organization. Creating SOA needs help of specialists in information security field.

The Statement of Applicability (SoA) forms a fundamental part of your information security management system (ISMS). The SoA is one of the most important documents you’ll need to develop for ISO 27001:2013 certification.

The Statement of Applicability (SoA) is a key document within an information security management system (ISMS) framework, particularly within the context of ISO/IEC 27001 certification.

This document outlines the controls selected by an organization to address information security risks identified during the risk assessment process. It essentially serves as a roadmap, indicating which controls from the ISO/IEC 27001 standard (or other relevant standards) are applicable to the organization, and how they are implemented.

The Statement of Applicability SoA typically includes:

  1. Scope: Defines the boundaries and applicability of the ISMS within the organization.
  2. Summary of Controls: Lists the specific controls selected from the standard and explains why they are relevant.
  3. Rationale: Provides justification for selecting or excluding particular controls, often based on risk assessment findings, cost-benefit analysis, or organizational context.
  4. Control Implementation Status: Indicates whether each control has been implemented, partially implemented, or not yet implemented.
  5. Dependencies: Identifies any dependencies between controls or between the ISMS and other organizational processes.
  6. Review and Approval: Documents the review and approval process for the SoA, often including signatures or electronic approvals from relevant stakeholders.

The SoA is a dynamic document that may evolve over time as the organization’s risk profile changes or as new information security threats and vulnerabilities emerge. It is typically updated periodically and reviewed as part of the overall ISMS maintenance process.

Simply put, in its quest to protect valuable information assets and manage the information processing facilities, the SoA states what ISO 27001 controls and policies are being applied by the organization. It benchmarks against the Annex A control set in the ISO 27001 standard (described at the back of that ISO standards document as reference control objectives and controls).

The statement of applicability (SOA)

is found in 6.1.3 of the main requirements for ISO 27001, which is part of the broader 6.1, focused on actions to address risks and opportunities.

Through SOA, an organization can demonstrate their capability towards implementation of ISO controls.

The SoA is therefore an integral part of the mandatory ISO 27001 documentation that needs to be presented to an external auditor when the ISMS is undergoing an independent audit e.g. by a Globus audit certification body.

If you need any help in SOA Creation, please connect with our professionals.

Benefits of Statement of Applicability

The Statement of Applicability (SoA) is a crucial component of an organization’s Information Security Management System (ISMS) when implementing ISO/IEC 27001, a widely recognized international standard for information security management. The SoA serves several important purposes and offers various benefits:

  1. Documentation of Controls: The SoA documents the applicability of information security controls outlined in ISO/IEC 27001 to the organization’s specific context. It provides a clear overview of which controls are relevant and necessary for managing information security risks based on the organization’s objectives, business processes, and regulatory requirements.
  2. Customization and Tailoring: By creating a SoA, organizations can customize and tailor the implementation of information security controls to suit their unique business needs and risk environment. This ensures that resources are allocated effectively and controls are implemented in a manner that aligns with organizational priorities and objectives.
  3. Transparency and Accountability: The SoA promotes transparency and accountability by clearly stating which controls have been implemented, which have been deemed not applicable, and the justification for these decisions. This helps stakeholders, including customers, partners, regulators, and auditors, understand the organization’s approach to managing information security risks and compliance with ISO/IEC 27001 requirements.
  4. Risk Management Alignment: The SoA facilitates alignment between the organization’s risk management processes and the implementation of information security controls. By documenting the rationale behind control implementation decisions, organizations can ensure that controls are effectively addressing identified risks and mitigating vulnerabilities in a cost-effective manner.
  5. Continuous Improvement: As part of the SoA, organizations may include plans for ongoing monitoring, review, and improvement of information security controls. This supports a culture of continuous improvement, where organizations regularly assess the effectiveness of controls, identify areas for enhancement, and update the SoA accordingly to maintain alignment with evolving business needs and emerging threats.
  6. Compliance Verification: The SoA serves as a reference document during internal audits, external assessments, and certification audits against ISO/IEC 27001. It enables auditors to verify the organization’s compliance with the standard’s requirements, assess the adequacy of implemented controls, and provide recommendations for improvement.
  7. Demonstration of Due Diligence: By maintaining an up-to-date SoA, organizations demonstrate due diligence in managing information security risks and complying with relevant legal, regulatory, and contractual obligations. This can enhance trust and confidence among customers, partners, and other stakeholders, leading to competitive advantages and business opportunities.

In summary, the Statement of Applicability is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to establish and maintain effective information security management practices in accordance with ISO/IEC 27001. It provides clarity, transparency, and alignment in the implementation of information security controls, ultimately contributing to enhanced risk management, regulatory compliance, and organizational resilience.

 

 

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