Better Data Risk Mitigation for SaaS Providers
The rise of cloud computing systems has now created an even greater need for organizations to develop the right controls to protect data that reside in the ‘cloud.’ Virtually every organization leverages Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions – where data can be easily accessed through a web browser.
As most technology providers are migrating away from larger enterprise data systems to the cloud, it opens the doors to vulnerabilities. With SaaS providers hosting vital client data, they need to provide the right level of assurance that their clients’ sensitive data resides in a highly trusted environment.
Created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) reporting allows any SaaS provider to mitigate risk when it comes to managing sensitive customer data in a virtualized environment.
Going through a SOC 2 security audit and receiving a favorable report allows SaaS providers to build-in a level of controls and trust in relationships with clients. However, the challenge with SOC 2 reporting is that many SaaS providers are unaware of this reporting and that not having an audit completed can cause significant business damage.
In addition, it is often the SaaS providers’ clients who inquire about SOC 2 reporting, and an “I don’t know” response does not provide clients with the critical assurance that they seek.
Fortunately, there are new tools that help SaaS providers determine their readiness to undergo a SOC 2 security audit and gain a ‘clean opinion.’
As more organizations are seeking support from SaaS providers, we will continue to see the true value of cloud computing emerge for any business sector. Providing the right level of assurance is critical for SaaS providers to further grow their businesses, and the little secret of undergoing a SOC 2 audit is now out of the bag.
Now, is the time to make sure that all of your clients’ data is residing in a truly trusted environment, and there are solutions for meeting this goal.
By Paul L. Shifrin, CPA, is a Director of Audit Services at SC&H Group
Paul directs SC&H’s SOC/SSAE 16 auditing practice, providing companies with audit services for their outsourcing of key components of their clients’ internal controls.
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