A System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) compliant report is an industry-recognized standard for demonstrating the efficacy of information systems. It is one of the most requested credentials by prospective clients when screening IT services providers.
Development teams embroiled in product development and proof-of-concept demos often push out cybersecurity and data privacy requirements until the last minute. It's a simple fact that addressing problems early in the product life cycle (shift left) is much less expensive than trying to do it late in the sales cycle (fire drill).
There is a significant cost to prepare, get the report, and then maintain the SOC 2 program. SOC 2 features an independent AICPA certified CPA auditor.
How do you determine when the right time to start planning for SOC 2 is? The answer is: on day one.
You know you will eventually need a SOC 2 report to land your first big accounts. Building SOC 2 readiness into your product development plan and sales strategy early in the process is the most cost-effective and least disruptive strategy.
The Three Indicators That You're Startup Should be SOC 2 Compliant on Day One are:
- You will eventually need SOC 2 to win and maintain client
- You're cost-conscious when it comes to the security and compliance budget
- You are pursuing a fast time-to-market (TTM) strategy
Specifics on Why SOC 2 Readiness from Day One is Best
Many companies are so focused on features that they forget about the SOC 2 report until the sales team announces they need one to close a big deal. At that point, it becomes an all-hands-on-deck emergency exercise. Pursuing SOC 2 compliance as a last-minute strategy is overly expensive, unreliable, and incredibly disruptive to operations.
Reasons why integrating a SOC 2 program early:
- Some requirements can most easily be achieved through architectural choices best made early
- Some conditions require cultural behaviors
- Building culture is easier early in the organization lifecycle than trying to change it later
If you wait until your sales team tells you that you need one, the cost will be high. There will be a delay in TTM, and a costly product retrofit may be required. If you build towards SOC 2 from the outset, you will have less disruption later.
By making informed design choices upfront, you can avoid the expense and delay of adding unnecessary, expensive controls – for example, tokenization of stored data from the outset instead of later adding a complex, expensive 'bolt-on' encryption solution.
Streamline the First Big Sales Cycle
After all the time and effort you've spent building a killer IT services solution, SOC 2 helps make it market-ready and competitive. A SOC 2 report ensures stakeholders that you've created an information system capable of meeting security, availability, processing integrity, privacy, and confidentiality demands. In other words, confidence that your system can be relied on to meet service level obligations.
Implementing SOC 2 is very flexible to match the needs of your business timeline. You complete the elements that make sense, given your current milestones. The best advice is to plan for SOC 2 compliance early. Even if you wait to bring in an auditor, building the foundation in compliance with SOC 2 from the outset will make you more competitive.
Designing for security from the outset, using SOC 2 as your guide will save money in the long run, shorten your sales cycle and give you a sustainable, competitive advantage.
SOC 2 compliance is a nationally recognized standard for assuring the confidentiality, availability, and processing integrity of an information management system. SaaS and enterprise service providers use SOC 2 reports to satisfy customers' and partners' cyber-governance requirements. For executives, SOC 2 compliance can help streamline sales, build trust in the marketplace and maintain business continuity.
A Type 1 report can be done quickly and is a stepping stone toward your SOC 2 Type 2 report. Building SOC 2 readiness into your service plan from day one is the most effective strategy. That way, you are ready when sales land the big accounts without an all-hands fire drill.
Get Started on SOC 2 Compliance Now
The path often seems unclear and overwhelming when preparing for a SOC 2 audit. Some online organizations use meaningless overused buzzwords and tell you that if you pay to use their online portal, everything will be done for you automatically. A trusted cybersecurity firm like Truvantis can help take the mystery out of the SOC 2 process. Download this SOC 2 Project Plan for more details.
Truvantis provides full-service support for getting to your SOC 2 report. We will advise on the best approach and choices, work with you and your auditor to agree on the design of your program and manage the implementation. We will then train your staff and guide you through the audit. Let's get started. Contact Truvantis today.