What is information security management system (ISMS)? - Definition from WhatIs.com


information security management system (ISMS)

Part of the Security management glossary:

An information security management system (ISMS) is a set of policies and procedures for systematically managing an organization's sensitive data. The goal of an ISMS is to minimize risk and ensure business continuity by pro-actively limiting the impact of a security breach. 

An ISMS typically addresses employee behavior and processes as well as data and technology. It can be targeted towards a particular type of data, such as customer data, or it can be implemented in a comprehensive way that becomes part of the company's culture. 

ISO 27001 is a specification for creating an ISMS. It does not mandate specific actions, but includes suggestions for documentation, internal audits, continual improvement, and corrective and preventive action.

This was last updated in January 2011
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • access recertification

    - Access recertification is an information technology (IT) control that involves auditing user access rights to determine if they are correct and adhere to the organization’s internal policies and co... (WhatIs.com)

  • access governance (AG)

    - Access governance (AG) is an aspect of information technology (IT) security management that seeks to reduce the risks associated with excessive access rights, inactive users and orphan accounts. (WhatIs.com)

  • email spoofing

    - Email spoofing is the forgery of an email header so that the message appears to have originated from someone or somewhere other than the actual source. (SearchSecurity.com)


  • Security management

    - Terms related to security management, including definitions about intrusion detection systems (IDS) and words and phrases about asset management, security policies, security monitoring, authorizati...

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About information security management system (ISMS)Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.