A Quick Guide to SOC 2 Attestation

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Feb 01, 2024

SOC 2 attestation

Did you hear about the incident that happened with the dating app MeetMindful? Well, unfortunately, back in January 2021, they experienced a cybersecurity attack that resulted in the theft and leak of data belonging to over 2 million users. It’s quite alarming, as the hackers managed to get hold of sensitive information like users’ full names and Facebook account tokens.

Now, you might be wondering what can be done to prevent such security breaches in the future. This is where SOC 2 attestation comes into play. Don’t worry, though. This guide is here to provide you with some valuable information and help you understand how SOC 2 attestation can contribute to a safer online environment. Let’s dive in and learn together.

What is SOC 2 attestation?

A SOC 2 attestation is a valid third-party assessment of a company’s controls against the five Trust Service Criteria—Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Privacy, and Confidentiality.

When a CPA performs the SOC 2 report, they have the power to deliver either a SOC attestation, also known as a clean report, or provide an adverse opinion along with valuable suggestions for improvement. Most cloud companies conduct a self-assessment of SOC 2 before the official report to ensure their readiness for SOC 2 attestation.

Why SOC 2 attestation?

Therefore, to give your customers peace of mind regarding the safety and security of their valuable data, it’s crucial to demonstrate that your company has thoroughly considered every aspect of data protection.

This includes addressing the following key points:

  • How do you store customer data?

It’s important to outline the robust systems and protocols you have in place for storing customer data securely. 

  • Who has access to customer data?

Transparency regarding access to customer data is vital. Describe the measures you have implemented to control and monitor access, such as role-based permissions, user authentication mechanisms, and regular access reviews. 

  • What measures do you take to protect information against cyberattacks?

Highlight the proactive steps you take to protect customer data from cyber threats. This could include employing robust firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and other best practices.

Also check out this video on passing the SOC 2 checklist:

Why is SOC 2 attestation required?

SOC 2 attestation signifies that your company possesses robust controls that govern information security within your environment. It goes beyond a mere verbal affirmation of compliance, as it involves an independent audit conducted by a reputable third-party CPA firm.

This way, your company’s clients will know the data they have collected or transit is safe and secure.

To understand the importance with an example, read How Sprinto helped Dataplant leap towards SOC 2 compliance with a pre-approved program.

Types of SOC 2 attestation reports

Two primary categories of SOC 2 compliance are Type 1 and Type 2. Let’s take a closer look at each:

  • Type 1 Compliance: Type 1 attestation validates an organization’s use of compliant systems and processes at a specific point in time. It provides an assessment of the controls and their suitability for addressing the criteria. This type of compliance serves as a snapshot of a company’s adherence to security standards.
  • Type 2 Compliance: SOC 2 Type 2 attestation involves attesting an organization’s compliance over a defined period, usually 12 months. It evaluates the effectiveness and durability of controls and processes implemented by the organization. Compared to Type 1 SOC attestation, this is an in-depth examination that demonstrates the ongoing commitment to compliance.

It is safe to note that both Type 1 and Type 2 compliance are vital if you aim to demonstrate your commitment to data security and meet industry standards. Depending on your specific needs and requirements, engaging in either Type 1 or Type 2 compliance assessment can work to instill trust in your customers, partners, and stakeholders.

What is required during a SOC 2 attestation? 

During a SOC 2 attestation, you need to adhere to a specific set of criteria to carefully assess your services and ensure they meet the highest standards.

These criteria are neatly organized into five trust services categories, designed to cover various aspects of a company’s operations:

  • Security (required)
  • Availability (optional)
  • Confidentiality (optional)
  • Processing Integrity (optional)
  • Privacy (optional)

So, during a SOC 2 attestation, you must carefully evaluate your services using these trust services criteria.

Cost of getting SOC 2 attestation

Typically, the cost for achieving SOC 2 attestation with Type 2 reports falls within a range of $7000 to $50,000. Now, keep in mind that this range can vary based on a few factors specific to your organization.

SOC 2 attestation cost

Firstly, the size of your organization plays a role. The larger it is, the more complex the systems and controls might be, which can influence the overall cost.

Next up, your level of audit readiness comes into play. If your company has already taken steps to ensure you’re prepared for the assessment, it can positively impact the costs.

Another factor is the Trust Services Criteria (TSCs) you choose to include in your assessment. Depending on the scope and number of TSCs, the cost may fluctuate.

Also check out: How to Plan Your SOC 2 compliance budget

The shortest path to becoming SOC 2 compliant 

A SOC 2 attestation isn’t just an evaluation of your security controls. It’s a lot more than that—it can tell your customers everything they need to know about how trustworthy and committed you are to their business. 

With Sprinto by your side, your audit journey becomes a well-structured and meticulous process. Do away with tedious manual tasks, potential errors, and repetitive work. Sprinto automates key aspects of compliance such as evidence collection and policy updates that significantly shorten the time to gain compliance.  

Our experts are a call away. Let’s show you how it’s done. Book a free demo here

FAQs

What is the SOC 2 attestation standard?

SOC 2 compliance is an essential auditing procedure that aims to safeguard the security of your data and protect the interests of your organization as well as the privacy of your clients. It serves as a benchmark for service providers, particularly those in the SaaS industry, to demonstrate their commitment to stringent security practices.

Is SOC 2 attestation legally required?

While SOC 2 certification is not legally mandatory, it holds significant importance for business-to-business (B2B) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors. While not a legal obligation, it is highly recommended for vendors to pursue SOC 2 certification due to its prevalence as a contractual requirement in vendor agreements.

How valuable is a SOC 2 report?

Yes, a SOC 2 report serves as a valuable resource to make sure that the customer’s data is in safe hands. In many cases, the ability to provide security and privacy compliance, as demonstrated through a SOC 2 report, is a critical sales requirement.

Meeba Gracy

Meeba Gracy

Meeba, an ISC2-certified cybersecurity specialist, passionately decodes and delivers impactful content on compliance and complex digital security matters. Adept at transforming intricate concepts into accessible insights, she’s committed to enlightening readers. Off the clock, she can be found with her nose in the latest thriller novel or exploring new haunts in the city.

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