Key Takeaways

1. Complying with the SOC 2 framework demonstrates to stakeholders that your organization has the right security policies, procedures, and processes to protect their privacy. 

2. Achieving SOC 2 compliance gives you a competitive edge over competitors who may demonstrate a different level of commitment to security and compliance.

3. I.S. Partners is a trusted auditing firm that can help you achieve SOC 2 compliance and its benefits with minimal hassle. 

SOC 2 Compliance Benefits

Given the rigorous process involved, many service providers question the importance of getting a SOC 2 audit (System and Organization Controls audit). We understand the hesitation—the mere mention of an “audit” can send chills down the spine of any business organization.

Although demanding, becoming SOC 2 compliant is a highly rewarding business investment. Yes, the process is rigorous, but its benefits far outweigh the effort required. 

Below are some of the most notable benefits of SOC 2 compliance for service organizations.

soc 2 benefits

1. Builds Trust and Credibility With Your Clients 

A SOC 2 compliance audit report provides tangible proof to your clients and stakeholders that you can safeguard sensitive data. By complying with the SOC 2 compliance framework, you demonstrate to stakeholders that your organization has the right policies, procedures, and processes to protect their privacy and prevent security breaches. 

“In terms of data breaches, no perfect SOC 2 compliance program or controls exist. Determined individuals always find a way if motivated. That said, having a strong SOC 2 program and set of controls helps drastically decrease the risk of data breach or data exposure. Having a qualified third-party CPA firm asses the SOC 2 controls gives management and executives the confidence that the risk of data breaches will be reduced.”

Dave Zuk, Director of SOC Practice, I.S. Partners

It builds trust and assurance in your investors, customers, and other stakeholders that you are competent enough to handle client data. Trust and business credibility create opportunities to attract new businesses and move upmarket. 

2. Improves the Security of Your Systems and Data

Becoming SOC 2 compliant requires thoroughly reviewing and strengthening your security measures and controls for information security. As you undergo SOC 2 auditing, you implement upgrades that boost your internal security practices, such as robust access controls, data encryption, and monitoring systems.

Compliance with SOC 2 involves a thorough risk assessment and risk management to ensure control over vulnerabilities. These compliance requirements help prevent any unauthorized access to sensitive information. 

With the rate of breaches and leaks in customers’ data, clients and business partners are more conscious and sensitive than ever to how you handle and protect their data. 

Over 343 million people worldwide were affected by cybersecurity attacks in 2023 alone. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), the US experienced a record 3,205 data breaches in 2023, a 78% increase from 2022 and a 72% increase from 2021.

What is the common cause of these attacks and breaches? ‘’Vulnerabilities in the operating systems of endpoint devices.’’ 

Vulnerabilities and risks like this are what a SOC 2 audit checks. The compliance management process of SOC 2 allows service organizations to identify and address vulnerabilities and inconsistencies that could increase the risk of cybersecurity attacks.

3. Attract New Customers and Partners Who Prioritize Security

With the average cost of data breaches in the U.S. approaching $ 9.44 million, customers and business partners now more than ever want to know their data is safe with you. They want assurance that you have precautions and checks to ensure the security of the data they entrust to you daily. A thorough SOC 2 report is an excellent way to signal them they can trust you.

“A comprehensive SOC 2 compliance program not only helps retain business, including potential financial increases over time, but it also attracts new and potential customers as well. It increases the trust and credibility of the organization, increases market expansion for new contracts and partnership opportunities, and offers an advantage over other competitors in similar industries with limited or no compliance programs. Since SOC 2 is globally recognized, it opens the door for new business in other countries as well. “

Dave Zuk, Director of SOC Practice, I.S. Partners

Being SOC 2 compliant shows you are security-conscious and care about protecting your customers’ data. This demonstration helps build trust in your firm and attract prospects who prioritize data security to your organization.

4. It Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Many organizations and government entities now request that their partners meet specific security standards before signing deals. Achieving SOC 2 compliance gives you a competitive edge over competitors who may demonstrate a different level of commitment to security and compliance. 

5. Set the Ground for Other Regulatory Frameworks

SOC 2 compliance sets the ground for other regulatory frameworks by establishing a solid foundation of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Achieving SOC 2 compliance demonstrates that an organization has implemented internal controls and best practices in these areas, which are often required by other regulations. 

If your company has already achieved a SOC 2 attestation report, you’re likely well on your way to obtaining other certifications, such as ISO 27001. Many requirements, controls, and procedures in the SOC 2 security framework overlap with those of other regulatory frameworks. Therefore, if you’ve obtained a SOC 2 report, you’re in a strong position to build on the foundation you’ve already established to meet other standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO 27001

How Can I Prepare for SOC 2 Auditing? 

Preparing for the SOC 2 audit process requires putting several elements in place within your organization. A SOC 2 compliance checklist can help you track and manage every stage of this process. 

Here is how to get started:

  1. Understand SOC 2 requirements. First, you want to familiarize yourself with the SOC 2 Trust Service Criteria (TSC). The TSC are standards developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that evaluate an organization’s security to ensure the protection of customer data. The principles defined by the TSC are Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. 
  1. Evaluate existing controls and implement new ones. The next step is to thoroughly assess your existing security controls, policies, and procedures. Implement or improve controls to meet the SOC 2 requirements and address gaps.
  1. Select a competent audit firm. SOC 2 audits are conducted by qualified independent auditors. Choose an independent, AICPA-certified audit firm like ISPartners, experienced in SOC 2 audits. Engage with the firm early to understand its process and requirements. 

Two types of SOC 2 auditing are SOC 2 Type I and SOC II Type 2. Both type 1 and type 2 SOC 2 audits follow the same processes and procedures; the significant difference is in the evaluation period of your security posture

  1. Perform the Audit. Respond promptly and efficiently to any findings or recommendations from the third-party auditor. Continuously monitor and improve your controls based on their feedback. 

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SPEAK TO AN EXPERT

What Risks Make SOC 2 Compliance Audit so Important Today?

Data security threats are increasing as technology systems and data volumes explode. The following risks make a SOC 2 compliance audit a must-do for every service organization. 

  1. Increasing Prevalence of Malware and Ransomware Attacks: Malicious software, such as malware and ransomware, has become increasingly prevalent and destructive. These attacks cripple systems, encrypt data, and demand hefty ransoms, causing significant financial and reputational damage. SOC 2 compliance helps organizations fortify their defenses against these threats. 
  1. Rising Rates of Data Breaches and Leaks: Unauthorized parties are now accessing sensitive information. The consequences of incidents like this can be severe. For example, the global average data breach cost in 2023 was USD 4.45 million. SOC 2 compliance audits ensure organizations have appropriate measures to protect data and mitigate the risks of breaches.
  1. Reputational Damage: Data breaches and security incidents can tarnish an organization’s reputation and erode customer trust. SOC 2 compliance assures customers and stakeholders that your organization takes data security and privacy seriously, helping to safeguard its reputation and maintain trust.
  1. Regulatory Risks: Non-compliance with industry regulations or contractual obligations can result in organizations facing legal consequences or fines. SOC 2 compliance audits help an organization demonstrate their adherence to relevant regulatory requirements and contractual obligations, thereby reducing the risk of compliance failures
  1. Operational Risks: Operational disruptions, such as system failures or service outages, can impact business operations and customer satisfaction. SOC 2 compliance audits focus on operational resilience, ensuring organizations have robust processes and controls to mitigate operational risks and maintain service continuity.

When asked for quantifiable metrics that could be used to determine an organization’s development as a result of SOC 2 audits, David Zuk, SOC Practices Director at I.S. Partners, mentioned,

Total number of controls. Tracking the total number of controls implemented from your first SOC 2 through your most current would provide a quantifiable metric regarding how the organization’s compliance efforts increased over time. 

Total number of exceptions noted during each audit cycle. During the first type II audit, a client may have multiple exceptions across multiple criteria and may have more exceptions than they were anticipating, but tracking exceptions and documenting effective remediation strategies will increase the benefits of SOC 2 compliance over time. 

Total number of implemented remediations for exceptions noted. The less number of remediation strategies needed, the lower the overall risk rating for those specific areas of SOC 2 control compliance.”

Streamline Your SOC 2 Compliance Goals with I.S.Partners 

SOC 2 compliance can be a strong market differentiator if your company handles or stores customers’ data. I.S.Partners is here to help you simplify the entire SOC 2 auditing and compliance process.

Our experienced CPAs will help you identify which Trust Principles impact your business and prepare your company for a successful SOC 2 audit. We specialize in conducting SOC 2 audits for diverse companies, leveraging years of experience to guide organizations through the process efficiently.

Our team of expert auditors personally conducts risk assessments and puts up detailed reports for your service organization. No outsourcing is needed when you have our team with you. We can help you reap all the benefits of becoming SOC 2 compliant. 

Learn more about how I.S.Partners can help you mitigate the challenges of SOC 2 to achieve compliance with minimal hassle.

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