Data is playing an increasingly important role in the modern business world, providing many benefits and insights that can improve the bottom line. However, it also comes with a lot of risk, including the potential for breaches. This can be a significant burden for companies that lack IT security expertise. To combat this risk, many businesses outsource their IT needs to managed service providers.
These companies offer a broad range of computer-related services on a subscription basis. However, it is essential for businesses to perform due diligence when choosing an MSP because quality can vary.
One of the most important features to look for are the security standards and practices of any prospective MSP as this will indicate how well they can protect the data of your business. In particular, you should specifically be searching for an MSP that has earned SOC 2 certification.
Here is a look at what this certification entails and what it means for your business.
What Is An SOC 2 Certification?
Service Organization Control 2, or SOC 2, is a set of criteria used to assess how well an MSP can protect the confidentiality and privacy of its clients’ data. It is a voluntary compliance standard that can provide businesses with significant peace of mind.
SOC 2 was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is based on five main principles, each of which is associated with a set of related criteria. Here is a closer look at each one.
All organizational systems need to be protected from unauthorized access, and physical restrictions and access controls must be put in place to stop intrusions as well as the misuse of software, data theft, and unauthorized deletions.
This principle is focused on the accessibility of the services, products, and processes that the parties agreed on in their contract as well as the minimum acceptable level of the system’s performance.
This principle is concerned with making sure the system operates as intended. It must deliver the requested data at the right time and in an accurate and thorough manner.
To pass the confidentiality assessment, data that has been deemed confidential must be restricted solely to the specific individuals who need it and must be protected in a way that aligns with the agreements made by both parties. It covers everything from intellectual property and internal price lists to business-to-business relationships and financial information.
Why Work With An MSP With An SOC 2 Certification?
Now that you understand the type of security an MSP with SOC 2 certification can offer, here is a closer look at how this level of protection can impact your business.
When you work with a SOC 2 certified MSP, you can be certain that their security controls are as effective as possible in protecting your data from all manner of security incidents and that your IT infrastructure is handled securely and reliably.
Protection Against Data Breaches
The reputation of your business can be severely compromised by a data breach, and these incidents can be very expensive to remediate. When you work with a SOC 2 certified MSP, you can enjoy a lower risk of data breaches due to their ability to ensure proper security controls that offer robust protection against threats.
All businesses, particularly those that are operating in fields such as finance, manufacturing and healthcare, must adhere to strict regulations regarding how they handle and store sensitive data. When a business works with an MSP that has obtained SOC 2 certification, they can be sure that they are in full compliance with regulations, such as HIPAA and NIST, and avoid costly fines and reputational damage.
Business Continuity During Unexpected Events
MSPs that obtain SOC 2 certification will have business continuity plans in place that can keep any disruptions to their clients operations’ to a minimum in the event of a security issue or other type of problem, allowing your business to continue operating without experiencing significant interruptions.
Finding An MSP With An SOC 2 Certification
Due to the importance of working with an MSP that possesses this essential certification, you must also be able to verify whether a particular MSP is SOC 2 certified.
Ask an MSP to provide you with a copy of their SOC 2 report or a certificate supplied by the auditor who carried out their assessment, which will list in-depth information about the criteria and testing methods used as well as the results of the audit.
You can also check the AICPA’s website to see whether the MSP you are considering is listed there as a SOC 2 certified provider.
Request a Consultation With Advantage Technology Today
Working with an MSP that has earned SOC 2 certification can help your business enjoy greater security, compliance and reliability. To find out more about how to ensure your business systems are secure, request a consultation with the IT specialists at Advantage Technology today.