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SOC 2 Compliance (Everything You Need to Know About SOC 2)

Can you share evidence to show that all your employees undergo background verification? Can you show proof of ensuring that the changes in your code repositories are peer-reviewed before it is merged? These are some of the questions that auditors ask when you go through a SOC 2 audit. In this Guide to SOC 2 Compliance, we have spelled out the brass tacks and outlined the specific nuances that will help in your compliance journey.

What is SOC 2?

SOC 2 cybersecurity compliance is a framework established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Its main purpose is to ensure the security of client data handled by third-party service providers. It specifies how organizations should manage customer data based on the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) of Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy.

SOC 2 compliance
what is soc 2 compliance

What is a SOC 2 Report?

A SOC 2 compliance report examines your organization’s control over one or more of the TSC. The TSC is the control criteria used to analyze the design and operating effectiveness of the controls you have set (for each of the five criteria) for your organization’s information and systems. 

An external auditor attests to the SOC reports. It is the most trusted way to showcase how well you provide your customers and prospects a secure, available, confidential, and private solution.

Why Being SOC 2 compliant is important?

Being SOC 2 Compliant shows you have an unwavering commitment to top-notch information security as an organization. When you subject your company to rigorous compliance standards, including thorough on-site audits, your dedication to responsibly handling sensitive information is strong.

soc compliance

Know more about SOC 2 Report

7 Steps to prepare for SOC 2 compliance with Sprinto

The next important step is understanding the many SOC 2 compliance requirements and interpreting their fit into your specific environment. 

1

Understand the SOC 2 Trust Service Criteria

Formerly known as the Trust Principles, there are five Trust Services Criteria that businesses are evaluated on during a SOC 2 audit. Think of each criterion as a focus area for your infosec compliance program; each defined controls.

2

Check which Trust Service Criteria applies to you

To begin with, evaluate your operating environment and scope out all the TSC before selecting which ones best fit your business model and the customer asks (based on the type of data you store or transmit). In our experience, most businesses only need Security, Availability, and Confidentiality (or their combination) as TSC in their SOC 2 journey.

3

Conduct an internal risk assessment

Risk mitigation and SOC 2 risk assessment are crucial in your SOC 2 compliance journey. You need to identify any risks associated with growth, location, or infosec best practices and document the scope of risks from identified threats and vulnerabilities. The exercise is subjective, and you must assess risks for your business, such as from vendors and business partners or leadership changes.

4

Conduct gap analysis & remediation

It is crucial to do a gap analysis at this stage. Doing this will help you understand which procedures, policies, and controls your business already has in place and operationalized and how they measure against the SOC 2 requirements.

5

Implement tailored internal controls for your SOC 2 TSC

Each of the five TSCs in SOC 2 comes with a set of individual criteria (totaling 61). You will need to deploy internal controls for each criteria (under your selected TSC) through policies that establish what is expected and procedures that put your policies into action.

6

Stay vigilant with continuous monitoring

Continuous monitoring is the most critical step in your compliance journey, which will always keep you SOC 2 ready. It’s akin to a constant loop that requires you to test your controls, remediate the gaps, try again, and continuously collect evidence of compliance.

7

Audit SOC 2

At this stage, you must authorize an independent certified auditor to complete your SOC 2 audit and generate a report. While SOC 2 compliance costs can be a significant factor, choose an auditor with established credentials and experience auditing businesses like yours. With Sprinto, evidence collection, and cataloging are automated. You also get access to Sprinto’s network of independent third-party auditors.

4

Conduct gap analysis & remediation

It is crucial to do a gap analysis at this stage. Doing this will help you understand which procedures, policies, and controls your business already has in place and operationalized and how they measure against the SOC 2 requirements.

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Types of reports under SOC 2 compliance

A SOC 2 compliance report comes in Type 1 and Type 2. You can decide which one you want depending on what your customers require of you (in terms of Trust Services Criteria) and the timelines you are ready to work with.

SOC 2 Type 1 Report

SOC 2 Type 2 Report

Purpose

SOC 2 Type 1 report affirms that controls are in place at that point in time.

SOC 2 Type 2 confirms that the controls in place are actually work

ng too over a period of time; the one we think you will need eventually. 

Cost

$7,500 to $15,000

$10,000k to $25,000

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Why is Sprinto better than others?

Sprinto was founded as a solution to the problems its founders faced when they needed to get a SOC 2 certification. Sprinto ensures you don’t put your business growth on the back burner while working on getting security certifications to earn your customers’ trust. When done well, SOC compliance can serve as a growth enabler and help swing those lucrative enterprise deals in your favor!

Frequently Asked Questions

SOC 2 audits are exclusively carried out by licensed CPA firms or agencies accredited by the AICPA. Also, the auditor or auditing firm must be an independent CPA, ensuring they have no affiliations or connections with the service organization being audited.

SOC 2 compliance is a voluntary standard established by the AICPA for service organizations. It outlines guidelines for effectively managing customer data. The SOC 2 standard is built upon the Trust Services Criteria, which includes the following key aspects: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

SOC 2 compliance entails meeting specific criteria evaluated during an audit. In 2023, there are five essential TSCs that businesses need to adhere to. These criteria include Security, Availability, Confidentiality, Processing Integrity, and Privacy. Each TSC sets out your organization’s compliance requirements by implementing robust internal controls.

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