What is SOC 2 Compliance?
Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 reports are becoming more and more relevant in data security. Putting the practices in place to achieve compliance with SOC 2 empowers organizations to maintain strong data privacy controls and identify/remediate cyberattacks before irreparable damage has been done. While they aren’t required by law to produce, customers often request proof of a SOC 2 audit to gain assurance that their data is secure. Meeting SOC 2 requirements also helps organizations meet other critical regulatory requirements as it establishes IT governance best practices across the enterprise.
If you provide any services as a third party, you’ve likely been requested by a customer at some point to provide evidence of SOC 2 compliance. It’s best practice to renew your SOC 2 certification annually, so collecting evidence of strong controls is an ongoing process. Offering this evidence consistently is a way to provide your customers with confidence that you’ll keep their organization protected and establish a long-term client relationship.
There are five Trust Services Principles, or criteria, that comprise a SOC 2 report: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. There are multiple benefits to each principle:
- Security: Data security is consistently threatened at each and every organization, so having sufficient physical and electronic controls in place to protect sensitive information is critical. Being able to provide evidence of these controls, monitor incidents and document security measures is critical to managing ongoing threats.
- Availability: Does your organization provide services that other businesses rely on? Do you rely on data centers or telecommunication companies? Availability to these services is central to maintaining business operations, and in order to meet Master Service Level Agreements and avoid major downtime, it’s vital to identify negative trends in data availability.
- Processing Integrity: It’s critical to demonstrate your organization’s ability to honor agreements in a timely and consistent manner. This proves that you have the measures in place to provide complete, valid and accurate delivery of services.
- Confidentiality: Just because information isn’t technically considered PII/PPI does not mean that it isn’t confidential. One of the benefits you’ll experience using LogicManager for your SOC 2 compliance needs is the ability to document and verify that you have the technical and procedural means to honor MSAs, DSAs and other contractual agreements that may include data confidentiality clauses.
- Privacy: To avoid fines and build confidence with customers and stakeholders alike, it’s important to build their trust. One of the most critical steps in building trust is by maintaining compliance with a variety of privacy frameworks (such a SOC 2).
Negligence is 100% avoidable – but once you’re found guilty of it, the fees associated with hiring lawyers, consultants and internal specialists skyrocket quickly. Remaining in compliance with SOC 2 (and having a software that documents your due diligence efforts along the way) helps prevent negligence.
Another risk you’re facing by neglecting SOC 2 compliance is missing out on potential customers; many companies and individuals look to ensure that their service providers are keeping their information safe. They’ll often ask for a SOC 2 compliance report, and if you cannot provide one, they may go elsewhere.
This inadvertency can also turn away existing customers. In addition to incident and negligent legal liabilities, the loss from customer non-renewals and cancellations is significant: it’s estimated that the total average cost of a data breach is $3.8 million.