Cyber security has become a pressing priority for businesses of all kinds. The Information Technology Infrastructure of a business contains sensitive and valuable client information which is prone to spiteful activities like theft and misuse. All the organizations and third-party vendors are at an increased risk of cyber-attacks, and they must take measures to protect themselves from such extortion.
To secure this type of data, businesses indulge in safety actions to prevent damage of the user’s identity. For this reason, different ventures carry out auditing procedures to ensure that the data is protected. To conduct a successful audit, every entity prepares reports on how the information is maintained and protected. This whole task is made easy with a special compliance, SOC 2. This compliance imposes control through various mediums and validates it with constructive feedback of the audit process.
This blog is about defining SOC 2 and giving a complete guide to its Compliance and Certification. Let's understand its role in attaining cybersecurity while managing informational data.
Service Organization Control Type 2 (SOC 2) is a compliance recognized under American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This non mandatory compliance is developed to establish a structure to manage customer data. It lists a basis on how to control client information in accordance with TSC (Trust Service Criteria).
Trust Service Criteria lays the foundation for the field of SOC and supports the framework in its process and audit. There are five service principles included in the Trust Service Criteria (TSC). The principles are security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. These principles are customizable based on the needs of any business. Each business can impose control with one or more trust services.
These principles uphold an organization's SOC report to reassure the benefits of controls in a business entity. An enterprise must create timely SOC reports to draw an understanding of the weak points. There are two types of SOC 2 reports:
Compliance and certification are done on the basis of SOC 2 principles. These principles are first imposed according to the requirements of the business and then they are evaluated to figure out the gaps in the security and protection of systems, networks and data.
Understanding the principles will give a clear perception of this compliance. Given below are the principles and their explanations.
Business organizations manage their daily tasks with the help of information technology systems where numerous types of data is stored. Other than that, different networks and devices are at risk of access without permission. Security principles protect these networks and data from getting hacked. This prevention is against removal of data, alterations or disclosure of key information, identity theft and misuse of networks.
Tools that help in finding out defamatory attacks are access controls, firewalls, anti-virus, intrusion detection systems and two factor authentication.
Availability principle is to always ensure reliability on Information Technology. Availability SLA (service level agreement) between service providers and clients is based on efficient systems that are accessible throughout the operations. Productive network monitoring systems and disaster recovery plans help in maintaining business continuity during downtime.
Tools that make availability attainable are incident response planning (IRP), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection, disaster recovery and security incident handling.
This criterion defines the processing systems integrity in the organizations. It makes an analysis about the completion of tasks accurately and on the stipulated time to assure fulfillment of objectives. This verification detects errors on time and takes measures to correct them.
Processing integrity monitors data processing to assure the quality of SOC 2 compliance.
There is a need to keep the information undisclosed and maintain its confidentiality over the course of time. The confidential data may include information about intellectual property, financial data and other sensitive information about usernames and passwords of employees. Protected access and proper storage can preserve sensitive details.
Tools that safeguard confidentiality are network or application firewalls, access control and encryption.
An optimized system supervises sensitive personal information with a view to safeguarding it against unauthorized use. Privacy principle is responsible for collection of information, its usage, storage and disclosure according to Personal Identifiable Information (PII). Privacy protection is done by means of authentication, encryption and access control.
SOC 2 audit is an independent examination of whether the organization follows the principles of the Trust Service Criteria effectively and efficiently or not. This audit is important for risk assessment and management. The audit report provides in-depth insights into the internal governance and gives a clear idea of the degree of compliance maintained.
SOC audit is performed by an independent CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or any Accounting Agency. These auditors are regulated by AICPA. Trained under professional standards, the auditors work according to rules and regulations that plan, execute and supervise audit procedures. The auditors ensure that the auditing procedure is carried out under accepted auditing standards.
Such audits are designed for services and systems that handle client information like cloud service providers. This report builds the trust of the customers that their valuable data is in safe hands.
A SOC audit report provides detailed information on the compliance of selected Trust Service Criteria Principles. There are two types of audit reports, and they are:
Organizations are deeply concerned about the security of data and strict compliance can help in achieving this goal. Following SOC 2 compliance showcases the sincerity of organizations towards accomplishing high level of security.
SOC 2 compliance secures sensitive information from invasion and data breaches by improving the information security practices.
It also provides a competitive advantage to organizations and increases customer preference. Business entities can offer specific controls to their customers based on their requirements. A consistent approach can improve the internal controls and protect information proficiently.
Even though SOC 2 is a voluntary compliance, it can greatly enhance the effectiveness of any organization. It helps in refining the internal controls for better operational management and risk mitigation. It ensures that not only physical but virtual steps are also taken towards confidentiality, integrity and privacy of data. Detecting the possible threats is not enough. With SOC 2, business entities can respond immediately and find out the root cause as well. This tool keeps up with the constant change in technology and new software developments.
This extraordinary compliance is the need of every business organization. Cyber Cops is a SOC 2 compliance audit company that is well qualified in the field. It provides customized solutions based on the exact requirements of its clients.
Cyber Cops prepares the SOC 2 compliance audit report in line with five trust criteria principles. With extensive knowledge and explicit approach, Cyber Cops create insightful reports that prohibit unauthorized access, disclosure or damage to the systems. It conducts both types of SOC 2 audits with efficacity. By adopting Cyber Cops as your compliance partner, you can maintain confidentiality, safeguard sensitive data and ensure that operational systems are aligned with the business objectives.