You’re a decision-maker at an SMB or emerging enterprise facing pressure to comply with SOC 2. And you know the ease or difficulty of your compliance efforts will largely depend on the ease or difficulty of working with your auditor, and on the effectiveness and consistency of your core business policies and processes.
Fortunately, modern compliance automation technologies can help you work more quickly and efficiently with your auditor to achieve and sustain compliance. Here are three ways modern technologies can help you and your company improve that collaboration.
- Integration of your data with your auditor’s controls. Advanced technologies make it easy to import your data with predefined controls and processes provided by your auditor. For example, integration with popular software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions can make it easier to extract the information your company needs to meet your auditor’s expectations and reduce the time to audit readiness.
- Automated evidence gathering and triage. For maximum efficiency, you need to ensure you don’t waste time gathering unneeded evidence. The right technologies can use your auditor’s controls to automate, focus, and prioritize evidence gathering to meet your company’s unique compliance needs and avoid pursuing or implementing unnecessary controls. Such technologies can replace cumbersome manual processes and reduce the likelihood of evidence tampering.
- Real-time monitoring for continuous compliance. The ultimate goal for you and your auditor is continuous compliance, verifiable on demand. Modern technologies enable continuous monitoring of your IT environment and automatic notification when elements fall out of compliance. In addition, artificial intelligence (AI) can even help compliance automation solutions make specific recommendations to sustain and improve compliance and get smarter over time. Such features can make future audits less challenging and disruptive and shift the focus of your compliance efforts from tactical, reactive tasks to sustaining continuous compliance.
How to Choose a Technology Partner
Your choice of a compliance technology partner is at least as critical to your success with SOC 2 compliance as your choice of an auditor. Many automation providers claim to get companies like yours “audit-ready” within suspiciously short time periods. Your auditor can and should help you quickly eliminate consideration of vendors making such spurious claims.
Instead, you need to look at vendors that combine modern technologies with well-thought-out feature sets designed to benefit both your company and your relationship with your auditor. At a minimum, compliance solutions should make it easy to align your policies with your company’s controls and process requirements. They should also support intelligent controls, automated evidence gathering, and constant monitoring of your compliance posture. Beyond technologies and features, you should focus on candidate vendors with endorsements from or partnerships with recognized, credible auditing firms, whether yours or others.
The right technologies can help you make your audit more efficient and effective. A platform that grows and evolves as your business needs change can be the foundation of a long-term advisory relationship with your auditor.