SOC stands for System and Organization Controls, and is a product of the American Institute of CPAs. This certification regime is not the only one available on the market, however, SOC2 is flexible enough to be applicable and relevant to much of the software industry today. It is a mature framework, which is well-known, and well respected.
In these ways SOC2 has become a go-to for software vendors to confidently demonstrate that their security processes are best-in-industry. This is a strong selling point during the customer acquisition funnel, and will typically significantly reduce the friction to contract in terms of auditing and approval time.
Type I demonstrates controls for a single snapshot in time.
Type II is a little more comprehensive, and evaluates controls over a period of time.
SOC certifications come with a few key documents, namely: an opinion letter, a document of assertion, a detailed description of the system under certification, details around the chosen trust categories, and tests of the controls in place.
SOC 2 auditors can focus on one, or up to all five of the following trust categories. Security is the only necessary category, however covering additional categories will improve the overall strength of the resulting certification.
There is no hard and fast rule here. And certainly any SOC2 audit is better than none. That being said, it makes sense to include any trust category that is relevant for your core business.
Earlier in this article, the author mentioned the reduced friction during vendor vetting and approval.
In addition to that, having a SOC2 report shows that your organization takes security and privacy seriously. Competitors, potential customers, and even malicious actors will want to know if your organization has a report, as well as what the report states.
Now, a SOC2 attestation is not a panacea. It is not a guarantee against exploitation in any way. Instead, your organization is making a statement of posture, preparedness, and responsibility, in the face of question or adversity.
I hope this article has been helpful and informative. Let us know!