The Importance of SOC 2 Type II Compliance

3 Minute Read

This set of standards highlights security vendors that are committed to providing secure data environments.

At the core of every great relationship is one thing: trust.

The same goes for your security vendors.

The hunt for a trustworthy vendor is easier said than done, though. There are client testimonials, peer referrals, and online reviews – but none of these highlights how trustworthy a vendor’s own security is. Except for one: the SOC 2 Type II audit.

What’s so important about SOC 2 compliance? When your organization’s (and customers’) data is on the line, it’s important to know which vendors you can trust.

What is SOC 2 Type II Compliance?

Service Organization Control (SOC) is a set of standards to create, maintain, prove and even enhance the way a vendor manages data – both on-premises and in cloud environments.

Originally established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), SOC 2 defines how organizations handle sensitive data, such as financial information and medical records. The SOC 2 Type II certification requires the vendor to undergo an independent audit by a qualified third-party auditor. The auditor then certifies that the vendor meets all applicable requirements in one or more of the following trust principles:

  • Security

  • Availability

  • Processing Integrity

  • Confidentiality

  • Privacy

It’s a costly certification for vendors to achieve but has real significance for any organization that values security.

What it Takes to Become SOC 2 Compliant

To become SOC 2 Type II compliant, it takes more than just having the right technology in place — a company needs to have strict processes as well. It’s an assurance that a vendor has implemented the proper controls to protect the confidentiality, availability and integrity of your data.

The SOC 2 audit evaluates all aspects of service delivery. It also evaluates whether data is collected under consent and whether data is properly secured from unauthorized access and modification. This means that your data is safe with your security vendor and that they will not share it with anyone else without your consent first.

A SOC 2 Type II audit is a very thorough process, one that Swimlane has completed. Here is a glimpse of what the process looks like:

  • First, a team of auditors will thoroughly review the system documentation, including policies and procedures, as well as all aspects of the service delivery model.

  • Then they will conduct interviews with key personnel in the organization to verify that the processes and procedures are being followed properly.

  • Finally, they will conduct a physical on-site inspection of the facilities, examining hardware and software configuration along with all related network infrastructure.

The end result? A report that verifies that the vendor has implemented appropriate security measures in accordance with industry best practices.

Why Should You Care?

The reason for SOC 2 Type II compliance is simple: data breaches are becoming more common every day, costing businesses billions of dollars each year. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million in 2021 and growing. And this doesn’t include companies that never report their breaches.

The importance of SOC 2 Type II compliance cannot be overstated. It helps you make informed decisions during vendor selection, which minimizes your risk of a third-party breach down the road. In effect, this also proves your security commitment to your customers, business partners, suppliers, investors and more.

When you’re looking for a security solution (like security automation), you need one that has gone through the SOC 2 process because it shows that they’ve put measures in place to protect your data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. This can be especially important if you’re storing any sensitive information in the cloud.

Swimlane is proud to be SOC 2 Type II compliant. As Michael Lyborg, Senior Vice President of Global Security and Enterprise IT at Swimlane, explains:

“with the ever-changing threat landscape and increase in cyberattacks on organizations, this independent audit provides our customers with third-party validation that Swimlane is an exceptional choice for businesses that require certified providers, especially following our announcement of Swimlane Turbine.”

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