Why Manage Your SOC 2 Audit With Automated Compliance

July 5, 2022

Most SaaS startups appreciate the value of SOC 2. If you’re a founder or part of a startup leadership team, you’ve probably researched your InfoSec compliance standards options at some point. But theory and practice are very different things. When it’s time to actually start implementing SOC 2, where do you even begin? 

The good news? With the right resources, and specialized compliance technology, it’s now possible even for startups to manage their information security compliance and get ready for the audit without contracting an expensive consultant. 

However, the basic fact is that SOC 2 is a complex process.  SOC 2 compliance automation can be an effective and affordable way to prepare for audit, but you need to ensure you follow best practice and get the right tools for the job. 

Modern compliance technology means more businesses can now implement a SOC 2 readiness assessment hassle-free and enjoy the benefits of SOC 2 in a highly competitive field.  

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Scoping out SOC 2: Are you ready to get ready?

SOC 2 offers a degree of flexibility in tailoring the audit scope to your organization’s specific needs. When you decide to implement SOC 2, one of the first steps is to determine the exact scope of your audit report. 

Your SOC 2 audit will be measured in accordance with the five Trust Services Principles (TSP) developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The criteria provide an independent standard against which to develop and implement controls. Critically, the criteria provide a benchmark of the highest standard of data security. If you meet these benchmarks, you can be sure you are handling your clients’ information safely and effectively. 

However, this flexibility also presents an immediate challenge. SOC 2 is not a one-size-fits-all compliance standard. To get the most out of implementation, you need to carefully assess which TSPs are relevant to your organization and will meet your clients’ expectations. 

That may sound intimidating, but it’s achievable if you have access to updated information and technology that provides step-by-step guidance. 

Of course, you could always try Googling the latest information (if you’re reading this blog, you may have tried doing exactly that). Which is often an excellent start. But you need to be sure you are acting on the latest, most up-to-date information and policy requirements

After all, your auditor isn’t going to assess you on what you happen to believe SOC 2 compliance should be. Rather, they will perform a rigorous assessment in accordance with the latest standards set out by the AICPA. 

For that reason, there is no substitute for integrated and automated SOC 2 compliance technology that guides you throughout the SOC 2 process and is constantly updated and in line with the latest, rigorously verified SOC 2 news, policies and information. 

SOC 2 Automation for Startups

Once you have clarified the scope of your SOC 2 compliance strategy, it’s time to dig and start the practical work of carefully assessing your organization’s current security systems. 

Here’s where SOC 2 compliance technology is more than simply useful: it can be critical for success. That’s because SOC 2 compliance is a complex process that involves training, analysis and extensive evidence collection. 

Now, in a startup or SMME, the amount of data, and personnel involved, will naturally be smaller than in a large multinational corporation. But similarly, smaller businesses also have fewer resources. You likely don’t have a dedicated in-house compliance team and limitless funds to pay third-party training or advisory partners. SOC 2 may provide extremely valuable returns on investment, but the reality is that small businesses have limits on how much time and money they can afford to spend on compliance at any given period. 

Without automation, that would present startups with a real catch-22. On the one hand, SOC 2 provides the competitive advantage you need to scale up, rapidly acquire new clients and break into new markets. But on the other hand, SOC 2 is a lot to take on for startups. 

Happily, technology resolves the dilemma, and that’s because a comprehensive SOC 2 automation platform enables SaaS startups to quickly and simply perform their SOC 2 readiness assessments.

The right SOC 2 software provides up-to-date security awareness training, automates evidence collection, streamlines workflow and performs 24/7 monitoring, automatically. This is only naming just a few of its core functionalities. 

Automation means greater accuracy, easy task management, little to no manual processes, lower costs and less investment in time. 

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Understanding the SOC 2 readiness assessment

With all that in mind, you still need to be realistic about what SOC 2 compliance entails. Compliance technology is a game changer that makes SOC 2 accessible to the ambitious startups that need it the most.

Compliance automation is an affordable and efficient way to get ready for your audit. However, SOC 2  is a major undertaking that demands careful planning and coordination. In order to successfully manage your SOC 2 project and your information security consistently, it needs to be systematic.

That means drawing up a SOC 2 audit checklist and sticking to the plan. It means being realistic and informed about the costs and time requirements of SOC 2, and not trying to cut corners. It means taking the SOC 2 audit-readiness phase very seriously and understanding what the process entails.

To help you arm yourself with the practical knowledge you need to be fully ready for your audit, we are offering readers access to Scytale’s SOC 2 Bible, a comprehensive whitepaper, providing detailed knowledge about the entire compliance process, providing the guidance you need before implementing a self-assessment. (Download your free copy of the whitepaper here.) 

Find good partners, even with SOC 2 compliance automation

If your organization decides to take advantage of the benefits of streamlined compliance, you can still get excellent assistance at various steps along the way. Scytale provides all the support and guidance you need to get the most out of your compliance technology. Take a look at what some of our customers have to say about their experiences with our tool and dedicated compliance experts.

Your choice of SOC 2 auditor is also important. An audit report from a reputable, well-established auditor will always carry more weight in your customers’ eyes. 

SOC 2 is a complex undertaking, but with proper planning and support, successful implementation is one of the best ways to take your business to the next level of success.