SOC 2 Certification: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?
iTech Data Services

SOC 2 Certification: What Is It And Why Does It Matter?

18Oct
Read Time: 4 minutes

There were 945 data breaches globally in the first half of 2018.

That’s 4.5 billion compromised records in just six months! It is more important than ever to take every precaution to keep user data safe. One way that a company can ensure that they keep data safe is by undergoing SOC 2 Certification.

Recognizing these challenges, iTech, as a machine learning services, data entry outsourcing provider and a SOC 2 certified firm, has put together a comprehensive overview of what SOC 2 is and what it’s all about. Read on to learn more!

What does SOC 2 stand for?

The letters SOC stand for Service Organization Control. The SOC 1 report is for financial information like credit card numbers. The SOC 2 report is for non-financial information.

The certification process involves an audit by a third-party to verify that a company is meeting SOC guidelines.

Why is SOC 2 Certification Important?

SOC 2 Certification is vital because it holds businesses to a standard that protects consumer data. It allows the consumer to have peace of mind knowing that a company is vetted and approved, with data r.

SOC Certification is essential for companies that store data in the cloud and those that offer SaaS (software as a service) subscriptions. Companies that handle healthcare information fall under patient-protection laws and HIPAA, so having SOC 2 certification and compliance is a good step for them to show they are protecting patients’ information such as when offering medical insurance verification services.

SOC 2 Certification is not required, but it is a way of communicating the degree of care a company takes to the consumer. High profile data breaches are in the news all the time, and it seems more accessible than ever for criminals to compromise private data.

Companies should test all web applications and software to ensure they stand up to hacking, DDos attacks, and any other attempts that compromise customer information. When a company does have a data breach, it lowers public opinion of them, and users can experience identity theft. That could ruin their credit or lose them their retirement savings!

It is up to companies who use this data to conduct business to protect their users. A SOC 2 certification can go a long way to building user confidence.

SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria

To pass the SOC 2 audit process, a third-party evaluates a company’s system on five SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria including:

    1. Security
    2. Availability
    3. Processing Integrity
    4. Confidentiality
    5. Privacy

Lets dive in.

1. Security

The SOC2 evaluates a company’s system on how it protects system resources against unauthorized access. One of the ways they can accomplish this through bot detection and management. The technology identifies users’ legitimacy attempts to access the site and rejects bots trying to abuse it.

Other IT security measures could be in place, like WAFs (Web Application Firewalls) and intrusion detection. Two-factor authentication, which requires users to use multiple methods to verify legitimacy when accessing the site, is another standard security measure that SOC 2 may evaluate.

2. Availability

SOC 2 also tests system availability. It verifies that users can access the software or service site when they need to. It tracks website and system performance and downtime and makes sure that they conform to acceptable standards.

These standards are not defined by the SOC 2 but by the company’s service level agreement (SLA), a contract between them and the user. It sets a minimum for performance level that is acceptable and does not breach the contract.

3. Processing Integrity

SOC 2 examines the system’s processing integrity, evaluating whether or not the system delivers on its intended purpose. In simple terms, does it do what it is supposed to do? Does it provide the right data at the right time? SOC 2 looks for data processing to be valid, complete, accurate, authorized, and timely.

Processing integrity is different than data integrity. If errors are present in the data before entering into the system, detecting those errors is not the processors’ responsibility. With a broader industry exposure and as an experienced data outsourcing provider,  iTech found a way to nullify those errors by having quality data processing procedures.

4. Confidentiality

SOC 2 evaluates whether the system is keeping consumer data confidential. That means that one can share data only with a specific set of personnel who can seamlessly access and deliver the product to the consumer. This is usually has a disclosure that the user is required to agree to use the service.

SOC 2 makes sure that the company follows the disclosure and that user data is secure. Encryption is one of the crucial ways that systems can keep data confidential when it is transmitted. A commitment to keeping user data confidential is essential to the survival of tech companies that rely on user data.

5. Privacy

SOC 2 examines how a company’s system collects, uses, retains, and disposes of user data. It uses guidelines defined by the company’s privacy policy and the AICPA’s GAPP (generally accepted privacy principles.)

Companies must put controls in place to protect users’ personal information, especially PII (Personal Identifiable Information.) This is the information that hackers can use to steal someone’s identity. It includes things like social security number, name, and address. This type of data requires an extra degree of protection to ensure it is not compromised, and the SOC 2 looks at how a company is doing that.

Keeping Data Safe

Companies that desire to keep data safe should have their system audited. A SOC 2 certification can go a long way to showing users that their data is secure and in good hands.

As a user, you should seek out services that are SOC 2 when looking for SaaS or cloud computing, to make sure your data doesn’t end up in the next breach. And as a service provider, making sure your user’s data is safe should be priority number one.

iTech being a SOC 2 certified firm, ensures data safety in all our services. This may include data entry outsourcing services, machine learning-based services, freight audit and payment services, medical insurance verification, and more. Contact us! For secure data services.


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