Building Trust from the Ground Up: The Strategic Importance of SOC 2 Compliance

  • March 12, 2024

Emily Bonnie

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Secureframe


Anna Fitzgerald

Senior Content Marketing Manager at Secureframe

Sophisticated and frequent cyber attacks, a crowded market, and heightened scrutiny on data security from both customers and regulatory bodies have made security compliance an essential achievement for tech companies. 

In recent years, SOC 2Ⓡ compliance in particular has grown in popularity and become table stakes for SaaS companies. A 2023 survey of over 400 firms by the AICPA revealed that the increasing awareness of the importance of IT security has led to an almost 50% increase in the demand for SOC 2 engagements.

Below, we’ll explore why SOC 2 has become an indispensable asset for businesses aiming to not only safeguard their data assets, but also enhance their market position, build customer trust, and drive growth. 

SOC 2 is a highly respected framework that wins customer trust and fuels revenue growth

The frequency and impact of data breaches are escalating, bringing security and compliance into sharper focus. As these incidents become more common, so does the scrutiny on businesses to safeguard data and ensure privacy. In fact, 86% of organizations expect to conduct a higher number of security assessments in 2024 than they did in 2023. 

Organizations need a rigorous and respected security framework like SOC 2, which demonstrates a high bar for information security to customers, partners, investors, and other key stakeholders. 

Because SOC 2 audits are conducted by independent, third-party auditors, they offer an unbiased assessment of an organization's information security posture. This external validation adds valuable credibility to a SOC 2 report, as it verifies that the organization's security practices have been rigorously evaluated and meet the high standards set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

This credibility carries significant weight with customers, making SOC 2 compliance the price of entry for SaaS businesses looking to win new clients and move upmarket. Requests for a SOC 2 report are a standard part of the due diligence process, an expectation that underscores the importance of compliance not just for operational integrity but as a cornerstone of customer trust and brand credibility.

In fact, 29% of organizations have lost a new business deal because they were missing a compliance certification, and 72% of businesses have completed a compliance audit specifically to win new business.

Having a current SOC 2 report in hand speeds up sales cycles by removing security concerns as a roadblock. Compliant businesses are better positioned to move upmarket, build customer confidence and loyalty, and differentiate themselves from non-compliant competitors.

Unlocking new business isn’t only a factor for small and mid-market companies — 34% of large enterprises (revenue over $1B) said increasing revenue and winning new clients was the driving force behind their compliance programs. 

As businesses move to scale and capture more significant market segments, SOC 2 compliance becomes increasingly critical. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, coupled with the vast amount of customer data, elevates the risk of cyber threats. SOC 2 provides a comprehensive framework for addressing these evolving challenges, ensuring businesses are prepared to meet the expectations of discerning upmarket buyers.

According to PwC’s Trust in Data Report, a key benefit of strong data security is increased revenue: “By virtually every metric, organizations with more mature information governance practices are better positioned to achieve revenue growth and gain stakeholder trust.”

SOC 2 is a comprehensive yet flexible standard that supports organizations as they scale 

As your business evolves, so do the challenges and risks associated with cybersecurity. The SOC 2 standard’s flexibility allows companies to adapt the framework to their growth stage, operational structures, customer expectations, and evolving industry and regulatory standards. This adaptability is particularly beneficial for businesses operating in multiple geographies or those subject to industry regulations.

Unlike security standards like PCI DSS with stringent requirements, SOC 2 security controls can be tailored to an organization’s specific operations, services, and data types. This ensures that security measures are not just checking the box for compliance, but are highly effective at mitigating the unique risks and challenges the business faces. 

As companies grow, diversify their offerings, and integrate emerging technologies such as AI, they can adapt and expand their control environment to address new security needs without being constrained by a one-size-fits-all approach. This adaptability is crucial for leveraging innovative solutions to grow the business and outpace competitors without compromising on security or privacy standards.

SOC 2 establishes strong information security practices that enable growth while minimizing risk

In addition to fueling growth through enhanced customer trust, achieving SOC 2 compliance helps organizations operate efficiently with streamlined, scalable internal processes. Compliance activities keep you aware of critical and emerging business risks, identify redundancies in your software and procedures, and ensure personnel are properly trained to protect sensitive information and recognize security threats. 

For example, SOC 2 requires organizations to implement controls to securely store, process, and dispose of sensitive data. As a result, compliant organizations implement more efficient data management processes and policies, which results in improved data quality and more informed decision making. The ripple effect of SOC 2 compliance extends far beyond the IT sphere to touch nearly every aspect of the business. 

The SOC 2 Compliance Kit

This free SOC 2 compliance kit includes key assets you’ll need to get your report: a SOC 2 guidebook, customizable policy templates, audit readiness checklist, and more.

SOC 2 provides a reliable framework for minimizing internal and third-party risk

Maintaining SOC 2 compliance not only enhances an organization's security posture but also streamlines the onboarding process for new employees and vendors by weaving best practices into the fabric of the organization. Compliance ensures that every new employee and vendor is aligned with the organization's commitment to security, privacy, and data integrity, significantly reducing risks and strengthening trust with clients and partners.

Incoming candidates and new employees are introduced to established security protocols from day one, embedding a culture of security awareness and compliance. This includes secure data handling, clear access controls, and adhering to security policies, which are crucial for protecting sensitive information.

SOC 2 compliance also involves regular, documented training sessions on information security and data privacy best practices. New and current employees alike understand their roles and responsibilities in maintaining the organization's security posture, reducing the risk of human error — one of the leading causes of data breaches.

When it comes to third-party risk management, the SOC 2 Common Criteria require organizations to assess, manage, and monitor risks associated with vendors and business partners. Organizations must specify security and privacy obligations in vendor contracts, so vendors are legally bound to adhere to the same high data security standards.

For example, to meet SOC 2 requirements organizations must implement secure channels for data exchange and communication, which are crucial for securely integrating new vendors into business operations. Encryption, secure authentication, and data integrity checks are part of these controls, ensuring that sensitive information remains protected across the organization’s entire ecosystem. 

SOC 2 compliance results in a resilient, scalable tech stack 

As organizations grow, they rely on a strong, scalable infrastructure. By aligning their tech stack development with SOC 2’s Trust Services Criteria, businesses can ensure that each component is designed with security, privacy, and reliability at its core, minimizing vulnerabilities to create a scalable infrastructure that stays secure as the company grows. 

A key aspect of SOC 2 compliance involves conducting regular risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential threats to the tech stack. As the business grows, this ongoing risk management process supports the integrity and availability of the tech infrastructure. SOC 2 compliance also requires businesses to have incident response and recovery plans in place, ensuring that they can quickly address and mitigate the impact of any breaches or disruptions. This is vital for minimizing disruptions and maintaining trust, particularly as the business and its tech stack grow in size and complexity.

Finally, SOC 2's emphasis on continuous monitoring and improvement means that businesses are not just setting up a secure tech stack but are also committed to maintaining and enhancing its resilience over time. This includes regular audits, updates to security protocols, and adaptation to new technologies and threats. By ingraining security, risk management, and continuous improvement into the tech stack's DNA, businesses can ensure they have a solid foundation to support their growth, adapt to changes, and withstand evolving cybersecurity challenges.

The Ultimate Guide to SOC 2

Learn everything you need to know about achieving SOC 2 compliance fast. 

Use SOC 2 compliance to accelerate your growth trajectory

SOC 2 is no longer just a checkbox project for IT departments; it's a strategic undertaking that supports broader business objectives and serves as a testament to an organization's commitment to data security and operational excellence. Over the last several years, SOC 2 has risen to become a market differentiator, and businesses must shift to integrate the security standard into the core of their operations and go-to-market strategies.

At Secureframe, we’re passionate about security and compliance because we’ve seen how it unlocks business growth. Our compliance automation platform is built by world-class security experts to streamline SOC 2 compliance and help businesses establish, maintain, and demonstrate a strong security posture. To learn how 95% of Secureframe users strengthened trust with customers and prospects, schedule a demo with a product expert today. 

Use trust to accelerate growth


SOC 1®, SOC 2® and SOC 3® are registered trademarks of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants in the United States. The AICPA® Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy is copyrighted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. All rights reserved.