Accend is Now SOC 2 Type II Compliant

Joseph Zhou
June 5, 2024
January 12, 2024

Why we pursued SOC 2 now?

For Accend, SOC 2 compliance is a testament to our unwavering commitment to securing our customer's data and reinforcing their trust. As our organization continues to evolve, we identified this as a pivotal juncture to advocate for stringent data protection measures, preemptively tackling security vulnerabilities.

Improving our security posture 

SOC 2 compliance exemplifies an organization’s dedication to building customer trust and marks a significant stride towards enhancing overall security posture. In today's digital landscape, characterized by escalating cybersecurity threats and data breaches, it's crucial that organizations prioritize the security of their systems and data. By undergoing a SOC 2 audit, we validated our controls and processes with a third-party endorsement, affirming the functionality of controls integral to our application.

What’s next?

For Accend, maintaining stringent security measures is an ongoing commitment. We recently achieved a significant milestone by becoming SOC 2 compliant, obtaining our Type II report on December 23, 2023. This certification not only affirms our current commitment to safeguarding customer data but also establishes a benchmark for our future endeavors. We remain resolute in our pledge to renew our SOC 2 certification annually, ensuring that our security measures adapt and evolve in tandem with the ever-changing digital landscape.

Accend’s journey to SOC 2 compliance

Compliance Partners

  • Vanta
  • We partnered with Vanta, the leader in the Trust Management space, to help us automate the collection of our audit evidence. Vanta provides us with the strongest security foundation to protect our customer data.
  • Advantage Partners
  • Our audit firm, Advantage Partners, was extremely helpful in creating a seamless audit experience. With their guidance and support, we were able to achieve SOC 2 compliance in a swift, efficient manner. 

Process 

While SOC 2 can be a big undertaking, our compliance partners streamlined the process. We leveraged Vanta to integrate our key systems and guide us in implementing policies and procedures to quickly become audit ready. Vanta gave us the direction we needed to pursue our compliance journey. 

Advantage Partners then confirmed our audit readiness and we kicked off our SOC 2 audit. For the audit, Advantage evaluated the controls we have in place and opined on their state. Shortly after our audit window ended, Advantage Partners drafted and issued our report. 

Timeline 

One key takeaway is understanding that improving our security posture and achieving compliance is a monumental task. This can be made easier with the right support but it will take dedicated focus and time from our whole team. The readiness period can take the most time but we were able to make compliance a priority to get the audit ready in a matter of weeks. 

We also found it important to review the audit timeline with Advantage Partners, set an ideal audit date, and then work backwards to be ready in time. However, now that controls are implemented and security is a priority for our team, we expect our annual Type II audits going forward will be even more seamless. 

Lessons we learned 

Focus on Improving Security Posture, Not Just Checking Boxes:

  • The path to compliance is not uniform.
  • Upholding security isn't a transient task; it's an ongoing mission crucial to an organization's ethos.

Initiate the Process Early:

  • It’s easier to start earlier
  • Constructing robust procedures and infrastructure paves the way for a successful security protocol.

Escalate Security to Foster Business Growth:

  • Vendor security reviews are frequently sought in sales cycles, and SOC 2 serves as a catalyst to expedite this.
  • By addressing risks proactively, you safeguard your business and augment trust among stakeholders and clients.

The Right Partners are Invaluable:

  • Leveraging tools that streamline the compliance journey is indispensable.
  • Collaborate with audit firms vested in your success.

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