Case Study

Effectual Navigates the Complexity of Compliance with Coalfire and Compliance Essentials

June 12, 2024
Amazon partner premier tier

Effectual (, an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner, is a leading provider of cloud services, specializing in migration, modernization, optimization, security, and ongoing management of cloud environments. Their expertise helps businesses improve efficiency, scalability, and innovation through tailored solutions on the AWS cloud. By enabling seamless migrations, enhancing security, and providing managed services, Effectual drives digital transformation and fosters business growth for clients across commercial and public sector industries. To get to market faster and grow their business, Effectual was looking for a strategic partner to achieve PCI and SOC compliance to gain a competitive advantage. 


Effectual encountered several challenges in its pursuit of security and compliance, including:

  • Navigating Evolving Compliance Standards: Adapting to an ever-evolving security and compliance landscape posed a challenge in aligning complex controls between compliance frameworks, resulting in delayed market entry compared to their competitors.
  • Identifying Appropriate Compliance Initiatives: Strategic direction was required to determine the most suitable compliance initiatives with great market potential and revenue growth amidst evolving customer expectations and industry standards.
  • Managing Complex IT Footprint: Effectual's cloud-native IT environment necessitated clarity on how compliance requirements are applied, particularly with serverless infrastructure and SaaS-based tools.
  • Streamlining Compliance Processes: Manual compliance evidence-gathering and submission processes led to inefficiencies, highlighting the need for a centralized solution to streamline compliance management.


Effectual's partnership with Coalfire began with PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) Report on Compliance (ROC) in 2020. Subsequently, in 2022, Effectual sought Coalfire's guidance in pursuing SOC 2 report, recognizing it as a crucial step in enhancing its compliance program.

Coalfire provided invaluable support throughout the SOC 2 readiness assessment and audit process, enabling Effectual to address identified gaps efficiently. Leveraging Coalfire's expertise, Effectual achieved the SOC 2 Type 2 report within a six-month period, exceeding initial expectations and enabling them to enter new markets faster and gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, the Coalfire Compliance Essentials tool emerged as a transformative solution, streamlining compliance management and providing a centralized platform for evidence collection, collaboration, and submission. 

By leveraging Coalfire’s Compliance Essentials platform, Effectual was able to conduct their PCI and SOC 2 assessments into a fully coordinated experience. Combined with Coalfire’s subject matter expertise, Compliance Essentials’ powerful framework mappings empowered Effectual to upload a document once and automatically map it to relevant controls in both PCI and SOC 2. By having frameworks already mapped out-of-the-box, Effectual was able to immediately begin the assessment process, rather than starting off with the manual and labor-intense task of mapping PCI and SOC 2 controls, resulting in substantial time and cost savings. 

Compliance Essentials also provides powerful dashboards for real-time progress tracking, as well as in-app commenting for a completely integrated audit experience. It was easy for the compliance team to report status updates to the executive team. 

“Effectual was able to achieve SOC 2 Type 2 report within 6 months using the evidence already gathered for PCI DSS compliance and mapped in Compliance Essentials Platform. Multiple framework compliance was never easy before Compliance Essentials.”

- Jon Castaldo, Information Security Manager, Effectual


Effectual's collaboration with Coalfire yielded several significant outcomes:

  • Enhanced Security Posture: Through adherence to compliance initiatives and Coalfire's guidance, Effectual fortified its security program, instilling confidence in customers and stakeholders.
  • Expanded Customer Opportunities: Compliance milestones facilitated business growth by attracting new customers and opportunities, driven by customer demand for security assurances.
  • Operational Efficiency: Implementation of the Coalfire Compliance Essentials tool streamlined compliance processes, reducing redundancies, and enhancing collaboration within Effectual's team and with Coalfire.
  • Future Readiness: Effectual is well-positioned to undertake advanced compliance initiatives, supported by Coalfire's assessment and advisory services and the robust foundation established through previous engagements.

"Coalfire is a strategic partner rather than just a third-party vendor. We were able to get to markets faster and gain a competitive advantage by achieving PCI and SOC compliance."

-Michael Parks, CIO, Effectual

“When prospects learn that our practices have been vetted by Coalfire, there is an increased sense of confidence that our services will provide attention to detail and address their security concerns”

-Richard Dolan, CMO, Effectual


Effectual's partnership with Coalfire has been instrumental in navigating the complexities of security and compliance. Through strategic collaboration, Effectual has achieved significant milestones in compliance, strengthened its security posture, and expanded business opportunities. With a focus on continuous improvement and leveraging Coalfire's innovative solutions, such as Compliance Essentials, Effectual remains committed to its journey of enhancing security and compliance readiness, ensuring long-term success and customer satisfaction.