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Why SOC 2 Compliance Is the Gold Standard of Security for SaaS Companies

SOC 2, or System and Organization Controls 2, is a set of cybersecurity standards and guidelines developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It specifies how companies that handle sensitive information or provide cloud-based services should manage client data.

Editor’s note: Dmitry explains why SOC 2 is the most popular compliance standard among SaaS companies and how to achieve it. If you want to establish robust security controls that meet the ever-evolving SOC 2 requirements, feel free to contact ScienceSoft for our cybersecurity services.

SOC 2 audits are conducted by independent third-party auditors who evaluate the company’s security controls and issue a report based on the AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria (TSC). These criteria focus on five key areas: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Organizations and individual consumers rely on SOC 2 reports to assess the risks of using a particular SaaS product. These reports also serve as a valuable tool for SaaS providers to show that they prioritize the security and privacy of their data, helping enhance client trust and gain a competitive edge.


Benefits of SOC 2 Compliance for SaaS Companies

Enhanced credibility

SOC 2 compliance demonstrates a strong commitment to data security and privacy. It assures clients and prospects that the SaaS provider has implemented and tested robust controls to protect their sensitive information.

Risk mitigation

By identifying and remediating security vulnerabilities and weaknesses, the companies preparing for a SOC 2 compliance audit mitigate the risk of data breaches and other security incidents, protecting themselves from reputational and financial damage.

Regulatory compliance

Many industries have strict data protection regulations, such as HIPAA, GDPR, GLBA, and more. SOC 2 compliance helps SaaS companies meet these regulatory obligations, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties.

Operational excellence

Achieving and maintaining SOC 2 compliance often leads to improved internal controls and operational efficiency. It encourages organizations to adopt best practices in security and risk management.

Competitive advantage

SOC 2 compliance helps SaaS companies stand out in a highly competitive market. A SOC 2 report can be a differentiator that attracts security-conscious clients who prioritize data protection.

Key Steps for a SaaS Company to Become SOC 2 Compliant

1. Scope definition. Define the scope of your SOC 2 compliance efforts by identifying the systems, applications, data, and processes that will be included in the assessment. Clarify the specific TSC areas that are relevant to your company’s objectives.

2. Internal risk assessment. Conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify potential security and privacy risks within your company. This assessment should cover the systems and data in scope. Identify vulnerabilities, threats, and the potential impact of security incidents.

3. Controls. Design and implement security controls and policies that address the risks identified in the previous step. These controls should address the selected TSC. Examples of controls include access controls, data encryption, monitoring, and incident response procedures.

4. Policies and procedures. Document all security policies, procedures, and practices related to the selected TSC areas. Ensure these documents are well-organized, up-to-date, and accessible to all relevant personnel. They will serve as evidence of your compliance efforts.

5. Third-party audit. Select and engage an independent third-party auditor experienced in SOC 2 assessments. The auditor evaluates your controls and practices, conducts interviews, and assesses documentation to determine compliance. Choose an auditor with expertise in the specific TSC areas relevant to your company.

6. Report. After the audit, the auditor issues a SOC 2 report, either Type 1 (assessing the design of controls at a point in time) or Type 2 (assessing the effectiveness of controls over a period of time).

7. Remediation. If the audit identifies non-compliance, control deficiencies, or cybersecurity gaps, address them immediately: make technical improvements, revise documentation, enhance employee training, or modify workflows.

Instill Confidence in Your Services Through SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 compliance isn’t just a formal checkbox; it’s a strategic investment in building the trust that drives your SaaS business. SOC 2 compliance means robust protection of sensitive client data and adherence to the highest standards of security and privacy. With ScienceSoft, you can leverage expert knowledge of this standard’s peculiarities and streamline the compliance process to improve your security posture. Don’t hesitate to contact our security team.