A smartTrade Journey to SOC2 Compliance

This article will illustrate the critical role that SOC2 compliance plays in financial technology, and the increasing positive weight of such standards on this sector. It will delve into smartTrade Technologies’ comprehensive SOC2 journey, starting from their 2014 initial readiness and culminating in their ongoing compliance since May 2015. 

SOC2 – a security standard that became vital

In the intricate landscape of financial technology (FinTech), where trust is the cornerstone upon which success is built, SOC2 compliance has emerged as one of the gold standards (among ISO-27001 for example), providing an independent, third-party validation of a company’s commitment to upholding the highest levels of security, availability and processing integrity. For FinTech firms like smartTrade Technologies, achieving and maintaining SOC2 compliance is not merely a checkbox exercise but a strategic imperative. SOC2 compliance sends a powerful message to the clients: their data is safeguarded by a company that adheres to stringent security protocols and has been rigorously audited to prove it.

A decade ago, SOC2 compliance was a differentiator, a mark of distinction that set FinTech companies apart in a crowded marketplace. However, the landscape has evolved significantly. In an era marked by increasing cyber threats and data breaches, coupled with expanding regulatory pressures, SOC2 compliance has transcended its status as a mere differentiator. It has become a minimum standard, a prerequisite for FinTech companies aspiring to partner with discerning financial institutions. Today, SOC2 compliance is not just about gaining a competitive edge; it’s about securing a seat at the table.

smartTrade journey to the SOC2

smartTrade Technologies’ journey towards SOC2 compliance began in 2014, a time when the standard was not yet widespread in the FinTech industry.  This proactive decision was driven by the visionary leadership of smartTrade, who recognized the long-term value of aligning with stringent security and operational standards.

In October 2014, smartTrade embarked on a comprehensive readiness assessment. This involved a meticulous evaluation of the company’s existing practices against the SOC2 principles, identifying any gaps, and implementing robust controls to address them. This preparatory phase laid the groundwork for the subsequent audit process.

In May 2015, smartTrade underwent its first SOC2 Type 1 audit. This audit assessed the blueprint of the company’s controls at a specific point in time and validated that they were suitably designed to meet the SOC2 criteria. The successful completion of this audit marked a significant milestone and paved the way for the next phase of the journey.

Building on this success, smartTrade initiated its first SOC2 Type 2 audit period in May 2015. This audit examined not only the design of the controls but also their operating effectiveness over a complete year period. In May 2016, smartTrade successfully passed its first SOC2 Type 2 audit, demonstrating that its controls were not only well-designed but also operating effectively to protect the security, availability and processing integrity of its systems and data.

Since then, smartTrade has consistently maintained its SOC2 Type 2 compliance with no exceptions, undergoing annual audits to reaffirm its unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of security and operational excellence. This ongoing compliance is a testament to smartTrade’s dedication to providing a secure and reliable trading platform for its clients.

Where is the future going?

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, the future of security compliance in the FinTech sector will likely see a shift towards a multi-layered approach. While SOC2 remains a cornerstone of security validation, forward-thinking companies like smartTrade Technologies are increasingly looking beyond the baseline requirements, exploring complementary standards and frameworks to enhance their overall security posture.

This involves incorporating best practices and controls from standards like ISO 27001, 27017, and 27018, or aligning with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. The primary goal could be but is not necessarily to pursue additional certifications but rather to leverage the collective rigor of these frameworks to strengthen existing security measures and proactively address emerging threats. Complementary programs like the CSA STAR Attestation or CSA STAR Certification can further bolster a company’s security credentials, providing additional layers of assurance to clients and stakeholders. By embracing a multi-faceted approach to compliance, FinTech companies can create a more robust and resilient security environment, ensuring that their systems and data remain protected even as the threat landscape evolves. 

SmartTrade Technologies’ journey towards SOC2 compliance exemplifies the evolving landscape of security in the FinTech sector. The company’s proactive approach, beginning in 2014 and culminating in consistent, exceptionless compliance, underscores their commitment to safeguarding client data. This commitment has not only differentiated them in the marketplace but has become a fundamental requirement for any FinTech company seeking to establish trust with financial institutions. SmartTrade’s ongoing exploration of complementary security frameworks further solidifies their position as a leader in prioritizing data security, setting a precedent for the industry, and ensuring the protection of sensitive information in an increasingly complex digital landscape.