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Staying SOC 2 Compliant with Remote Workers



With many of today’s companies shifting to a work from home model, IT departments need to ensure they’re staying SOC 2 compliant. While traditional identity management struggles to host remote work, cloud-based infrastructure provides organizations with the flexibility and control they need to continue meeting compliance requirements. This new way of working presents unique challenges to those wanting to remotely control access to their end users’ data.

Below, we’ll cover what standards administrators often must implement to meet SOC 2 requirements, and how cloud-based directory services make reaching compliance easier. Note that every organization is different and your specific requirements will vary and ultimately be determined in conjunction with the firm that you choose to review your attestation.

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

Service and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 was developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is based on the Trust Services Criteria. Under that criteria, SOC 2 defines practices organizations follow for managing customer or end user data. Based on five trust principles, admins looking to meet compliance standards must ensure:

  • Security
  • Availability 
  • Processing integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Privacy 

Let’s briefly discuss what goes into meeting each of those criteria.

Security

To ensure your organization meets security requirements, admins must manage access controls to help prevent potential system abuse, which includes unauthorized removal of data, misuse of software, and improper alteration or sharing of information. Managing access controls includes, but is not limited to, enabling multi-factor authentication (MFA) wherever possible, and monitoring system activity to detect unauthorized access on remote endpoints. 

Availability

This requirement refers to the accessibility of the systems, products, or services as stipulated by an organization’s contract or service level agreement (SLA). Ensuring your infrastructure is always available includes enacting a disaster recovery plan, monitoring system and user performance, and having a plan for handling security incidents. 

Processing Integrity

Admins must ensure a system achieves its purpose, and that it delivers the right data at the right place at the right time. This data processing must be complete, valid, accurate, and timely. Essentially, this covers quality assurance and monitoring of system performance.

Confidentiality

Data access and disclosure must be restricted to a specific group or organization. Confidentiality is assured by using encryption tools and enacting network or application firewalls to maintain organizational security. Data intended for company personnel, business plans, intellectual property, internal price lists, or other types of sensitive financial information fall under this category.

Privacy

The final principle addresses the collection, use, retention, and disclosure of private individual data. Access to Personal identifiable information, such as name, social security number, or address, must be protected through things like MFA. 

How Remote Workers Affect SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 requires that any service provider with customer data stored in the cloud has:

  • Comprehensive security policies protecting data and customer confidentiality
  • Documented procedures for audits
  • Event logging

When employees work remotely, organizations with inextensible IAM resources, like on-premises identity directories, can’t effectively control remote users and their systems. These organizations need in-depth VPN infrastructure for effective resource management.

Also, legacy directory services are often limited in the types of resources they can manage, working best with those that are on-prem and Windows®-based. Beyond that, many organizations require add-on tools to extend their on-prem identities to those additional resources. This includes disparate operating systems, web-based applications, cloud file servers, and more.

Remote work, by definition, adds risk. Organizations can mitigate that risk by centralizing identity management under one, cloud-based console that manages user access to nearly all the resources they need to make remote work happen.

Staying SOC 2 Compliant with JumpCloud

JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS) is a cloud directory service with SOC 2 Type 2 certification. Using DaaS, IT teams manage, secure, and support their remote environment from one interface.

For device management, JumpCloud’s Policies enforce security practices across all major operating systems, including Mac®, Windows, and Linux®. We also include built-in MFA so you can protect your endpoints to meet SOC compliance standards. 

You can use System Insights to ensure your organization is monitoring system health and performance. Or, for a more comprehensive, detailed look at the entirety of the directory instance, Directory Insights logs activity on the core directory as well as systems, applications, and networks. 

In regard to managing access to applications and infrastructure, both on-prem and in the cloud, DaaS offers cloud RADIUS, LDAP, SAML 2.0, and JIT/SCIM provisioning so admins can manage and provision users to the applications and network infrastructure they need. 
Remote working doesn’t have to make meeting compliance standards more difficult. To learn more about how JumpCloud can help you meet those requirements, reach out to one of our representatives to see our product in action. You can also register up to 10 users for free, forever.


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