How Zencos Gained SOC 2 Compliance and What It Means for Your Business
Whether your organization specializes in healthcare, banking, or other highly regulated industries, data security is your primary concern. Your IT teams must constantly assess the evolving threat landscape impacting the sensitive information specific to your customers and your business. Factor in the uncertainty associated with consulting with an outside vendor to manage your data and your concerns about maintaining best practices only multiply.
Before you choose an outside partner, you need to assess the quality of their protections and standard operating procedures. Your organization can alleviate many concerns by ensuring a vendor operates in compliance with SOC 2 controls.
Also known as Service and Organization Control Type 2, SOC 2 ensures that a vendor will securely store and process your business data. While receiving a SOC 2 attestation from a reputable source isn’t the only indicator that you’re working with a capable partner, it provides a valuable head start on the vetting process.
SOC 2 speaks to the quality of the processes and controls any vendor has in place to manage your data. For this reason, Zencos is proud to announce that we’ve again met the SOC 2 compliance standards for the way we work, for the last 6 years.
Two Levels of SOC 2 Compliance
Each year, organizations sharing our goal to attain SOC 2 attestation, work with an outside accounting firm to audit our processes against SOC 2 controls. And these standards are not solely about data. A SOC 2 attestation confirms our organization has sufficiently robust processes in place and then operates in compliance within those processes.
Auditors assess SOC 2 compliance on two distinct levels:
- Type 1: Tests the efficacy and compliance of an organization’s controls at a specific moment in time.
- Type 2: Measures an organization’s compliance with security controls in their day-to-day activities over a given period (usually one year).
Put simply, Type 1 compliance confirms that the controls a vendor has implemented well-designed processes to ensure the security of its clients. Type 2 incorporates all the auditing incorporated in a Type 1 report with the added assurance that these controls are effective over time.
How Zencos Secured SOC 2 Compliance
At the outset, Zencos focused on gaining SOC2 compliance for the services side of our organization. But as Zencos developed and deployed Managed Service solutions, we extended our SOC 2 auditing exercises to include them.
Zencos has been attested to comply with the following SOC 2 levels over the past six years:
- 2018: Services, SOC 2 Type 1
- 2019 to 2023: Services, SOC Type 2
- 2020: Managed Analytics, SOC Type 1
- 2021 to 2023: Managed Analytics, Type 2
These SOC 2 attestations are testaments to the quality of our measures Zencos takes to ensure your valuable business assets remain protected and secured.
Core Elements of the SOC 2 Framework
The SOC 2 framework incorporates five Trust Services Criteria established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. The following principles are among the controls included in a SOC audit:
- Security: Protect information against unauthorized access
- Availability: Ensures your systems are consistently accessible to customers.
- Confidentiality: Provides guidance for identifying and protecting confidential information.
- Privacy: Verifies security of personal data during collection, storage, and handling.
- Processing Integrity: Establishes that systems function as designed with quality assurance processes in place.
Every SOC 2 audit must satisfy the security criteria. The other controls an auditor measures against ultimately depend on the organization and the services they provide. At Zencos, our SOC 2 audit incorporated hundreds of robust controls across our services and managed solutions.
Why Choosing a Vendor With SOC 2 Attestation Matters for Your Business
In a digital-focused economy, data security is a constant issue. Businesses have lost millions in damages as a result of data breaches. In 2023, some of the biggest names in the tech industry have been targeted for cybersecurity attacks.
For any organization, it’s critical that you evaluate the quality of a vendor’s standard operating procedures and their ability to protect your environment and its data. Confirming a prospective IT partner has a SOC 2 report can address many components of an organization’s vendor assessment criteria.
How Zencos Translates SOC 2 Compliance into Stronger Services
At Zencos, we’re committed to delivering quality analytics solutions and services, and security is at the forefront of all we do. Every year, our auditors request different kinds of populations and evidence in our processes to meet the SOC 2 criteria. We view this evaluation as a critical part of how we improve the way we work.
For example, an organization can receive a SOC 2 attestation and still fall short in a few areas. Any time an auditor finds an organization falls short of a criteria, it receives what’s called a “finding.” If they meet all the criteria but there’s still room for improvement, the organization receives an “observation.”
Zencos has only ever had one finding, which was addressed immediately. It is important to note that Zencos is not only committed to addressing findings, but every observation that our auditors share with us as well. We view our annual audits as opportunities to refine our processes and develop stronger best practices.
If working with an IT vendor with SOC 2 compliance offers a level of assurance that will benefit your business, we should talk. We’ll apply our proven processes to keep your information secure and accessible going forward.