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Security compliance Designing security programs GDPR ISO 27701

Should I get GDPR and ISO 27701 at the same time? Yes!

Should companies pursue GDPR and ISO 27701 compliance at the same time? Absolutely yes! ISO 27701 is designed to work with GDPR and can help your company achieve stronger data protection and privacy while saving time and resources in the process. It’s a smart, strategic decision for companies that want to enhance their security program and gain a competitive edge in the market.

So how can you achieve both GDPR compliance and ISO 27701 certification simultaneously and make the whole compliance process more efficient and effective overall? Read on for some actionable tips to get you started. 

The intersection of GDPR and ISO 27701

First, a quick refresher — GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation, is a European Union regulation on information privacy that aims to enhance individuals’ control and rights over their personal information while simplifying regulations for international business.

ISO 27701 is an ISO 27001 add-on that provides a framework for managing personal data, ensuring that individuals’ data protection rights are protected, and covers the privacy aspects of protecting personal data from risks like identity theft, discrimination, or misuse.

In effect, ISO 27701 is a way of proving you're complying with GDPR. So, if you're already doing what it takes to be GDPR compliant, it makes sense to go the rest of the way and prove it with a 27701 certification — particularly if you already have or are pursuing ISO 27001 certification. 

Benefits of simultaneous compliance

Now that you know how GDPR and ISO 27701 intersect, what are some of the benefits of achieving compliance with these two standards simultaneously?

Additional GDPR guidance

ISO 27701 provides additional guidance on GDPR implementation by demonstrating how to create an effective system for managing personal data and ensuring compliance with GDPR as well as other data protection regulations. Some of this additional guidance includes how to define the roles and responsibilities of the organization in relation to personal data processing; how to specify the principles and requirements for conducting a privacy impact assessment (PIA); and how to outline the steps for establishing, implementing, maintaining, monitoring, reviewing, and improving a PIMS.

ISO 27701 also extends the scope of ISO 27001 to include privacy-specific aspects, such as data protection by design and by default, data subject rights, and data breach notification. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of the PIMS and requires the appointment of a data protection officer (DPO) or a similar function to oversee the privacy program and ensure compliance with GDPR and other applicable laws.

It also shows organizations how to take a privacy by design (PbD) approach that embeds privacy considerations into every stage of the product life cycle, comply with the principles of transparency, accountability, fairness, accuracy, storage limitation, integrity, and confidentiality when processing personal data, respect the rights of individuals regarding their personal data, and handle cross-border transfers of personal data in a way that ensures adequate protection of individuals’ rights.

Efficient compliance 

Many of the controls of ISO 27701 and GDPR overlap. For example, when it comes to data privacy, both standards require organizations to respect the rights and preferences of data subjects and to implement data protection by design and by default principles. And when it comes to breach notification, both standards require organizations to report any privacy breaches to the relevant authorities and data subjects within a specified timeframe.

Smart organizations can take advantage of this overlap to achieve both GDPR and ISO 27701 compliance faster and with fewer resources. The first step is to choose a security compliance platform that lets you map controls and evidence across multiple frameworks.

Get started with Strike Graph

Strike Graph’s multi-framework mapping automatically maps the controls you've already implemented to satisfy the requirements of GDPR to ISO 27701, or vice-versa, meaning you won’t have to worry about mapping each individual control to each framework manually. For example, let’s say you’ve already implemented an ISO 27701 control for breach notification. Strike Graph will automatically map that control to GDPR when the framework is activated in the platform.

Our automated evidence collection feature links your existing evidence to the new correlating controls as well. So, let’s say you’ve recently made your GDPR compliance more robust by appointing a data protection officer. When ISO 27701 is added to your account, that evidence automatically attaches to the corresponding GDPR control as well. No work needed on your part.

And, these automatic multi-framework mapping features don’t just apply to ISO 27701 and GDPR. Any future framework your company adds will automatically be linked to your existing controls, saving you an immense amount of time as you grow your security program.

Ready to get started? Open a free launch account or schedule a demo with one of our privacy experts. 

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