Service Organization Control (SOC) Reports vary in application and importance across various organizations. While some SOC reports are directed towards upstream and downstream customers in your supply chain, others are designed for continuous compliance with 3rd party services.
SOC 2 compliance is specifically targeted towards IT controls. It sets forth the requirements that define a proper IT framework within your company. Furthermore, being SOC2 compliant comes with many different benefits. Not only will you keep your data secure, but you will also develop highly efficient processes that leverage technology and drive profit.
Understanding SOC2 Compliance
SOC2 compliance refers to a system of controls that are put in place to help keep your systems and data secure. The SOC2 compliance process is focused on strong data security measures that help repel threats. In this way, your business data, customer data, and other sensitive information remain secure.
Being SOC2 complaint involves preparing reports, implementing IT controls, and carrying out regular audits. SOC2 reports also provide a framework for managing 3rd party vendors and your data environment.
SOC2 compliance involves 4 main steps:
1. Active monitoring
One of the most important portions of SOC2 compliance is actively monitoring your systems and processes. Monitoring allows you to detect unusual activity, access to sensitive data, and configuration adjustments. Active monitoring is also an appropriate response to how rapidly data moves in the cloud. Being able to detect these sudden changes puts you in a position to identify threats earlier and respond effectively.
2. Real-time alerts
SOC2 compliance also requires that companies put in place relevant alert procedures. In other words, you need a system that can let you know when unusual activity is detected. The system should also be able to initiate an appropriate response that repels or mitigates such threats. SOC2 compliance requires that companies detect anomalies in file transfer, data modification, logins to accounts, and configurations. In this way, your company can respond faster to threats and other activities that may affect data integrity.
3. Regular audits
Auditing is an essential part of SOC2 compliance. Audits give you deep insights into current systems and processes that affect your organization. More specifically, an audit trail is a mirror into the steps you’re currently taking to protect data. An audit provides data security standards over a specific time period. It also allows you to modify essential system components, detect unauthorized access, and determine the impact of an attack. Audits are also evidence of continuous compliance with SOC2 guidelines.
4. Actionable insight
SOC2 compliance also allows your company to take actionable steps against threats. In addition to monitoring, auditing, and alerting, you also need a framework for taking action when you receive the appropriate insights. SOC2 compliance requires that you act on actionable data to keep your environment more secure in real-time.
Actionable data can be obtained from analyzing the origin of attack data, where it was destined to, and the level of impact it would have.
Why Comply with SOC2?
SOC2 compliance is a set of guidelines that govern technology and cloud-based companies. As a result, this compliance framework is based on the principles of security, confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Not only is SOC2 critical to high data security standards, but it also provides direction regarding document trails. You can use SOC2 compliance to help you develop internal security policies and other guidelines that mitigate data threats.
SOC2 compliance also reassures your customers that their data is safe from threats. You can proudly display SOC2 compliance certificates to attract new customers and improve your bottom line. Furthermore, SOC2 compliance puts you above competitors and helps you build your brand.
Maintaining SOC2 Compliance
SOC2 compliance is an on-going process for any business. This is because maintaining data security across the cloud (and other networks) requires a strategic approach that mitigates threats. As opposed to SOC1, SOC2 is more specifically designed to address data security challenges. Depending on the nature of your business, you might need a combination of SOC requirements to remain compliant. But it all starts with securing your network and the activity of third-party vendors. Through regular audits, active monitoring, and real-time alerts, you can remain SOC2 compliant and thus protect sensitive company data.