While most organizations know whether they require a systems and organization controls (SOC) audit, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many businesses to modify their processes and procedures or provide controls documentation to their clients for the first time.

Regardless of your circumstance, you can use a SOC audit as an opportunity to demonstrate your controls capabilities in normal operating conditions and how you handle unforeseen situations.

What Is a SOC Audit?

A SOC audit reviews your systems and organization controls.

If you’re a service provider, your clients need to know that your processes and security controls meet their standards to conduct business with you.

And as a company, you should know the strengths and weaknesses of your service providers to ensure they don’t introduce unnecessary risk to your financial reporting or data security.

Who Needs a SOC Audit?

The types of companies described below typically need a SOC audit.

Customer/Client Relationship Management (CRM) and Sales Support Companies

Regardless of size, all SaaS CRM companies benefit from SOC audits because they house confidential and private data that needs to be protected.

Organizations that rely on CRMs and other sales support software to conduct business know how important these relationships are and need to ensure their client and prospect information is secure.

Additionally, companies that develop applications built on top of a single CRM framework will want to consider a SOC audit for similar data protection controls.

Human Resources Companies

Any company that that makes 401k/retirement benefits management software, payroll software, hiring and tax credit processing software, or general HR management applications need to protect private data and financial information.

A SOC audit will help ensure they have the controls in place to keep that data secure.

Pharmaceutical Support Companies

This includes both claims adjudication platforms as well as companies that make actual pharmacy management software.

The healthcare industry is highly regulated, so adhering to privacy laws and ensuring personal medical and financial information remains secure is of upmost importance.

A SOC audit helps ensure your organization is in compliance with these legal requirements.

Medical and Insurance Claims Processing Companies

Companies that handle medical claims processing and medical billing management software, as well as those that make claims processing platforms, also are handling sensitive health and financial information.

They will benefit from a SOC audit for the same reasons as pharmaceutical companies.

Data Analysis Companies

While this is a broad category, it’s really meant to include any company that makes software built to crunch numbers and output stats.

While you might not be tracking health or financial information the way other companies in this list do, any data that could impact a company’s reputation or their perception will find value in a SOC audit.

Law Firms

Attorneys are required to protect client information all the time.

Sensitive client and case material might be housed in boxes full of paperwork in addition to digital and cloud-based data storage spaces.

Knowing where that data resides, who has access, and how lawyers' storage vendors are protecting that data is imperative to retaining client trust.

Workflow Management Companies

Many software and SaaS companies fall into this category.

Most of these companies make a modular application that can be customized to any industry, some of which are more regulated than others.

Regardless of industry, a SOC audit will help workflow management organizations that retain important data that their customers rely on to stay protected and secure in order to conduct business with confidence.

Cloud-Computing Companies

If your organization provides data hosting services, a SOC audit is going to be very important.

Anything cloud-based is susceptible (at some level) to data breaches.

You’ll want to ensure you have the right controls in place to protect your customers’ data no matter what they’re storing with you.

Speak to Our SOC Audit Experts

If you’ve noticed a trend in this list, you’re right. Clients rely on these types of companies to protect their sensitive information.

Additionally, many software and SaaS companies are designed to make things easier and more accessible for their customers.

While this helps organizations be more efficient and agile, it also introduces room for risk of data being exposed to bad actors.

Talk to an expert today to discuss a SOC audit for your organization.

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