Navigating the constantly evolving regulatory landscape can be difficult and time-consuming, but Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) automation software offer a dependable solution.
One of the most important, yet underrated facets that come into action with growing a software business is understanding your responsibilities concerning critical areas like information security. However, regulatory compliance is a constantly evolving and increasingly complicated space consisting of numerous frameworks that are rarely easy for busy founders to get to grips with.
The System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 defines the criteria for safely managing client information based on five trust service principles.
For startups providing services online, such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies, SOC 2 compliance has become a practical necessity, even if compliance itself is technically voluntary.
What does it take to achieve SOC 2 compliance?
SOC 2 is an auditing standard rather than a strict set of requirements like PCI DSS and many other directives. Organizations are responsible for implementing their own controls to achieve compliance with one or more of the trust service principles.
As such, SOC 2 reports are unique to each business. While these reports are largely intended for internal use, clients, business partners, suppliers, and industry regulators may request them. This is why they are essential for startups, who often find themselves under significant scrutiny, especially during fundraising.
A SOC 2 certification can only be issued by external auditors. They will assess the extent to which your existing controls align with the standards laid out by the trust principles.
There are many ways to achieve compliance, and different things work for different companies. However, here are some examples the should cover the basics:
Network and application firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention.
Performance monitoring, incident handling, and disaster recovery.
3. Processing integrity
Quality assurance and performance monitoring.
Data encryption, access control, and network firewalls.
Access control, two-factor authentication, and data encryption.
As you can see, there is considerable crossover between the five trust services criteria. For example, implementing strong access controls helps satisfy the requirement for confidentiality, security, and privacy.
There are also two types of SOC 2 reports:
Type I concerns the performance of the five trust service principles at a specific point in time. Type II assesses their performance over a period of six months.
SOC 2 should not be confused with SOC 1, which focuses on a company’s financial statements and reporting, or SOC 3, which is basically the same as SOC 2, albeit redacted for a more general audience.
How can compliance automation software help?
For busy and often cash-strapped startups, simplifying matters of compliance is an absolute must. That said, there can be no compromises when it comes to understanding and deploying compliance frameworks that are intended to protect your business, stakeholders, and clients. Achieving SOC 2 compliance will help prepare your startup for closing bigger deals, securing funds, and moving upmarket.
Fortunately, SOC 2 automation provides something of a shortcut, albeit without compromising on effectiveness. Using compliance software automates the more cumbersome elements of achieving and maintaining compliance by monitoring your systems around the clock to ensure they remain resilient. A SOC 2 compliance solution also helps you prepare for your audit with a list of controls based on your unique business needs. To that end, the software will identify any potential gaps in your security that will need to be addressed to achieve compliance.
By leveraging an optimal combination of human expertise and automation software, startups can greatly reduce the burden of compliance. At the same time, having a single dashboard for reviewing all compliance controls and audits ensures you always have complete visibility into your environment. After all, you can only protect what you know about.
Scrut Automation is a one-stop shop for compliance. Our software provides the fastest solution for achieving and maintaining SOC 2 compliance, making it an ideal choice for busy startups. Schedule your demo today to see how it works.