Is SOC 2 Certification Legally Required?

by Trava, Cyber Risk Management

Get informed on SOC 2 certification. Learn if it's legally required for your business and why it matters.

Do you need SOC 2 certification? Service companies dedicated to their customers' privacy are likely doing what they can to keep their data safe. But they may still feel unsure whether they are doing all they can to protect their clients.

The best way to judge your compliance efforts is by seeking SOC 2 certification. A variety of standards and certifications are available for SaaS companies to prove their commitment to data integrity, but SOC 2 stands as the gold standard because of its requirement for an outside audit to judge a company's security efforts.

What is SOC 2 Certification Compliance?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed SOC 2 as part of its more extensive SOC program. SOC judges companies on their overall security standards, while SOC 2 focuses on their efforts to protect customer data. Furthermore, SOC 2, which stands for Systems and Organizational Controls 2, is built around five Trust Services Criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

SOC 2 guides auditors to evaluate the effectiveness of an organization's security measures. It aims to provide trust between service providers and their customers that data stored in the cloud is safe. Trava's free SOC 2 compliance checklist helps you understand what is SOC 2 pdf and gives you a point of judgment to determine how well you are doing.

Companies develop their security protocols to fit the five criteria or whichever are important to their data. A minimal standard to meet SOC 2 compliance requirements would be to fulfill the security criteria. Companies then bring in an outside auditor to judge their security measures based on the standards established for each criterion by AICPA. Ratings range from:

  • Unqualified: The company passes with no exceptions.

  • Qualified: The company passes but has areas of concern that you need to address.

  • Adverse: The company failed.

  • Disclaimer of Opinion: The auditor failed to find enough information to make a fair conclusion.

SOC 2 certification is similar to other security compliance programs such as ISO-27001 or HITRUST, but SOC 2 is the only one that requires outside auditors to check your systems to receive certification.

Is SOC 2 Legally Required?

Any governing entity does not require SOC 2 certification, but it creates a good trust bond between your company and customers. Some customers will have standards in place to require any SaaS providers to provide a SOC 2 certificate.

Who Requires SOC 2 Compliance?

Customers are those who will demand SOC 2 compliance. With ongoing news of data breaches from some of the nation's largest companies, companies want to ensure they are doing all they can to protect their end-users data.

Some potential new customers may not consider working with a SaaS provider if they cannot show a SOC 2 report showing the company is in compliance with the criteria important to your potential customers. Furthermore, some companies demand a Type II report, which tests compliance over an extended period of time. SOC 2 also offers a Type I report, but it only judges your security measures at the specific time of the audit. A Type II report is based on a review covering three to 12 months, so it provides a more thorough overview of your security measures.

Should My Company be SOC 2 Compliant?

If you are making efforts to protect customer data through your SaaS offerings, you should want to shout about it from the mountaintops. SOC 2 certification gives you the opportunity to assure customers and potential customers about your diligent efforts to protect their private data.

When you design your security standards to meet the criteria established by SOC 2 and follow up with a Type II audit, you are committing to your customers that their data security is your highest priority.

Trava's experts can help you along the journey to gain SOC 2 certification by helping you establish the proper standards and ensuring implementation.

Our experts can test your compliance security and help you establish a program to achieve SOC 2 compliance in the quickest timeframe so you can build your customer base on the back of a robust cybersecurity program.

If you are ready to tackle SOC 2 certification but need more staff resources or expertise to tackle the process in-house, schedule a call with Trava's SOC 2 compliance experts to start today.

Take your certification knowledge up a level!

Learn which regulated industries must follow specific frameworks and how noncompliance can affect business opportunities and your bottom line. We also unravel Fedramp, CMMC, CCPA, and CPRA, offering a clearer understanding of their cybersecurity roles. ⬇️


We can help!  Talk to the Trava Team and see how we can assist you with your cybersecurity needs.