Nov 14, 2022
What is SOC2 compliance and why does it matter?
If you're a small or medium-sized business with remote employees, then SOC2 compliance should be on your radar. In a nutshell, SOC2 (Service Organization Compliance 2) is a set of standards that govern how businesses protect the security, confidentiality, and privacy of their customer data. But why does this matter?
SOC2 compliance helps your business build trust with your customers. Businesses and consumers are understandably concerned about how their data is collected and used in today's digital age. By being SOC2 compliant, you can show their customers that they take data security seriously and are committed to protecting your customers' information. This can go a long way in acquiring and retaining customers.
What's more, if your business isn't SOC2 compliant and suffers a data breach, your business could face severe legal repercussions. Not to mention, the damage to your reputation could be irreparable. That's why it's so important for all businesses to take the necessary steps to reach SOC2 compliance.
Benefits of SOC2 Compliance
There are many benefits to being SOC2 compliant, especially for small and medium businesses.
SOC2 confirms that your business has the appropriate security, privacy, and availability controls in place. With more and more data leaks taking place across the internet, this can give business owners peace of mind that their data, and more importantly, the customer's data, is safe.
Executive peace of mind
No business owner wants to be the headline of a data breach. SOC2 compliance can help you avoid costly fines and penalties if your data is ever breached. Non-compliance can also result in loss of business, as many customers will not do business with companies that cannot guarantee the safety of their data.
Meeting industry requirements
Companies that operate in spaces like healthcare, financial, and education all have requirements they need to meet to serve their customers. Obtaining SOC2 compliance is often a mandate to operate the business. SOC2 compliance demonstrates that a company is committed to protecting customer data.
As your business scales, you'll need to make sure your business processes can scale and are still effective. SOC2 compliance can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your business operations by ensuring that your systems are aligned with best practices. You'll get a clearer picture as to what areas of your business need more attention.
How to receive a SOC2 compliance certificate
There are a few straightforward steps you can follow to receive your SOC2 certificate of compliance.
Step 1: Assess your current controls
The first step in becoming SOC2 compliant is to assess your current controls and identify any gaps.
Step 2: Adjust your practices
Once you know what needs to be done to meet the standards, you can put the necessary controls in place. This may include things like implementing password policies, two-factor authentication, and encryption. See the solutions section below for more information.
Step 3: Get your practices audited
Once you've put all the necessary controls in place, you'll need to have them audited by an independent third party. Once they've confirmed that you meet all the requirements, you'll be issued a certificate of compliance.
Solutions for achieving SOC2 compliance
There are several steps your business can take to reach SOC2 compliance. This way, you can show your customers that you’re serious about protecting their personal information—which can go a long way in acquiring and retaining customers.
Know what software is used at your organization
Awareness of what software your company uses is a key component of being SOC2 compliant. Oftentimes, businesses have a set list of applications that they provide for their employees, but employees may find their own software to use as well. Software that businesses aren't aware is being used by their employees is otherwise referred to as “Shadow IT.” (link to Shadow IT blog)
Software (SaaS) management apps help give companies insight into all the software used at their organization and centralize their ability to change access levels.
Implement a mobile device management (MDM) system
As remote companies grow in size, it becomes increasingly important to implement a mobile device management system to protect the data and devices employees work with.
MDM, or mobile device management, is a system that helps to manage and secure mobile devices. For a remote company, MDM can be essential for keeping track of devices, making sure that they are secure, and managing updates and content.
Keep logs of all onboarding, offboarding, and access requests
A big part of SOC2 compliance is keeping logs of:
Who has been onboarded to your company What access to company software and data they were given
Timestamps around employee offboarding
When access was removed from former employees
When employees were given access or had access level changed to the software they owned
While achieving SOC2 compliance may seem daunting, it's well worth the effort for businesses that want to protect their customer data—and their reputation.
Looking for a solution that can make tasks for SOC2 compliance easier to handle? Check out Talisman.
Talisman provides a time-saving way to view all of the software across your organization. It centralizes and automates onboarding, offboarding, and access requests.
You can join the waitlist for Talisman now.