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Achieving System and Organization Controls (SOC 2) Compliance for Small and Mid-Sized Businesses

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Juliana Spofford, General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer at Aidentified, recently emphasized the importance of implementing cybersecurity controls and processes to protect sensitive data. In an increasingly tech-driven world, the need for reliable security measures has become crucial, especially as cybercrime is projected to reach $8 trillion globally in 2023.

Amidst the escalating cybersecurity threats including ransomware, malware, and supply-chain threats, obtaining a System and Organization Controls (SOC 2) report has become a significant milestone for businesses seeking to establish trust and attract customers. The SOC 2 report serves as the gold standard for implementing cybersecurity controls and processes, providing independent evaluation and testing in areas such as incident response, disaster recovery, access controls, and vulnerability scanning and monitoring.

Aidentified embarked on their SOC 2 journey in 2021 and successfully obtained their SOC 2 Type 2 attestation. Juliana shares key takeaways for other small and mid-size companies looking to achieve SOC 2 compliance. She emphasizes the following steps as essential for the SOC 2 compliance process:

1. Choosing the Right Partners and Tools:
It is crucial to carefully select SOC 2 partners and tools. Aidentified partnered with Vanta as their Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) SOC 2 compliance tool, while also selecting independent SOC 2 auditors, Geels Norton. The alignment between partners, tools, and auditors plays a critical role in the successful implementation of SOC 2 compliance.

2. Ensuring Company Buy-In:
Obtaining buy-in for SOC 2 compliance at all levels of the company, including the Board of Directors, is essential. SOC 2 compliance often requires widespread changes in internal company processes, and therefore, commitment and prioritization at all levels and across all teams are crucial.

3. Building the Right SOC 2 Team:
Aidentified emphasizes the importance of assembling the right SOC 2 team, which does not necessarily require dedicated security information titles. The involvement of key personnel such as the Chief Technology Officer, designated security personnel, and a program manager is essential. Additionally, assistance from a compliance security consultant can further strengthen the SOC 2 team.

4. Continuously Monitoring and Improving Internal Processes:
Upon receiving the first SOC 2 attestation, companies must not become complacent. It is imperative to schedule regular security review meetings, access reviews, policy updates, and SOC 2 remediation check-ins to ensure continued monitoring and improvement of internal processes.

Juliana highlights that achieving SOC 2 Type 2 attestation is a substantial undertaking, but with the right plan and team in place, it is achievable. As cybercrime continues to evolve and pose greater threats, maintaining the reliability of security frameworks is a crucial responsibility for all businesses.

Juliana Spofford brings her extensive legal experience and expertise in privacy to the table, offering valuable insights into the compliance, privacy, and security issues that are integral to the success of organizations. Her valuable contributions are instrumental in helping businesses navigate the complexities of cybersecurity while prioritizing the protection of sensitive data.

As companies navigate the evolving landscape of cybersecurity threats, the implementation of robust cybersecurity controls and processes, exemplified through SOC 2 compliance, becomes an essential component of their security framework. Juliana’s insights and recommendations serve as a valuable guide for businesses seeking to bolster their cybersecurity measures and protect against the escalating threats posed by cybercriminals.

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