The digital landscape has revolutionized how businesses operate, but it also presents unique challenges related to information security. As enterprises increasingly outsource critical business functions to third-party contractors, safeguarding sensitive data has become paramount. In a world where cyber threats such as malware, extortion, and data theft loom large, organizations are turning to SOC 2 certification for reliable and effective security solutions. In this article, we'll explore the key aspects of SOC 2 and how it can benefit your business. All enterprises, especially those that outsource critical business operations to third-party contractors, should be concerned about information security. This is understandable given that improper data handling, particularly by app and network security providers, can expose businesses to threats including malware installation, extortion, and data theft.
It is not surprising that so many organizations are looking to SOC 2 for assistance given the increased awareness of good information security.
SOC 2 is a technique for evaluating service providers to verify that they safely manage your data for the sake of your organization's interests and the security of the customers. SOC 2 certification is a prerequisite for security-conscious enterprises when looking for a SaaS provider.
What is SOC 2?SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls) is a rigorous auditing framework that evaluates service providers' ability to securely manage customer data. Developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), SOC 2 certification is often a prerequisite for security-conscious enterprises seeking a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider. This voluntary compliance standard is built on five Trust Services Criteria that focus on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Organizations that achieve SOC 2 certification demonstrate their commitment to data protection and instill confidence in their stakeholders.
The Significance of SOC Assessment
The SOC assessment aims to create an environment of trust and transparency between service businesses and their customers, clients, and suppliers. Through SOC reporting, organizations can validate their compliance with legal and commercial obligations while delivering services to customers. The reports provide valuable insights into the management of security, availability, processing integrity, and privacy, ensuring ethical and lawful conduct.
SOC 2 Compliance and Certification
SOC 2 differs from other cybersecurity frameworks in that it is a voluntary compliance requirement. The AICPA (American Institute of CPAs) built it with service organizations in mind.
Organizations who achieve certification to the Standard show a dedication to information security and demonstrate to prospective associates that they have the necessary safeguards in place.
Organizations develop an internal SOC 2 report as part of their compliance procedures to describe how they handle one or more of the Trust Services Criteria specified by the Standard, including security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Organizations and their partners can learn from these reports how their confidential data is handled and used.
Outside auditors grant SOC 2 certification. A company's compliance with one or more of the five trust principles is evaluated based on the systems and procedures in place.
How much does SOC2 cost?
A SOC 2 audit is a significant task that involves senior members of nearly every department, including HR, Administrative, Engineering, Marketing, Customer Service, and others.
The total cost of SOC2 is $147,000 after accounting for lost productivity, construct vs. buy choices for new tools, and security training.
Who is covered under SOC2?
SOC 2 is intended for businesses that offer systems and services to client organizations. This includes companies that offer software as a service and cloud computing.
Five Principles for Trust Services
The foundation of SOC 2 is five Trust Services Criteria. Organizations can concentrate on one or more of these principles depending upon the type of their business, though the first, security, is a need.
- Security: Protection from unwanted access to data or the systems that process it
- Availability: Data usability and accessibility, as well as the accessibility of goods and services
- Processing Integrity: It processes that are whole, true, accurate, timely, and permitted
- Confidentiality: Preventing unauthorized use of sensitive or protected data
- Privacy: Avoiding the misuse of individually identifiable or personal information (PII)
The TSC framework is intended to reflect the interconnection of all controls, therefore there is a large overlap between the categories and the criteria that apply to them.
Benefits of SOC2 Compliance and Certification
SOC 2 compliance offers two key benefits to enterprises. Firstly, it upholds a high standard of information security by ensuring the safe management of confidential data through an on-site audit. Consequently, the risk of data breaches and privacy violations is minimized for compliant organizations. Secondly, SOC 2 compliance gives businesses a competitive edge by showcasing their robust security protocols. By achieving compliance, enterprises open economic opportunities that might otherwise remain inaccessible.
Building a Stronger Brand Reputation and Streamlining Compliance
Businesses that have undergone SOC 2 Type 2 auditing reap additional rewards, including centralized data management through SOC 2 compliance software, improved brand reputation, and compliance mapping with reduced repetition
The compliance requirements make sure that confidential information is managed safely and are put to the test during an on-site audit. The likelihood of data breaches and user privacy violations is thereby reduced for organizations who adopt the essential controls.
The ability of enterprises to use compliance to create a competitive advantage is a second advantage of SOC 2 compliance. They have a better chance of landing new clients and preserving their current connections if they can demonstrate that they have procedures in place to protect private information.
SOC 2 further specifies that only organizations that have undergone an audit are permitted to share data with compliant organizations. As a result, establishing SOC 2 compliance opens economic prospects that otherwise would not exist.
Although it is not the only type of SOC 2 report a company may obtain, Type 2 Certification is the most reliable. The following are the reasons that SOC 2 Type 2 certification is beneficial any your business:
Arrangement, Storage, and Access
There is no need to manage thousands of documents outlining controls' supporting evidence or concern about others misplacing it or causing mayhem. Data and supporting documentation will be centrally located via SOC 2 compliance software.
Brand Reputation Management
All service businesses rely on customer confidence. Clients may leave you if a business has previously experienced a breach or is at danger of one happening in the future, which might cause a complete loss of business and eventual collapse. As a result, SOC 2 Type 2 auditing offers tremendous value for businesses that have previously been the target of attacks through reputational restoration. Your brand may be saved via SOC 2 Type 2.
Compliance Mapping with Less Repetition
The benefits of SOC 2 Type 2 certification include making it easier for the organization to comply with regulations under many different frameworks or standards.
How to get SOC 2 Certification
You must successfully complete an independent audit and obtain a SOC 2 audit report to obtain SOC 2 certification.
A SOC 2 audit report offers comprehensive data and certainty about procedures in relation to the Trust Services Criteria of the framework.The auditor will evaluate your systems to see if they meet SOC 2 requirements. This will involve a review of your documents, an on-site assessment, and a conversation with pertinent staff members. If the auditor is satisfied that all procedures have been implemented and verified, you will be judged SOC 2 compliant in the factors you chose.