Companies that store data or use cloud services must assess their security safeguards continuously to ensure that they follow the trust service principles of SOC 2—security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. During the SOC 2 Type 2 assessment, an inspector will be given documentation of your security controls. They will also sample and test your systems. However, during the time they are performing the audit, you want to make sure that your business doesn’t slow down. Read on to learn how to get SOC 2 Type 2 without slowing down your SaaS:
1. Get credible third-party auditors
You need an independent auditor who can objectively assess your SOC 2 security standards. Having these fresh sets of eyes will help create a path that makes sure that your systems are compliant and have the required security measures in place. The first step that you have to take is understanding the SOC 2 compliant processes and your current operational processes. The auditor will be asking you hundreds of questions about your systems to identify what needs improvement and what works. Once you have an understanding of your current security systems, you can figure out what security features need to be added or modified to get SOC 2 Type 2 compliance. If you want to ensure that you successfully complete the audit, you can get an assessor to provide you with a SOC 2 Type 2 report sample.
There are a lot of CPAs who can do the audit for you. However, with different auditing companies, you will get different types of services. There are some companies that use software for handling the SOC 2 audit, meaning that the compliance will be managed on the program itself. You can use the tool for providing evidence to the auditors. This way, your and your control auditors’ workload is greatly reduced. Also, you will have a central platform for managing your audits, evidence collection, and controls.
However, it is important to make sure that you know what you are getting yourself into. You don’t want to commit to a program, only to realize later that it is not the right for you. Find a CPA who is willing to work with your workflows. A collaborative relationship will ensure that the audit is a success. Also, make sure that you figure out the SOC 2 Type 2 certification cost beforehand.
2. Decide the scope
The next step is determining the scope of the audit, along with the product or service you want to focus on the Trust Service Principles that must be audited. Security is the only mandatory principle, but it is possible to include privacy, processing integrity, confidentiality, or availability principles. This is determined by the service you are offering to your customers. For example, if you handle financial data, you must showcase “processing integrity”. Marketing or eCommerce services should focus on privacy as they handle a large volume of personal data. In the case of SaaS companies, you have to often focus on security, confidentiality, and processing integrity controls. Since your clients are trusting you with their data, confidentiality is crucial. You must be able to demonstrate to them that you can protect the information they entrusted to you.
Then, in case you want to pursue other principles, you can work on your internal processes and SOC2 compliance program to meet these goals. You should also learn the differences between SOC 2 Type 2 vs Type 1 in order to better figure out which one is right for you.
3. Prepare ahead
During the preparation stage, you have to focus on collecting documents and producing them for the auditor. These documents will mostly consist of:
- Operations – Documents such as business partners, company structure, third-party vendors, incident reports, etc.
- Implementation – This ensures that all the controls, processes, and policies have been implemented.
- Procedures – This covers the tasks and activities of your team.
- Policies – For this, you have to provide documents of your internal control policies addressing your security controls.
All these documents must be prepared in advance for the audit so that you don’t have to get your team to spend hours on this every week. You can also use compliance software for automating these processes.
4. Get the SOC 2 Type 2 audit report
After getting your report, you can share the SOC 2 Type 2 report pdf with your current or potential clients who might have requested a copy. The SOC 2 Type 2 report might contain sensitive information, so make sure to watermark it. Also, you can ask the prospects to sign an NDA before you send them the report. It is important to note that after getting the certification, it is your responsibility to maintain compliance. So, if you implement any new processes or SOC 2 Type 2 controls list, it should align with your existing security measures. With compliance automation software, you can reduce the time, costs, and stress associated with maintaining security compliance.
SOC 2 is a hot topic among the top SaaS companies and even customers and prospects. However, in order to figure out which standard is right for you, you should learn about them, such as SOC 1 Type 1, SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 1, or SOC 2 Type 2. Once you have achieved compliance, you can assure them that as a SaaS organization, you are on top of your security game. It will help improve customer loyalty and boost your sales. You will also have better control over your infrastructure, which will further secure your tools and workflows.