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New in Vanta: Save time and avoid surprises with Smart System Description
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October 25, 2022

New in Vanta: Save time and avoid surprises with Smart System Description

Vanta provides the fastest path to compliance by automatically collecting up to 90% of the evidence needed to prove SOC 2 controls. But those who’ve gone through the SOC 2 process before will know there are certain artifacts like a System Description which still require a great deal of manual, and at times, duplicative work.

Until now. With Smart System Description, exclusive to the Vanta platform, you can generate a System Description in a fraction of the time, and at no additional cost.

A foundation for your SOC 2 report

The System Description is a detailed overview of the scope of your SOC 2 report. It describes your company's product or service, approaches to security, and the controls you have in place to meet the standard. It also outlines which areas of security you manage and which areas are managed by a third party (like your cloud service provider). 

Creating a thorough System Description is foundational to your SOC 2 audit. A poorly written or incomplete system description can result in delays to your audit. Providing misleading or incorrect information in a System Description can create problems later on as your downstream customers rely on this information being accurate.

Save up to 10 hours and $1000s in hourly fees

Before Smart System Description, preparing this dozen-plus page document could take between 8-15 hours and require you to go back and forth with your auditor - incurring additional fees. 

Vanta’s Smart System Description solves these challenges by walking you through 13 required sections to complete: including your service description, people, and data operations. Best of all, Vanta pre-populates parts of these sections based on your existing work in the platform or allows you to add custom input and tags.

"Smart System Description took what would have been a time-consuming, highly manual process and made it simple. Not only did we save 10+ hours of time, we feel more confident in our system description and overall audit readiness." -Ryan Hess, CEO of Connective Health

Easy to create. Easy to assign. Easy to renew.

Like all policies created with Vanta, managing workflows for your system description is easy. Assign an owner for your system description in Vanta so the right member of your team is looped in. Receive an annual alert when it's time to review and renew your system description, so you never fall out of compliance. And find all your previous system descriptions in one place, so you can easily track changes.

Available now, at no additional cost

Smart System Description is available now for all SOC 2 customers. View Smart System Description within the Documents page to get started.

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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

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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