The original standard was known as SAS 70, Statement on Auditing Standards, which in 2011 was replaced by SOC 2. Formally known as Service Organization Control 2, SOC 2 was developed in America by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
SOC 2 defines the criteria for managing customers’ data based on the five service principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. Unlike different compliances, which have very rigid and inflexible security control requirements, SOC 2 reports are unique to each organization. In line with specific business practices, each design it controls complies with one or more trust principles.
SOC 2 focuses on non-financial reporting of internal controls and systems and aims to protect the confidentiality and privacy of data stored in cloud environments. In essence, any organization can be SOC 2 compliant; it focuses on ensuring that there are controls over the required trust service criteria.
1. Gap Analysis
The first stage is gap analysis. Companies need to figure out what they need to do to become compliant with SOC 2 on a general level. An experienced senior-level auditor will come to your facility and spend time with you reviewing your policies and procedures, and practices.
Moreover, the auditor will also interview your staff and employees and quickly identify any gaps that must address to proceed with the audit. This gap analysis will be a valuable way to quickly analyze what you have in place and what you need to have in place in order to complete SOC 2.
Any company aiming to be SOC to the complaint must choose any one criteria they must comply with, and security is one of the required principles. After you settle on which criteria you want to meet, you can shape your program.
SOC 2 is a very flexible framework that allows you to pick and choose the controls that help you meet different criteria in a way that fits your organization. The readiness program works when you put a program into place and start to comply with it over a while.
Of the five criteria, security is the largest and the only one required to undergo an audit. Most organizations choose security, availability, and confidentiality as a criterion to be compliant with SOC 2.
The security principle refers to the protection of system resources against unauthorized access. Access controls help prevent potential system abuse like theft or unauthorized data removal, software misuse, and improper alteration or disclosure of information.
IT security tools such as network and web application firewalls, two-factor authentication, and intrusion detection software are useful in preventing security breaches that can lead to unsanctioned access to systems and data.
4. Formal Auditing
Once you’ve recognized the security gaps and level, your firm must plan a SOC 2 security audit. Finding a legitimate partner for SOC2 audit is crucial. Only CPA firms can manage your SOC 2 audit.
Not all CPA firms are a good fit for the audit. It’s always important to find the right CPA firm that acknowledges the particular needs of any organization and industry. The audit typically takes anywhere from two to six weeks. A lot of it depends on auditor timing and the auditor being responsive to each other as needed.
Rogue Logics provides in-depth security services for the assessment and protection of your application, data, and infrastructure against potential threats on-prem or in the cloud. Want a consultation with the professionals at Rogue Logics? Contact us and get a free quote.