With many businesses and organizations outsourcing their operations and services to third-party vendors, SOC 2 compliance is more critical than ever. However, system and Organization Controls for Service Organizations 2 (SOC 2) is not mandatory, nor is it a law or regulation that must be followed down to a T. Currently, no industry requires a SOC 2 report.
However, your service organization will benefit greatly from investing in the technical audit required for a SOC 2 report. You’ll need it to counter the biggest cybersecurity threats plaguing the digital space at the moment. The moment your organization mishandles data is the moment you will be vulnerable to breaches and attacks. It’s not only data that’s on the line—the average cost of damage done by cybercrime is $133,000.
What Exactly is SOC 2?
Do you need to prove to your clients that their data is safe and secure from any cybersecurity threat? This is where SOC 2 comes into play. Introduced by the AICPA (American Institute of CPAs), SOC 2 is one of the most common types of compliance requirements every organization should meet. It is based on the Trust Services Categories of security, processing integrity, availability, privacy, and confidentiality.
A SOC audit examines an organization’s policies, procedures, and internal controls. These need to be tested and reported on as they impact an organization’s sensitive data’s security, privacy, and confidentiality.
Every audit is conducted following the AICPA audit guidelines and the Attestation Standards Section 101.
Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why SOC 2 compliance will greatly benefit you and your business.
Reason #1: Customer Demand
Cybercrime isn’t going anywhere soon. It will only increase as technology keeps advancing. It is, therefore, your responsibility to protect your client’s sensitive information from any unauthorized access. Data theft is of the utmost importance. That’s why your business needs to meet SOC 2 compliance sooner rather than later.
Your client’s team of auditors will most likely expect SOC 2 attestation from you to fulfill their risk management process, especially if you are a key vendor for them.
Reason #2: Competitive Advantage
Having a SOC 2 report in hand gives you an advantage over competitors who can’t show compliance yet, letting you stay ahead of the crowd. Keep in mind that larger organizations will regularly request that a reputable auditor prepare the organization with a SOC 2 attestation.
Reason #3: Cost-Efficient Solution
Data breaches will cost your organization millions of dollars. Compare that to a SOC 2 audit that typically starts around $20,000. A SOC 2 attestation is a preventative measure to avoid costly data breaches.
Reason #4: Better Information Security Practices
SOC 2 audits ensure that industry best practices and protocols are in place to help companies and organizations defend their stored data and systems from unauthorized access. When SOC 2 is compliant, your organization can fight against cybersecurity threats and data breaches.
SOC 2 makes sure that all confidential information is secure by using industry compliance regulations. This is so that organizations can further improve their cybersecurity practices.
Reason #5: Greater Customer Trust
Your customers are mindful of sharing their personal information. They know the risks involved in giving you access to what belongs to them. They expect you to manage their data or information safely and securely.
Having a SOC 2 compliance report from an established and respectable auditor will symbolize trust for your clients. This will assure them that you are proactively protecting their data and that you won’t let their information end up in the wrong hands.
Reason #6: For Regulatory Compliance
Aside from its advantages in terms of cybersecurity, SOC 2 will also give you an upper hand in terms of regulatory compliance. Because SOC 2’s requirements coincide with other frameworks such as ISO 27001 and HIPAA, having this certification can speed your organization’s overall compliance efforts.
Reason #7: Employees’ Understanding of Best Practices
Having SOC 2 compliance isn’t enough. Another great thing about performing a SOC 2 audit is that you will get to verify the capabilities of your employees and staff when it comes to security protocols and industry best practices. In addition, everyone on your internal team needs to identify potential data risks and understand how to implement various security measures to safeguard the information and data your organization holds.
Reason #8: Peace of Mind
Knowing that your systems and networks are secure will give you that much-needed peace of mind. In addition, passing the audit means that your organization adheres to data security standards, and you won’t have to worry too much about anyone gaining unauthorized access to your customers’ data.
Going through a SOC 2 assessment is worth the investment, even though it requires time and dedication on your part. It will also involve third-party auditors to ensure your compliance with the standards.
If you’re a service provider or an organization that stores your customers’ data in the cloud, it’s time to embrace SOC 2 audits and reports. Being SOC 2 compliant is a testament to how your organization values your client’s data safety and security. In addition, it means that you follow industry best practices through a robust set of protocols that can protect sensitive information from leaks and breaches.