How SOC 2 Is Changing the Face of Compliance in the Caribbean: Part Two
Written by Cloud Carib
As Caribbean cloud providers grow and expand into new markets, it has become vital that such organizations meet rigorous, standardized requirements. In part one of our series, we established why standardized compliance standards like SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2) are important and discussed some of the immediate implications for the region. Navigating the road to compliance can be challenging but certainly not impossible.
The Road to SOC 2 Compliance
To become SOC 2 compliant, organizations must follow strict information security policies and procedures related to how data is managed and stored. As it stands, this compliance has been widely adopted by the Caribbean’s financial sector which, as an industry, has particularly stringent compliance requirements to meet. Until recently, the trend had been significantly less popular for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). Driven by the increased scrutiny faced by their clients, customers and regulators, these organizations have begun to experience increased pressure to demonstrate their security and control compliance.
The list of requirements to meet compliance may look different for each organization, however, there are several criteria that must be met. Because every organization is different, the compliance criteria is often tailored to meet the specific needs of the organization, with each piece integrating the principles of trust including security, availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality of customer data while also demonstrating the ability to mitigate the risks associated with data protection.
Companies on the journey to SOC 2 compliance may find it helpful to use the following guiding principles to make the process more effective:
1. Start Small
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is trying to tackle too much at one time. Starting with a small set of controls makes the process easy to navigate. Once those controls are successfully implemented, building on those successes is even easier.
2. Know Your Customer
This is a critical element in the process of attaining SOC 2 compliance. Examine your customer base. Which customers have the highest risk tolerance? Which customers have the lowest risk tolerance? Talk with them regularly and determine what their needs are. Then, work internally within your organization to ensure that you are meeting those needs and building upon that foundation.
3. Organize and Plan
Create a roadmap outlining a strategy for getting to SOC 2 compliance. This roadmap should include a high-level overview of what it will take to get there, how long it will take, and what the risks are along the way. The roadmap should also include KPIs that can be used to keep track of progress towards SOC 2 compliance as well as goals and targets for each increment of progress going forward. Without this type of plan in place, organizations may find themselves spinning their wheels rather than making progress towards SOC 2 standards.
4. Build on Your Success
Recognize that SOC 2 compliance is a journey, not a destination. As such, you need an understanding of where you’ve been, where you are now and where you want to go.
If one thing is becoming apparent based on all the new standards, it is that a shift towards compliance and accountability is taking place in the region. Global certifications like the SOC 2 are facilitating the necessary changes at an exponential rate and regional companies like those in the Caribbean and other developing nations are poised to benefit now more than ever.
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