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SOC 2 Certification
Managing customer data is crucial for businesses operating in today's data-driven landscape. As organizations collect, store, and analyze increasing amounts of customer information, the need to ensure the security, privacy, and integrity of this data becomes paramount. Effective management of customer data not only safeguards sensitive information but also fosters trust and confidence among customers.
One aspect of maintaining strong data management practices is obtaining relevant certifications that validate an organization's commitment to data protection. One such certification is SOC 2, which stands for Service Organization Control 2.
What is SOC 2?
SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls 2) is a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which specifies how organizations should manage customer data. It is a widely recognized auditing standard that ensures service providers' information security, privacy, and availability controls meet industry best practices.
What does a certification such as SOC 2 shows to (potential) customers?
SOC 2 compliance assures customers that their data is being handled securely and reliably by the service provider. For companies operating in the field of business process outsourcing, customer care, and/or call centers, this certification is of absolute importance.
What are the 5 criterias on which SOC 2 certification is based?
The SOC 2 criteria are based on five trust service principles (TSPs):
Security: The system is protected against unauthorized access, both physical and logical.
Availability: The system is available for operation and use as agreed upon.
Processing integrity: System processing is complete, accurate, timely, and authorized.
Confidentiality: Information designated as confidential is protected as agreed upon.
Privacy: Personal information is collected, used, retained, and disclosed in accordance with the organization's privacy notice.
What makes this cerfitication so important and beneficial for businesses?
- Demonstrates commitment to data security and credibility
This beneficial certification is necessary for companies that provide services that involve the processing, storage, or transmission of customer data, like call centers, BPOs, or companies specialized in customer care; particularly in industries that are highly regulated or have strict data protection laws. SOC 2 provides a way for service organizations to demonstrate their commitment to data security and privacy.
- Competitive advantage
Additionally, SOC 2 compliance is often required by customers as part of their vendor management or due diligence process, particularly for companies that are involved in sensitive or critical business processes. Obtaining this certification can help outsourcing service providers like We Are Fiber differentiate themselves from competitors and win new business by demonstrating how important is data privacy for them.
- Accelerated sales cycles
Demonstrating compliance can expedite the sales cycle, providing a significant advantage to your sales team. They can avoid the time-consuming task of completing extensive Request for Information (RFI) documents during the sales process. Instead, they can streamline the process by presenting the company's SOC 2 reports, showcasing its commitment to data security and privacy.
Explore the importance of SOC 2, with real life cases
- Healthcare sector
In the healthcare sector, a hospital that achieves SOC 2 certification showcases its dedication to protecting patient information and complying with stringent regulations like HIPAA. This certification instills trust in patients, ensuring that their sensitive medical data is safeguarded against unauthorized access or breaches.
- Financial institutions
For a financial institution, SOC 2 certification is essential to reassure customers that their financial information is handled with utmost security. By obtaining the certification, the institution demonstrates compliance with industry standards and builds trust, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and retention.
- Cloud services
In the realm of cloud services, a provider that holds SOC 2 certification gains a competitive advantage. Potential clients seeking a secure and reliable cloud infrastructure are more likely to choose a certified provider. SOC 2 certification becomes a deciding factor in their decision-making process, as it validates the provider's adherence to rigorous security controls and protocols.
In the outsourcing industry, companies like We Are Fiber prioritize SOC 2 certification to assure clients that their data is protected during outsourced operations. This certification enhances trust, streamlines due diligence processes, and enables We Are Fiber to differentiate themselves as a secure and trustworthy partner.
What are the two types of SOC 2 reports?
Usually, a SOC 2 report is tailored to the unique needs of each organization. Depending on its specific business practices, each organization can design controls that follow one or more principles of trust. These internal reports provide organizations and their regulators, business partners, and suppliers, with important information about how the organization manages its data. There are two types of SOC 2 reports:
- Type I describes the organization’s systems and whether the system design complies with the relevant trust principles.
- Type II details the operational efficiency of these systems.
SOC 2 & We Are Fiber
We Are Fiber is happy to announce that it now has SOC 2 compliances for both types as a business process outsourcing service provider! Achieving this certification is a significant milestone for us, as it demonstrates our commitment to the highest standards of data security, privacy, and availability.
We understand that our clients place a great deal of trust in us when they entrust us with their data, and we take that responsibility very seriously. SOC 2 compliance provides our clients with the assurance they need that we have established strong controls and processes to protect their data from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.
How did We Are Fiber obtained the certificate?
- Thorough auditing process
To achieve SOC 2 compliance, We Are Fiber underwent a rigorous audit process conducted by an independent third-party auditor. The auditor reviewed our controls environment, activities, and monitoring processes to ensure that they meet the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
- Successful coverage for all 5 areas of security control
As mentioned, the SOC 2 certification covers five broad areas of security controls, including security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. By achieving SOC 2 compliance, We Are Fiber has demonstrated that its controls and processes are designed to protect customer data in all of these areas.
Our latest certification also reflects our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement and our willingness to invest in the resources and expertise needed to provide the highest level of data security, while maintaining the same great customer care we have had for years!
A few last words…
Obtaining SOC 2 compliance is a significant achievement for any outsourcing service provider, as it requires a significant investment of time, resources, and effort. However, it is an investment that can pay off in terms of increased trust and confidence from customers and partners, as well as improved business outcomes.
We Are Fiber is proud to have made it! We believe that this certification sets us apart from our competitors and demonstrates our commitment to providing the highest level of service to our clients.
We will continue to invest in our security and privacy controls to ensure that we remain at the forefront of best practices and deliver the highest level of data security and privacy to our customers.