4 Benefits of SOC Compliance

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SOC compliance is a very important framework for the management of cybersecurity threats in any organization. It is a requirement in nearly all sectors of activity that are faced with cybersecurity threats. Its implementation is not simple and straightforward, but rather a complex process with stringent requirements that need careful review and addressing.

The goal of SOC is to ensure that your systems are secure, reliable and properly managed so that the customer and company data is safe from cybercriminals and hackers. The process may seem overwhelming but once implemented, it can generate a lot of value for your company.

Here are 4 benefits of SOC compliance:

1. Builds credibility with Banks, Business Partners, and Potential Investors

It is not uncommon for banks to have high standards when it comes to financing requirements, which is where SOC compliance comes into play. When your business is SOC compliant, it demonstrates that you have an adequate management of your cybersecurity risks and provides evidence that your company is committed to mitigating any potential threats. This means that you are much more likely to be approved for financing, as meeting the SOC requirements is often a prerequisite for most banks.

But it is not only about banks. Many providers such as insurance companies or technology providers may also require your business to be SOC compliant before they are willing to work with you. Many companies may also require that you comply with the framework as a condition for your business partnership.

Being SOC compliant allows you to establish trust with potential partners, banks, and potential investors. Once they realize that you are SOC compliant, they will know that your company is credible, and they may not even require any additional information regarding your security. They will be willing to work with you with little to no hassle.

Simply put, being SOC compliant means you open the gates to more business opportunities, ensuring a direct return on your investment.

2. Helps you focus on innovation rather than security

Security is not a core function of your organization. Having to worry about security issues can distract you from the core functions of your business and you may end up spending a large amount of your resources inefficiently to mitigate your risks.

The SOC framework ensures that you’ve implemented strong cybersecurity management practices, protecting your critical data and infrastructure from any potential incidents. Being SOC compliant means you’ve secured your data from those who might want to steal and sell it to malicious actors on the dark web. It also protects your intellectual property and trade secrets from being spread publicly.

This means that once your company is SOC compliant, you’ll be sure that you’ve mitigated most of your cybersecurity risks so you can get the peace of mind to focus your resources on innovation rather than on security.

3. Gives you an edge over your competitors

In today’s technological world, no company is safe from security breaches, and this applies to companies all over the world regardless of their sizes. However, having strong security measures in place demonstrates to your customers and business partners that you’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect their sensitive data from being leaked or sold to malicious actors. This means that the SOC framework gives you a competitive edge over your competitors who might not be SOC compliant.

This also puts your company on a pedestal against competitors who might have faced a cybersecurity incident in the past. You will be able to establish trust with their customers and business partners right away and reassure their concerns where your competitors might have failed.

These strong security measure put in place also will also protect your intellectual property and commercial trade secrets from being sold on the dark web, ensuring that your assets are protected from industrial espionage. This way, you will always remain a few steps ahead of your competitors.

4. Helps prevent financial losses

One of the remarkable benefits of SOC compliance is that it will enable your company to come up with clearly defined procedures and policies that govern key controls and processes surrounding your business operations. Such policies and procedures will help to avoid unnecessary fines that may result from privacy law breaches and non-compliance following a cybersecurity incident.

A strong management of your security will also limit the financial impact that a cyberattack could have on your company, by restricting its potential impact on your assets and operations. This will help you limit the resources spent on technical restoration, incident response and to recover any lost data or damaged infrastructure following any incident.

Limiting any potential impact of these incidents will also play a great part in keeping your reputation intact following an attack, this limiting any financial impact caused by customer turnovers. The reputational damage that result from a data breach cost American companies $4.13 million USD on average per breach in 2017, which is infinitely more expensive than complying with the SOC requirements.

Final thoughts

In the light of the four benefits raised above, it is quite evident that your company should consider SOC compliance. If you are a start-up, you may be tempted to delay its implementation, but you need to remember that cybercriminals are not sleeping. They are always looking for ways to exploit your company for their malicious purposes.

Starting early is good because it is easier to meet the requirements when your company still has few employees and few departments. If you wait until your company grows, the process will get much more complicated and expensive. Another advantage of starting early is that your company will grow in an environment with strengthened controls that will help make compliance assessments faster and easier to perform in future, no matter how big the company shall have grown.

A penetration test is a simulated hacking attempt that identifies opportunities for real hackers to break through your defences and perform various malicious acts. It generally leverages tools used by hackers and various professional methodologies to replicate the steps that modern hackers would take to intrude into your IT systems.

A pentest attempts to exploit your vulnerabilities to determine their potential impact, should they be used in a real hacking scenario. They provide a list of vulnerabilities with their respective level of severity, as well as technical recommendations to help your team apply corrective measures and focus on the most critical vulnerabilities.

These services allow your organization to answer the following questions, among several others:

  • Can a hacker gain access to any sensitive information?
  • Can a hacker hijack my technologies for any malicious acts?
  • Could a malware infection spread through the network?
  • Can an attacker escalate access to an administrative user?

Learn more about penetration testing →

There are many contexts in which a penetration test should be performed.

Here are some common use cases for a pentest:

  • As part of the development cycle of an application. (To test the security of a new feature/app)
  • To comply with security requirements. (3rd-parties, PCI, ISO27001, etc.)
  • To secure sensitive data from exfiltration.
  • To prevent infections by malware. (Ransomware, spyware, etc.)
  • To prevent disruptive cyberattacks. (Such as denial of service)
  • As part of a cybersecurity risk management strategy.

All businesses are advised to conduct a penetration test at least once a year, as well as after any significant upgrades or modifications to the company network. Given the rapid rate at which new exploits are discovered, we generally recommend that quarterly tests are performed.

Various steps are taken over the course of the project to prevent the potential impact of our tests on the stability of your technological environment and the continuity of your business operations.

For this reason, a communication plan will be put in place at the beginning of the project to prevent and mitigate any potential impact. A representative of your organization will be identified to act as the main point of contact to ensure rapid communication in the event of a situation directly impacting the conduct of your daily operations, or if any critical vulnerabilities are identified, for which  corrective measures need to be implemented quickly.

While we use a simple 4 levels risk rating approach (Critical, High, Moderate, Low), our risk assessment is actually based on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) standard. Two main criteria are considered when  assessing the risk level of each vulnerability:

  • Potential impact: The potential impact of an attack based on a vulnerability, combined with its  potential effect on the availability of the system, as well as the confidentiality and integrity of  the data.
  • Exploitability: The potential exploitability of a vulnerability; a vulnerability that is easier to  exploit increases the number of potential attackers and thus the likelihood of an attack.  Different factors are considered when evaluating the exploitability potential of a vulnerability  (e.g.: access vector, authentication, operational complexity, etc.)

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