The cost of data breaches has been on an upward curve—in 2023, the global average stands at
USD 4.45 million, reflecting a 15% increase over the last three years. As organizations collect, store, process, and use a vast amount of sensitive data on an everyday basis, it’s crucial to have robust data privacy management systems in place. It’s a great way to prevent the mishandling of data and, at the same time, uphold the virtues of trust and ethical commitment as an organization.

ISO 27701 certification is a standard that offers a structured framework to strengthen data privacy practically across companies of all sizes. In this article, we’ll delve into the details of ISO 27001 certification—its purpose, the requirements to get this certification, the process of getting certified, and some more helpful details for organizations looking to strengthen their privacy landscape.

What is ISO/IEC 27701:2019 Certification?

ISO/IEC 27701:2019 is a global certification that provides a framework for companies to establish, implement, and improve their privacy information management systems (PIMS). Its purpose is to help companies manage and protect the privacy of the personal information they collect.


Let’s illustrate this with an example:

Imagine a multinational e-commerce company called “E-Shop Global,” which operates in several countries and handles a vast amount of customer data, including names, addresses, payment information, and purchase histories. Ensuring this sensitive personal information’s privacy and security is crucial for legal compliance and maintaining customer trust.

To address this, E-Shop Global pursued ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certification. 

Here’s how the process unfolds:

Assessment and Gap Analysis

E-Shop Global begins by conducting an initial assessment of its current privacy management practices against the ISO/IEC 27701 requirements. They identify areas where improvements or additional measures are needed to meet the standard’s criteria.

Establishment of PIMS

Based on the assessment, E-Shop Global establishes a Privacy Information Management System (PIMS) tailored to their specific operations. This system is designed to manage the processing of personal information in a manner consistent with privacy laws and regulations.


E-Shop Global implements the PIMS across its organization. This involves integrating privacy considerations into their existing processes and systems. They ensure that employees are trained and aware of their roles and responsibilities in protecting personal information.

Documentation and Record Keeping

The company maintains detailed records of its privacy policies, procedures, risk assessments, and any incidents related to personal information.

Read More: Case Study: Data Governance for Security Compliance for a German Automaker in the USA

Regular Audits and Reviews

E-Shop Global conducts regular internal audits to assess its PIMS’s effectiveness and identify improvement areas. They also engage external auditors to perform independent assessments against the ISO/IEC 27701 standard.

Continuous Improvement

The company continuously strives to enhance its privacy management practices. They update policies and procedures in response to changes in privacy laws or emerging risks.

Certification Process

Once E-Shop Global believes they have met all the ISO/IEC 27701 requirements, they engage a third-party certification body to perform a final audit. If the audit is successful, the certification body issues an ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certificate to E-Shop Global.

Maintaining Certification

E-Shop Global must demonstrate ongoing compliance with the standard to maintain its certification. This involves regular surveillance audits and periodic recertification assessments.

By achieving ISO/IEC 27701:2019 certification, E-Shop Global demonstrates a commitment to protecting the privacy of their customers’ personal information. This certification helps them comply with legal requirements, builds trust with stakeholders, and enhances their reputation as responsible custodian of sensitive data.


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Importance of ISO 27701:2019 Certification?

Let’s understand why this certification holds value for modern businesses. 

Protection of private information

ISO 27701 is an extension of the ISO 27001 certification. ISO 27001 considers the overall information security within an organization, whereas the purpose of ISO 270001 is more narrowed down—it addresses the protection of private information.

Ensures compliance

ISO certification helps establish the fact that your organization complies with privacy laws and regulations (GDPR, for instance). This certification is very useful if you’re a company dealing with sensitive personal information. 

Protection of data subjects’ rights

This standard certification ensures that your company respects the data subjects’ rights, which includes their right to rectify, delete, or restrict the use of the stored information. 

Fosters ongoing improvement

The certification also ensures your organization continuously improves and makes sure your organization continuously works towards improving its privacy management systems. 

Read More: How Do I Identify Critical Data in My Organization?

Who should use ISO/IEC 27701

While it is not compulsory, ISO/IEC 27701 certification applies to a wide range of organizations. It includes companies of all sizes, such as private companies, public organizations, government agencies, and not-for-profit organizations, that control or process personally identifiable information (PII) within an information security management system (ISMS). 


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ISO 27701 Benefits

Besides building credibility, here are some other benefits of this certification: 

  • ISO 27701 certification ensures your organization complies with the General Data Protection Regulation General data protection regulation (GDPR).
  • The certification allows you to operate confidently, knowing that your organization has proper risk management and security management systems. 
  • The certification saves you valuable time, as you can effectively reply to security questionnaires and follow security legislation. 
  • When your organization has obtained the certification, it signifies that you already established the framework for PIMS. This will help in case the Data Protection Act (DPA) evolves. 

ISO 27701 Requirements 

It’s a prerequisite for ISO 27701 certification that you have ISO 27001. Your organization’s personal information management system (PIMS) is built on the foundation of your information security management system (ISMS). You can get ISO 27701 while getting the 27001—it’s easier and less expensive, easier and less expensive to do than doing them in a series. 

The organization applying for ISO 27701 certification needs to fulfill its rigorous criteria. Here’s everything you have to do to meet the requirements: 

  • Design and implement a PIMS at your organization following the ISO 27701 framework.
  • The PIMS has to elaborate rigorous systems for managing personally identifiable information (PII), and how it is being obtained, stored, used, shared, or deleted. 
  • Define user roles and establish strong passwords for all stakeholders who have permission to process and control privacy-related information. 

How to get certified to ISO 27701?

Let’s have a look at the procedures you have to go through to get ISO 27701 certification for your organization: 

1. Know your basics

First and foremost, understand what the certification is all about—whether you’re eligible to apply, the requirements, and the principles it follows to manage privacy information. 

2. Take training

You might consider taking a course or participating in workshops on ISO 27701 to familiarize yourself and your team with the certification and its nuances. 

3. Perform gap analysis

Study the ISO 27701 requirements and compare your existing privacy management system. This gap analysis will help you identify problem areas, and you can work on them immediately.

4. Do the paperwork

Create the necessary documentation, such as policies and processes that fit your company’s privacy practices. 

5. Implement the ISO 27701 framework

Follow the ISO 27701 framework and implement the privacy management system in your organization. Educate your employees about it and make sure they abide by the new guidelines. 

6. Conduct risk assessment

To mitigate any vulnerabilities and privacy threats, perform a privacy risk assessment in your organization. 

7. Do internal audits

Conduct internal audits and evaluate your privacy management system. This is a necessary step to identify any non-conformity. 

8. Rectify problems

If you encounter any non-conformity, take corrective measures to enhance your privacy management system. 

9. Select a third-party auditor

Find an accredited third party to audit your organization’s PIMS externally. 

10. Perform external audit 

Conduct the external audit and evaluate your company’s compliance with the ISO 27701 norms. 

11. Focus on constant monitoring

You will receive the certificate if your organization meets the ISO 27701 requirements. Only getting the certification is not enough— monitor your PIMS consistently to maintain the certification. 

If you’re just getting started with the processes for ISO 27701 certification, remember that it’s a lengthy procedure that requires a lot of time, commitment, and patience. You can consult privacy management experts to make the process smooth and hassle-free. 


Take your Business From Chaos to Clarity with Kanerika 

Data privacy and security are paramount for all businesses in today’s highly digitized world. Navigating the complexities of ISO 27701 compliance can be daunting. That’s where Kanerika steps in as your trusted partner. 

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With a proven track record in providing cutting-edge IT solutions, including robust data governance services, Kanerika has the expertise and experience to guide your business from chaos to clarity. Our dedicated team is committed to helping you achieve and maintain the highest standards of certification, ensuring that your organization’s data management practices are compliant and optimized for efficiency and security. 

Choose Kanerika and embark on a journey towards seamless, secure, and compliant data management. Your business deserves nothing less than the best; with Kanerika, you’re in expert hands.


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What is ISO/IEC 27701:2019 Certification?

ISO/IEC 27701:2019 is a global certification providing a framework for companies to establish, implement, and improve their Privacy Information Management Systems (PIMS). It aims to help companies manage and protect the privacy of the personal information they handle.

Why is ISO 27701:2019 Certification important for businesses?

ISO 27701 certification is crucial for businesses as it ensures the protection of private information, compliance with privacy laws and regulations like GDPR, protection of data subjects' rights, and fosters ongoing improvement in privacy management.

Who should pursue ISO/IEC 27701 certification?

ISO/IEC 27701 certification is suitable for a wide range of organizations, including private companies, public organizations, government agencies, and not-for-profits, particularly those that control or process personally identifiable information (PII) within an information security management system (ISMS).

What are the key benefits of obtaining ISO 27701 certification?

The key benefits include compliance with GDPR, improved risk and security management systems, effective response to security questionnaires, and being prepared for any evolutions in the Data Protection Act (DPA).

What steps are involved in getting certified to ISO 27701?

Steps include understanding the certification, taking training, performing gap analysis, creating necessary documentation, implementing the ISO 27701 framework, conducting risk assessments, internal audits, rectifying any problems, choosing a third-party auditor, and undergoing an external audit.

Can small businesses also benefit from ISO 27701 certification?

Yes, ISO 27701 certification is beneficial for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses, as it helps in managing and protecting personal information effectively.

What industries has Kanerika worked with to provide data management and compliance solutions?

Kanerika has worked with a diverse range of industries, including healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and more, to provide tailored data management and compliance solutions. Our experience spans across various sectors.

Can ISO 27701 and ISO 27001 certifications be obtained simultaneously?

Yes, organizations can pursue ISO 27701 and ISO 27001 certifications simultaneously, as they complement each other. It is often recommended for efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

What are the key requirements for ISO/IEC 27701 certification?

To achieve ISO/IEC 27701 certification, organizations must:
  • Design and implement a personal information management system (PIMS) following the ISO 27701 framework.
  • Develop rigorous systems for managing personally identifiable information (PII), including its collection, storage, usage, sharing, and deletion.
  • Define user roles and establish strong password policies for stakeholders with access to privacy-related information.

How long does it typically take for an organization to achieve ISO/IEC 27701 certification?

The timeline for achieving ISO/IEC 27701 certification can vary depending on the organization's size and complexity. It often involves several stages, including assessment, implementation, and audit. The duration may range from months to over a year.