If you haven’t heard of the term, you will soon enough. SOC 2, meaning System and Organization Controls 2, is an auditing procedure developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Having SOC 2 compliance means you have implemented organizational controls and practices that provide assurance for the safeguarding and security of client data. In other words, you have to show (e.g., document and demonstrate) that you are acting in good faith with other people’s information. In its simplest definition, it’s a report card from an auditor.
At Rewind, before SOC 2, we had some processes in place, such as change management procedures for when emergency fixes need to be released to production quickly. But after beginning our SOC 2 journey we realized that we did not have a great way to track the reasoning behind a required emergency change, and this was required for our SOC 2 audit. So we worked with our auditor to set up a continuous auditing system for these requests, providing a long-term solution and a massive procedural improvement, offering this solution to other companies in our position. Achieving SOC 2 compliance signals to a market, that you are willing to provide assurance in the form of a third-party audit report that you will protect customer information. Information your business relies on.
Why Have SOC 2 at All?
In short, more data is collected by more organizations today, than at any point in history. As a whole, private and public sector groups are becoming more conscious about how their proprietary data is handled by other parties. For highly regulated industries such as finance, healthcare, or publicly traded companies, SOC 2 has essentially become a cost of doing business. For any SaaS companies that want to “grow up” and sell to big brands, the question “Do you have your SOC2?” will be one of the first things your sales team gets asked.
SOC 2 reports also give companies a leg up in providing assurance to customers in today’s cybersecurity landscape. The volume of cyberattacks is increasing every year. A breach can trigger fines, damage a company’s reputation, cause an exodus of customers, and much more. SOC 2 compliance goes a long way in mitigating losses from these scenarios by providing assurance that you have key processes in place. A compliant business is more likely to respond to a breach quickly, thus limiting its impact.
Getting SOC2 the Swift and Smart Way
Before I joined Rewind, and similarly for most growing SaaS companies, SOC 2 seemed like an intimidating task to achieve. We had processes in place, but we had work to do to formalize them to be SOC 2 compliant and audit ready. The sales team was also consistently getting asked about Rewind and our plans for SOC 2 compliance because our customers wanted that assurance, and getting SOC 2 became a priority. The next step is understanding your company’s SOC2 goals, priorities, and identifying what steps need to be taken to become compliant.
I’ve spent my entire career as an Information Security Professional with a focus on governance, risk and compliance. Much of this is second nature to me. For newcomers it can be a daunting and overwhelming process. So here is a quick framework to help you get prepared for the road ahead.
images from Hacker News