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Understanding the value of SOC 2 compliance for your company
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July 27, 2022

Understanding the value of SOC 2 compliance for your company

Stevie Case, CRO at Vanta, recently spoke with early-stage founders at Founder University to discuss the value of compliance management. Stevie shares her first-hand experience working at Twilio in the early stages of the company and the challenges that come with bringing a product to market. 

When a company is ready to start selling its product, particularly to enterprise companies, one of the first questions asked by prospects is, “Can we see your SOC 2?” Being asked to prove your company’s security is a common blocker in getting your sales deals moving. But with the right perspective, this obstacle can be turned into a competitive advantage. 

“Enterprises and other big buyers want to see that proof,” Stevie says. Frequently, security reviews with prospects happen late in the deal. After you’ve invested lots of time and energy into earning the business, prospects will request proof of a SOC 2 certification. 

“That SOC 2 is proof that you’re securing your assets and your company in a way that is consistent with what they want as a buyer,” says Stevie. “And if you don’t have it, in many cases they will not move forward with the deal and that deal will be dead.” 

How to do SOC 2 the right way

In order to avoid having sales deals stuck at the one-yard line, Stevie recommends building a foundation of security within the company as early as possible. “Take security seriously in the way you build. Don’t think of it as something you’ll get to later. Instead, try to satisfy security measures from the start.” 

Stevie discusses the differences between SOC 2 Type I and Type II and lays out a timeline for how to prepare for an audit before being asked by prospective investors.

“What gets time-consuming and expensive is when you try to come back and implement it later when you’ve got 10+ employees—then things get hard. Start from the beginning and you’ll be good to go,” Stevie advises.

Listen to the full webinar to get more insight into the importance of a SOC 2 and hear Stevie answer in-depth questions from Founder University members.

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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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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.

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SAQ A

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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SAQ A-EP

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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ROC
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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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