Introduction to SOC 2

Why SOC 2 is the most accepted security framework

If your business stores any customer data in the cloud, then you’ve likely come across the need to get a SOC 2. A SOC 2 report is regarded as the primary document that proves your company is taking proper security measures. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) created SOC 2 reports to assure customers and other business partners that you have security guidelines in place and that you follow through on them.

Enterprises are processing so much data all the time. Keeping all that information safe is highly important in staying alive and respected in the marketplace. Imagine building a product, creating brand awareness, working successfully with partners, and having the trust of customers, then having a security breach?

A data violation would negatively impact every aspect of the business you worked so hard to create. The trust of partners and customers would be questioned immediately and your brand name potentially tarnished. SOC 2 compliance allows you to avoid a data breach before it happens.

Why do enterprises trust SOC 2?

A SOC 2 is considered the one of the most rigorous reports that exists to date, which means that any business that has gone to the lengths of completing one is serious about security. It is also the most commonly accepted report when conducting business with US-based enterprises. Completing a SOC 2 suggests that your organization has set the right standards in place for the future as well. A SOC 2 framework doesn’t allow you to just check off boxes, it sets the company apart from others for future data concerns.

Put simply, a SOC 2 builds trust with customers and partners, especially those with robust security requirements. It shows venture capitalists that you have the right protections in place and you are serious about safeguarding their investments. In most instances, if you don’t have a SOC 2, there is a good chance that enterprises won’t trust doing business with you.

How rigorous is a SOC 2?

SOC 2 requires long, ongoing internal regulations to ensure that customer data is protected. This instills best practices from the start, which then creates better business opportunities. Going through the process of a SOC 2 shows your clients how serious you are about security for the long haul.

A SOC 2 report can include up to five categories, known as the Trust Services Criteria:

  • Security (also known as Common Criteria)
  • Availability
  • Confidentiality
  • Processing integrity
  • Privacy

All SOC 2 reports require the security category, which declares that all your systems and stored data are protected against unauthorized access and disclosure. The other categories are considered optional.

There are many framework elements that are included in SOC 2, ranging from employment policies to infrastructure security. And, traditionally, the steps to maintain a SOC 2 take months to complete.

However, there are now automated platforms that can help ease and expedite the SOC 2 process. An automated, streamlined platform allows you to integrate systems and view security systems practices across your organization. The right automated platform will also support continuous security monitoring and notify you of any compliance risks before they become real issues.

Big deals rely on SOC 2

If you want to sell to the enterprise, you must prove security. It is a deal breaker — a SOC 2 can either open the door for bigger and better deals, or it can put your business on hold.

Enterprises are working with so much complex data that it makes sense that they’d want to have a singular set of trusted standards in which they can rely on. Without a SOC 2, your organization will constantly be required to provide security worksheets and extensive surveys. This extra work can cost your business both time and money. Getting questioned about how secure your business is can take a toll on team members and can create an element of internal fear about whether you actually are safeguarding properly.

A SOC 2 automation platform cuts down the workload and cost in the long run. Business partners will see that you have a SOC 2 and know that your business is secure and that you’re continuously monitoring for data breaches. SOC 2 compliance takes the security fear out of a possible investment or business deal and establishes a level of trust. Customers, investors, partners, and even employees won’t have to fret over whether the right protections are in place because SOC 2 requirements make those assurances necessary for compliance.

More about SOC 2 compliance

With Vanta’s trust management platform with compliance automation capabilities, you can streamline your SOC 2 audit. Here’s what an automated SOC 2 process can look like with Vanta: 

  • Connect your infrastructure to the Vanta platform with our 200+ built-in integrations.
  • Assess your risk holistically from one unified view. 
  • Identify areas of non-compliance with in-platform notifications.
  • Get a checklist of actions to help you make the needed changes. 
  • Automate evidence collection and centralize all your documents in one place.
  • Find a Vanta-vetted auditor within the platform. 
  • Streamline reviews by giving your auditor the documents and evidence they need. 
  • Complete your SOC 2 in half the time. 

Learn how you can automate your SOC 2 by requesting a demo.

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