SOC 2 Automation: What Is It, and Why Do You Need It?

Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik

Jan 29, 2024

SOC 2 Automation

All businesses want to be secure. No one wants to be in the line of fire or be in the news for a security breach. So, the intent to be secure is clear and present, and there is an overall consensus on the merits of getting SOC 2 compliant.

We won’t broach the why of SOC 2 in this article. But we will discuss the how of it. 

What’s the best way to approach your upcoming SOC 2 compliance requirement? Do you adopt a manual approach or consider SOC 2 compliance automation?

In this article, we discuss SOC 2 automation software in detail, list the features and benefits of automating your SOC 2 and answer some of the frequently asked questions on the topic.

What is SOC 2 automation?

SOC 2 automation is a software that automates repeatable compliance tasks to give organizations a real-time, 24×7, continuous overview of their security program. It automates the evidence collection needed to demonstrate SOC 2 compliance, making it easier and error-free for organizations to become and stay compliant.

Why do you need SOC 2 automation?

Organizations need SOC 2 automation to streamline SOC 2 implementation, monitor controls continuously, ensure resource optimization, maintain exhaustive documentation and ensure scalability. SOC 2 automation expedites audit readiness and helps achieve certification faster.

As a cloud-hosted business, you have several information assets, such as servers, S3 buckets, load balancers, laptops, and more. And if you list all the assets where information is stored, including your vendors, the list could run into thousands! SOC 2 Compliance requires you to secure all your information assets per the risks identified for each of them.

SOC 2 Automation

For instance, if it’s an S3 bucket, you must ensure it isn’t publicly accessible. Or, if it’s an EC2 instance, you need to protect its Secure Socket Shell (SSH) access and keep the database and hard disk encrypted.

In essence, every asset type needs a different kind of security check. Now imagine running and monitoring these checks on thousands of assets every day. Trust us; it will soon snowball into a security nightmare!

Ace continuous compliance with Sprinto

With SOC 2 compliance automation platforms, this is a solved problem. The SOC 2 compliance automation software lists all your information assets, defines and maps controls for different information assets, and continuously monitors them to ensure compliance status gets maintained always.

So, SOC 2 automation makes the compliance process faster, easier, and error-free.

Take the case of one of our clients ZapScale. They aspired for an automation solution that could ease the burden off of compliance tasks and help them with granular-level monitoring. Sprinto enabled 24/7 compliance checks for different information assets and ensured that the organization achieved continuous readiness. In the words of the co-founder Bratish

“Like a personal assistant Sprinto reminds us when and where we need to take action whether it’s related to infrastructure or access and nudges us towards it” 

The organization received SOC 2 type 1 report one month after platform implementation and SOC 2 type 2 in the next few months. That’s how SOC 2 automation expedites the process and helps you get audit-ready real quick.

Also check out: SOC 2 for small businesses

SOC 2 Manual vs Automation: What’s the Difference?

As cloud-hosted companies, you would have an intrinsic understanding of the benefits of automation. Aside from the generic advantages, here are the key factors that swing the deal in favor of automation.

SOC 2 Manual vs Automation

The opportunity cost of time and employee productivity

It is possible and common for organizations to use a DIY approach or hire a consultant to get their SOC 2. Many organizations have taken up the task and succeeded in it too. However, it would help if you asked whether you have the time and resources to allocate toward getting SOC 2 audit ready in-house.

Taking up the manual approach to SOC 2 requires your key engineering hires and the CTO to spend considerable time (300+ hours) setting up the processes and documentation initially.

And later, after a successful attestation, they will need to monitor and maintain compliance and repeat the entire process before the SOC 2 attestation expires (a year later).

Save up to 300+ hours with a SOC 2 compliance automation platform

Automation solves this problem smartly. It only needs an initial investment of time and effort during the implementation of SOC 2 compliance automation software. However, subsequent audits and monitoring are relatively simple. 

Sprinto’s SOC 2 automation software further reduces your team’s investment in terms of time by allocating a dedicated compliance expert who walks you through the entire process.

Having a dedicated compliance expert’s support allows your infosec team to eliminate the time they would have otherwise spent attending self-learning tutorials on software implementation. 

Read about how HackerRank streamlined security due diligence and regained 20% of engineering time with Sprinto.

A faster and more confident approach to SOC 2

A manual approach to SOC 2 (whether you do it yourself or hire an external consultant) easily takes up 3-4 months in audit preparation. Much time gets spent understanding the SOC 2 requirements, implementing them, and undergoing rounds of SOC 2 self-assessments and SOC 2 readiness assessments.

Even after all this, you wouldn’t walk into an audit as confidently as when using automation software.

Most SOC 2 compliance automation softwares offer health dashboards that give you an objective real-time overview of compliance.

Once you have plugged all the control gaps and hit the 100% audit readiness mark on your dashboard, rest assured that you can walk into the audit without worrying about the outcome. 

What’s more, when you automate SOC 2, your audit prep time reduces considerably. Depending on the type and size of your organization, the scope and type of SOC 2 report and your security readiness, it would roughly take you anywhere from a couple of weeks to a maximum of a month to get your SOC 2 ducks in a row if you work with Sprinto.

Here’s how PreSkale completed SOC 2 audit in under 30 days using Sprinto’s compliance automation software.

Cost of compliance 

The cost of SOC 2 compliance with traditional compliance systems can range between $50000-$200000 and with modern day tools can range between $7000-$50000 depending on various factors.

Aside from the auditor’s fee, the SOC 2 compliance cost depends on the type of attestation needed, the size of your organization, the scope of the audit, and the cost of security tools needed.

Save big on compliance, get SOC 2 certified at $8000

Sprinto’s compliance automation platform is priced at a starting price of only $8000 (depending on the organization’s size).  

The evidence collection

The manual route requires you to maintain pieces of evidence to demonstrate compliance, such as screenshots, policy documents, and whatnot. Therefore, the back-and-forth email threads with the auditor tend to be long and cumbersome.

It also requires you to establish a secure way to share the required evidence with the auditor.

SOC 2 automation softwares integrate with your systems and infrastructure and simplify evidence collection and audits. So, instead of sifting through folders looking for specific evidence, your auditor gets presented with pieces of evidence that are bagged and tagged – in a neatly organized manner.

Pro Tip: Look for a SOC 2 automation software that supports automatic and manual evidence collection to accommodate edge cases.

Continuous monitoring 

As we mentioned, SOC 2 automation software continuously monitors your compliance status and alerts you in cases of lapses, delays and non-compliance.

For instance, most softwares automatically alert you if an employee has yet to be offboarded (in terms of revoking access) or if a new employee still needs to undergo the staff security training program.

Real-time monitoring helps you know your compliance status at any point in time. And take quick remedial actions when needed. In contrast, the manual route isn’t continuous and relies on spot checks to monitor your compliance status.  

Achieve Always-on compliance with Sprinto

Vendor risk management

Most SOC 2 compliance automation softwares offer robust vendor risk management features, allowing you to manage vendor agreements and certifications. The manual approach, in comparison, is long-winded and less robust. 

Also check out: SOC 2 guide for startups

Run a SOC 2 compliance program end-to-end with Sprinto

Must-have SOC 2 automation software features

There are plenty of SOC 2 automation tools available in the market. How do you pick one that best fits your current and future needs?

SOC 2 Automation Features

Here’s a list of the must-have SOC 2 compliance automation software features. 

  • Supports current and future framework requirements – not just one but multiple frameworks
  • Supports automated integrations with all the cloud infrastructure
  • Supports 24×7 real-time monitoring of the compliance status
  • Provides auditor-friendly dashboard with all evidence data
  • Provides out-of-box policies template & supports customization of the same
  • Supports workflows related to onboarding & offboarding of employees
  • Supports common control framework, such that controls get automatically mapped to multiple frameworks
  • Offers a secure way to share your security posture (both publicly and on-demand)

Leverage 1:1 guided implementation for SOC 2 with Sprinto

Automate your SOC 2 with Sprinto

Forward-thinking organizations that are looking to streamline the path to attestation have realized that SOC 2 automation is the way ahead. It paves the way for a quicker certification and helps secure better enterprise deals. Compliance automation tools like Sprinto not only solve their immediate compliance needs but also help formulate a long-term strategy.

Sprinto automatically maps and monitors controls against the requirements of SOC 2 and eliminates compliance blind spots by automating regular checks. The platform identifies anomalies, notifies security teams when controls fail and enables continuous monitoring. With capabilities such as in-built policy templates, integrated risk assessments, automated evidence collection, access controls, and training modules, it reduces hundreds of manhours of work and helps you become audit-ready in a matter of weeks.

You can automate SOC 2 with Sprinto in three easy steps.  

Sprinto SOC 2 Automation

Ready to take the first step? Talk to our experts.

FAQs

How does SOC 2 automation work?

SOC 2 automation removes the grit and grinds from infosec compliance by automating repeatable tasks. It uses APIs to integrate with your many applications, such as cloud servers, code repos, and HRMS, and automates procedures for evidence collection and 24×7 real-time continuous monitoring.

This ensures you have a proof for every implemented SOC 2 control, reducing the back and forth with the CPA. When done manually, these tasks could eat up hundreds of hours! 

Why SOC 2 automation is important for companies?

SOC 2 automation is important for companies on multiple counts. These include: 

  • Saving time and cost of compliance
  • Improving evidence collection
  • Managing growing compliance needs
  • Ensuring 24×7 real-time continuous monitoring
  • Reducing the scope for human error
  • Ensuring quicker remediation to oversights, errors and attacks

What tasks can be automated with SOC 2 software?

SOC 2 software can help you navigate through compliance complexities by automating a range of tasks: evidence collection, risk assessments, access controls, continuous monitoring, reporting, training, vendor management and policy management.

Can SOC 2 software replace the need for human intervention?

While there are several tasks the software can automate, it cannot replace the need and creativity of a human resource. Human expertise is still needed for strategic thinking, manual pen tests, adaptation to changing environments, continuous improvements and communication.

How does SOC 2 automation facilitate better collaboration among teams?

SOC 2 automation facilitates collaboration among teams by enabling role-based task assignment, document sharing, access reviews, cross-functional reporting and through communication tools.

Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik

Srividhya Karthik, is a Content Lead at Sprinto, she artfully transforms the complex world of compliance into accessible and intriguing reads. Srividhya has half a decade of experience under her belt in the compliance world across frameworks such as SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR and more. She is a formidable authority in the domain and guides readers with expertise and clarity.

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