How to set up your security to scale overseas

How to set up your security to scale overseas

Scaling your organization to take on new business overseas is a momentous achievement and a milestone of growth and success. Congratulations! However, this does come with some growing pains, and that includes your information security. Keeping your data secure while doing business in one localized area or country is a challenge on its own, but opening your business to the world makes security far more complex.

Where do you begin? Our information security experts are here to help by outlining the most essential steps you need to take.

Become compliant with international security standards

If you have been exclusively doing business in the US or even across North America, you may have been able to do just fine with SOC 2 compliance alone as this is the most commonly requested security compliance certification in North America. In the rest of the world, though, there are other critical standards and regulations you’ll need to follow.

The first regulation you’ll need to know is the General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR, an EU law that lays out a set of data security and data privacy requirements that every organization must follow if they will be taking in traffic from EU residents. Note that the GDPR is a law, not a standard, so if you aren’t GDPR compliant, you risk hefty fines rather than just a loss of new business opportunities.

In addition to the GDPR, it’s crucial to comply with ISO 27001 and receive an ISO 27001 compliance certificate if you plan to expand internationally. ISO 27001 is the most universally accepted and requested data security standard, and it is rather similar to SOC 2. However, while there is much overlap between the controls in SOC 2 and those in ISO 27001, clients and partners that require an ISO 27001 certificate from you will rarely if ever accept SOC 2 in its place.

Check your access control system for scalability

One of the most crucial aspects of your information security is your access control system to ensure that data is only accessible to the people in your organization who must use it. However, depending on your expansion plans, your access control system may not be able to grow with you.

Some of these systems have limits that won’t meet your organization’s growing needs, like limits on locational use, limits on the number of access codes granted, limits on your ability to access remote records, and so on. Work with your engineers to understand your current system, any limitations it has that could stand in the way of your international expansion, and any steps you may need to take to remedy those limitations.

Consider physical security for added locations

As you grow to accommodate international business, you may need or want to open new locations overseas for your business. In fact, GDPR requires that you have a representative in the EU. If you do plan to open new locations overseas, remember that the physical security of those locations will play a major role in your information security. You don’t only need to protect against high-level cybersecurity hacks; you need to protect against the basics like someone getting into your office and accessing your files.

When you are looking for business spaces for these new branches or offices, consider the security measures you have in place at your current offices and whether they can be implemented in the new space. Look for security risks like shared community spaces that have access to your office. Have a plan prepared to make those new locations thoroughly secure from day one.

How to make your international data security easier

If you’re expanding your organization overseas, information security is only one of your many priorities and considerations. You’re already drowning in tax regulations, financial reporting requirements, industry-specific legal limitations, and more. While data security should never be low on your priority list, there are ways to make it easier on you without compromising quality.

The best way to do this is with a comprehensive compliance tool. An automated tool scans your system and compares it against the key standards and regulations you need to meet, such as ISO 27001 and GDPR, and gives you a to-do checklist and an in-depth analysis of how your security measures up to those criteria.

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Access Review Stage Content / Functionality
Across all stages
  • Easily create and save a new access review at a point in time
  • View detailed audit evidence of historical access reviews
Setup access review procedures
  • Define a global access review procedure that stakeholders can follow, ensuring consistency and mitigation of human error in reviews
  • Set your access review frequency (monthly, quarterly, etc.) and working period/deadlines
Consolidate account access data from systems
  • Integrate systems using dozens of pre-built integrations, or “connectors”. System account and HRIS data is pulled into Vanta.
  • Upcoming integrations include Zoom and Intercom (account access), and Personio (HRIS)
  • Upload access files from non-integrated systems
  • View and select systems in-scope for the review
Review, approve, and deny user access
  • Select the appropriate systems reviewer and due date
  • Get automatic notifications and reminders to systems reviewer of deadlines
  • Automatic flagging of “risky” employee accounts that have been terminated or switched departments
  • Intuitive interface to see all accounts with access, account accept/deny buttons, and notes section
  • Track progress of individual systems access reviews and see accounts that need to be removed or have access modified
  • Bulk sort, filter, and alter accounts based on account roles and employee title
Assign remediation tasks to system owners
  • Built-in remediation workflow for reviewers to request access changes and for admin to view and manage requests
  • Optional task tracker integration to create tickets for any access changes and provide visibility to the status of tickets and remediation
Verify changes to access
  • Focused view of accounts flagged for access changes for easy tracking and management
  • Automated evidence of remediation completion displayed for integrated systems
  • Manual evidence of remediation can be uploaded for non-integrated systems
Report and re-evaluate results
  • Auditor can log into Vanta to see history of all completed access reviews
  • Internals can see status of reviews in progress and also historical review detail

The ultimate guide to scaling your compliance program

Learn how to scale, manage, and optimize alongside your business goals.

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:


A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing 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.

Get PCI DSS certified


A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.

Learn more about eCommerce PCI

for service providers

A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.

Use our PCI checklist

Level 1 for service providers

A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).

Automate your ROC and AOC

Download this checklist for easy reference


Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.

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