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Navigating SOC 2 Compliance To Ensure Secure Connectivity for Employees

  • 30 Jan 2024
  • 4 min read

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In a landscape where numerous contemporary businesses are adopting hybrid or fully remote work setups, the responsibilities of IT departments extend to ensuring continuous SOC 2 compliance to ensure secure connectivity for employees, transitioning between on-site and remote operations seamlessly.

Conventional identity management solutions encounter challenges in accommodating remote work due to on-premises infrastructure and inflexibility. In contrast, cloud-based infrastructure empowers organizations to adapt to dynamic work scenarios swiftly, furnishing essential system control that directly impacts compliance adherence.

This emerging work paradigm, allowing employees to operate from diverse locations, introduces distinct organizational challenges. Novel processes must be introduced to maintain control over remote users and systems, while existing protocols need restructuring to align with the demands of the contemporary, technology-centric era. Examples of these processes encompass:

  • Regulating the flow of data and information across remote systems.
  • Provisioning and revoking user access to IT resources.
  • Holistic device management.
  • Verifying identities before granting users access to company resources.

Moreover, accessibility to data and evidence becomes paramount to validate that users and processes align with the SOC 2 commitments established by the organization.

In the sections below, we delve into the prevalent standards and controls that administrators implement to satisfy diverse SOC 2 requisites while factoring in remote employees. We also explore how cloud-based directory services streamline compliance and reporting efforts. It is worth noting that every organization exhibits distinct attributes; hence specific requirements will naturally differ and be determined in collaboration with the reviewing entity assessing your evidentiary material.

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 compliance attests to a service organization's adherence to the stringent criteria defined by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) within the SOC 2 framework. This framework evaluates an organization's controls and practices related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and customer data privacy. Unlike SOC 1, which focuses on financial reporting controls, SOC 2 is designed to assess the security and privacy controls relevant to technology and cloud-based service providers.

The SOC 2 compliance process involves an independent audit by a certified public accountant (CPA) to determine if the organization's controls align with the established criteria. Organizations that achieve SOC 2 compliance demonstrate their commitment to data security, privacy, and operational reliability, instilling trust among customers and stakeholders.

The framework's flexibility allows organizations to tailor their controls based on their services and their specific security and privacy concerns. SOC 2 reports come in two types: Type I, which evaluates the design of controls at a specific point in time, and Type II, which assesses the effectiveness of controls over a period of time, typically six months or more.

SOC 2 compliance is particularly relevant for companies handling sensitive customer data, especially in the technology, SaaS, cloud computing, and data hosting industries. By obtaining SOC 2 compliance, organizations can differentiate themselves in the marketplace, strengthen client relationships, and ensure that their operations meet industry-recognized security and privacy standards.

Why Does SOC 2 Type II, Compliance Matter?

SOC 2 Type II compliance holds substantial importance, as it necessitates organizations to establish and meticulously adhere to stringent information security protocols and procedures.

A service that aligns with SOC 2 Type II compliance must adhere to the five "fundamental trust service principles" when managing customer data:


Protecting system resources from unauthorized access or improper information disclosure is paramount. Employing security measures such as two-factor authentication, web application firewalls (WAFs), Cloud VPNs for business networks, and Software-Defined Perimeters (SDPs) enhances access security.


System accessibility, determined by contracts or service level agreements (SLAs), is a key consideration. Although it doesn't pertain to system functionality, it mandates monitoring network performance, including security incidents, site failover, and other availability-affecting security concerns.

Processing Integrity

Efficient data processing, ensuring accurate and complete information delivery to the appropriate destinations and at the correct times, is a hallmark of processing integrity. Data monitoring and quality assurance measures contribute to achieving processing integrity.


Securing confidential data from unauthorized entities is of paramount importance. Employing network and application firewalls and access controls becomes imperative for safeguarding sensitive information. The use of encryption during transmission further bolsters confidentiality.


Conforming to privacy standards encompassing the collection, usage, retention, disclosure, and disposal of personal information aligns with the AICPA's Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPP) guidelines.

By comprehending and aligning with these five "trust service principles," organizations achieve SOC 2 Type II compliance and exemplify their dedication to safeguarding customer data and upholding industry-recognized standards for security and privacy.

How to Prepare for SOC 2 in the Era of Remote Work?

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When employees operate remotely, organizations relying on limited identity and access management (IAM) resources, such as on-prem identity directories, often need help managing remote users and their associated systems. In response, these organizations find the need to establish robust, secure business VPN infrastructure to facilitate efficient resource management.

Furthermore, conventional directory services frequently exhibit limitations in managing specific resource types, particularly those confined to on-premises and Windows®-based environments. Additionally, numerous organizations necessitate supplementary tools to extend their on-premises identities to encompass diverse resources. This extension encompasses dissimilar operating systems, web-centric applications, cloud-based file servers, and more.

Organizations can proactively minimize the risks inherent in remote work scenarios to circumvent these complexities. This is achievable by consolidating identity management into a unified, cloud-based console capable of efficiently overseeing user access to a wide array of resources. By doing so, remote work can be conducted securely and competently.

Stay Compliant with a Comprehensive Security Solution

The need for comprehensive and effective security solutions has never been more critical in contemporary cybersecurity. The advanced security features include actionable forensics, detailed audit trails, intelligent alerting, and centralized monitoring. These features collectively contribute to a holistic security posture that addresses various aspects of threat detection, incident response, and ongoing system monitoring.

Actionable Forensics

Gain insights into the origin of an attack, the network segments it infiltrates, its potential impact on the system, and the extent of its severity. This facilitates effective threat detection, mitigation strategies, and the implementation of corrective measures to prevent similar incidents from recurring.

Thorough Audit Trails

Audit trails provide detailed visibility into critical system component modifications, additions, or removals. Unauthorized alterations to data and configurations, specifics about attack consequences, and point-of-origin data are meticulously documented.

Intelligent Alerting

Intelligent alerting enables prompt responses and corrective actions without succumbing to alert overload in cases of unauthorized access to customer data. This encompasses unauthorized data access or manipulation, control adjustments, configuration changes, and file transfer activities.

Centralized Monitoring

Through a unified cloud management platform, you can monitor system activities, review alterations to system configurations, and assign user access controls. This encompassing capability extends to both on-premises and cloud environments, ensuring comprehensive network security coverage.

Wrapping Up

In information security, achieving SOC 2 compliance is a pivotal milestone. Maintaining secure connectivity for employees becomes paramount as organizations navigate the evolving landscape of remote and hybrid work environments. By embracing SOC 2 compliance, organizations can establish a robust framework that safeguards sensitive data, bolsters identity management, and fosters a culture of security awareness. This compliance assures customers and stakeholders of an organization's commitment to data protection, streamlines operations enhances trust, and positions the organization as a reliable partner in the digital age.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is SOC 2 compliance, and why is it important for organizations?

SOC 2 compliance refers to adhering to standards that evaluate an organization's controls and practices related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and customer data privacy. It is vital for organizations, especially in remote and hybrid work setups, as it ensures data protection, establishes secure connectivity, and builds stakeholder trust.

How does SOC 2 compliance contribute to secure connectivity for remote and hybrid work environments?

SOC 2 compliance entails robust security controls and practices particularly relevant for remote and hybrid work scenarios. It addresses data access, privacy, and identity management challenges in dispersed work setups, fostering secure connectivity for employees regardless of location.

What role does identity management play in achieving SOC 2 compliance?

Identity management is a cornerstone of SOC 2 compliance, especially in ensuring secure connectivity for remote employees. It involves controls that govern user access, authentication mechanisms, and data protection. Effective identity management enhances security by mitigating unauthorized access risks and enabling organizations to manage user roles efficiently.

How does SOC 2 compliance influence an organization's relationship with stakeholders?

SOC 2 compliance demonstrates an organization's commitment to data security and privacy, significantly impacting its relationship with customers, partners, and stakeholders. Compliance enhances trust, fosters transparency, and communicates that the organization is dedicated to upholding industry-recognized security standards in remote and hybrid work environments.