What Is SOC 2 and How to Ensure SOC 2 Compliance

November 02, 2023

SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2) is a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which specifies how organizations should manage customer data. SOC  2 is a framework for evaluating the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a service organization’s systems and controls. It is commonly used for assessing and demonstrating the effectiveness of an organization’s security and privacy practices, particularly those related to data protection and privacy.

SOC 2 compliance involves undergoing an audit conducted by an independent third-party auditing firm to ensure that the organization meets the specified criteria outlined in the SOC 2 framework. There are five Trust Services Criteria (TSC) that an organization can be evaluated against:

Security: This criterion focuses on the protection of information and systems against unauthorized access, breaches and other security threats. It assesses controls related to network security, data encryption, access controls and more.

Availability: This criterion evaluates the organization’s ability to provide its services reliably and maintain uptime, even in the face of disruptions or failures. It assesses controls related to system availability, disaster recovery and business continuity.

Processing iIntegrity: This criterion assesses the accuracy, completeness, and validity of processing transactions and data. It evaluates controls related to data validation, processing accuracy and error detection.

Confidentiality: This criterion focuses on ensuring the protection of sensitive and confidential information. It assesses controls related to data classification, encryption, access controls and secure data handling.

Privacy: This criterion evaluates how well the organization’s practices align with relevant privacy regulations and its commitment to protecting personal information. It assesses controls related to data collection, consent, monitoring and compliance with privacy laws.

SOC 2 reports come in two main types:

Type 1 Report: This report assesses the design of an organization’s controls as ofat a specific point in time. It provides an overview of whether the controls are suitably designed to meet the criteria but doesn’t evaluate the effectiveness of their operation.

Type 2 Report: This report goes a step further and not only evaluates the design of controls but also assesses their effectiveness over a specified period, usually six months or more. It provides a more comprehensive view of how well the controls are implemented and operating.

SOC 2 compliance is important for organizations that handle sensitive customer data, such as cloud service providers, data centers, Ssoftware- as- a- Sservice (SaaS) companies, and others. It helps build trust with customers, partners, and stakeholders by demonstrating a commitment to security, privacy and operational reliability.

It’s worth noting that while SOC 2 compliance is not a legal requirement, it can be a contractual requirement for doing business with certain clients or industries. Additionally, SOC 2 compliance can also serve as evidence of an organization’s commitment to data protection and security, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital landscape.

Ensure compliance with Compliance Manager GRC

We understand that going over every little detail when managing SOC 2 compliance can be an extremely daunting undertaking, especially if you’re a small and or medium-sized financial institution. That’s precisely why we’ve developed thea complete, all-in-one compliance management platform to help you easily meet all your compliance needs.

Compliance Manager GRC empowers you to effortlessly comply with the newly updated standard effortlessly owing to its built-in SOC 2 Compliance Management Template. This feature helps you determine your level of compliance against the Rule and make enterprise-wide changes quickly.

The platform also helps track the terms of your cyber-risk insurance policy and even ensures that everyone with access to your network follows your IT policies and procedures. The platform’s automated assessments and report generation further simplifysimplifies documentation and eliminates manual intervention, saving you time to focus on business-critical operations. It comes with rapid baseline assessments, a policies and procedures manual, customizable controls and even an auditor’s checklist.

Best of all, Compliance Manager GRC is affordable in every sense of the word. It’s packed with high-functioning capabilities worthy of managing compliance for the largest of organizations, yet made easily accessible to even the smallest.

Request a demo of Compliance Manager GRC today and eliminate the fear of non-compliance forever.