With the rapid adoption of new technologies (SaaS, cloud, etc.) and limited resources, many organizations will partner with Service Providers for trusted advice and delegation of tactical and strategic execution of technology-based processes. Outsourcing can provide organizations with new efficiencies and cost savings; however, organizations encounter new risks when they turn over operations and data to service provider partners. Services Providers can mitigate customer risk by having appropriate controls and systems to prevent cyberattacks, theft, fraud, and other challenges.
Convincing organizations to work with you as their service provider requires trust. Achieving SOC 2 compliance demonstrates to customers that you are trustworthy and take security, privacy, and compliance seriously. Most organizations with an information security program will require the selected third-party provider to meet baseline requirements for security and privacy; a SOC 2 certification is an excellent place to start.
What is SOC 2 Compliance?
Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 is a set of compliance requirements and audit processes targeted at third-party service providers. It was developed to help organizations determine whether business partners and vendors can securely manage data and protect their clients' interests and privacy.
There are two types of SOC reports:
- Type I: documents a vendor's system and organization controls; and do they meet relevant criteria
- Type II: the operating effectiveness of the systems documented in Type I
There are three SOC standards:
- SOC 1: evaluate, test, and reports on the effectiveness of the service organization's internal controls related to users' entities' internal controls over financial reporting
- SOC 2: evaluate, test, and reports on systems and organization controls related to storing information
- SOC 3: same information found in SOC 2 report; but shorter with fewer details (typically shared on the website)
SOC 2 audits are based on five "Trust Services Criteria"
- Security (also known as "common criteria"): The protection of system resources from unauthorized access
- Privacy: the accessibility of the system, products, or services stated in the contract or by service level agreement (SLA); this is security related criteria that can affect availability
- Process Integrity: addresses whether a system achieves its purpose in a complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized manner
- Confidentiality: address whether sensitive data is restricted to specific people or organizations
- Availability: addresses the collection, use, retention, disclosure, and disposal of personally identifiable information (PII) and how it aligns with the organization's privacy notice and criteria set
Invest in a SOC 2 Readiness Assessment
Use a SOC 2 readiness assessment to determine if your organization is ready to undergo SOC 2 engagement. In general, a SOC 2 readiness assessment is used to identify, assess, and remediate internal controls weaknesses and challenges that are found.
- Map existing control environment to scoped criteria and "common" criteria (security)
- Design and implement controls where gaps are identified between the control environment and the criteria being assessed.
- Testing of the controls for design and operating effectiveness.
- Assist in crafting the management assertion and description of controls sections within the SOC
Obtaining the SOC 2 certification provides proof to customers that you are a trustworthy business partner.
Let's schedule a call to discuss your organization's SOC 2 readiness plan.