- February 3, 2021
The rate at which organizations are integrating emerging technologies into their business operations requires the implementation of robust security compliance frameworks to ensure security resilience.
As such, SOC 2 compliance has become paramount, as more organizations migrate to the cloud. Unfortunately, the auditing of security controls within cloud infrastructures still operates within a grey area due to the volatility of virtualized data. Therefore, full reliance on a third-party attestation of control environments often possesses a significant risk to organizations.
With data breaches costing organizations $3.92 million on average, clients today need assurances that their information is protected. An auditing process that ensures clients that their data is being managed securely is known as Service Organization Control (SOC), and its compliance is essential for technology-based organizations that collect, process, and/or store information in the cloud.
What is System and Organization Controls (SOC) Compliance?
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) developed SOC 2 as an auditing procedure to ensure that critical client data is properly handled by providers, such that business operations are secured and the privacy of clients are reinforced.
A SOC 2 compliance checklist helps organizations get started with the SOC framework. Click on the link to download a SOC 2 compliance checklist pdf.
Dissecting The SOC 2 Trust Service Criteria (TSC)
A SOC 2 readiness assessment comprises five trust services criteria’s, which serves as a control criterion for SOC 2 reporting. These TSCs include:
- Confidentiality – focuses on preventing unauthorized access to sensitive information.
- (Process) Integrity – assesses if systems are accurately processing within its authorized and authenticated parameters, while ensuring that controls are not changed.
- Availability – this covers whether systems and information remain functional for operational use.
- Privacy – verifies if users’ information is being handled in accordance with the organization’s policies as well as the Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPPs) within the business sector in question.
- Security: measures how, and the extent to which data is protected against harm to mechanisms that are necessary for confidentiality, integrity, privacy, and data availability.
Benefits of Being SOC 2 Compliant
The benefits of SOC 2 compliance include:
- Data Breach Protection: An organization is less susceptible to data breaches when compliant.
- Fewer Penalties: SOC compliance reduces the risk of privacy guidelines violation, thus protecting against regulatory action.
- Reputational Protection: Being SOC 2 compliant safeguards organizations from reputational damage.
- Competitive Advantage: An organization’s commitment to security can be proven with a SOC Certification, hereby, providing a competitive advantage.
- More Opportunities: As compliant organizations can share data only with other organizations that pass the audit, SOC 2 certification provides more work opportunities.
The Importance of Finding a SOC 2 Readiness Partner
SOC 2 compliance is difficult. Before proceeding, organizations will need to determine which trust service principles that the audit will cover. A comprehensive understanding of potential risks and gaps in current policies and procedures will also be needed.
Understanding how specific risk factors affect internal controls is also necessary. A readiness partner helps organizations to understand SOC 2 compliance requirements.
The benefits of a trusted SOC 2 compliance readiness partner include:
- In-depth Expertise of Compliance Regulations: SOC 2 compliance partners understand information security beyond simple “checkbox” needs. For example, they know the type of SOC 2 compliance softwares that is best–suited for an organization in specific industries.
- Information Security Expertise: the range of information security knowledge and skills encompasses every domain of the industry, both technical and non-technical. Therefore, trust SOC 2 compliance readiness partners are capable of dissecting the technicalities associated with a specific compliance process – an all-in-one value.
- Understanding Scope: many organizations often focus on the wrong portion of SOC 2 compliance requirements, thus wasting time and money. However, readiness partners are capable of immediately determining what should be included in a SOC 2 attestation and the trust principles that apply to specific business operations within your organization.
- Determining Risks and Gaps: formal risk assessments are conducted by compliance partners to uncover where security risks are high. This particular benefit ensures that an organization has a robust risk remediation plan that accounts for risks, threats, and vulnerabilities mentioned within the SOC 2 compliance requirements.
- Overall Readiness Assessments: SOC 2 experts can conduct a thorough readiness assessment via an internal audit to ensure that controls function as intended and provide the evidence necessary for successful audits.
SOC 2 compliance is necessary for organizations in the SaaS industry or stores information data in the cloud. Compliance provides confidence in the maturity of the organization’s security posture and widens opportunities. Readiness partners can provide quality advice and specialized help, such as AWS SOC 2 compliance services, which enable organizations to succeed in the digital age.