SOC 2: Checklist, Benefits, and How to prepare for its Audit


SOC 2: Checklist, Benefits, and How to prepare for its Audit
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Table Of Content

  • Introduction

  • Checklist for SOC2 Compliant

    1. Determine your organization's goals

    2. Select your auditor wisely

    3. Define your Scope

    4. Choose the type SOC 2 report

    5. Work out, evaluate, and Upgrade

  • Benefits of Soc2 Compliant

  • How to prepare for SOC 2 audit

  • Conclusion


Introduction

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) established SOC 2, a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations that defines how businesses should maintain client data. The standard is based on the Trust Services Criteria for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. A SOC 2 report is tailored to each organization's specific needs. Each organization can build controls that follow one or more trust principles, depending on its unique business practices. These internal reports give vital information about how an organization handles its data to its regulators, business partners, and suppliers.

Checklist for SOC2 Compliant

  • Determine your organization's goals: It’s important to make the decision of getting a SOC 2 certification with a clear goal in mind. Are you ahead of your competition? Or do most of the clients require a SOC 2 certification? No matter what, understand how SOC 2 compliance will help your business. Also, you should understand exactly how many measures and resources you will need to go through the process so there are no disagreements with other company goals or delay in your regular work.

  • Select your auditor wisely: You can pick the auditing firm you'll be working with once you've determined exactly what your goal is. Make sure that any firm you select has a lot of auditing expertise, especially in your sector. Following that, the company will choose the workers who will work with you. They are generally certified public accountants (CPAs) who will evaluate and approve the SOC 2 audit once they have assessed your procedures and security measures.

  • Define your Scope: The only criterionthat is present in every SOC 2 compliance audit is security. You can also define the scope based on the customer's priorities. How will you make customers believe that their information is safe and can be trusted with their data? They might give more attention to quality control and better processes in monitoring. For purposes of secrecy, they may demand perfect data encryption and strict access control. In certain situations, businesses ignore the privacy trust service requirement in favor of complying with other, more stringent, and widely accepted privacy rules, such as the European GDPR. That's because most European businesses place a higher emphasis on GDPR than SOC 2 privacy standards.

  • Choose the type SOC 2 report: However, after you've established a working SOC 2 policy, you'll need to report on how you're doing against it on a regular basis. All of your stakeholders will value Type II considerably more, and it contains the information from Type I as well. In this situation, the Type II report is recommended since it covers a longer period of time and demonstrates to your clients that the security procedures you've implemented are effective. To accomplish so, though, you'll need a record-keeping system that has tracked your success over time.

  • Work out, evaluate, and Upgrade: You may begin preparing for the audit now that you've identified your objectives, scope, and report type. Here area few points to keep in mind:

  1. Gather and examine any current procedure papers, security control rules, and self-assessments you've developed so far.

  1. Look for any gaps that these papers may have. The focus will change depending on whatever trust service criterion you're striving for. For example, you could rethink who has access to sensitive data, how you monitor the success of your security policies, and so on.

  1. You must develop an improvement strategy to improve the control system and current security rules. How would you improve things from where they are present in order to satisfy SOC 2 requirements?

  1. Now that you've filled in the holes in your present policies, double-check to see whether they're actually working. After you've double-checked that everything is in order, you may meet with your auditor.

Benefits of Soc2 Compliant

  • Great security policy: To avoid probable system assaults or failures, it's critical to have defined security procedures and rules that you follow on a regular basis. You will get a substantial advantage over other service providers as a result of this. It also demonstrates to your clients that you are prepared for any system breaches and knows how to deal with them.

  • Well- Organized documentation: Every firm has its own set of procedures and processes. After all, it is how you do your business. But do you have them written down somewhere or do you simply do everything on the flow? Obtaining SOC 2 accreditation will undoubtedly necessitate the organization and documentation of all of your operations. As a result, your company operations will be easier to manage.

  • Improved Risk management policies: Typically, businesses deal with dangerous circumstances as they happen, and they are unaware of even half of the potential hazards. When you pass a SOC 2 audit, you demonstrate that you've planned for a variety of risks and unforeseen circumstances. This enables you to respond and recover swiftly in the event of an emergency.

  • Reliability: It's not easy to have a SOC 2 report authorized. As a result, organizations with SOC 2 accreditation are seen as more trustworthy and secure. As a result, complying with SOC 2 will provide you with a competitive edge over other service providers. This can help you win over clients that are looking for a SOC 2 accredited service provider or who value their data's security.

How to prepare for SOC 2 audit

  • Security: Safety against unofficial access

  • Availability: Defense of the system and data will be available as mentioned in the contract or agreement.

  • Processing Integrity: Security of data that is not changed without authorization.

  • Confidentiality: Protection for sensitive information against authorized access.

  • Privacy: Protection of personal information and how it’s been used.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to achieve SOC 2 certification, all you have to do is put it into practice in your company. Once you've earned SOC 2, make sure you follow these policies in your daily operations.


Author - Rutuja


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