CIRQ (the Certification Institute for Research Quality), an International Standards Organization (ISO) audit and certification body that is a subsidiary of the Insights Association, has awarded certification to Bloomington, MN-based Information Specialists Group (ISG) for compliance to ISO 27001, one of the most widely recognized and internationally accepted information security standards.

The certification has been verified by CIRQ partner PECB, globally recognized and accredited by IAS (International Accreditation Service). Accredited certification to ISO 27001 involves undertaking regular reviews and internal audits to ensure the continual improvement of the ISMS. ISG’s certification will be verified annually by CIRQ’s independent audit establishing continued compliance and protection of data.

ISO 27001 provides a framework for companies to manage their data security. It establishes requirements for information controls to manage people, processes and technology. The standard covers both the technological aspects of security as well as corporate security, physical security, etc., and relies on regular risk assessments enabling a company to consistently identify and treat security threats. ISO 27001 is accepted worldwide as an assurance that proper and continual measures have been taken to protect valuable company data.

The scope of ISG’s certification covers the management of Information Security for the processes necessary to securely deliver market research and consulting services to its clients.

“As an organization, we continually seek ways to improve on our service and to add value for our clients, and data security has always been a central part of our processes. However, over the past five years, client requirements for data security have increased significantly, which motivated us to go a step further to protect their interests and to continue growing in this industry,” says Bob McGarry, Jr., President, ISG. “The ISO 27001 certification process has been transformational, not only in our infrastructure, but in how we think about and approach every aspect of our work. We are extremely proud of the achievement, and optimistic that it helps position us to expand our reach as a progressive partner that is fully prepared to meet the highly dynamic global changes in data regulation.”

To achieve ISO certification, ISG engaged in an in-depth risk assessment, a comprehensive review of all information security policies and procedures, and internal audits. As a further step in the validation, the company’s information security management system was assessed via review of its documentation, practices, and controls.

About ISO 27001
ISO 27001 provides requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and continually improving an information security management system. The information security management system preserves the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information by applying a risk management process and gives confidence to interested parties that risks are adequately managed. It is important that the information security management system is integrated with the organization’s processes and overall management structure and that information security is considered in the design of processes, information systems, and controls. It is expected that an information security management system implementation will be scaled in accordance with the needs of the organization. This International Standard can be used by internal and external parties to assess the organization’s ability to meet information security requirements. ISO 27001 can be mapped to other information security schemes such as Hitrust, NIST and Soc2. Compliance with the standard also enables a company to meet global security laws, such as the NIS Directive and the GDPR.

About CIRQ
A subsidiary of the Insights Association, CIRQ (the Certification Institute for Research Quality) was established to provide assessment and certification services to market research firms seeking certification to ISO 20252 and ISO 27001. A non-profit entity, CIRQ is committed to providing timely, thorough and impartial assessments of its customers' quality management or information security management systems in regard to certification to corresponding standards. CIRQ was established in compliance with all ISO requirements for certification bodies that provide auditing and certification services. To conform to its mandate of objective and impartial audits to these ISO standards, CIRQ is independently operated and managed under the oversight of an independent Board of Directors and submits to annual moderation by external authorities on ISO certification bodies.

About Information Specialists Group (ISG)
ISG is an independently owned, full-service market research firm based in the Twin Cities. Founded in 1996, the firm began with a specialization in data collection. Since then, the company has grown steadily by fostering strong client relationships based on credibility, expertise and trust. Today ISG maintains a leadership position in data collection capability, but also offers a complete range of quantitative and qualitative research services and strategic consultation – delivering truly turnkey information solutions for a broad base of clientele across a wide variety of industries. For more information please visit