Why a SOC 2 is the most accepted security compliance standard
If your business stores any customer data in the cloud, then you’ve likely come across the need to become SOC 2 compliant. A SOC 2 report is regarded as the primary document that proves your company is taking proper security measures. The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) created SOC 2 reports to assure customers and other business partners that you have security guidelines in place and that you follow through on them.
Enterprises are processing so much data all the time. Keeping all that information safe is highly important in staying alive and respected in the marketplace. Imagine building a product, creating brand awareness, working successfully with partners, and having the trust of customers, then having a security breach? A data violation would negatively impact every aspect of the business you worked so hard to create. The trust of partners and customers would be questioned immediately and your brand name potentially tarnished. SOC 2 compliance allows you to avoid a data breach before it happens.
Why do enterprises trust SOC 2?
A SOC 2 is considered the one of the most rigorous reports that exists to date, which means that any business that has gone to the lengths of completing one is serious about security. It is also the most commonly accepted report when conducting business with US-based enterprises. Completing a SOC 2 suggests that your organization has set the right standards in place for the future as well. A SOC 2 framework doesn’t allow you to just check off boxes, it sets the company apart from others for future data concerns.
Put simply, a SOC 2 builds trust with customers and partners, especially those with robust security requirements. It shows venture capitalists that you have the right protections in place and you are serious about safeguarding their investments. In most instances, if you don’t have a SOC 2, there is a good chance that enterprises won’t trust doing business with you.
How rigorous is a SOC 2?
SOC 2 requires long, ongoing internal regulations to ensure that customer data is protected. This instills best practices from the start, which then creates better business opportunities. Going through the process of a SOC 2 shows your clients how serious you are about security for the long haul.
A SOC 2 report can include up to five categories, known as the Trust Service Criteria:
- Security (also known as Common Criteria)
- Processing integrity
All SOC 2 reports require the Security category, which declares that all your systems and stored data are protected against unauthorized access and disclosure. The other categories are considered optional.
There are many framework elements that are included in SOC 2, ranging from employment policies to infrastructure security. And, traditionally, the steps to maintain a SOC 2 take months to complete.
However, there are now automated platforms that can help ease and expedite the SOC 2 process. An automated, streamlined platform allows you to integrate systems and view security systems practices across your organization. The right automated platform will also support continuous security monitoring and notify you of any compliance risks before they become real issues.
Big deals rely on SOC 2
If you want to sell to the enterprise, you must prove security. It is a deal breaker - a SOC 2 can either open the door for bigger and better deals, or it can put your business on hold.
Enterprises are working with so much complex data that it makes sense that they’d want to have a singular set of trusted standards in which they can rely on. Without a SOC 2, your organization will constantly be required to provide security worksheets and extensive surveys. This extra work can cost your business both time and money. Getting questioned about how secure your business is can take a toll on team members and can create an element of internal fear about whether you actually are safeguarding properly.
A SOC 2 automation platform cuts down the workload and cost in the long run. Business partners will see that you have a SOC 2 and know that your business is secure and that you’re continuously monitoring for data breaches. SOC 2 compliance takes the security fear out of a possible investment or business deal and establishes a level of trust. Customers, investors, partners, and even employees won’t have to fret over whether the right protections are in place because SOC 2 requirements make those assurances necessary for compliance.
More about SOC 2 compliance
Five ways to turn your SOC 2 compliance into a growth strategy
The fast, easy way to get a SOC 2
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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.
Learn more about eCommerce PCI
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).
Automate your ROC and 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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