Five Steps to Ensuring PII Compliance According to

September 17 06:24 2020
Five Steps to Ensuring PII Compliance According to

Personally identifiable information (PII) can be defined as any type of data used to identify an individual. The best-known types of these are names, email addresses, birthdays, Social Security numbers, physical and mailing addresses, and phone numbers, but according to, the scope of what is considered PII is broadening in the Internet age. Now, information like IP addresses, login IDs and passwords, financial information, and even social media posts can all be lumped into the same category.

The ever-broadening definition of PII has made it more difficult than ever for businesses and other organizations that handle personally-identifying information to protect their data. Most organizations divide this into two categories: sensitive PII, and non-sensitive PII that contains information easily gathered from public records. WithOnline Privacy Concerns Getting the Attention of Senators, it’s more important than ever to protect the latter. Read on to find out how to get started.

Step One: Identify All PII

Business owners or information security personnel should start by identifying what types of PII the company collects. Find out where it is stored, such as on servers, the cloud, or employees’ computers, as well. This information is very useful when coming up with a protection plan.

Step Two: Classify PII Based on Sensitivity

Not all grades of PII pose serious risks of data compromise. Classifying PII based on sensitivity makes it easier to figure out which data systems to prioritize. Sensitive PII like Social Security, driver’s license, and passport numbers need to be encrypted at all times to avoid problems with non-compliance violations, lost revenue, and damage to the organization’s reputation.

Step Three: Outline Acceptable Usage

Every organization should have an acceptable usage policy (AUP) regarding who can access PII and under what circumstances. The policy should identify employees who will need to access this data and clarify acceptable uses. Use the AUP as a starting point for creating a technology-based control system to reinforce proper usage.

Step Four: Establish Encryption Solutions

Just having an AUP in place isn’t enough. Security officers and business owners need to take extra steps to protect data both in transit and at rest. That’s where encryption comes in. Encrypting data protects it from both internal and external risks, putting customers’ minds at ease and ensuring that the business won’t face any unexpected problems. There are many companies like TokenEx that are familiar with compliance protocols that can help.

Step Five: Implement Training Protocols

Even the best encryption solution won’t be sufficient to protect PII without proper training protocols in place. Offer ongoing training to employees to address technology updates and evolving threats, and don’t forget about the customers. It’s equally important that customers know how to use the organization’s encryption system. Business owners taking care of their own information security can find more information about how to upgrade protocols and ensure that all the company’s employees are on the same page by contacting a compliance specialist.

Businesses and other organizations have an obligation to protect their customers’ sensitive data. Implementing a comprehensive PII protection plan can be tough without proper training and expertise, though. It’s always best to work with a specialist throughout this process.

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