Faster SOC2 access reviews, compliance SaaS and identity

Streamlining SOC 2 Access Reviews: Best Practices and Tips

Make it easy with Grip SOC 2 access reviews

If you’re looking to streamline your SOC 2 access reviews, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll provide you with the best practices and tips for making the process smoother and more efficient — and how to leverage Grip SSCP to make it all happen.

SOC 2 Access Review: A Quick Overview

Before we dive into the best practices and tips, let’s first discuss what SOC 2 access reviews are. SOC 2 is a framework developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that provides guidelines for security controls of service providers handling customer data. SOC 2 access reviews are conducted to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to sensitive data and unmatched control of enterprise functions via SaaS services.

Best Practices for Streamlining SOC 2 Access Reviews

  1. Create a Clear Process: Establish a clear process for conducting SOC 2 access reviews. Document the steps involved and make sure everyone on the team understands the process.
  1. Define Roles and Responsibilities: Assign clear roles and responsibilities to each team member involved in the access review process. This will help avoid confusion and ensure that everyone knows what they are responsible for.
  1. Automate the Process: Automating the SOC 2 access review process can help reduce manual errors, increase efficiency, and save time. Use tools like Grip to automate the process.
  1. Conduct Regular Reviews: Conduct regular reviews to ensure that the access review process is effective and efficient. This will help identify any areas that need improvement and provide opportunities for continuous improvement.
  1. Provide Training: Provide training to team members on the access review process and the importance of maintaining security controls. This will help ensure that everyone is aware of the process and their responsibilities.

Leveraging Grip for Streamlining SOC 2 Access Reviews

Every day, employees are using SaaS and creating a new, dynamic identity perimeter — the enterprise identity fabric — and it is the top target of attackers. This creates an identity sprawl problem that is growing bigger every day. Grip secures your enterprise identity perimeter, whenever and wherever SaaS is used. So, you’re always audit-ready.

Comprehensive SaaS In-Use

Ensure that all steps of the access review process are completed. This will help avoid errors and ensure that nothing is missed. This includes a comprehensive and live inventory of all identity-SaaS relationships and associated risks based on the real-world use of the SaaS app, including authentication method, provisioning, justified use, and whether identity risks are within the organization’s risk tolerance.

Figure 1.1 | Grip captures, graphs, and identifies SaaS usage for a
comprehensive inventory and continuous discovery.

Tailored Identity Risk Scoring, SaaS Risk Indexing

Prioritize risk for any identity in real-time based on access and usage of SaaS apps — past, present, and future. As identities use SaaS services, Grip tracks sign-in activity from SSO-enabled apps, credentials, and password managers affiliated with identity-SaaS pairs. Additionally, Grip scores identity-SaaS risks based on accessibility and the impact of the SaaS service if authorized identities are compromised.

Dynamic identity risk scoring,
SaaS risk indexing (SRI)

Centralize Documentation

Keep all documentation related to SOC 2 access reviews in one centralized location. This will make it easier to access the documentation when needed. Grip customers can use scheduled and on-demand reporting to determine access changes, new SaaS relationships, and full history of events associated with identities and apps — including when offboarding user access or when decommissioning a SaaS app from all identities.  

Implement Role-Based Access Control

Implement role-based access control to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to impactful SaaS services, from HR to IT, DevOps to engineering, to finance and factory operations. This will help reduce the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access and mitigates the risk of SaaS hijacking when credentials are compromised.  

Grip enables security teams to schedule offboarding for unsanctioned or risky SaaS, along with instantly annihilating weak and compromised credentials or fully remove an identity’s access based on changes to the individual’s role (e.g., revoking access for former employees or for persons who change roles within the organization).  

Figure 1.3 | Grip’s automated workflows include offboarding, justification, access reviews, and mitigation
procedures for compromised identities, credentials, and SaaS connections.

Monitor Access

Monitor access to sensitive data, critical SaaS, extended authorizations like OAuth, and business impact via SaaS operational control of key systems or functions. Validate that only authorized individuals have access with real-world continuous observations from Grip. Grip maintains an unbreakable connection to identities, creating a stream of telemetry when SaaS services consume identities, whether at sign-in or through registration and user activity when using corporate identities and credentials, such as email or domains related to your organization.  

SaaS churn is common in most enterprises, leading to approximate 60 percent of SaaS apps changing every two years. By monitoring real-world SaaS connections with enterprise identities, Grip maintains continuous awareness for customers to know which SaaS are still being used, mapping identities to justification and sanctioning policies, and capturing credentials through robotic process automation (RPA) when risk exceed the organization’s tolerance.

Continuously Improve

Continuously improve the access review process to ensure that it remains effective and efficient. Use feedback from team members and users to identify areas that need improvement. Grip empowers security teams to safeguard identities anywhere and everywhere SaaS is used, enabling modern work and security business-led IT through collaboration, integrated business-security workflows, and always-on awareness of identities and SaaS services — always audit-ready.


Streamlining SOC 2 access reviews is critical for ensuring the security of sensitive data and control of SaaS services used to operate the modern enterprise. By following the best practices and tips outlined here, you can make the process smoother and more efficient. Implementing identity security solutions like Grip can also help reduce manual errors to construct the enterprise identity fabric and automate protection for identities whenever and wherever SaaS is used.  

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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Grip Security Blog authored by Grip Security Blog. Read the original post at: