What is SOC 2 Certification & Compliance?
SOC 2 and SOC II are “Systems and Organizations Controls 2”. It is a framework to help software sellers, and other companies protect customer data in the cloud. It helps demonstrate security controls called the Trust Services Principles and includes security, availability, processing integrity, and privacy.
SOC 2 compliance is a requirement for companies that assess the worth of SaaS or cloud services providers. It confirms to the customer that you have the best security practices.
SOC 2 compliance is a part of the American Institute of CPAs’ Service Organization Control reporting platform. Its purpose is to ensure the safety and privacy of data.
SOC 2 is not an arbitrary list of controls, tools, or processes. In addition, it refers to the standards required to maintain strong information security, allowing each company to adopt methods and procedures related to its objectives and operations.
What are the Five Trust Services criteria of SOC 2 Compliance?
Outside auditors provide SOC 2 certification. They measure the extent to which a vendor complies with one or more of the five principles of trust. Trust principles are as follows:
Security policy refers to the protection of system resources against unauthorized access. These controls help the organization to secure potential system abuse, theft or removal of data, improper use of software, and wrong alteration or leakage of information.
Main security tools such as network and web application firewalls (WAFs) and two-factor authentication help prevent security breaches that secure data from threats of unauthorized access.
Availability refers to the availability of systems, products, or services defined by the contract or service level agreement (SLA). Thus, both parties set the minimum availability performance level for the system.
It does not brief system functionality and usability but does involve security-related standards that may affect availability. Monitoring network performance and availability and handling site failures and security incidents are critical in this principle.
The principle of processing integrity refers to whether or not a system achieves its goal, i.e., delivers the correct data at the time at the right place. In this regard, data processing should be complete, valid, accurate, and authorized.
In this principle, processing integrity does not necessarily mean data integrity. If there are errors in the data before they are entered into the system, it is usually not the processing entity’s responsibility to detect them.
Monitoring of data processing, combined with quality assurance procedures, can help to ensure the integrity of processing.
Data is confidential if its access and exposure are restricted to a limited number of individuals or organizations. For example, data plans are only for company personnel, business plans, intellectual property, internal price lists, and other sensitive financial information.
Encryption is a safe control for protecting data confidentiality during transmission to other networks. Networks and application firewalls restrict access controls that can be used to safeguard information.
The privacy principle controls the system’s collection, use, custody, disclosure, and disposal of personal information. It also sets criteria forth in the AICPA’s generally accepted privacy principles (GAPP).
Personally identifiable information (PII) refers to details that can identify an individual (e.g., name, address, Social Security number). Specific personal data related to health, race, sexuality, and religion are also considered sensitive and generally require additional protection. Privacy controls must be implemented to protect all PII from unauthorized access.
How many types of SOC 2?
To become SOC 2 certified, two third-party reviewers must complete two audits within six months. SOC 2 Type 1 audit is designed to assess the design of your Cyber security processes in usa at a specific point in time.
On the other hand, SOC 2 Type 2 audit assesses the operating effectiveness of your internal controls over a more extended period. Completion of the Type 1 audit is compulsory for Type 2.
SOC Type 1
It starts by selecting a multidisciplinary team, an executive sponsor, and identifying an author. Collaborating with each team lead and translating your business needs into policies would be best.
Using the AICPA Trust Services Principles as your foundation and selecting only those that apply to your services, you will then define the scope of the audit and can improve the appropriate policies.
It will take around two months to implement, test and fine-tune policies before you’re ready to book a formal assessment. The evaluation usually includes:
- Interviews with staff.
- A walkthrough of your physical space.
- A thorough review of your documents.
Once the auditor has worked with you to clarify any necessary exceptions, SOC 2 Type 1 report will be prepared.
SOC Type 2
You cannot start preparing for a Type 2 audit until you have completed the Type 1 process. The main reason is that a Type 1 audit examines procedures and policies. In contrast, a Type 2 audit verifies the effectiveness over time of the established controls to ensure compliance with those processes and policies.
SOC 2 reports are designed to meet users’ needs that need assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to the five principles of services of SOC 2 Compliance.