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December 11, 2020

Meet the Team!

Meet Ellen! 👋

Ellen is a Software Engineer in Vanta’s Engineering, Product, and Design org. She started at Vanta in April 2019. 

Tell us about your role at Vanta.

I have done a lot with integrations for Vanta, like our version control integrations and our Azure integration. Right now I’m particularly interested in the work I’m doing to clean up some fundamentals — like planning out improvements to how we represent users in Vanta, or building the foundation for improved error handling across the integrations. I like to build new things while also making sure that what we’ve already built continues to work for our customers. :)

Every six weeks or so I’m also on a support on-call rotation, which means the Support Team refers customers to me for bugs. Half of Vanta engineers rotate on support on-call, and the other half rotate on infrastructure on-call. It’s fun since it’s more customer-facing than regular work — but not so customer-facing that I have to talk to strangers!

What made you realize this was the right career field for you? 

I just really like programming! I learned how to code in high school. I grew up in Maryland and the state required a tech class to graduate. Our options were learning to use Microsoft Office, or learning C++. I thought Microsoft would’ve been boring (though ironically, I later took an internship there), so I chose coding. And I realized, This is actually really fun, and this could be a career path for me.

Why did you choose Vanta over other companies? 

I chose Vanta based on a few factors. One was meeting Vanta founders Erik and Christina and seeing how they run the company. I was really impressed with how organized everything was. It was a tiny startup with fewer than 10 people, but it didn’t have that frantic startup energy. I wanted to work with people who can run a company that is so small and new, and still have it under control. I got this sense from Vanta, which made joining a tiny company less scary and more appealing. 

I also liked everyone at the company! I thought, I would enjoy working with these people, and I want to work with these people. There was also a product market fit — what they were selling made sense, and there was a plan for expanding that made sense. Everything tracked very well. 

What excites you about Vanta’s product?

The product market fit is key: it makes a lot of sense to have a tool that helps you keep track of all your security things — especially security things that may typically require more “steps for humans to take” or that leave room for error. It may not be as flashy as building other types of security tools but it is real, everyday work that is really important to our customers. 

I also think it’s a neat mission to start with the SOC 2 market and then generalize into other compliance standards. We can also generalize into good security practices that aren’t linked to specific compliance standards. It just makes a lot of sense, and I like things to make sense! :)

What’s your favorite quarantine activity? 

I live really close to Golden Gate Park, near the Rose Garden. Working from home, it’s very nice to be able to go outside, look at trees, and, in a way, satisfy my interest in being around people without actually coming within 20 feet. It’s especially nice now, because if I was working from the office, I wouldn’t have the daylight during the weekday to go to the park!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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