In order to build trust with your clients about how you’ll be protecting their data, it’s important that the systems you’ve outlined are backed up by validation from a third-party organization. Completing a SOC 2 audit allows you to show your commitment to securing your client’s data.
You’ll want to be as prepared as possible for your SOC 2 assessment. Whether you’re looking to get a better understanding of SOC 2, or if you’re ready for your yearly assessment, we have some advice that will help get you started on the right path.
SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria
The SOC 2 report analyzes 5 specific aspects of your service organization. The internal controls you have in place will have to be defined by your auditor according to these criteria.
- Security: Information and systems are protected against unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of information, and damage to systems.
- Availability: Information and systems are available for operation and use to meet the entity’s objectives.
- Confidentiality: Information designated as confidential is protected to meet the entity’s objectives.
- Processing Integrity: System processing is complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized to meet the entity’s objectives.
- Privacy: Personal information is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and disposed to meet the entity’s objectives.
Preparing for Your SOC 2 Audit
- Scoping: In addition to the 5 Trust Services Criteria outlined above, there are other scoping considerations that must be kept in mind during your SOC 2 examination, including: your systems, services, people, locations, entities or technologies. There are also other security frameworks that can be layered on to your SOC 2 program, depending on your business needs, such as: HITRUST, HIPAA, and others.
- Readiness Assessment: A SOC 2 Readiness Assessment is truly your best preparation for your SOC 2 examination. While there are new software options that claim to streamline the certification process, there is no replacement for an experienced auditing team. Our auditors are here to ensure your processes and systems are set up for SOC 2 reporting success.
- Remediate Gaps: Your auditing firm will be able to guide you through how to remediate any gaps found through your Readiness Examination. Security controls will be reassessed after remediation to ensure that they are working as intended.
Best Practices for a Successful SOC 2 Examination
- Fully understand your business’ risks or weaknesses. This will help ensure proper mitigation.
- Ensure all necessary stakeholders are onboard with the compliance process. This might involve executive business leaders and management.
- Assign a specific point-of-contact within your organization to streamline necessary readiness initiatives.
No checklist can fully prepare you for a SOC examination. Our team of experienced auditors is here to work with you through the readiness process to ensure that your final SOC 2 report is completed successfully. If you’re ready to get started with your SOC 2 examination, contact us today.
Want to Learn More About SOC 2?
Our downloadable PDF “SOC 2: What You Need to Know” offers additional information on the SOC 2 reporting process. Learn how a SOC 2 certification can help you gain a competitive edge and stand out from the crowd.