The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) produces audit and reporting recommendations to keep businesses and their stakeholders secure. The SOC 2 framework is one that applies to most service firms, including but not limited to cloud computing providers. So, what is the significance of SOC 2 compliance? Continue reading to find out why it matters, how it especially benefits cloud corporations, and how its criteria may benefit all businesses.
Why is SOC 2 Compliance Important for All Service Organizations?
SOC 2 compliance is critical for service businesses, particularly those who provide cloud services or rely on the cloud to better serve their clients for two reasons:
- SOC 2 compliance helps to secure the security of client data, which builds confidence.
- SOC 2 compliance is also particularly well-suited to addressing frequent cloud computing threats.
These two advantages, as well as the complete scope of compliance, are best appreciated by dissecting the Trust Services Criteria framework, on which SOC 2 evaluations are based.
Understanding the Differences Between SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3 Audits
As previously stated, a corporation can create three tiers of SOC reports. All have their advantages, but SOC 2 is the most useful across the board for businesses, giving the greatest insights and preventions against the broadest variety of hazards. The SOC levels are as follows:
- SOC 1 – Also known as ICFR (Internal Control over Financial Reporting), SOC 1 reports apply to financial sector businesses (and departments within organizations). They are only used by managers, internal users, and auditors in firms, and they help with the processing and security of financial statements.
- SOC 2 – Fully named SOC for Service Organizations: Trust Services Criteria, SOC 2 Reports apply to all service organisations and are primarily designed for an audience of other auditors or regulators, similar to SOC 1. They help with general security control, vendor management, corporate governance, and regulatory compliance.
- SOC 3 — Also known as the SOC for Service Organizations: Trust Services Criteria for General Use Report, SOC 3 reports are simplified versions of SOC 2 reports that contain many of the same concepts but are designed for broad release, such as on a company’s website. They make it easier for stakeholders to communicate about a company’s security.
Unless your organisation provides financial services or that is a significant component of your business strategy, a SOC 2 or SOC 3 report will likely give the greatest value.
The former generates deeper, more meaningful insights that businesses may share in extracts. The latter is mainly for public consumption and frequently fails to meet industry norms or requirements—for these reasons, RSI Security suggests first producing a SOC 2 report, then augmenting it with a SOC 3 report.
Why is SOC-2 Compliance Important for Cloud Computing Security?
The safeguards provided by SOC 2 compliance are valuable to all service firms, but cloud providers may find them especially important. This is because the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) framework, on which SOC compliance is based, has been fine-tuned to account for risks that are common to various cloud computing services and platforms. The TSC, in particular, is divided into five categories:
- Security – The degree to which all systems and information are protected from unauthorized or improper access, usage, modifications, removals, additions, or disclosures. Unifying controls across all assets is crucial for cloud providers, who may handle or store a diverse range of data for their clients and their companies’ consumers.
- Availability – The amount to which all systems and information are available and functional for those who require them. This is crucial for cloud providers since any outage on any of their servers or platforms might affect all of their clients.
- Processing Integrity – The extent to which all system processing functions operate as intended, including completeness, validity, correctness, timeliness, and full permission in accordance with relevant client agreements. For many of the same reasons as availability, this is crucial for cloud providers; they are coextensive on the cloud.
- Confidentiality – Determining the extent to which sensitive information (including but not limited to personal data) is safeguarded above and beyond security constraints. This is critical for cloud service providers who store or handle large volumes of data.
- Privacy – Measuring the extent to which personal information is secured (exclusively) above and beyond security limitations. This is especially important for cloud providers who store or handle personally identifiable information, such as medical or financial data.
Rogue logics is founded on concepts developed by the Treadway Commission’s Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) to prevent fraud through internal controls. ASEC expands and improves on these concepts, resulting in a flexible matrix of criteria that adjusts to changing demands as more businesses migrate to the cloud.
How to Satisfy the Service Trust Criteria for SOC-2 Compliance
Companies that supply cloud or other cloud-based services to other organizations must keep their clients’ confidence. The same could be said for every company that collaborates closely with another company. So, what is the significance of SOC 2 compliance? Because it is one of the most effective methods to secure consumer data, particularly through cloud availability and processing integrity.
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