The Ultimate Guide To ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management Systems (PIMS)

The Ultimate Guide To ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management Systems (PIMS)

With customers producing massive amounts of data daily in today’s globally inter-linked world, concerns are growing about how companies gather, process, use, and store personally identifiable information (PII). In response to public demand, governments worldwide are establishing comprehensive legislation to ensure the privacy and security of personal data. The California Consumer Privacy Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the General Data Protection Law (LGPD) of Brazil (CCPA) are examples.

The ISO 27701 certification, which is an extension of the ISO 27001 regulatory guidelines, went into effect in August 2019 to help enterprises manage personal data according to customer expectations and in compliance with progressively tightening regulatory restrictions. By implementing a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS) under the ISO 27701 regulations, your organization can process personal information with additional safeguards. Moreover, a PIMS can enable you to get ahead in the infosec industry by allowing you more flexibility and greater adherence to local PII legislations, if any.

In this blog, we will provide you with a brief overview of the ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management System (PIMS).

What is an ISO 27701 PIMS?

An ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management System (PIMS) is a framework and assortment of best practices used by an organization to maintain the privacy of consumers’ personal information. It is essential to implement one to achieve ISO 27001 compliance. It is intended to guarantee that the organization complies with relevant privacy legislation and that personal data is kept secret, secure, and accessible.

A PIMS under ISO 27701 guidelines incorporates:

  • well-defined policies and procedures;
  • technology for successful privacy management; and,
  • well-trained individuals to maintain consumer privacy. 

To safeguard the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) your business stores and utilizes, a good PIMS will reassure your organization’s employees, customers, vendors, and other parties involved that you are handling personal information securely and responsibly.

Your PIMS will assist you in storing and sharing personally identifiable information (PII) internally and externally. The ideal PIMS will also make it simple for users to update and rectify whatever information you have on file for them.

What Does an ISO 27701 PIMS Do?

Here are some key functions performed by a Privacy Information Management System in accordance with ISO 27701 regulations:

  1. Establish and enforce privacy policies and procedures

A PIMS assists an organization in creating and implementing a comprehensive privacy policy that describes how personal information is gathered, processed, kept, and shared. It also defines protocols for dealing with data breaches and responding to privacy situations.

  1. Risk Assessment and Management 

The PIMS entails conducting privacy impact and risk assessments to identify potential privacy hazards and vulnerabilities in the organization’s data processing activities. The appropriate procedures are then implemented to mitigate these risks.

  1. Legal and Regulatory Compliance

A PIMS guarantees that the organization complies with applicable privacy rules and regulations, such as GDPR, CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), or HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

  1. Consent Management 

It helps manage and track individual consent for processing personal data, ensuring that data subjects have provided informed consent for the reasons described.

  1. Data Rights Management

Individuals can use the PIMS to exercise their rights, such as the right to access, amend, delete, or limit the processing of their personal data.

  1. Data Breach Management

The system establishes protocols for detecting, responding to, and reporting data breaches promptly and suitably. Protocols for alerting impacted persons and relevant authorities are also included. Not to mention, it also helps with business continuity.

  1. Vendor and Records Management

The PIMS evaluates and controls privacy risks connected with third-party vendors or service providers with access to personally identifiable information. It also maintains records of data processing activities, such as data flow maps, data inventories, and records of processing activities (ROPA).

  1. Training and Awareness

Lastly, a PIMS also comprises privacy awareness training for employees and professionals with personally identifiable information (PII). This ensures that individuals understand their obligations and the significance of personal data protection and can make informed decisions in case of a data security incident.

What are the Benefits of Implementing An ISO 27701 PIMS?

Data-gathering organizations that fail to keep their infrastructure secure or suffer from an unprecedented PII data breach stand to face significant issues, such as,

  • Penalties of up to 20 million euros under EU’s GDPR guidelines;
  • Serious reputational damage to the brand; and,
  • Concerns about personal privacy for any affected individual.

There are numerous possible benefits to using an effective ISO 27701 compliant PIMS. It can

  • Reduce the compliance burden by making privacy and information security easier to manage and perhaps meeting many regulatory requirements at the same time;
  • Create clear, easy-to-demonstrate security procedures to boost management, regulator, and other stakeholder confidence;
  • Meet and surpass the privacy needs of your customers and other commercial partners quickly and effortlessly.
  • Establish explicit guidelines for sharing and monetizing the important data your organization has amassed.

With an ISO 27001-certified PIMS, you can send a clear, brand-building indication that your company takes security very seriously.

What Do You Need to Get ISO 27701 Certified?

For starters, you need to have ISO 27001 compliance certification to even consider getting ISO 27701 certified. Following that, you will need to learn about the ISO 27701 standard. It will assist you in defining your privacy management strategy and planning your PIMS. Next, you must create your PIMS systems and tactical controls next. Assigning responsibilities to your team members with appropriate specialized skills at this stage is recommended. Forming a core team to maintain your PIMS at this level can have a long-standing positive impact. Finally, implement your PIMS while adhering to all ISO 27701 criteria.

You will be ready for your audit when full ISO 27701 certification becomes available. The PIMS should also adhere to any national or international regulations or other compliance laws that may apply to your organization.

ISO 27701 Compliance Readiness with Akitra

Establishing trust is a crucial competitive differentiator when courting new SaaS businesses in today’s era of data breaches and compromised privacy. Customers and partners want assurances that their organizations are doing everything possible to prevent disclosing sensitive data and putting them at risk, and compliance certification fills that need.

Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our compliance automation platform and service help our customers prepare readiness for the ISO 27701 compliance standard, Risk Assessment, and Management along with other security frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, NIST CSF, NIST 800-53, NIST 800-171, FedRAMP, CCPA, CMMC, and more such as CIS AWS Foundations Benchmark, etc. In addition, companies can use Akitra’s Risk Management product for overall risk management for your company, Trust Center, and AI-based Automated Questionnaire Response product to streamline and expedite security questionnaire response processes delivering huge cost savings. Our compliance and security experts will provide customized guidance to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently. 

The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and cost savings, including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.

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