<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=782557620313211&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

SOC 2 Compliance: Valuable Investment or Costly Tick Box?

  • January 25, 2024

Since I've stepped into the cybersecurity business, I keep hearing terms like 'compliance,' 'SOC 2,' and a big buzz about something called 'SOC-in-a-box.' So, what's all this about? Let me break it down for you.

First up, let's talk about compliance. In the cybersecurity world, it means making sure an organization's way of doing things lines up with specific rules and guidelines for keeping information safe and private. It's like following a recipe to make sure everything turns out just right, especially when it comes to protecting data.

Now, onto SOC 2. This is a set of rules, specifically for companies that store customer data in the cloud. It's a big deal in the tech world and focuses on five major things, called the Trust Service Criteria:

  • Security: This is all about keeping your systems safe from unwelcome visitors.
  • Availability: Make sure your systems are up and ready when you need them.
  • Processing Integrity: It's like a quality check – does your system do what it's supposed to, without any hiccups?
  • Confidentiality: This one's about keeping secret stuff secret.
  • Privacy: Managing personal information properly and making sure it's used in the right way.

So, how do these two concepts link up? Well, it's pretty straightforward:

SOC 2 acts as a critical roadmap, guiding companies in safely managing data. It's their way of showing they're not just meeting but excelling at important security and privacy standards. The three main ways we see this is through “rule following”, to prove companies are handling data safely, “meeting standards” for companies to show that they’re up to par with important security and privacy standards, and lastly “earning trust” by sticking with SOC 2, companies show they are serious about protecting customer data. By adhering to SOC 2, these companies don't just follow rules; they go the extra mile to ensure data safety…or so they say.

"SOC-in-a-box" refers to an automated tool or software solution designed to simplify and streamline the process of achieving SOC 2 compliance. It provides guidance to help organizations better understand and meet SOC 2 criteria, automate gathering evidence or managing documentation which had to be done by hand in the past, and consistently monitor and generate reports for the SOC 2 audits. 

With this groundwork laid, let's dive into the current stir in the cybersecurity world about SOC 2. What’s causing all the commotion?

There are a few main issues with SOC2 that have been buzzing around on LinkedIn, which include:

  1. Just Checking Boxes: This is the biggest and growing concern with companies using SOC 2 as a mere checklist. They do just enough to pass the audit, rather than genuinely improving their security measures. It's like getting a participation award. Achieving SOC2 is about establishing a culture of security not just checking a box, and nowadays whether through security training tools, auditing firms, or automated control policies we see that these certificates have lost their meaning.

  2. Reliance on 'SOC-in-a-Box' Solutions: These automated tools are believed to oversimplify the audit process, potentially leading to superficial compliance and a lack of in-depth security analysis. 

  3. Lack of Consistency: Not everyone agrees on how to use SOC 2 rules. This means that what's good enough for one company might not be for another, making it hard to know if a company is really secure. 

Here's a relevant analogy: Consider SOC 2 rules as a set of building instructions. Different builders will have different interpretations of those instructions. A builder in California may focus on the foundations whereas a builder in the midwest might make sure to add a basement. Just like builders, security leaders may approach these rules differently, meaning you can't be sure if each company's security is truly solid and reliable.

 

So what do you think? Share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you. 

 

Until next time!



 

Sources

Cooley, Kendra. “Security Theater or True Assurance? The SOC 2 Debate Unveiled.” LinkedIn, 11 Jan. 2024, www.linkedin.com/pulse/security-theater-true-assurance-soc-2-debate-unveiled-kendra-cooley-w0xac/. 

Karthik, Srividhya. “What Does SOC 2 Compliance Really Cost ?” Sprinto, 6 Dec. 2023, sprinto.com/blog/soc-2-compliance-cost/#:~:text=The%20SOC%202%20compliance%20cost,readiness%20assessments%20and%20other%20overheads.

Miller, Jeremy. “Cyber Compliance 101 – What It Is and Why It’s Needed.” CYBER COMPLIANCE 101 – WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT’S NEEDED, 6 Nov. 2023, www.in.gov/cybersecurity/blog/posts/cyber-compliance-101-what-it-is-and-why-its-needed/#:~:text=Cyber%20compliance%20refers%20to%20the,cyber%20security%20regulations%20and%20standards.

SOC 2 - AMA : R/Cybersecurity - Reddit, 2023, www.reddit.com/r/cybersecurity/comments/zf1sbd/soc_2_ama/. 

 

Blog Post

Related Articles

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique.

HECVAT vs CAIQ

September 10, 2023
Selling to Colleges & Universities and asked to complete a HECVAT? In the realm of cybersecurity, the standardization...

HECVAT vs SOC2

September 11, 2023
Selling to Colleges & Universities and asked to complete a HECVAT? In the realm of cybersecurity, the standardization...

IRIS AI for Procurement & Compliance

May 29, 2023
Often times, B2B companies have to complete lengthy security questionnaires and other pieces of documentation for each...