SOC 2 compliance is a top and timely priority for many small- and medium-sized businesses. However, achieving compliance can be a great challenge. Practical Assurance has years of experience in guiding organizations, start-ups, and small and medium-sized businesses through the process. We’ve traveled the road, so we know all the milestones, waypoints, and tools to set you up for a smooth journey.
It all starts with the right approach. SOC 2 readiness is a major, company-wide project. Approaching it with this mindset helps set your organization up for success.
Strong executive-level support is critical for two reasons. First, SOC 2 readiness may take focus and attention away from other projects, so it’s important the project is given the appropriate level of priority and resources within the company. This is particularly true when it comes to budgeting; it’s essential the company assign a budget for tools and pentesting (ethical hacking designed to test the security of your system).
Second, achieving SOC 2 may require changes throughout the organization. C-level support is important to validate and implement these modifications before the SOC 2 audit. In the best case, you’ll prepare for SOC 2 before your customers clamor for it. This will give you plenty of time to prepare for and implement compliance.
Planning for SOC 2 Success
All successful SCO 2 projects begin with establishing a clear plan with scope and schedule. Keeping the scope as small as possible will set the course to success. For example, you may choose to focus only on the security principle in the first year, and decide to implement additional principles, such as confidentiality and privacy, in subsequent years. The project plan should identify key milestones, due dates, and risks and mitigation tactics.
The next task for successful project management is assembling your team. Since SOC 2 readiness may call for changes to the company’s operations, we recommend building a team spanning multiple departments, from HR to tech. The team should then assign responsibilities based on project scope. Picking a project manager is essential. This person is responsible for keeping everything and everyone on task. Other key roles to assign include the business process lead, technical lead, InfoSec lead, and compliance manager.
Ideally, you’ll also assign someone with communication skills to report on what the team is doing. Clear internal communication about the status of the project, as well as what changes are required and why they are needed paves the way to easier implementation throughout the company. Auditors require not only that companies implement the required changes, but also that they understand why those protocols are in place. So, clear communication and company-wide understanding of the project can only serve you in the long run.
How Practical Assurance Helps with Project Management
The biggest project management hack available is working with Practical Assurance. We are security and compliance veterans with years of experience navigating the SOC 2 process. We specialize in tangible guidance. For example, we can lay out a clear set of tasks to achieve SOC 2 in our Readiness Module.
Practical Assurance’s software has helpful templates, examples, checklists and information that can drastically speed up the process. Using these tools, we can provide cost-effective compliance for start-ups and small- to medium-sized businesses. Finally, if needed, our expert consulting can provide clarity on how the SOC 2 requirements relate to the circumstances and operations of your unique business.
Once your company has achieved SOC 2 certification, you can easily add onto your project management model to address ongoing compliance.
If you need help getting started with SOC 2 project management, get in touch with Practical Assurance today.