Companies today are responsible for a wealth of sensitive customer data and information. Yet hardly a day goes by without news of a data breach or a company’s mishandling of its customers’ sensitive information, resulting in various instances of fraud and identity theft. In a world where security practices are now a constant source of scrutiny, companies are looking for ways to ensure that they are compliant with industry security standards, and effectively defending against nefarious actors.
Cybersecurity is the work of protecting systems, networks, programs, devices, and data from unauthorized or malicious access and use. Hackers are vigilant in their focus on exposing security flaws that allow them to obtain and exploit sensitive data. Your company must meet that vigilance with a real commitment to data security. Data breaches are increasingly and unfortunately common — but this does not make them any more acceptable to your customers and prospects.
Companies of all types are susceptible to data breaches — including SaaS enterprises like sales and marketing, HR, team collaboration products, and more. If you gather or store customer data at any scale, you may be susceptible to a data hack. Consider the space in which your company operates and ask yourself: if a breach happens at your company, will your customers continue to do business with you — or will they take their business elsewhere? For B2B companies selling into the enterprise, it is particularly essential that you are actively protecting customer data. As your company grows and you have ever more data under your purview — the costs to your company of a potential data breach increase exponentially.
In this competitive climate, you have a clear opportunity to set your company apart from the competition by leading with strong security and compliance practices.
How can data breaches be avoided? What does it look like to have an effective cybersecurity plan in place? How can a company ensure that it is effectively safeguarding customer data — and communicate this compliance to its customers and prospects?
SOC Reporting, Security, and Privacy: Tools for Evaluating and Demonstrating Compliance in Safeguarding Customer Data
The SOC audit framework, established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), sets guidelines for data security, availability, confidentiality, privacy, and processing integrity. SOC audits offer different ways to review and assess your company’s various systems and controls — and to demonstrate your company’s high standards to your customers.
- A SOC 1 report evaluates an organization’s financial controls. Your company can share its SOC 1 report with customers and prospects to demonstrate your commitment to financial accuracy. This is useful for companies that process financial transactions.
- SOC 2 reports evaluate an organization’s technical oversight and policies. Your company can share these reports with customers and prospects to demonstrate your commitment to data security and privacy. This is useful for companies that store user data.
- SOC 2 reports are used to evaluate your company’s software, admin, and security systems, and to assess both the design of the controls that your company has put in place (SOC 2 Type I) and the operating effectiveness of those controls (SOC 2 Type II).
- A SOC 3 report is a high-level public-facing report verifying that an organization underwent a SOC 1 or SOC 2 audit, or both.
Your company’s security practices go hand in hand with your privacy practices. You’ll want to make sure your company is up to speed on the requirements of regulations including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). These regulations grant consumers more control over their personal data and require that businesses abide by certain principles. In conjunction with its security practices, your company will need to review its privacy obligations in accordance with these important regulations.
The nature of data collection and storage — and constant changes and interdependencies in the data environment — require systematic vigilance in order to establish and maintain a strong security posture.
That’s where Vanta comes in. Vanta is “security in a box” for technology companies — a suite of interconnected tools that make SOC 2 security compliance faster, easier, and more manageable for companies across the spectrum in terms of size and maturity. Vanta builds a list of security controls tailored to your company, then applies those controls to continuously test your systems and data, flagging any weak spots so your company can fix them promptly and maintain an airtight security operation.
The success of your business depends on keeping your customers’ business safe and secure from potential breaches, fraud, identity theft, and other data misuse. SOC 2 compliance is a key part of your company’s cybersecurity toolkit — and working with Vanta makes it easier than ever to get secure, and stay secure.