Why SOC 2 Compliance is Essential in Digital Health

by
Clearstep Media
Clearstep Team

In an era when data breaches and cyber threats are more prevalent than ever, the importance of robust data security and privacy practices cannot be overstated, particularly when it comes to digital triage software and protected health information (PHI). 

That’s why our digital triage technology is SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2) Type II compliant. However, SOC 2 is not just a regulatory framework – it's a critical component in establishing trust and ensuring the security of sensitive information.

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 is an auditing procedure developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) that ensures service providers securely manage data to protect the interests of their organization and the privacy of their clients. It's specifically designed for service providers storing customer data in the cloud. 

SOC 2 compliance signifies that a company maintains a high level of information security and processes data to safeguard its confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

For example, all PHI we collect is encrypted both in transit and at rest, and we only store user-identifying data after receiving explicit consent from the user. All such user-identifying data is stored separately from medical data. We never store IP addresses.

Why SOC 2 Compliance is Vital

Enhances trust and credibility: For any organization handling sensitive customer data – particularly in sectors like healthcare, finance, and technology – SOC 2 compliance demonstrates a commitment to data security.

Prevents data breaches and losses: With stringent controls in place, SOC 2-compliant organizations are better equipped to prevent data breaches, thereby avoiding potential financial losses and reputational damage.

Meets regulatory requirements: SOC 2 compliance helps organizations meet legal and regulatory requirements, reducing the risk of penalties and legal issues associated with data security.

The SOC 2 Compliance Process

Achieving SOC 2 compliance involves several steps, often spearheaded by the organization's technology leadership but requiring a company-wide effort. 

This process typically includes:

Identifying and implementing controls: Organizations must first identify and implement the appropriate security controls across their networks and data platforms.

Documentation and artifact gathering: Comprehensive documentation is necessary to demonstrate the effective implementation of these controls.

Choosing the right auditing partner: An experienced auditing firm is crucial for a thorough and accurate compliance process.

Undergoing the audit: The audit involves an in-depth examination of the organization's controls, policies, and procedures related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Continuous monitoring and improvement: SOC 2 compliance is not a one-off event but an ongoing process requiring constant monitoring and updates to maintain compliance standards.

Challenges and Solutions in Achieving SOC 2 Compliance

Achieving SOC 2 compliance can be challenging, particularly for organizations without existing robust security practices. 

Challenges include:

  • Aligning all business processes to compliance standards.
  • Ensuring continuous monitoring.
  • Managing the costs and resources associated with the compliance process. 

Solutions often involve:

  • Utilizing automated compliance tools.
  • Engaging with experienced consultants.
  • Fostering a company-wide culture of security awareness and compliance.

The Business Benefits of SOC 2 Compliance

The benefits of achieving SOC 2 compliance extend beyond mere regulatory adherence. They include:

Building confidence: Demonstrating compliance should significantly boost partner confidence and loyalty.

Improving internal security practices: Becoming compliant often leads to tightened and formalized internal security standards, which are especially important for digital triage software that handles PHI. 

Facilitating business growth: Compliance opens up opportunities to work with larger clients and enter new markets that demand high data security standards.

Clearstep's Commitment to Privacy and Security

The SOC 2 compliance of our digital triage software mirrors its commitment to its partners and patients: to deliver a safe, secure, clinically validated digital triage solution that improves care quality and efficiency. 

If you’re curious about how our SOC 2-compliant technology could put the security of your partners and patients first, let's talk.

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