What is SOC 2 & Why is it important?
SOC 2 or Service Organization Controls 2 is a framework that is governed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). With a SOC 2 audit, an independent service auditor will review an organization’s policies, procedures, and evidence to determine if their controls are designed and operating effectively. A SOC 2 report communicates a company’s commitment to data security and protection of customer information.
Improving your security posture
SOC 2 compliance exemplifies an organization’s commitment to their customer’s trust and is a major milestone towards improving their overall security posture. With increasing cybersecurity threats and data breaches, it is paramount that organizations prioritize information security and the protection of their systems and data. By undergoing a SOC 2 audit, our controls and processes were validated by a third-party who attests to the functioning of the controls relevant to our application.
Why we pursued SOC 2 and HIPAA now
SOC 2 compliance is an integral step in proving to customers, stakeholders, and interested parties that our organization values their trust and has effectively implemented security controls. At our company’s stage, we realized that it was an ideal time to pursue this as it is important to protect data and mitigate potential security risks early and on an ongoing basis.
HIPAA compliance does not immediately mean we offer an EPCR product, but it does mean we treat all PII and EPHI with the utmost importance. Compliance also acts as an initial step towards a proper EPCR solution. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress toward a full EPCR product.
Watchtower’s journey to SOC 2 compliance
We partnered with Vanta, the leader in the Trust Management space, to help us automate the collection of our audit evidence. Vanta provides us with the strongest security foundation to protect our customer data.
- Advantage Partners
Our audit firm, Advantage Partners, was extremely helpful in creating a seamless audit experience. With their guidance and support, we were able to achieve SOC 2 compliance in a swift, efficient manner.
While SOC 2 can be a big undertaking, our compliance partners streamlined the process. We leveraged Vanta to integrate our key systems and guide us in implementing policies and procedures to quickly become audit ready. Vanta gave us the direction we needed to pursue our compliance journey.
Advantage Partners then confirmed our audit readiness and we kicked off our Type [I audit. For the audit, Advantage evaluated the controls we have in place and opined on their state. Shortly after our audit window ended, Advantage Partners drafted and issued our report.
One key takeaway is understanding that improving our security posture and achieving compliance is a monumental task. This can be made easier with the right compliance partners but it will take dedicated focus and time from your organization. The readiness period can take the most time but we were able to make compliance a priority to get audit ready in a matter of weeks versus months.
We also found it important to review the audit timeline with Advantage Partners, set an ideal audit date, and then work backwards to be ready in time. However, now that controls are implemented and security is a priority for our team, subsequent SOC 2 audits will be even more seamless.
Choosing the right partners is crucial
In our journey towards SOC 2 compliance, partnering with Vanta and Advantage Partners was a crucial step that greatly facilitated the process. Vanta, a leader in Trust Management, played an instrumental role by automating the collection of audit evidence, integrating our key systems, and providing clear guidance on implementing requisite policies and procedures. Their platform provided us with a strong security foundation, enabling us to better protect our customer data. On the other hand, Advantage Partners, our audit firm, ensured a seamless audit experience. Their expertise and support enabled us to navigate the intricacies of the audit process efficiently, validating our controls and facilitating the swift achievement of SOC 2 compliance. The combination of Vanta's technological prowess and Advantage Partners' auditing expertise was key to our successful compliance journey, reaffirming the importance of choosing the right partners in such critical endeavors.
Our safety partners deserve a software partner that takes security seriously
Public safety organizations, who are the backbone of our society, play a crucial role in ensuring the well-being and protection of the community. When they decide to use our software to improve their operations, it's our duty to provide a product that is secure, reliable, and compliant with all relevant standards. We believe they deserve a company that understands the importance of SOC2 and HIPAA compliance in maintaining confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. Our commitment to these standards signifies our serious approach to data protection, demonstrating our respect for the sensitive information they handle daily. By prioritizing security and privacy, we ensure that these organizations can focus on their crucial work, secure in the knowledge that their software solutions are compliant, safe, and trustworthy.