As a trusted Lead Management platform, LeadAngel understands and values the privacy and security of our customers’ assets and data; safeguarding it is our top priority.

This commitment to security prompted us to take steps to become SOC 2 certified. SOC 2 (System and Organization Controls 2) is the leading global security compliance standard developed by AICPA for service organizations.

By achieving SOC 2, LeadAngel proves to customers that their data is secure within our systems. However, this journey to SOC 2 compliance was not relatively easy. It required dedicating resources and manpower to assess and enhance security protocols across the company.

We carefully checked how we handle sensitive information to identify possible risks or problems. We successfully implemented more robust policies around data access, storage, transmission, and privacy to mitigate vulnerabilities.

Earning SOC 2 validation demonstrates the immense value LeadAngel places on information security and our pledge to uphold the highest standards when handling customer data.

What is the SOC 2 report?

Companies with different technology partners may sometimes face problems deciding which partner to work with. This is because different vendors may have different security, confidentiality, and availability approaches. 

Therefore, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) established some guidelines to check vendor’s trustworthiness. These guidelines are covered in the SOC 2 report.

A SOC 2 report is an external audit of a company’s security practices based on these AICPA guidelines.

Regarding security, all SOC 2 reports cover them, and then, depending on the business, other things may also be included, such as privacy and processing integrity.

Generally, there are five main areas companies choose to include in their SOC 2 report:

  • Security: Safeguarding data storage and preventing unauthorized access
  • Availability: Ensuring continuous service availability and preventing outages
  • Confidentiality: Protecting confidential information
  • Processing integrity: Maintaining timely and authorized processing
  • Privacy: Retaining and disposing of personal information by policy

Auditors confirm vendors have appropriate safeguard policies and demonstrate compliance in actual practice. 

There are two types of SOC 2 reports: type I and type II.

SOC 2 Type I report

The SOC 2 Type I report evaluates a business’s cybersecurity measures at a specific moment, typically soon after implementation. 

This report scrutinizes the design of the systems, tools, and approaches to confirm the security of the company’s and its customers’ data.

However, it’s essential to know that a SOC 2 Type 1 report does not assess the effectiveness of your controls since they are not tested in this audit.

Out of the two SOC 2 audit types, type I is generally less time-consuming and cheaper.

SOC 2 Type II report

A SOC 2 Type 2 report elaborates on your security controls and assesses their efficacy over a duration, typically ranging from three to twelve months. The crucial distinction lies in the fact that a SOC 2 Type 1 report outlines the controls in place, whereas a Type 2 report offers additional insights into the effectiveness of those controls. 

Consequently, SOC 2 type 2 is more thorough and demonstrates the reliability of your systems. 

Due to the extended period in a SOC 2 type 2 audit, the auditing process takes more time and is expensive compared to a type 1 audit.

How to successfully get SOC 2 Certification

The first step is whether to work with a consultant or handle SOC 2 prep internally. Doing it solo requires extensive time to learn requirements and generate needed policies. Using an automated compliance platform like Vanta can expedite the process.

Vanta integrates with your tech stack to monitor compliance, identify risks, and provide instructions to remediate. Their dashboard tracks your progress on SOC 2 requirements. They also connect companies with certified auditors.

The company can complete SOC 2 prep with consultant support in a few months. However, plan audit timing carefully. The end of the year is busy, so book your auditor far in advance.

The audit itself is straightforward. Auditors self-collect most evidence from the compliance platform. Additional info is provided through screeshares and documentation. The entire audit can take as little as one week.

After 3-4 weeks, you’ll receive your final SOC 2 report. Start with type 1 for a quicker audit focused on policy review. Later, pursue type II for more rigorous, long-term control effectiveness testing. As a result of the efforts you put into compliance, you’ll be ready to engage with larger companies and pass security checklists often required by information security teams.

Why SOC 2 Compliance Matters to Us and Why We Opted for Type 2 Certification?

We at LeadAngel give the utmost importance to our customers’ data security. In this case, earning SOC 2 certification validates LeadAngel’s strong commitment to security.

At LeadAngel, we place the highest priority on protecting our clients’ information. SOC 2 certification, in this instance, confirms LeadAngel’s extensive safety commitment.

We underwent the more rigorous type II assessment covering 6 months to demonstrate that our controls maintain peak performance all year.

This intensive, long-term audit provides superior assurance to customers that LeadAngel’s security controls alleviate risks and vulnerabilities continuously.

This months-long type II audit thoroughly validated our ability to maintain tight data protection policies in actual practice over an extended timeframe.

SOC 2 Process: 

The first and foremost step

As a team, we recognized earning SOC 2 certification must be a company-wide effort starting from the top down. Our leadership drove home the importance of prioritizing security and compliance.

We formed a central working group with engineering, product, legal, and operations representatives to drive the SOC 3 initiative forward. Together, we conducted a gap analysis to identify where existing policies and controls needed tightening to meet SOC 2 criteria.

LeadAngel’s Choice of Tools and Partners

After extensive research and examining various consultants, we chose to work with Vanta. Their automated compliance platform streamlined our SOC 2 process tremendously. And their integration with our cloud infrastructure and services like GitHub allowed continuous monitoring of our compliance posture.

Vanta provided actionable insights into strengthening vulnerable areas. Their pre-vetted auditors ensured we worked with trusted professionals. Vanta’s evidence workflow enabled auditors to self-collect the most required validation material. The platform simplified SOC 2 prep by centralized control of the process.

Audit Timeline

We allocated four months for SOC 2 readiness. In month one, teams documented current policies and defined new ones to fill gaps. During month two, we inventoried systems, assessed vendor risks, and shored up vulnerability monitoring—month three involved dry runs of disaster recovery and risk analysis. The final month focused heavily on gathering compliance evidence and finalizing documentation.

Fortunately, our existing security-first culture meant few additional controls needed implementation. The audit spanned five days, verifying our attested policies matched reality.

Essential Insights to Smoothly Sail Through the Compliance Process

  • We learned that security comes before compliance, as it is more than just box-checking. Focus on risk reduction and compliance will follow.
  • Involve all staff in the process. Security is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Don’t cut corners to rush compliance at the expense of security; take your time.
  • Perfection in company information security is impossible. It is an ongoing process, and security measures change with time. Better focus on material risks and update your systems and policies occasionally.
  • Leverage automation where possible. This will reduce security and development friction.

Achieving SOC 2 certification validates to clients our adherence to stringent security standards governing their sensitive data. It assures LeadAngel’s trustworthiness as a steward of customer information. Earning SOC 2 expands our ability to compete for significant enterprise deals and accelerate growth into new sectors.

Further steps

Continuous improvement

Maintaining compliance is baked into our everyday operations. We perform quarterly reviews to verify controls remain effective as we scale. Monitoring will enable us to sustain and continuously strengthen security and privacy defenses over the long term. SOC 2 is not a one-time milestone but our ongoing commitment to customers.

Training Excellence:

Emphasizing continuous training programs to ensure all team members are well-versed in the latest security and compliance protocols. Ongoing education guarantees that our staff remains vigilant and proactive in maintaining the highest standards.

Dynamic Response Protocols:

Establishing real-time response mechanisms to adapt to evolving threats swiftly. Regular simulations and drills help refine our incident response strategies, ensuring a dynamic and practical approach to unforeseen challenges. This commitment ensures compliance and resilience in the face of emerging risks.

Conclusion

Achieving SOC 2 compliance was a cross-functional effort requiring diligence and commitment from the LeadAngel team. But attaining this elite security certification will pay dividends by building trust with our customers, opening doors to new markets, and embedding security in our DNA.

LeadAngel’s journey shows that earning SOC 2 is possible even for early-stage companies with the proper focus and partnerships. We invested the time upfront to ingrain compliance into workflows and systems.

On top of that, robust automation enabled continuous monitoring and central control of the process. Working with seasoned professionals, too, ensures adherence to best practices.

While the road to SOC 2 may seem long, it’s a milestone worth striving for. More companies are requiring partners to demonstrate stringent security standards. Our type II certification provides that validation and assures the client their data remains protected.

We understand compliance is not a destination but an ongoing improvement journey; hence, we remain dedicated to regularly reviewing controls and enhancing defenses.

We approach security – not as an add-on but as an integral element of our business and culture. Wherever the future leads, LeadAngel will continue working to merit clients’ trust every step of the way.

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