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What is a SOC 2 Exam and when do I need one?

A brief, Plain English guide to one of the most common external security assessments used across the United States.

Disclaimer – this puppy has nothing to do with this content, but was cute and eye-catching, and he seemed curious, so we thought it belonged here.

What is a SOC 2 Exam?

In plain English, a SOC 2 Exam is a way to show the world how you are protecting their sensitive data.

It works like this.

You tell the world a story about what you do, what kind of data you have, where it lives, and how you protect that data against the bad guys. 

Then, IT auditors come in, do some testing to verify that the story you’ve told is probably true. 

At the end of it, those IT auditors give you a report containing your story, their notes on it, which you can hand out to people who are asking you too many questions about your security posture. 

When do I need one?

Technically, a SOC 2 could apply to any company that stores or processes confidential data within its IT systems.

Practically though, if this is the first time you are hearing of a SOC 2 Report, you probably don’t need one – feel free to keep scrolling. 

However, if one of the three following situations apply to you, it could be an investment that pays dividends: 

  1. Your customers are asking for it. This is a good sign that your future potential customers will more readily engage with you if you already have a SOC 2 report.
  2. Companies that you partner with require it. Sometimes they will require outside assurance of your security controls.
  3. You receive too many security questionnaires. A SOC 2 can dramatically reduce the amount of time spent answering detailed security questionnaires, as it covers many typical security questionnaire questions, providing a greater level of assurance (independent third party testing). Many Prospects are used to receiving SOC 2 reports and will sometimes waive their questionnaire completely if provided.

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

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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.

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