Yeah, we're a security assurance platform that automates SOC 2 prep work, so an article like this might seem self-serving. But, dozens of our customers have discussed this at length with various members of our team, so we put proverbial pen to paper in detailing the benefits of getting your SOC 2 now vs. later:
#1: Your customers will ask for SOC 2 sooner than you think To paraphrase everyone's favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe villain, "Dread it. Run from it. SOC 2 arrives all the same." Given the heightened scrutiny and due diligence organizations place on their vendors nowadays, you're going to need SOC 2 in order to do business. So, you're better off starting the SOC 2 prep now. Plus, you get the value-add of informing prospective customers, "We're starting the SOC 2 process!" (how long you can get away with saying that without actually getting ready for SOC 2 is another story, though).
#2: It's another competitive advantage for your company
Yeah, this is a tale as old as time (for the record: we've been preaching this since 2017) – one that our co-founders Ray Kruck and Patrick Murray can attest to based on the number of deals they've seen become "Closed Lost" because their then-employers did not have the right security certifications. Plus, there's no way around the need to get SOC 2 certified as big customers want to see proof in the security pudding to make sure they're placing their eggs in a bulletproof basket. And here's some real talk: your competitors have SOC 2 and they're clearing the security due diligence phase of the sales cycle faster than freaky-looking Furbys flying off the shelves at beleaguered Toys R Us stores in the late '90s.
#3: It's an investment that keeps paying dividends Yes, the entire cost of SOC 2 can leave you with sticker shock if you've never undergone it (you should be in good shape if you shop around for vendors and do your due diligence on finding the right one to help you prep and the right auditor to certify you).
But, if you shopped around for quality vendors and auditors that fit your budget, then the capital and operational expenses of getting a SOC 2 pay for themselves within a year by yielding these benefits:
Mo' security, mo' customers: customers will see you're following security best practices and taking the necessary steps to safeguard their data and information Shorter sales cycle: your sales team can send the SOC 2 report instead of trying to cajole and or bully engineering into wasting hours filling out security questionnaires or fulfilling audit requests (some larger enterprise companies exercise their right-to-audit clauses as part of the security due diligence phase) Improved internal security culture: security becomes everyone's responsibility, especially given that SOC 2 Type 2 certifications are ongoing checks of your org's security practices
#4: It's a forcing function to get your security efforts in order For many early stage start-ups, it's tempting to treat security as an afterthought. After all, growth comes first, right? And at risk of sounding like every other security vendor out there trying to scare you with sensational stories of getting pwned and hacked, you can't ignore the seriousness of security in this day and age – there are too many bad hombres out there!
But, as many start-up veterans will tell you, forcing function scenarios are great compelling events to rally around, and SOC 2 (and other security certifications) is indeed a great rally-around-the-flag event. Security certs like SOC 2 not only force the necessary players like your engineers and execs to participate in becoming more security aware, but they help pave the path for easier conversations with sales prospects and partners.