The Developer’s Guide To SaaS Compliance

SaaS (Software as a Service) applications are familiar to anybody who has used a web browser to access email, social media, a group video conference, or project management software. Building user trust and guaranteeing long-term company success depends on the safety of the sensitive data collected and processed by SaaS apps.

By adhering to security and privacy requirements, SaaS companies may reassure their customers that their data is secure with them. Obtaining a compliance certification is a great way to let your customers know that you’re up to par with industry norms and treating user data in a manner consistent with their expectations, all in one easily digestible report.

Today, we’ll discuss the importance of SaaS compliance for your company, the role that certifications play in guaranteeing compliance, the nature of compliance certifications, and the processes involved in becoming SaaS certified. But first, let’s understand what “SaaS compliance” is.

SaaS Compliance – An Overview

If your business offers SaaS, it should be compliant with the norms and regulations of a third-party certification body. To ensure your business complies with SaaS standards, you must take precautions to safeguard its assets and the assets of its customers, including how it handles and stores data and shares it.

Non-governmental groups often establish standards and norms for an industry. They may also provide certifications to compliant businesses.

How Crucial Are Certifications And Standards For Ensuring Compliance?

Your SaaS application must meet the security requirements set out by an authoritative third party. These standards might come from a set of legislation or the general agreement of professionals in the industry. Customers are more willing to provide you access to sensitive information if they know you’ve been certified as compliant in data management and other related areas.

Many SaaS businesses find that obtaining relevant compliance certifications helps them convey their security policies and reliability to potential clients. If a prospective client can verify that a series of standard tests have been done successfully and reported on by a certified independent party, then they won’t need to conduct their own security audit of your infrastructure.

You only need to put in the work to create the report once, and then you may send it out to as many potential clients as you want.

If your services are offered in certain geographies or if you collect specific kinds of data — like medical records, for example — you must also comply with applicable laws. If your business doesn’t follow the rules (whether those rules are set by the government or by a contract), it might face fines and other repercussions.

Standard Certification for SaaS

Here are some of the standard certifications for SaaS.


The Security Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) is a compliance standard that defines the requirements for handling client data and is optional for service providers to implement. 

In accordance with SOC 2 standards, client information is routinely processed. Therefore, if your company is SOC 2 compliant, it has implemented comprehensive information security measures that meet or exceed industry standards. 

ISO/IEC 27001

Information security management systems (ISMS) are organized according to the ISO/IEC 27001. In order to determine whether or not they are in compliance with the ISO standard, SaaS providers must first conduct their own audits.

Audits from the outside are comprehensive, looking at everything from management policies and procedures to supporting evidence of real activities. You’ll need to go through the recertification process on a three-year basis.

A solid security control system, as well as increased commercial prospects and credibility, are only two of the many fruits of ISO/IEC 27001 certification. There is an overlap between the SOC 2 audit’s information security standards and those of the top international standard, ISO/IEC 27001.

How A Software Developer Can Be Compliant?

The most significant lesson to be learned from any of these compliance requirements is that strong security controls, data privacy, and data management must exist at the very core of any successful SaaS program.

Internal procedures, such as those used in software development, are the primary focus of certifications like SOC 2. If you’re trying to become certified, you’ll have a much simpler time if you have well-documented procedures for software planning, design, development, testing, and deployment and are following them regularly.

Automation and audit logs for different process phases will be crucial for the SOC 2 Type 2 report, which requires verification that the procedures are being followed.

If you’re utilizing Amazon Web Services (AWS) as part of your infrastructure, reading recommendations like the AWS Well-Architected Framework guide will help you construct solid and secure software. We also suggest the Controls and Benchmarks published by the Center for Internet Security (CIS), which define current cybersecurity best practices.

What Should You Do To Become Certified?

For advice on obtaining compliance certifications, we turned to Nick Norton of Geels Norton, a compliance audit and advising business that focuses on high-growth SaaS startups. Take a look at his top suggestions below.

Organize A Group Of Employees And Assign Roles

If your organization is seeking certification, you’ll need to allocate resources to get the necessary operational and technical tasks done in time. Nick suggests including at least one executive-level sponsor on the compliance team to help ensure that urgent tasks are given the attention they need.

Both engineering and commercial interests should be represented on the internal team. When it comes to compliance, most SaaS firms underestimate how much time and effort will be spent on company operations rather than coding and network security.

Automation Tools

Maintaining and collecting compliance documentation is time-consuming, even if your company has the basics down. Therefore, it is wise to put money into automated software solutions like Vanta or Drata that may hasten the process of gathering evidence. By keeping a constant eye on the application’s infrastructure and business operations, these technologies assist in managing and preserving proof of compliance procedures.

There will always be essential human parts of compliance operations. Therefore, it’s crucial that businesses fully grasp the capabilities and limits of software when utilizing it to monitor internal control processes and gather evidence continually. Not only in compliance but other businesses like trading also involve the utilization of automation trading tools like Quantum AI to perform their business tasks. These tools help them achieve more productivity.

Consult a Trustworthy Professional

A knowledgeable consultant may help your business save time and money by guiding it through the process in advance. Your company’s risk profile will be used to determine which control actions are most suitable and in line with regulatory guidelines. If you want excellent results, choose an expert who has worked with companies like yours before.

In a Nutshell

The process of becoming compliant might be expensive, but it can also lead to the discovery of new, profitable markets. Following compliance requirements can safeguard your company’s image and boost your competitive position if your SaaS is geared toward customers with high expectations for data security.

When it comes to a SaaS company, compliance is merely another kind of risk management. There is no way to ensure the complete safety of your application. Nonetheless, according to the guidelines provided in this article can help you reduce the likelihood of harm occurring to your consumers and, by extension, your company.

As your business grows, maintaining complete compliance can add considerable operational expense and need regular monitoring and attention. Your company’s expansion into new areas, the introduction of new goods or pricing tiers, or the adoption of new payment methods are all examples of events that should prompt a compliance team to begin identifying and analyzing the relevant rules.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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