Table of Contents

The SOC 2 Compliance Checklist

Why does my company need a SOC 2 report?

A SOC 2 report is regarded as the primary document that proves your company is taking proper security measures and managing customer according to a set of standards created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Securing a SOC 2 report is the most trusted way to show your customers and prospects that your security practices can protect their data.  

How do we prepare for a SOC 2?

SOC 2 reporting has typically been a multi-stage, costly process involving many hours of preparation, time-intensive interviews, gap assessments, process changes, and the collection of detailed proof that you uphold your security controls. That’s all before the on-site audit itself, which includes more interviews and additional evidence collection, followed by your auditor’s time to write the report documenting this lengthy process and representing your achievement of a clean SOC 2 audit. But it doesn’t need to be this way anymore.

Consider using a comprehensive automated compliance platform that can alleviate the pain points listed above. Vanta's SOC 2 compliance platform automates your security monitoring and helps you get SOC 2 certified in weeks instead of months. Vanta integrates with your existing security tools, offers lightweight templates, provides a single source of truth for all users, and automates the tedious work involved in prepping for your SOC 2.

The SOC 2 compliance checklist with Vanta

1. Building your SOC 2 report: Start with the Trust Service Criteria.

Your SOC 2 report will be built from a selection of the five Trust Service Criteria, according to your customers’ needs and your unique business model. Vanta will help walk you through this process.

  • Every SOC 2 report includes the Security category.
  • The other categories that you could include in your SOC 2 report are Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. Vanta will help you choose which areas are necessary to include. Our Trust Services Category guide provides more detail on these choices.

2. Let your technology do the talking.

When you work with Vanta, you get to use automated checks that are designed to the SOC 2 standard. First, we build a list of rules tailored to your company. Then, we connect to your company’s infrastructure, admin, and key services to continuously monitor your systems and services. We’ll then walk you step-by-step through the process of closing any gaps in your security implementation, so your holistic security hums before audit time.

3. Talk with Vanta and your auditor.

You could spend days (or weeks!) walking an auditor through your company’s systems and processes. Or, when you work with Vanta, your engineers and the Vanta team work with an auditor — and get on the same page about the details of your systems in just a couple of hours.

4. Vanta reviews your continuously monitored data with your auditor...

… and you emerge on the other side with a complete SOC 2 report with less time and effort and more security assurance.

5. You’re done!

With Vanta, what used to be a costly and time-consuming process — preparing for your SOC 2 audit, getting audited, and waiting for your audit report — is transformed into an automated part of your business that runs in the background.

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Prepare for a successful audit with Vanta

Vanta provides continuous security monitoring so that you don’t lose unnecessary time preparing for and working through a lengthy manual audit process. Continuous monitoring ensures that you stay secure all year long and you are confident that you're security goes beyond just a point in time review process.

A smooth, automated audit and a clean SOC 2 report are the direct outcomes of working with Vanta. With Vanta, you’re able to maintain the highest levels of security compliance while staying focused on your company’s — and your clients’ — big-picture goals.


Vanta's PCI Compliance Selection Guide

Determine Your PCI Compliance Level

If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.

When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.

Answer a few short questions and we'll help identify your compliance level:


Does your business offer services to customers who are interested in your level of PCI compliance?


Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level

The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.

Good news! Vanta supports all of the following compliance levels:


Card not present Merchants (eCommerce or mail/telephone order) that have fully outsourced all cardholder data functions to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant's system or premises.

Learn more about Vanta's SAQ A solution.


eCommerce Merchants who outsource all payment processing to PCI DSS validated third parties with a website(s) that doesn't directly receive cardholder data but can impact the payment transaction's security. No electronic storage, processing, or transmission of cardholder data on the Merchant's system or premises.

Learn more about Vanta's SAQ A-EP solution.

for service providers

All Service Providers defined by a payment brand as eligible to complete a SAQ.

Learn more about Vanta's SAQ D solution.

Level 1 for service providers

Entities that process over 6 million transactions annually (Merchant) or 300,000 transactions annually (Service Provider) must complete both an annual Report on Compliance (ROC) and Attestation of Compliance (AOC).

Learn more about Vanta's ROC solution.


In addition to speaking with our PCI DSS compliance experts, you can find information on understanding your PCI compliance level at the PCI Security Standards Council website or contacting your payment processing partner.

Download this checklist for easy reference


Related guides

Your GDPR Compliance Checklist


Vanta’s Guide to SOC Reporting


10 Steps to Effective Compliance Risk Management

Vanta automates compliance starting with SOC 2
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