If you’re running a business in 2022, you already know the importance of SOC 2 compliance. Short for Service Organization Controls 2, this voluntary compliance standard was created by the American Institute of CPAs to govern the data security, availability, confidentiality, and privacy of an organization’s information system.
Legally speaking, SOC 2 compliance is not required. Practically speaking, neglecting to implement an information security program that ensures SOC 2 compliance is putting your team at a serious competitive disadvantage. In today’s data-driven economy, where cyber-attacks, service disruptions, and even human error can lead to significant data breaches, businesses of all sizes are increasingly partnering with organizations that implement SOC 2 best practices and keep their data safe.
Compliance software is a simple, straightforward option for maintaining SOC 2 compliance, but is it enough? Let’s dig deeper and find out.
Compliance software is great as a support tool for SOC 2 audit preparation. It encourages you to take the first steps towards compliance, analyzes security gaps, and automates certain controls. Overall, it simplifies and streamlines the end-to-end management of your SOC 2 compliance. In a perfect world, this type of set-it-and-forget-it out-of-the-box compliance management would be all you need. Unfortunately, today’s competitive, constantly evolving business landscape is anything but a perfect world…
One of the core functions of a CISO (Chief Information Security Officer) is to promote the effective alignment of the security information program with business objectives, considering all of their management levels: strategic, tactical, and operational. In the not-too-distant future, it’s certainly possible that someone develops automated, Artificial Intelligence-based SOC 2 compliance software that can fully replicate the human insights of a CISO but we are not there yet.
Unlike a skilled human CISO, who typically provides a comprehensive, end-to-end information security solution, compliance software may leave you with significant gaps in your security coverage. For example, it may not be able to integrate with the tools you are currently using, requiring manual controls to be set. Also, it does not replace many important security capabilities that every company should consider (time, effort, and money) to establish a security program, including penetration testing, robust security tools, such as: AAA in Access Control, SIEM in Logging and Monitoring, and EDR as an endpoint security solution, among others.
Rectifying the gaps cost money. Speaking of money, SOC 2 audit compliance software has a recurring monthly or annual cost (and that’s on top of the $10,000-100,000 you can expect to pay for the audit itself).
Hypothetically, let’s say that none of the issues listed above impact your ability to achieve full SOC 2 compliance. What happens if the company raises its monthly fees and you decide not to renew the license? Will you still have visibility of the relevant information? Do you know which controls you need to comply with?
In many cases, the answer to the questions above is no. Compliance software acts as a support tool…but only if you continue using the service. Once you decide to explore a new direction, the benefits will vanish.
Let’s say you’re building a house from scratch – would you rather invest in high-quality tools and materials or pay a reputable contractor? The high-quality tools are great if you know how to use them, but maximizing their ROI and impact requires specific skills and expertise. With a contractor, you get the skills and expertise (and they will usually come with their own set of high-quality tools and material discounts anyway).
The same holds true for the business world, where data management (and security) has become key to operations. When trying to establish a robust and sustainable SOC 2-compliant information security program, a virtual CISO can match everything offered by best-in-class compliance software. Can best-in-class compliance software match everything offered by a virtual CISO?
At Flugel.it, our cost-effective virtual CISO service was designed to help businesses like yours establish and maintain an organizational information security program that is fully compliant with SOC 2 (plus ISO 27001, NIST, CSA, FEDRAMP, SOX, GDPR, and any other relevant regulation).
Ready to discuss your options? Schedule a free consultation and speak directly to a SOC 2 compliance expert today!
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