There are different security frameworks companies can use to protect information and systems. Notably, many service-oriented firms prefer the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) SOC 2 standards. Frequently, organizations are getting worried about not having SOC2 compliance. This is the case, especially when their competitors have the certification. Read more to understand what SOC 2 is and how you can also become compliant.
What is SOC2?
According to AICPA, SOC 2 refers to a standardized audit and report on controls. The framework covers service organizations with regards to security, availability, and integrity. The controls also provide confidentiality and privacy. SOC2 report meets the needs of different users that need assurance about the security controls. Under SOC 2, organizations must assess the state of privacy and security. The process is mainly necessary when interacting with other third parties to process client data. The audit ensures that an organization has proper protections in place for sensitive data.
Achieving SOC 2 compliance means that a business meets minimum levels of maturity and fidelity across Trust Services Criteria (TSC). TSC presents control criteria established by the Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC). Organizations use TSC in attestation or consulting engagements to examine and report on controls over security availability, confidentiality, and integrity. Usually, firms must install a series of controls. Additionally, they undergo audits with external assessors to achieve the SOC 2 certification.
Do I Need SOC2 Compliance?
More frequently, SOC 2 compliance applies to service organizations. The standard is particularly essential for companies collaborating to collect, process, transport, and share client data. Based on this definition, SOC 2 is necessary for software as a service (SaaS) providers. IT managed services, and cloud computing providers also need the certification.
It is essential to note that SOC 2 compliance is not legally required for vendors. But, SOC 2 audits and measures are significant controls for your security posture.
SOC 2 Compliance Costs
What about the cost of SOC 2 compliance? Like any other security framework, proving your commitment to SOC 2 is not cheap. Generating a SOC 2 report can be an expensive and extensive process. According to an estimate, organizations will need to fork out a starting cost between $20,000 and $60,000 for compliance.
However, the approximation does not include additional costs associated with compliance initiatives. In this case, organizations might require more funds for readiness assessments and dedicated in-house experts and consultants. On top of that, there are costs related to technical work and cultural changes. You may also incur legal fees for agreement reviews with outside vendors.
Some cost items are optional. For instance, readiness assessment review is discretionary, but having it ensures a smooth SOC 2 report process. Apart from that, company size and the support needed significantly determine compliance costs.
SOC 2 compliance also requires a review of other stakeholder contracts. For example, your need to assess customer, employment, and vendor agreements. The process determines their data protection policies that determine SOC 2 compliance readiness.
SOC compliance is not a one-off project. Instead, the process requires annual revisions and assessments. It is necessary to factor in annual assessment in the SOC 2 compliance cost.
Benefits of SOC2 Compliance
Protecting against cyberattacks is both a defense measure and a company growth strategy. Simply put, passing the SOC 2 audit gives your company a competitive edge. You can assure stakeholders that you prioritize security needs. You do so by taking the necessary measures to safeguard information.
What are some of the benefits of getting SOC 2 compliance?
1. Enhanced Security
SOC 2 compliance helps you understand your business status with respect to information security. The process identifies gaps and security needs that organizations can address. In the process, companies protect sensitive information and the business from costly attacks. Undeniably, achieving SOC 2 compliance shields a company from outright information theft. Other than that, the certification prevents prevalent threats like ransomware extortion.
2. Brand Protection
SOC 2 compliance means that an organization puts in place measures to prevent cyberattacks. Typically, a data breach results in lost revenue, customers, and opportunities. Other than that, cyber incidents commonly affect brand reputation. They undermine trust between companies and their customers. With SOC2 compliance, an enterprise sends the message that it is trustworthy. It demonstrates that it takes appropriate steps to protect information privacy and security.
3. Competitive Advantage
With so much at stake in cybersecurity, companies and individuals need vendors to prove they protect information. One way of achieving this goal involves compelling the service provider to complete a SOC2 compliance audit. In short, potential customers are more likely to do business with an organization they can trust with their data. Accordingly, having SOC 2 compliance reports available beforehand gives you an advantage over competitors when pursuing new clients.
Get Started with Cynergy
If you are looking for SOC 2 compliance, professional help is indispensable. You will need to work with an external expert to help you become certified. Before the actual audit, an expert can help you prepare. But experts don’t come cheap, this is why Cynergy is here to drive all the required action forward. Part of the process includes building a project Gantt and streamlining the implementation of new practices and tools needed for SOC 2 audit.
The external partner you choose is essential for your SOC 2 compliance journey. Therefore, you need to select a platform which covers the framework thoroughly with extensive cybersecurity and compliance expertise in mind.
At Cynergy, we understand the complexity of SOC 2 compliance. The process comes with frustrations, especially for small to medium-sized enterprises. Such organizations have strained resources and overburdened IT personnel. Fortunately, partnering with Cynergy makes the SOC 2 compliance process more manageable. Also, the compliance process with Cynergy is cost-efficient.
What’s more, Cynergy has solutions to other security and compliance situations organizations face. You can connect with the most advanced cybersecurity products. Besides that, you can leverage leading security professionals to scale and augment your security team.