SOC 2 is the gold standard in information security, demonstrating that your organization has robust and reliable controls in place. But it’s not just an excellent way to show off your bulletproof InfoSec credentials. SOC 2 is increasingly demanded by discerning customers.
But while there are tips to assist with SOC 2 success, there are a number of common mistakes that businesses routinely make when implementing SOC 2.
Let’s take a look at a few of the big pitfalls that businesses often fall into when rolling out SOC 2, so you can be clear on what to avoid.
1. A hands-off attitude from managers
It happens time and time again. Leadership is fully committed to SOC 2 implementation. They’re excited about that value SOC 2 will bring to the organization. And then … they leave it up to their employees.
That’s a mistake. With SOC 2, as with any complex project, you need senior management to assign responsibility, rapidly authorize the required interventions and make sure there aren’t unnecessary budget constraints.
SOC 2 involves multiple areas of your company’s organization and, therefore, requires clear authorisation and lines of communication between departments. Without management actively steering the process, bottlenecks and frustration are inevitable.
2. No dedicated project manager
Now we have the flip side of the management-centric approach. Yes, you need to get leadership actively involved. But you also want to avoid a ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ situation. Successful SOC 2 requires a dedicated single point of contact who will oversee the various moving parts of SOC 2 compliance and collect and collate all the relevant data.
The dedicated project manager should also work to ensure that each responsible person has clear directions and authorization to play their part.
3. No readiness assessment
The readiness assessment is a critical opportunity to stay a step ahead of the audit process. After determining the scope (i.e. which of the Trust Service Principles will be included in the audit) a company uses the readiness assessment to determine whether the relevant controls meet the standards required of SOC 2. The readiness assessment also ensures all necessary documentation and requirements have been collected and are in order. Any shortcomings are then addressed through a process of remediation.
Neglecting the readiness assessment sets you up for surprises during the audit process. And not the good kind.
4. Neglecting the gap analysis
Gap analysis tells you where you are and where you need to be, by addressing any present security vulnerabilities, in order to meet your SOC 2 goals. It’s a great way to ensure your SOC 2 implementation is strategic and effective. So why do some companies neglect it?
5. Assuming SOC 2 is just a one-time exam
You’ve successfully implemented SOC 2 and the audit was a success. Woohoo. Time to forget about compliance and worry about other things? Not so fast. If you conceive SOC 2 as nothing but a box-ticking exercise you’re missing out on the whole point of SOC 2. It’s really a powerful business strategy that provides ongoing value when implemented purposefully.
6. No expert guidance
Here’s the good news: there’s a tried and tested way to avoid all the pitfalls that businesses commonly fall into when implementing SOC 2 and ensure you always follow best practice. You simply need the assistance of an expert guide who deeply understands what SOC 2 is really about and how to customize implementation to suit every organization.
With so many SaaS companies today realizing the necessity of SOC 2 , automated solutions to streamline the compliance process have changed the game, especially when the benefits are so incredibly obvious. Instead of doing it alone, SaaS technology teams are turning to SOC 2 compliance automation to make the compliance process simpler, faster and more cost-effective. It’s the smart way to implement SOC 2.