Meet the Team!
I spent this Summer as a Product Manager intern at Vanta. That’s kind of an ambiguous statement, because there aren’t really product manager interns…anywhere. Loosely, that meant that I was a PM for the summer, but on a smaller scale. I talked to customers, scoped features, and worked with Engineers to deliver them—all the things a full-time PM would do.
Tell us about your internship at Vanta
I had an incredible experience, for a number of reasons. For one, everyone at Vanta is driven, incredibly talented, and also just super nice/friendly/helpful. For two, I was given significant scope and autonomy to drive my own projects, and to blow up the scope of a project when I saw an opportunity to create value. And, the third reason is that I felt like I was constantly learning at a really high rate.
One thing that’s really cool about Vanta is the open calendar culture - I can drop a meeting on anyone’s calendar. Somehow nobody ever abuses the privilege (though my temptation to drop a two-hour lunch chat on our CEO’s calendar was strong) and it created some really cool opportunities to learn about functions far away from PM. Vanta is at a really cool stage where the execs we’re bringing in are talented and experienced, but they’re also still accessible - there aren’t three layers of management between me and anyone, even as an intern.
What made you realize this was the right internship for you?
When I went into the interview process, I was already aware that Vanta was among my top few choices of places I could work. Still, every interaction I had with a Vantan confirmed and even strengthened my hypothesis that Vanta would be an awesome startup for me to join. Every person I met was welcoming and dedicated and clearly very good at what they did. I was just excited that they were interested in hiring me.
Why did you decide to choose Vanta over other companies?
I’ve had Vanta on a very short list of startups I most wanted to work at for almost a year and a half. I was very impressed by the strength of Vanta’s product-market fit, their dedication to innovating in the unsexy industry of security and compliance, and because of the founder, Christina, and her incredible thoughtfulness in scaling Vanta. I know that I want to be a founder at some point in the future and I really prioritized working for a company that is scaling thoughtfully and effectively (and efficiently) in the hopes that I could learn some things and I definitely have.
Why are you excited about Vanta’s mission or product?
I think Vanta’s mission - to secure the internet and protect consumer data - speaks for itself as lofty, ambitious, and important in its impact on the world. More specifically, I think it’s really cool that we enable startups to move faster. Making SOC 2 compliance simple and easy enables SaaS startups to close deals faster, and I’m really passionate about accelerating the growth of the broader startup ecosystem.
I had also used the product in previous internships, and it’s approximately one million times better than trying to pursue compliance on your own.
What was your favorite quarantine activity?
I took a gap year when the pandemic started, and I wrote a blog while I was at home. I only wrote a handful of posts, but I found that the act of writing was incredibly valuable in pushing me to clarify my thinking and dive into deeper levels of the questions with which I was wrestling. Plus, my family was getting sick of hearing me talk about startups and writing was a good outlet for my rambling.
I never had much of an audience—half of my subscribers are family members—but I really enjoyed it. I haven’t published anything in over 15 months, but I’ve been working on my next post. It will be a slightly-subversive or longtermism take on why building a SaaS startup is the most valuable thing I could be doing for the human race.
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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.
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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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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
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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