We’ve all heard about data breaches and cybersecurity issues where customer data was compromised. If your company or any third-party vendor you may work with is responsible for handling or storing client information, do you know that the data is safe? If the answer is anything but yes, let’s talk about why you should care about SOC 2 compliance.
What is SOC 2?
SOC 2 is a type of audit that ensures that service organizations provide a safe operating environment where they can easily manage your sensitive data and protect the interests of the organizations they work with and the privacy of their clients.
The AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) developed SOC 2 guidelines to ensure that customer data remains confidential, secure, private, and available for use when needed.
The audit focuses on the internal controls that organizations have in place to govern its clients’ services.
The Trust Services Criteria
The AICPA has outlined Trust Services Criteria which detail how service organizations should handle sensitive client data.
The five criteria are:
- Security: The effectiveness of policies and procedures governing the way organizations protect themselves against unauthorized access and respond to security breaches resulting in unauthorized disclosure of information will be periodically evaluated.
- Availability: Information and systems must be available for operation and used to meet the entity’s objectives.
- Confidentiality: Information designated as confidential must be sufficiently protected from unauthorized access to meet organizational effectiveness.
- Processing Integrity: System processing should be complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized to meet organizational objectives.
- Privacy: Personally identifiable information must be collected, used, disclosed, and disposed of securely.
SOC 2 Compliance
A licensed CPA firm can only perform the SOC 2 audit, specifically a CPA firm specializing in information security.
A SOC 2 is an attestation report. A CPA firm attests that controls are in place and either designed effectively and/or operated effectively. Management asserts that controls are in place to meet the SOC 2 criteria, and a CPA firm provides an opinion on whether or not they agree with management’s assertion.
A SOC 2 attestation demonstrates that the services and systems assessed met the rigorous standards set by the AICPA.
Protecting against data breaches is not just a defensive strategy. It can also help your company grow.
Gain a competitive edge.
Today, more companies require that third-party vendors maintain the proper information security safeguards to protect their data. Therefore, passing a SOC 2 audit can position your organization more favorably from others as you can provide the assurance they want and need.
Protect your reputation.
If security safeguards are insufficient and you experience a data breach, your brand’s reputation can undoubtedly pay the price. Having SOC 2 processes and controls within your organization help minimize the chance of potential data breaches.
Mitigate risk and potential disruptions to business.
Having the proper controls in place designed to protect the privacy and security of customer data helps mitigate internal risk from costly data breaches and keeps your business up and running.
Security and compliance safeguards are essential for your business to reduce risk and protect your current and future customers. Adhering to the highest standards in information security has many benefits.
Quality Contact Solutions is committed to maintaining compliance standards to safeguard the privacy of our customers’ data. We’ve got the right tools, technology, and processes to keep your data safe from unauthorized access.
Want to know more? Get in touch with our team.
Megan Fallis is the Copywriter & Editor for Quality Contact Solutions. Megan’s experience includes working as an outbound telemarketing manager for a Fortune 100 company for many years. Megan has been both a client and an employee of QCS, so she knows first-hand the quality, productivity and passion the team brings to work on a daily basis. You can reach Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 516-656-5120.