The SOC 2 compliance checklist

The SOC 2 compliance checklist

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.

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.

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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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