If you’re a business handling sensitive information, you know how important it is to keep that data safe. With data breaches becoming more and more common, it’s essential to have a reliable system in place to protect your organisation’s data from being compromised. This is where the IRAP certification comes in.
What is the IRAP Certification?
IRAP stands for the Infosec (Information Security) Registered Assessors Program. It is a security assessment program that helps businesses evaluate their security controls against the Australian Government’s Information Security Manual (ISM). The ISM is a comprehensive guide to protecting sensitive information and is used by Australian government agencies and organisations that handle sensitive information.
It essentially endorses individuals from the private and public sectors to provide security assessment services. IRAP is monitored by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), the same entity responsible for releasing and adapting Essential Eight.
IRAP helps increase the standard and consistency of Cyber Security in Australia by endorsing qualified Cyber Security professionals. These professionals then help businesses achieve accreditation by improving their businessâ€™ Cyber Security measures.
Who Needs the IRAP Certification?
Any company that handles sensitive information can benefit from getting the IRAP certification. This includes government agencies, businesses and non-profit organisations. The certification is particularly important for organisations that deal with information that is critical to national security or the country’s economic prosperity, as they may require you to have this certification to then work with you. If you didnâ€™t have it, you wouldnâ€™t even be on their radar.
The Benefits of the IRAP Certification
Getting the IRAP certification has several benefits for your organisation. Here are some of them:
- Enhanced Security
The IRAP certification helps you identify any weaknesses in your security controls and provides recommendations for improvement. This way, you can enhance your organisation’s security posture and minimise the risk of data breaches.
- Increased Credibility
Having the IRAP certification can help increase your businessâ€™ credibility as it shows that you take information security seriously and are committed to protecting sensitive information.
- Competitive Advantage
Having the IRAP certification can also give you a competitive advantage over other companies that don’t have it. It can help you win contracts with government agencies and other organisations that require a high level of security.
- Compliance with Regulations
If your organisation handles sensitive information, you may be required to comply with certain regulations, which the IRAP certification can help you demonstrate compliance with.
How to Get the IRAP Certification
Getting the IRAP certification involves several steps. Here’s a brief overview of the process:
Choose an IRAP Assessor
The first step is to choose an IRAP assessor. This is a person or organisation that is registered with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) to provide IRAP assessment services.
- Conduct a Security Assessment
Once you’ve chosen an IRAP assessor, they will conduct a security assessment of your businessâ€™ information systems. This assessment will involve a review of your organisation’s policies, procedures and technical controls. The assessor will dig deep into your IT systems, where they interview personnel, check for Cyber Security implantation, conduct audits and check if these match your risk assessment and subsequent plans.
- Receive a Security Assessment Report
Based on the assessment, the assessor will provide a security gap analysis and risk assessment report. This report will identify any weaknesses in your organisation’s security controls and provide recommendations for improvement.
- Implement Recommendations
Once you receive the security assessment report, you will need to implement the recommendations provided by the assessor. This may involve updating policies and procedures, implementing new technical controls or improving existing ones.
- Apply for Certification
After you’ve implemented the recommendations, you can apply for the IRAP certification. The assessor will then conduct a final assessment to ensure that your organisation meets the requirements for certification.
Pronet and IRAP
While Pronet Technology isnâ€™t certified in IRAP, we are incredibly dedicated to Cyber Security and have been for many years now. We implement Cyber Security measures within our and our clientsâ€™ businesses to protect and monitor them from cyber threats and are constantly updating our processes to be up-to-date with changes in the industry.
Due to this knowledge and experience, we have helped and worked with clients along their journey to reach the IRAP certification. So, while we donâ€™t have the certification, we can help your business achieve this accreditation.
The IRAP certification is an important certification for organisations that handle sensitive information. It helps identify weaknesses in your companyâ€™s security controls and provides recommendations for improvement. Getting the IRAP certification can enhance your businessâ€™ security posture, increase your credibility, give you a competitive advantage and help you comply with regulations. If your organisation handles sensitive information, it’s worth considering getting the IRAP certification.
All in all, the IRAP certification is an essential step for securing your organisation’s data and protecting sensitive information. Remember, the security of your businessâ€™ data is too important to leave to chance, so it might be in your best interests to try to obtain this certification. If your small or medium-sized business does not deal with other organisations that require you to have such a high level of security, still make sure youâ€™re implementing the Essential Eight Cyber Security measures so that you are adequately mitigating all cyber threats. This framework is highly likely to be mandated soon for all businesses, so make sure youâ€™re implementing these in the near future.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the IRAP certification:
- How long does it take to get the IRAP certification?
The length of time it takes to get the IRAP certification depends on the size and complexity of your organisation’s information systems. It can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.
- How much does the IRAP certification cost?
The cost of the IRAP certification varies depending on the assessor you choose and the size and complexity of your organisation’s information systems, but the cost is typically in the range of several thousand dollars. The cost of the assessor, however, is only a small component of the costs. The majority of the cost will be on the resources and tools you need to put in place to meet the ISM and maintain it.
- Do I need to renew the IRAP certification?
Yes, the IRAP certification needs to be renewed periodically. The exact renewal period depends on the type of certification and the level of risk associated with your organisation’s information systems.
- What happens if my organisation fails the IRAP certification?
If your organisation fails the IRAP certification, you will need to address the weaknesses identified in the security assessment report before applying for certification again.
- Can I use the IRAP certification to comply with other security standards?
Yes, the IRAP certification can be used to demonstrate compliance with other security standards, such as ISO 27001. ISO 27001 Certification is essentially parallel with IRAP, however, it is slightly easier to achieve and is a certification recognised globally, whereas IRAP is an Australian certification. If your business does not require to work with the government or government agencies, ISO 27001 is generally a better option.
- How does the IRAP certification benefit my customers?
Having the IRAP certification can give your customers peace of mind that their sensitive information is being handled with the utmost care and security. This can help build trust and confidence in your organisation.