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ISO 27001 Certification Cost - What are all the costs involved

ISO 27001 certification is the global gold standard for organisations who want to set up or improve processes on information security. While starting your journey to be ISO 27001 certified, understanding how to budget for your ISO 27001 project is important, since this should account for the costs of the implementation and the certification.

The costs for ISO 27001 certification can vary. In order to help you, we’ve outlined a cost breakdown to help you budget as you progress toward obtaining the ISO 27001 certification.

In this article

What is ISO 27001?

The ISO framework is a set of policies and procedures that businesses can use. ISO 27001 provides a framework for organisations of any size or industry to use an Information Security Management System to protect their information in a methodical and cost-effective manner (ISMS).

The ISO 27001 Standard certification is widely recognised and relays to your customers that your information security management system (ISMS) is compliant with industry best practices.

Factors that may influence the ISO 27001 certification cost

The real cost of implementing ISO 27001 is determined by a variety of factors, including risk and the amount of risk that an organisation is willing to tolerate. The following is a summary of some of the most important factors that influence the cost of certification.

    • The ISMS’s current maturity level
    • The types of activities carried out under the ISMS's scope
    • The scope and variety of technology used in the ISMS's numerous aspects
    • The level of outsourcing and third-party arrangements within the scope of the ISMS
    • The difference between the actual state and the desired state of the control environment
    • The capability inside the company to develop the ISMS and close the highlighted gaps
    • How fast the certificate has to be provided to the client

ISO 27001 Design and Implementation cost

The main variable is workflow automation and guidance from an ISO 27001 expert. You’ll need to scope your ISMS, perform a gap analysis to identify the control areas which need to be established, and walk through the implementation of those controls.

The average ranges for the precertification phase:

Precertification Phase I

(Scope, Definition, Risk Assessment, Risk Treatment Plan, Gap Assessment, Phase II Remediation plan)


Precertification Phase II

(Gap closure (collaboratively), Registrar Selection, ISMS Artifact Development, Risk Management Committee, Incident Response, Internal ISMS audit, On-Site Certification Audit support)


The average ranges for design and implementation cost:

Compliance Manager Salary (US) £100,000 Annually
Cost of Compliance Software and Tools £15,000-£100,000 Annually
Time needed 6-12 Months


Cost of assessing risk and internal audit

To stay compliant, you will need to keep your ISMS, as well as the applicable controls, up to date. On top of the cost of auditors, this will make the time of a compliance consultant or an in-house consultant compulsory.

If a business is obtaining the ISO 27001 for the first time, this also requires an independent internal audit prior to determining readiness for an external audit.

The average ranges for risk assessments and internal audits:

Compliance Consultant Cost £140/hour
Time needed (Consulting hours) 24-160 hours

External audit and certification cost

While a small business with 5 employees and 1 location might only require a few days of auditing, a larger, multi-site company could take up to 1 month of auditing.

The average ranges for audit and certification:

ISO 27001 Auditor cost £5,500 - £18,000
Time needed 3-10 days

Surveillance Audit cost

Surveillance audits can determine whether or not the company is still operating as was originally represented in the initial certification year.

To stay in compliance, you’ll need to keep your ISMS up-to-date along with the relevant controls.

The average ranges for surveillance audits:

Compliance Specialist Salary £75,000-£90,000 Annually
Cost of ISO 27001 Audit £5,500-£12,000
Time Needed 1-4 days

Is ISO 27001 expensive?

It may surprise you, but implementing ISO 27001 is not as difficult or expensive as you may expect.

Business owners may believe that the certification may require thousands of instructions, a large investment in IT equipment and systems, and will take a long time to implement.

However, you may not need to purchase new systems or security measures to comply with the Standard, depending on your business. Many of the technological controls in ISO 27001 may be addressed using Microsoft Windows' built-in capabilities and tools.

The total cost of ISO 27001 certification can start as low as £10,000 and range up to £48,000, which isn't a significant price when you consider that the average cost of a data breach in 2016 was £4 million. The cost of the certification, on the other hand, is determined by the size of your company and the certification authority you choose.


Your customers will benefit from ISO 27001 implementation as it increases customer trust in the company and lowers the chance of their personal information getting into the wrong hands.

InfoSec-as-a-Service by DataGuard is a complete solution for managing information security. We can help you get things done right, whether you need industry-specific guidance, help setting up your ISMS, or prepare for an external audit.

Data Guard helps software companies and tech startups on matters such as Privacy by Design and Default, data exchanges with third-party service providers, and erasure principles for each product.

Approaching ISO 27001 certification is easier when your company is armed with a structured plan and the advice of an expert. To book a free consultation, simply contact us today:

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