The six most googled management system standards

Man typing on laptopRecent analysis by IT Governance of the most popular search terms used around the world to look for information on management system standards has provided valuable insight into the global popularity of certain standards.

The data was collected by setting Google’s Keyword tool to show the average global monthly searches for certain relevant phrases.

The most popular search was for ISO 9001, the quality management system Standard, which had 246,000 global monthly searches (GMS). The second was for the environmental management standard, ISO 14001, which had 110,000 GMS, and the third was for the information security management Standard, ISO 27001, which had 49,500 GMS.

Standard Global monthly searches – August 2013 to August 2014 (ranking) No. of ISO certificates held globally – ISO Survey 2013 (ranking)
ISO 9001 246,000 (1) 1,129,446 (1)
ISO 14001 110,000 (2) 301,647 (2)
ISO 27001 49,500 (3) 22,293 (5)
ISO 22000 27,100 (4) 26,847 (3)
ISO 13485 18,100 (5) 25,666 (4)
ISO 50001 14,800 (6) 4,826 (6)

What’s surprising is that even though ISO 27001 was the third most googled Standard worldwide, it is only the fifth most adopted  Standard according to ISO’s 2013 survey.  Excluding ISO 27001, global certification numbers followed the same order as Google’s monthly search rankings, and showed a direct correlation between the number of searches and certifications held.

This indicates a growing interest in ISO 27001 and suggests that many companies are still at the research stage of their implementations, a trend that matches security experts’ expectation that the number of ISO 27001 certificates will increase dramatically over the coming years.

Why the interest in ISO 27001?

Recently, there has been a significant increase in certification to ISO 27001 in Europe: the number of certificates in 2013 rose 24% compared to 2012. Although the UK, Italy, Romania, Spain and Germany have the largest number of ISO 27001 certificates in Europe, the biggest growth rates in 2013 were seen in Albania, Austria and Armenia – which saw jumps of 71%, 62% and 57% respectively.

With recent high-profile data breaches at Home Depot, Target and eBay, and increasing pressure from stakeholders and local legislation, many organisations are taking action and having their information security management systems (ISMSs) certified to ISO 27001.

According to ENISA’s Security Certification Practices Report, ISO 27001 is one of the three most requested standards by companies in Europe (the others are ISO 9001 and ISO 20000) and ISO 27001 has been classified as a ‘company’s main strategic business asset’.

More and more companies are realising the benefits of implementing an ISO 27001-accredited ISMS and, as Google’s research suggests, we can only expect the number of certifications to rise, making businesses safer and more secure.

Resources you may find useful:

For further information on management system standards, we have a library of green papers. These are free briefing papers which contain information and advice on popular standards and frameworks:

Green Papers from IT Governance

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