Compliance is an important initiative to take on in any organization — especially those that store sensitive information in the cloud. One common initiative related to this is SOC 2 compliance, which is integral in a variety of industries and organizations. SOC 2 reports provide assurance over internal controls related to data security and privacy.
66% of organizations consider malicious insider attacks or accidental breaches more likely than external attacks.
Whether your organization is a startup considering a SOC 2 initiative, small to medium-sized, or a large company with thousands of employees, compliance isn’t something to take lightly. Due to the severity of the consequences related to not being SOC 2 compliant, many organizations search for SOC 2 compliance tools to make the auditing process easier.
What Should a Free SOC 2 Automation Tool Do?
Luckily, there are both free and paid SOC 2 automation tools out there that allow organizations to easily add controls into processes, parse through data, collect evidence, and more. A SOC 2 compliance tool should be able to handle or assist with:
- Policy implementation.
- Evidence collection.
- System monitoring.
- Vendor unification.
- Secure onboarding and offboarding.
Each of these items plays an important role in achieving and maintaining SOC 2 compliance, as well as other forms of compliance. On top of that, ensuring that each of these is happening in your organization helps you find ways to improve workflows, security, and general day-to-day operations.
Let’s dive into each of these topics a bit further.
Many SOC 2 controls involve the implementation of policies across devices and users. A free SOC 2 compliance tool should make it easy to create and disperse policies across large numbers of systems and identities, without much or any manual intervention after the initial setup.
An example of this is using a lockscreen policy across all devices where the device locks after ~30 seconds of inactivity.
Bottom Line: Any SOC 2 compliance tool you use needs to have robust policy creation, provisioning, and deprovisioning automation capabilities to get your controls to the level that they need to be for SOC compliance.
Evidence is what you need to prove that you’re SOC 2 compliant, so the tool(s) you choose to employ need to provide evidence compilation capabilities. You’ll need to download and store significant amounts of evidence during a SOC 2 audit, so your tools need to allow for this.
Bottom Line: The primary SOC 2 compliance tool that you use needs to have capabilities that make it simple to find, organize, and save data.
An overarching theme across SOC 2 controls is system monitoring. Once system controls are in place, IT and Security need to be able to monitor those systems to ensure that they’re working properly and staying within policy. This can mean monitoring for important patches, making sure policies are working properly, and more.
A comprehensive SOC 2 tool will include mobile device management (MDM) on top of laptop and desktop management capabilities. If your employees use mobile devices, whether they’re company-owned or a part of a BYOD initiative, those devices also need to be SOC 2 compliant.
Bottom Line: The SOC 2 compliance tool you use needs to include powerful system monitoring capabilities on top of policy implementation features, to allow for constant, continuous monitoring.
Another important consideration when looking for a SOC 2 compliance tool is technology sprawl. Simply adding another tool into your tech stack often actually makes compliance harder, especially if data doesn’t move between all of your tools well.
To combat this, it’s better to find a free SOC 2 tool that allows you to unify vendors. This means that it has a wide variety of capabilities all in one platform, allowing you to get rid of one-off siloed tools after you implement the new one. The fewer places that data lives and moves between, the better.
Bottom Line: A SOC 2 compliance tool that has a plethora of useful capabilities and automations, an open integration feature with other platforms such as HRIS tools, and facilitates SOC 2 compliance, is a much better option than using and paying for a handful of separate tools to accomplish the same thing.
Secure Onboarding and Offboarding
Proper onboarding and offboarding processes and controls are an important part of SOC 2 compliance. Your SOC 2 compliance tool should make these workflows easier, through automation and ease of use.
An important example is properly offboarding using a SOC 2 compliance tool. You should be able to schedule user deactivation for the exact day and time you want, and once that user is deactivated, all access needs to be revoked to protect organizational and customer data.
Bottom Line: Your SOC 2 compliance tool needs to have robust identity lifecycle management capabilities that allow you to fully control how people use their devices and interact with organizational resources. This is often through policies, user grouping, and secure integrations with HR tools.
What Do SOC 2 Compliance Tools Cost?
There are a wide range of SOC 2 compliance tools available that range from free to thousands of dollars a year. Many organizations prefer to begin with a free SOC 2 tool to test it out and ensure that it will meet their needs. From there, compliance tools typically begin charging you once you exceed a specific user or device cap, or a certain amount of time passes after beginning a free trial.
This is why it’s important to look into all of the capabilities that a certain SOC 2 tool you’re considering has, because the number and type of features included need to justify the price on your end.
Finding the Right SOC 2 Compliance Automation Tool
A modern and popular SOC 2 compliance automation tool is the JumpCloud Open Directory Platform. Not only is JumpCloud’s platform SOC 2 compliant itself, but when implemented it can also significantly aid your organization in achieving the same level of compliance and security.
As far as free SOC 2 compliance tools are concerned, JumpCloud’s platform is completely free for up to 10 users or devices. This allows you to test out the full functionality of the platform with no further commitments until you’ve confirmed that it suits your needs. During the first 10 days of your account’s creation, remember to take full advantage of JumpCloud’s premium 24×7 in-app chat support.