Is SOC 2 Required?

Most people seeking an answer to this question are often wondering if there's a government regulation mandating compliance for specific organizations. 

The short answer is no – the report is completely voluntary. However, its voluntary nature doesn’t diminish its importance in today’s business landscape.

So it’s not required – why pursue SOC 2 compliance?

Client Requirements

One of the primary reasons many organizations obtain SOC 2 report is the demands of their clients, potential clients, or business partners. Customers often request or require their service providers to provide SOC 2 reports because it serves as a testament to an organization’s dedication to safeguarding sensitive data.  Demonstrating SOC 2 compliance not only enhances an organization’s credibility but also signifies a commitment to maintaining high standards of security.


It’s important to note that a SOC 2 report can only be issued by a certified public accounting (CPA) firm (see AICPA article here). The involvement of an independent auditor with requisite expertise, and held to professional audit standards, adds a layer of credibility to an organization’s security posture. Just the fact that you complete a SOC 2 tells the report reader that you are willing to commit significant resources and put yourself under scrutiny. But additionally, the report itself will showcase your security environment to a customer.

Snowball Effect

Like the snowball effect, the report’s very popularity also serves to bolster trust in the report. Because it is recognized by thousands of companies across the United States, and increasingly across the globe, it becomes more desirable.

Operational Improvements

Beyond meeting client demands, a SOC 2 assessment done right can also improve the Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) maturity of an organization. This happens primarily two ways:

  1. By having to explain your controls across a wide set of organizational risks, you end up performing an internal audit of your company
  2. Auditors can offer recommendations for improvement that they notice during the assessment.

In summary, while not legally mandated, pursuing SOC 2 compliance showcases a deep commitment to data security. It becomes a distinguishing factor for companies among their competitors. It not only reassures existing clients but also becomes a compelling selling point for potential partners or customers seeking assurances regarding data protection, while making you better.

Of course, how successful you are in attaining those goals is it’s all about the team you select to help guide you there. See the link here for choosing the right consultant and here for choosing the right audit partner.

Looking for an auditor who can help guide you through the SOC 2 process? –  Contact Render

Share this post


Keep reading...

What is a SOC 2 Gap Assessment?

A SOC 2 Gap Assessment is a high-level review of a firm’s control’s environment against SOC 2 criteria to identify existing gaps.

Let's Work Together