An important part of demonstrating a commitment to data security, especially for a company in the financial services industry like Trolley, is becoming SOC 2® Type II compliant. Below, we’ll explore the importance of this standard, and how it benefits both organizations and their customers.
As companies continue to embrace digital transformation, there is a growing concern for protecting sensitive information from cyber threats and breaches. This is why SOC 2® Type II compliance has become an essential requirement for businesses that handle confidential data.
SOC 2® (Service Organization Control) is a set of standards developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to evaluate an organization’s controls covering the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data.
There are two types of SOC 2® reports:
- Type I: Examines the suitability of the design of controls at a specific point in time
- Type II: Examines the operational effectiveness of these controls over a period of time (usually a minimum of six months)
For the payment and data security industry, SOC 2® Type II compliance is not just a competitive advantage but helps to meet regulatory requirements. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) both require service providers to demonstrate their commitment to protecting customer data.
This guide will discuss the importance of SOC 2® Type II certification and how it benefits organizations.
What is SOC 2® Type II?
Achieving SOC 2® Type II compliance involves a comprehensive audit of an organization’s internal controls and processes. The audit is performed by an independent third-party auditing firm to ensure objectivity and credibility.
The audit process evaluates the suitability of the design of an organization’s controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. A Type II report also assesses the operating effectiveness of these controls over a specified period.
SOC 2® Type II also requires organizations to have written policies and procedures in place, as well as regular monitoring and testing of these controls. This ensures that an organization’s security controls are not just implemented but also effective, continuously maintained, and improved upon.
The 5 Trust Services Criteria
Core to the SOC 2® Type II standard are the five Trust Services Criteria, which serve as a framework for evaluating an organization’s controls and processes. These criteria include:
- Security: The protection of system resources against unauthorized access, use, or modification
- Availability: The availability of systems and information for operation and use
- Processing integrity: The completeness, accuracy, validity, timeliness, and authorization of system processing
- Confidentiality: The assurance that information is not disclosed to unauthorized individuals or entities
- Privacy: The collection, use, retention, disclosure, and disposal of personal information in accordance with applicable privacy laws and regulations
These criteria ensure that organizations have a comprehensive approach to protecting and managing sensitive information.
The process of becoming SOC 2® Type II compliant
Becoming SOC 2® Type II compliant involves a rigorous process that can take several months to complete. The first step is for an organization to undergo a readiness assessment, which evaluates its current controls and identifies any gaps that need to be addressed.
Once the gaps are identified, the organization must implement new controls or improve existing ones to meet the Trust Services Criteria. This may involve changes to policies and procedures, implementing new technology or security measures, and training employees on proper data handling.
After the necessary controls are in place, an independent auditor conducts a formal audit to assess the effectiveness of these controls. This includes reviewing documentation, observing processes in action, and conducting interviews with key personnel.
If the organization successfully meets the Trust Services Criteria they are being audited for and demonstrates consistent maintenance of these controls over a specified period, it will receive its SOC 2® Type II report indicating compliance.
Trolley’s journey to SOC 2® Type II compliance
As a leading provider of secure payment solutions, Trolley understands the importance of SOC 2® Type II compliance for maintaining trust with our clients, and demonstrating our commitment to information security. Here are some steps we have taken to achieve compliance:
- Conducted a readiness assessment: Before beginning the formal audit process, we evaluated our current controls.
- Obtained SOC 2® Type I compliance: We obtained SOC2® Type I compliance before beginning the independent audit for Type II compliance.
- Reviewed policies, procedures, and security measures: We made sure that our policies, procedures, and security measures ensure the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of customer data.
- Trained employees: We confirmed that all employees undergo training on handling sensitive information and following proper security protocols.
- Completed an independent audit: After all necessary controls were in place, we underwent a formal audit by an independent third-party auditor, and received our SOC2® Type II report with no exceptions noted.
Internal controls and procedures
To achieve SOC 2® Type II compliance, Trolley has implemented the following internal controls and procedures:
- Access controls: We restrict access to sensitive information and systems based on job roles and responsibilities.
- Encryption: We use encryption to protect data in transit and at rest.
- Disaster recovery plan: In case of a disaster, we have procedures in place to ensure the availability of our systems and data.
- Regular security testing: We conduct regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing to identify and address any security risks.
- Employee training: All employees undergo regular training on data security, privacy laws, and our policies and procedures.
Continuous monitoring and improvement
To ensure continued data security, Trolley has implemented continuous monitoring and improvement processes. This includes regular reviews of our policies and procedures, ongoing employee training, and periodic audits to ensure compliance with the Trust Services Criteria.
We also regularly update our technology and data security standards to stay ahead of potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Why is SOC 2® Type II important for companies like Trolley?
Given the scope of sensitive data handled by Trolley, SOC 2® Type II compliance is essential for maintaining our client’s trust. It demonstrates our commitment to protecting their data and upholding high standards of security and privacy.
Financial data protection is a core value of Trolley, and the Trust Services Criteria align with this value by ensuring that we have robust controls in place to protect sensitive information. Additionally, SOC 2® Type II compliance is often a requirement for enterprises and clients in industries with strict regulatory requirements, so we ensure that in working with us they’re meeting this compliance obligation.
Successfully completing a SOC 2® Type II audit demonstrates a commitment to information security and provides assurance to customers and other stakeholders that the organization is managing their data responsibly.
Furthermore, the ongoing monitoring and improvement processes necessary to maintain SOC 2® Type II compliance also help us proactively identify and address any potential security risks. This protects our clients’ data and helps us maintain a strong reputation in the industry.
Benefits of SOC 2® Type II compliance for Trolley’s customers
By achieving SOC 2® Type II compliance, Trolley can provide several benefits to our customers, including:
- Assurance of data security: Our customers can trust that their sensitive information is handled and protected with a high level of security.
- Compliance requirements met: For clients in industries with strict regulatory requirements, our SOC 2® Type II report helps them meet their own compliance obligations.
- Reduced risk of data breaches: By implementing and maintaining strong controls, Trolley helps to minimize the risk of data breaches and protects our clients’ sensitive information.
- Increased confidence in Trolley: SOC 2® Type II demonstrates our commitment to data security, furthering the trust built between us and our clients.
A payout platform you can trust
Achieving SOC 2® Type II compliance is not a one-time task for Trolley. It is part of our ongoing commitment to maintaining a high level of data security and continuously improving our processes and controls.
As a customer-focused company, Trolley prioritizes data security to protect our client’s sensitive information and we maintain compliance with industry standards. We are dedicated to staying ahead of potential threats to provide a payout platform that our clients can trust. So, long story short, you can rest easy knowing your data are in safe hands with Trolley.
Let us handle security while you focus on growing your business with peace of mind. Choose Trolley for secure and reliable payout and tax solutions today!