Justin Beals is the CEO and co-founder of Strike Graph, a company helping customers get through their cybersecurity audits. He’s a serial entrepreneur with expertise in AI, cybersecurity, and governance. He founded Strike Graph with the goal to make cybersecurity standards easy to understand and easily accessible. Tom Fox welcomes him to this week’s show to discuss cybersecurity, auditing, and building maturity within an organization.
Justin explains to Tom the origins of SOC: it was created to ensure that third-party vendors who trade with public companies, and the public companies themselves, were implementing effective cybersecurity practices. SOC2 Audit is a cybersecurity standard that focuses on security within an organization in a number of ways including HR practices, code of conduct, and other compliance liability issues. SOC2 analysis is about how data is encrypted and how new codes get put on servers. “The achievement of something like a SOC2 represents two things: one is an organizational maturity and the second is an assessment of that maturity by an independent party,” Justin tells Tom.
Trust is Currency
Tom asks Justin to share a few tips for when hiring a SOC2 auditor and why it is necessary. “The selection of the right auditor is important strategically because you're going to want to work with them for a while. Generally, you want to go back to the same auditor [because] it's more efficient,” Justin responds. Auditors we are familiar with know our practices and can measure them well. He points out that buyers and investors will pick the more trusted company; a company that has done a SOC2 audit is preferred over a company that hasn’t. Trust is what drives them and is what will influence buyers’ decisions.
COVID-19 and What’s Next
Tom asks Justin to reflect on how the pandemic has affected Strike Graph. Justin remarks that his business was established during the pandemic and is a remote work organization. He adds that interest has grown due to the pandemic, and it helped build his company’s success. With the pandemic, certifications and audits are great tools that can help build trust with customers. Justin remarks that in the future, it’s going to be more commonplace to expect vendors to share any form of private information to achieve audits or certifications.
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