With the ever-growing threat of data breaches and cyberattacks, security is something organizations must take very seriously. Compliance certifications are one of the best ways to communicate to clients and stakeholders that there are processes and controls in place in order to securely manage their data and ensure privacy. One of the most well-known types of compliance certifications is SOC2.
While referred to amongst IT professionals as a certification, SOC2 is actually an attestation or report performed by auditors stating your organization meets specified criteria. It is not a tool or process, but a list of specified criteria needed to maintain solid and robust information security.
With that in mind, SOC2 as a framework can be applied to your infrastructure or SaaS products. It allows your company to employ the processes and practices best suited to your organization’s needs. Compliance with SOC2 allows you to do business in the B2B space.
For SOC2 compliance, your system must be protected against any unauthorized access. To demonstrate compliance there is a risk assessment process. This evaluates the risks related to the Trust Services Criteria which are defined as security, processing integrity, availability, privacy, and confidentiality. It also looks at the associated mitigating controls and evaluates whether the key controls are effectively designed.
SOC2 is the best report if your organization can impact the five trust services criteria. In fact, it requires your organization to establish and adhere to stringent security protocols and procedures regarding these criteria.
For SOC2 compliance, your system must be protected against any unauthorized access. This includes both physical and logical access. The most commonly reviewed security controls are access to infrastructure and source code repositories. Firewalls, password parameters, physical security controls, and device configurations are also reviewed. Processing Integrity
It is critical for your infrastructure to work as intended. Processing Integrity will confirm that your system has few errors omissions, delays as possible and is free from unauthorized or unintended manipulations. It will ensure your operations are authorized, accurate, and complete.
Your infrastructure must be maintained with controls for operations, maintenance, and monitoring. SOC2 will assess this and gauge whether your organization has the minimum network performance levels as well as the ability to mitigate external threats.
Clients and customers want to know if your organization can safeguard their personal information from potential unauthorized users. Name, social security numbers, and address information all need to be protected and kept private. Other identifiers such as race, ethnicity, age, and health information also require high levels of security.
Your organization must demonstrate the ability to protect sensitive data internally. Specific information such as client data, business plans, intellectual property, information protected by law, contracts, and agreements should be restricted to specified individuals or organizations.
A SOC2 report is by no means required by law or any regulatory organization. However, clients are coming to expect it. A SOC2 report assures stakeholders that your service is reliable and secure.
SOC2 compliance shows clients that your organization regularly monitors for threats and malicious activity, documenting system changes and maintaining proper user access levels. Clients trust you take all the needed steps to protect their data and want to work with you.
By completing SOC2 compliance, your organization will have the tools in place to recognize, alert, and quickly address a threat. You will be able to take action to protect your systems and data from unauthorized users.
By helping your organization prevent data breaches and other hacks, you can keep your brand’s reputation on track.
There are two types of SOC2 audits. SOC2 type1 looks at your process, policies and controls, and will see that they are implemented. Type 2 needs to guarantee those are reviewed over a certain period and are audited. Both effect the scope of the audit and the time it takes to complete.
While it is hard to determine how long a SOC2 will take. On average, the process can last for six weeks to three months. In extreme cases, it can take much longer. The process generally includes meetings, evidence review, and report writing. There may also be a period of monitoring that takes place. It is important not to rush this process. You will want to know your audit was as thorough as possible.
Adherence to SOC2 criteria reassures clients that you have the tools and processes in place to keep their data safe. If you have not begun the SOC2 compliance process, the time to start is now. Once you complete the process, you and your clients rest assured knowing your business and data are protected.
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