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What Is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2

In the first installment of our series on Unqork’s security features, we’re taking a deep dive into SOC 2 reports.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Unqork blog, you know we don’t shy away from talking about the amazing aspects of our platform. Between webinars, platform demos, and new blog articles each week, visitors to our site get a clear picture of what the Unqork platform can do. However, we recently realized that we’ve yet to highlight one of the most important parts of our platform: Security.

While we’ve always prided ourselves on our strict data security and privacy standards, we’ve never done a deep dive on the topic. In this new series of articles, we’ll be taking a closer look at Unqork’s robust security features, starting with how we ensure SOC 2 compliance. What is SOC 2? What does demonstrating SOC 2 compliance entail? Why is SOC 2 compliance so important for software vendors? Here’s what you need to know:

What Is SOC 2?

Developed by the American Institute of CPAs, Standard of Organization Service Controls (SOC) are reports that help companies establish trust and confidence in their service delivery. There are three categories of these reports: SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3. SOC 1 reports detail the processes and controls that influence an organization’s financial reporting. By contrast, SOC 2 reports focus on non-financial reporting controls and ensure that enterprises and vendors are securely managing their customers’ data and protecting their customers’ privacy. SOC 3 is similar in scope to SOC 2, but geared toward a more general audience.

SOC 2 reports focus on non-financial reporting controls and ensure that enterprises and vendors are securely managing their customers’ data and protecting their customers’ privacy.

Each category of SOC report is broken into two types: Type I and Type II. Type I describes your systems and determines whether your design meets trust principles, while Type II details the operational effectiveness of your systems.

Companies in the enterprise tech space tend to be more familiar with SOC 2 reports than with SOC 1 or SOC 3 reports, as SOC 2 reports are a requirement for all aPaaS, SaaS, and cloud computing vendors. SOC 2 defines the criteria for effective, compliant management of customer data using five trust service principles:

  1. Security: This criterion refers to the protocols an organization has in place to guard against unauthorized access and prevent system abuse and unauthorized removal of software. Common examples of measures designed to address this trust principle include firewalls, two-factor authentication, and intrusion detection systems.

  2. Availability: This criterion refers to the accessibility of a system as stipulated by a contract or service level agreement. Availability doesn’t address system functionality, but it can include security protocols that might affect system functionality and availability.

  3. Processing Integrity: Processing integrity refers to whether a system accomplishes its objectives and ensures that all data processing is done in a complete, valid, and accurate manner. Quality assurance plays a pivotal role here.

  4. Confidentiality: Confidentiality refers to how a company protects their confidential data and their clients’ data. Such protection often involves the use of encryption and firewalls.

  5. Privacy: Similarly, this criterion refers to how a platform collects, uses, retains, discloses, and disposes of personally identifiable information (PII) in accordance with an organization’s privacy policy. Common examples of measures designed to address this trust principle include role-based access controls and two-factor authentication.

SOC 2 certification is issued by an outside auditor who assesses whether an organization’s processes are compliant with the trust principles outlined above. End users, industry leaders, and vendors alike should only work with organizations that can demonstrate regular SOC 2 compliance.

Why Demonstrating SOC 2 Compliance Matters

In a perfect world, every organization that handles PII or other sensitive information on a large scale would adhere to data privacy and security standards like HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA, but there can be no guarantee of such adherence without SOC 2 reports. SOC 2 compliance assures your customers that you will store and process their data safely either within your platform or in some sort of secure cloud infrastructure.

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If customer data isn’t handled safely, you open your customers up to data breaches and ransomware attacks, among other things. In a study conducted by PurpleSec, 48% of all data breaches suffered by small businesses were caused by negligent contractors, and 41% were caused by third-party mistakes. With cyberattacks on the rise due to the massive increase in remote work triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, data security is top of mind for tech companies’ prospective customers.

Demonstrating SOC 2 compliance is a surefire way to ease customers’ anxieties, as it shows them that you take data security, confidentiality, and privacy seriously. As the market becomes more crowded with web applications, you want your app to stand out to customers as the most reliable. This not only boosts their confidence in your services, but helps you build strong customer relationships.

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To run a successful business, you must earn—and maintain—your customers’ trust. This will only become truer as more businesses in nearly every industry start implementing digital solutions and interacting with more PII. If you’re in the market for a new app development platform, make sure you choose one that can demonstrate SOC 2 compliance.

To that end, Unqork undergoes annual SOC 2 Type II examinations to test for all security requirements and confirm that we’re doing all we can to keep your no-code application—and the customer data stored within it—safe and secure. The way we see it, we handle web application security so you can focus on building innovative solutions and cementing your competitive advantage.

Of course, SOC 2 compliance is only one small part of what we do to secure our platform and everything you build. Stay tuned for more articles about Unqork’s robust security features! Or, to see these features in action, schedule a personalized demonstration with one of our in-house experts.