If you want to stand out from the crowd of competitors and attract more customers, you need to prove that you care about data security and privacy. SOC 2 is the best way to do that; it shows that you follow the highest standards of security and compliance.
It's like wearing a badge of honor that says "I care about my customers and their sensitive information." A badge which, by the way, we proudly wear at BEMO given that we are a verified SOC2 Compliant Company.
If you want to learn in depth about SOC 2, stick around. In this article we'll cover the following:
Specifically, SOC 2 stands for Service Organization Control 2, and it is a set of standards (established by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) that evaluates how well a service provider manages the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of its customers' data (AICPA Trust Services Criteria).
SOC 2 is not mandatory, but it's highly recommended if you want to do business with clients or partners that require it, since it has become the unofficial baseline for security compliance in the United States.
In a SOC 2 audit, you prove the policies, procedures, and systems you have in place are effective in protecting information across the five categories of the Trust Services Criteria (outlined in the next section). An independent auditor evaluates the evidence you supply for the controls in each category, and when completed, you receive your official SOC 2 attestation report that you can share with customers and partners.
SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria
The Trust Services Criteria (TSC) forms the basics of your cybersecurity posture. They include organization controls, risk assessment, risk mitigation, risk management, and change management. These criteria apply to Infrastructure, Software, People, Procedures, and Data.
You can decide which of the five TSC you would like to include in your audit process, but take note that Security is the only TSC required for every SOC 2 audit.
The other four criteria are optional and can be mixed and matched based on the services you provide your customers. The optional criteria can be addressed further as your business scales.
Required proof that your systems areprotected against unauthorized access and other risks.
Example: Security policies, risk assessment and mitigation, protection and monitoring, security controls, configuration management.
What is the Difference Between SOC 2 Type I and SOC 2 Type II?
There are two different types of SOC 2 audits: Type I and Type II:
SOC 2 Type I reports evaluate a company’s controls at a single point in time – think of it as a snapshot. It assesses if the security controls are designed properly.
SOC 2 Type II reports assess how those controls function over a period of time, generally 6-12 months. It assesses if the security controls operate properly.
Why is SOC 2 Important?
Data breaches and information leaks are becoming increasingly prevalent, and SMBs are not immune to it. Data breaches in 2022 cost SMBs an average of $3 million per incident, according toIBM. The cost of a breach far outweighs the cost of proactively investing in implementing and monitoring the proper security controls. SOC 2 is all about reducing risk with a focus on cybersecurity.
Plus, once you have put security controls in place, it's no longer enough to just say you have good security practices in place. A growing number of companies across a variety of industries are requiring that vendors prove it with a SOC 2 report. By attaining SOC 2 attestation, you show that you have adopted aZero Trustsecurity model and that you have the evidence to prove it.
With any major investment, businesses need to consider if the cost is worth the benefit. To be honest, attaining an SOC 2 report is a significant feat with an investment of time, resources, and money. You expect that the investment will ultimately pay off. Hence, the question, “Is SOC 2 worth it?”
Boosted Employee Morale & Engagement
Your employees can feel proud of working for a reputable and responsible organization that values their data and privacy.
You will have a robust system of controls and policies that will reduced risk of data breaches and cyberattacks. You will also have less downtime and more productivity, as you will be able to handle any issues quickly and efficiently. You get the added bonus of speeding up your Zero Trust journey!
Enhanced Brand Reputation & Credibility
Your customers, partners, and investors will see you as a reliable and secure provider of services, and they will want to do more business with you. You will also avoid any nasty lawsuits or fines that could ruin your reputation. And yes, you get to display the SOC 2 seal logo on your website!
Gain Competitive Edge in the Market
Demonstrate your commitment to quality and excellence and beat out competitors who might not have an SOC 2 report. You can leverage modern technologies and opportunities that require SOC 2 compliance.
Long-term Savings (Money & Time)
Completing SOC 2 attestation will make it easier, faster and less expensive to attain other security attestations. For example, SOC 2 shares a lot of requirements with ISO 27001 guidelines. You will save time filling out different security questionnaires for every large customer. These questionnaires can be incredibly detailed and difficult to fill out if you do not already have processes and documents in place. You can also save money on other audits and cyber-insurance premiums, killing 2 or 3 birds with one stone!
Improve Operational Efficiency & Performance
You will improve your performance and efficiency by streamlining your processes and operations. You will have clear goals and objectives, and you will be able to continuously measure and monitor your progress and results, ultimately leading to reduced operational risks and costs. By having SOC 2 attestation, you can scale your business without compromising your security and compliance.
Need Help With SOC 2?
With the right guidance and tools, you can achieve SOC 2 attestation and reap the benefits of obtaining your SOC 2 “badge of honor” and stand out from the crowd. Contact us today to find out how BEMO can help you achieve your security and compliance goals with confidence and ease.