Why is a SOC 2 Valuable for Software Companies?

by Sarah Harvey / August 29th, 2019

Regardless of the products they offer or the industries they serve, there’s one thing all software companies have in common: the responsibility of securing user data. With the advancing threat landscape, ensuring that an organization’s software remains as secure, available, and confidential as is available on the market has become more difficult. Recognizing this, our client Ziflow, the leading enterprise online proofing software solution for enterprise agencies and brands, continues to pursue and achieve SOC 2 compliance, serving as a prime example of just how valuable SOC 2 attestations are for software companies.

What is a SOC 2 Audit?

A SOC 2 audit is perfect for software companies that want to reassure their clients that their information is secure, available, and confidential. It has become increasingly common for organizations to request that their vendors obtain a SOC 2 attestation so they can ensure that the software organizations they work with have strong security postures.

A SOC 2 audit addresses third-party risk concerns by evaluating internal controls, policies, and procedures that directly relate to the AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria. This means that a SOC 2 report focuses on a service organization’s non-financial reporting controls as they relate to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a system.

For Ziflow, a SOC 2 audit was an obvious investment. Their CEO, Anthony Welgemoed, explains, “For any software business, security is a primary consideration. It’s a bit like insurance. You don’t know what will happen and you might need it. We’re dealing with other people’s data. Ziflow doesn’t own that data and we are being granted the responsibility of protecting it. We want to make sure that our entire company understands how serious that responsibility is and that we have the correct processes in place to ensure that we safeguard our customers’ data.”

How Can SOC 2 Audits Keep Software Companies Protected from Cyber Threats?

Software companies rely on user data to fuel their business, but the increasing number of cyber threats that software companies face makes it difficult to ensure that user data remains secure. From inadvertent or advertent human errors to malicious attacks, software companies must make it a priority to identify and mitigate any vulnerabilities in their software so that these threats don’t lead to a data breach – and that’s where a SOC 2 audit can help. Our KirkpatrickPrice Information Security Specialists will work to uncover all potential vulnerabilities in your software and will provide remediation strategies and guidance to ensure that your organization’s software and data remain secure, available, and confidential.

After Ziflow’s experience with KirkpatrickPrice performing their SOC 2 audits over the years, Welgemoed says, “[KirkpatrickPrice] auditors have a lot of different experiences. They audit very different software companies and perform different types of audits. They’ve seen a lot more, so they can give organizations valuable ideas, and if they find a gap in your organization, they will provide you with remediation tactics.” When it comes to securing your organization’s software, then, partnering with an organization that has the expertise working with and auditing various types of software is crucial, especially if you’re wanting to get the most out of your investment in information security audits. By doing so, you’ll get objective insight into the security of your software, find new ways of remediating vulnerabilities, and your auditor might even find vulnerabilities that your internal audit team may have missed.

How Can Software Companies Leverage SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 compliance is more than just an item to check off of a to-do list. While many software companies are asked to pursue compliance by clients, proactively pursuing SOC 2 compliance can help lead to more lucrative partnerships. For instance, Welgemoed says, “Once you’ve achieved SOC 2 compliance, there’s the commercial value to it. When we deal with any prospect, whether it’s a small or large enterprise, they get the benefit of the security that we have in place. We might have competitors that might be a bit cheaper, but they don’t necessarily have the security policies confirmed by a third-party auditor. Some of our biggest deals wouldn’t have closed if we weren’t SOC 2 compliant.” This is the competitive advantage that makes pursuing SOC 2 compliance so valuable for software companies. Think of it this way: if you can’t prove to prospects and clients that you provide the most secure software that is available on the market, why would they want to work with you? There are plenty of other options out there for software – use your SOC 2 compliance as leverage against your competitors.

Ziflow understands that security is a primary consideration for software companies, and they’ve taken the proactive steps to ensure that they are as secure as possible. Are you ready to follow Ziflow’s footsteps and secure your organization’s software? Contact us to learn more about how KirkpatrickPrice’s SOC 2 audit aligns with your compliance objectives.

More SOC 2 Resources

SOC 2 Academy

Understanding Your SOC 2 Report

What is the Purpose of the SOC 2 Privacy Category?

SOC 2 Compliance Handbook: The 5 Trust Services Criteria