Cloud Data Integration Requires SOC2 Considerations for Financial Businesses

Financial organizations often find it difficult to locate data integration services which meet all of their data and regulatory needs. With more complex and stringent security needs than other industries, financial organizations find themselves walking a tight rope between data accessibility and protecting their customer’s sensitive data. This issue becomes even more critical given the increasing amounts of data that financial organizations wrestles with daily, plus customer demands for better data accessibility while maintaining an elevated level of data security. A great way for financial businesses to achieve this balance is by looking to cloud data integration service providers that conform to SOC2 standards.

 

SOC2 Can Be Confusing

 

As SOC2 becomes the popular new regulatory concern of many financial organizations (slowly aligning with, and in some cases replacing, the more well-known SAS70 compliance rule set), IT management and organizational security postures must take these regulations into account as well. While I’m sure many of you reading this understand at least the basics of SOC2 standards, there are some important aspects here that you will need to know in order to make better informed decisions on a data integration service.

SOC2 compliance is gaining in popularity largely because of how technology is advancing and because of the increasing number of technology service organizations which are now subjected to regulatory auditing. According to NDB Accountants & Consultants, there are five key points of SOC2 that organizations must educate themselves about, including how they pertain to any financial institution looking to engage a data integration host.

  1. Distinguishing between SOC1 or SOC2. The most important of these points is for an organization to know which SOC level the prospective service provider falls under. This will ensure correct compliance.
  2. Understanding the differences between SOC2 Type 1 and SOC2 Type 2. This is another point that is of utmost importance when looking at data integration providers. The SOC2 assessments differ pretty significantly between the two of these. Type 1 assessments are only for a specific date while Type 2 assessments cover a minimum period of six months. Knowing what your organization needs is important here, especially given the regulatory strictness that financial services organizations face.
  3. SOC2 Reporting and Trust Services Principles (TSP). This is a set of advisory services which comes with criteria based information. This is used to assess service organizations. Knowing this creates a new set of variables when engaging with a potential data integration solution host.
  4. Policies and Procedures. As the NDB states, this is perhaps the largest challenge-facing service organization. It is important for businesses to ensure that any data integration host has appropriate levels of documentation for all aspects of the project, including implementation, maintenance, usability and most importantly, security.
  5. Supporting documents require a fixed fee. We have found that when financial institutions need audit reporting from a data integration service, the most cost effective and concise way to do this is in securing a fixed fee from a third-party auditing source, such as a CPA firm. This will save the business time in re-engaging these resources while ensuring that any review is consistent and fully transparent.

Viewing this general overview shows just how complex and tedious the process of finding a SOC2-compliant cloud data integration or management services provider can prove to be in the financial sector. In order to avoid getting stung by a negative audit, it is more important than ever to choose a service which adheres to the same level of SOC2 standards as your business.

Engage a Third Party With SOC2 Expertise

While larger financial organizations have the financial and staff resources to invest in this issue, many small to mid-level organizations are strapped a little more tightly for cash. What does this mean for the more resource-challenged businesses looking to select a data integration service?

Champion has been working with small to mid-sized financial organizations for over thirty years to bring solutions to realization. We have a wide range of experienced data management engineers and financial regulatory prowess to develop an efficient, compliant solution that will meet the current needs of an organization with eyes on scalability to account for future growth. Champion’s IT and regulatory staff works with businesses on a solution, and will analyze and identify the appropriate data integration provider to meet your every SOC2 need. Contact us today so that we can begin to team up and together bring a solution home.

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