SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures your service providers securely manage your data in order to protect your organization’s interests and the privacy of its clients. SOC 2 compliance is a minimum requirement when selecting a SaaS provider for security-conscious businesses.
All organizations, including those that outsource critical business operations to third-party vendors, are concerned about information security (e.g., SaaS, cloud-computing providers). Rightly so, because mishandled data—particularly by application and network security providers—can leave enterprises vulnerable to attacks such as data theft, extortion, and malware installation.
What exactly is SOC 2?
SOC 2 is a set of criteria developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) for managing customer data based on five "trust service principles": security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
SOC 2 reports are unique to each organization, as opposed to PCI DSS, which has very strict requirements. Each designs its own controls to comply with one or more of the trust principles in accordance with specific business practices.
Process of SOC 2 Certification
Determine which trust principles will be audited. The security principle is the baseline, but the audit can also include availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy principles.
Specify the controls that will implement the chosen trust principles in your environment. You can do this with or without the assistance of a third party. You should also have your intended auditor agree to them in principle.
your security processes and controls against your chosen trust principles, or enlist the help of cybersecurity professionals to ensure you're ready for a formal audit.
Conduct a formal SOC 2 audit with a certified CPA, which can take several weeks. Employee interviews may be part of the process. paperwork, screenshots, logs, providing additional documentation, and a significant time commitment A third-party partner can manage the process on your behalf and help to make it as quick and painless as possible.
Receive a SOC 2 attestation report that details how well your security controls met SOC 2 security standards and trust principles.
Benefits of SOC 2 Certification :
Here are five reasons why you should get a SOC 2 compliance report:
Demand from customers. Protecting customer data from unauthorized access and theft is a top priority for your clients, so you could lose business if you don't have a SOC 2 attestation (or SOC 3, which uses the same audit but produces a report for the public consumption).
Cost-effectiveness. Do you believe audit costs are excessive? A single data breach costs an average of $3.86 million in 2018—a figure that continues to rise year after year. A SOC 2/SOC 3 audit is a preventative measure that can help you avoid costly security breaches.
The advantage in the marketplace. Having a SOC 2/3 report in hand gives your organization an advantage over competitors who are unable to demonstrate compliance.
Mind at ease. Passing a SOC 2 audit ensures that your systems are secure.
Compliance with regulations. Because SOC 2's requirements align with those of other frameworks such as HIPAA and ISO 27001, achieving certification can help your organization's overall compliance efforts—especially if you use GRC software or software-as-a-service (SaaS) that provides that big-picture view.
Value. A SOC 2 report provides useful information about your organization's risk and security posture, vendor management, internal controls governance, regulatory oversight, and more.
Implementation of SOC 2 Certification
Determine and Confirm Trust Services Criteria Scope
Are you familiar with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Services Criteria (TSP)? TSPs are the very fabric of a SOC 2 audit because they consist of criteria-based controls that service organizations are evaluated for during an actual SOC 2 audit.
Security. Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of information, and system damage that could adversely impact the availability, integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of information or systems and affect the entity's ability to meet its objectives.
Availability. Information and systems are operational and usable to achieve the entity's goals.
Processing integrity. System processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized to meet the entity's objectives.
Confidentiality. To achieve the entity's goals, confidential information is safeguarded.
Privacy. Personal information is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and disposed of to achieve the entity's goals.
Begin by conducting a SOC 2 Scoping and Readiness Assessment.
Is this your first SOC 2 audit? If so, a SOC 2 scoping & readiness assessment is highly recommended. Why? Because you'll need to identify, assess, and confirm a number of critical measures to ensure a successful SOC 2 audit from start to finish.
A SOC 2 Scoping & Readiness Assessment frequently results in not only a laundry list of documentation requirements but also technical and security requirements. The following are examples of common technical and security remediation areas:
How to get SOC 2 Certification
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