ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management | Benefits of ISO 27701 PIMS

by Kishan Tambralli

What is ISO 27701?

ISO 27701 is a standard that has been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help organizations manage their risk associated with cybersecurity. It provides guidance on how to identify, assess and address risks in order to reduce the likelihood of cyber-attacks. The ISO 27701 standard helps provide an integrated approach towards managing all aspects of information security management.
One of the key benefits of ISO 27701 is that it helps organizations to improve their overall cybersecurity posture. By implementing the standard, businesses can better protect their data and systems from cyber-attacks, which can help reduce business losses and protect the reputation of the organization.

Why Was ISO 27701 Developed ?

ISO 27701, building blocks of ISO 27701

ISO 27701 is a set of requirements and guidelines for managing an organization’s information security. It provides the framework to respond effectively to risk and make data protection decisions.
The standard was developed in detail because there were many organizations that did not have adequate controls in place to protect their assets, such as customer records or intellectual property. This meant that these organizations should be prepared for incidents involving breaches of confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information assets.

The Building Blocks Of ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management?

The ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management Standard is one of the most comprehensive standards for privacy information management. It is used by many companies and organizations to protect personal data, regulate access to it, impose conditions on its use, ensure that it is accurate and reliable, and provide accountability. The standard has eight building blocks that are outlined below:

  • Data Protection Principles:
    The Data Protection Principles in ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management are all about ensuring that the privacy of data subjects is respected and protected under this standard. This principle ensures that any personal information collected by an organization will be processed fairly and lawfully, used only for specified purposes, not disclosed without consent to unauthorized third parties, and kept safe from unauthorized access or destruction.
  • Accountability Principle:
    The Accountability Principle is the first of four principles in ISO 27701:2013 that describe how organizations can demonstrate their commitment to privacy information management. The principle states that “the organization shall establish and maintain an effective accountability system.” This basically means that the organization needs to know who has accessed personal data, when they accessed it, and why they accessed it. It also needs to keep records on these accesses for a period of time prescribed by law or regulatory requirements.
    This accountability system is not just used for demonstrating compliance. It can be very useful to identify data breaches, internal leaks, and other types of abuses that might otherwise go undetected. The Accountability Principle also states that the organization must have “appropriate policies in place” regarding information access management practices.
  • Breach Notification Principle:
    In order to better protect the personal information of individuals, companies should be aware of their responsibility for breach notification. In ISO 27701: Privacy Information Management, there are two breach notification principles that must be followed in cases where a data controller has been compromised and is experiencing a security incident which may have an adverse effect on its subjects’ privacy. The first principle states that “data controllers shall communicate any actual or potential data security breach as soon as possible.” The second principle states that “data controllers shall communicate any actual or potential data security breaches without undue delay.” These two principles work together to ensure that data controllers are transparent with their subjects about any potential or actual security breaches.
  • Personal Data Definition Principle:
    Personal Data Definition Principle in ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management is an important principle that governs the definition of personal data. The standard states that, “Data controllers shall provide a clear and transparent explanation to data subjects about what constitutes personal data.” This includes providing information on how they collect, use, share or disclose it with third parties. The goal is for you to be able to make informed decisions before giving your consent.

ISO 27001

To comply with this principle, data controllers must:

  1. Clearly identify what personal data is being collected and why.
  2. Ensure that the definition of personal data is easily understood by individuals.
  3. Provide information on how the data will be used, shared, or disclosed.
  4. Keep individuals updated on any changes to how their personal data will be used.
  • Access Control Principle:
    The access control principle is one of the six basic principles in ISO 27701. This principle ensures that only authorized people have access to information. It also restricts who can modify, move, or delete information. The other five principles are data quality, accuracy, and completeness; confidentiality; integrity and availability; accountability and transparency; security safeguards for processing personal data.
  • Security Safeguards Principle:
    The Security Safeguards Principle in ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management is a method of protecting privacy information by implementing the following:
  1. Data minimization and data retention policies to reduce the amount of personal data stored and, if possible, deleted after it has served its purpose.
  2. Encryption techniques to protect sensitive personal data from unauthorized access or disclosure.
  3. Redundant storage procedures to protect against accidental loss of such data as well as authorized removal or destruction.
  4. Protection measures for both physical and logical threats that can result in unauthorized access or disclosure of such information.
  • Data Quality Assessment Principle:
    Data Quality Assessment Principle in ISO 27701 Privacy Information Management is an important objective of Privacy Information Management. Data quality assessment provides the foundation for privacy information management by identifying and mitigating risks to data quality. The principle requires organizations to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve policies, procedures, standards, and controls that address data quality issues.
  • Transparency Principle:
    The transparency principle helps to safeguard privacy by ensuring that people know how their personal information will be used and processed and providing them with a choice about whether or not they agree. Transparency Principle requires organizations to provide clear notices of personal data processing before or at the time of collection. Notice should include:
  1. Purpose(s) for processing.
  2. Type(s) of personal data.
  3. Recipient(s).
  4. Third parties (if any).

Benefits of the ISO 27701 Standard

The following list outlines 10 Benefits of the ISO 27701 Standard:

  • Helps with compliance audits.
  • Ensures a consistent approach to information security management throughout an organization.
  • Enables organizations to understand and manage risks in a systematic manner.
  • Provides guidance on how to meet high-level objectives for information security management.
  • Includes guidelines for implementing controls at each stage in the risk assessment process.
  • Identifies key components that need to be addressed by organizational policies and procedures.
  • Provides a framework for assessing effectiveness of implemented controls, including monitoring activities and reporting on results.
ISO 27001