What Is SOC2 And Why Is It Important?

Mehdi Karimi, Ph. D.

Data security is a must for organizations of all shapes and sizes. It doesn't matter if you're a small business SaaS product, a large enterprise or a cloud computing provider; keeping your data secure is critical to surviving in the digital ecosystem.

According to Statista, by 2024, the information technology market is expected to be worth $174.7B worldwide. Given its importance, it's not surprising that protecting digital assets against cyberthreats has become a fundamental part of every company's business operations.

And this need for data protection isn’t without reason, because improperly handled data — especially by the software that is supposed to keep it safe— can expose a business to cyberattacks of every kind.

The good news is that not all is lost for companies. Auditing procedures like SOC 2 make sure that your service providers manage your data by following the highest security standards.

SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures the secure management of your data by your service providers, thereby protecting both your organization's interests and clients' privacy. For security-conscious companies, choosing a content management system that's SOC 2-compliant is a minimum requirement to keep data and assets safe.

In this article, we will dissect SOC 2, talk about why it is important, and show you the benefits of a SOC 2 CMS for companies.

What Is SOC 2?

SOC 2 is a report created by the American Institute of CPAs. It evaluates how well an organization, be it a software provider or any other company, provides a safe operating environment that protects both the organization and the client's data privacy. The SOC 2 explores the placement of the internal data governance controls within an organization.

SOC2 reports are built upon five criteria:

  • Security: A business' data and systems are protected against unauthorized access and inappropriate disclosure of information. For companies to be compliant, they need firewalls, intrusion detection, and two-factor authentication.

  • Availability: The information and systems are available for operation at all times to meet the company's objectives. Companies need performance monitoring, data handling policies, and disaster recovery methods to be compliant.

  • Processing Integrity: System processing is complete, accurate, and authorized. Companies QA assurance and process monitoring to be compliant.

  • Confidentiality: Every piece of information deemed confidential needs to stay that way to ensure no breaches are found. To be compliant, companies must deploy access control and data encryption.

  • Privacy: All the information you collect, use, and store needs to be taken care of in such a way that it's not available to anyone else. To be compliant, companies need to have granular access controls and data encryption.

The Importance of SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 compliance is critical to high data security standards. It provides companies with a direction regarding document trails and helps you develop internal security policies and guidelines that mitigate data theft and cybersecurity threats.

Being SOC 2 compliant makes sure your customers' data is safe and protected against threats too. Plus, choosing SOC 2 compliant technology partners allows you to display SOC2 compliance certificates to show your clients and customers that you take their security seriously and that you're prepared to protect them if the need arises.

SOC 2 compliance usually involves four steps:

  • Monitoring: To become SOC 2 compliant, companies need to actively monitor their systems and processes to detect unusual activity or access to sensitive data. Monitoring also helps you and your company appropriately respond to changes in the data flow to identify threats earlier.

  • Real-time alerts: Relevant alert procedures let you know when unusual activity is detected; that way, you can initiate a response to repel or mitigate threats. SOC 2 compliance requires that companies can detect anomalies in files, data, logins, and configurations.

  • Audits: Auditing is a must to achieve SOC 2 compliance. Audits give you insights into how your systems and processes are performing and how they affect your organization. Audits provide information on your data security standards over a time period and enable you to detect vulnerabilities.

  • Actionable insights: SOC 2 compliance allows your company to take steps to defend yourself against cyber threats. These insights also give you a framework for taking action when something goes wrong and enable you to provide your environment with real-time protection.

Also, keep in mind that SOC 2 compliance is an ongoing process. Maintaining data security across the cloud requires a strategic approach, and it's not a one-time thing. SOC 2 audits are designed to address data security challenges; yet, depending on your company's nature and your sector, these requirements can change.

The only certain thing is that compliance starts with securing your network and your third-party vendor network, or choosing a technology partner that's compliant with SOC 2 and that offers you protection and compliance at the same time.

The Role of A SOC 2 CMS In Data Protection

Security and compliance are continuous processes. A CMS that's also compliant with SOC 2 ensures that companies are pursuing the highest security standards and are committed to protecting their clients' data privacy.

We've implemented a set of certified security processes and controls to help protect the data entrusted to us through the dotCMS Security and Privacy Policies. This helps us comply with several security and privacy certifications, standards, and regulations, including SOC 2, ISO 27001,

GDPR, and the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield.

At dotCMS, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that are not only designed to meet or exceed today's accessibility requirements but also provide a level of security that ensures you won't suffer data breaches or compliance issues as long as you abide by the rules of proper usage.

dotCMS complies with the SOC 2 standards for operational security. We are engaged with a third-party auditing firm to ensure our security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy exceed the standards expectations. These security audits ensure that the CMS authoring environment and delivery tier comply with the latest security standards to protect dotCMS implementations against attacks.

To date, all projects comply with these security audits. As a company, dotCMS is responsible for ensuring the dotCMS Platform is aligned with the latest best practices in security.

Additionally, dotCMS has built up and documented a series of security best practices to prevent vulnerabilities.

If you're interested in knowing more about our data privacy and security policies, read our whitepaper Compliance: All You Need To Know

Mehdi Karimi, Ph. D.
Director of Cyber Security
July 06, 2021

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