SOC 2 Compliance Audit & Certification

Overview

SOC 2 Compliance is an auditing standard designed to help service organisations document, validate and certify their information security policies and practices by independent CPAs. Its goal is to help service & SaaS organisations give customers assurance around their data security practices.

SOC 2 or Service Organization Control 2 is an auditing standard designed to ensure that third party service organisations are able to securely manage data and protect its clients. Its precursor was the Statement of Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70).

SOC 2 is intended for service organisations and focuses on five “trust carrier principles”: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality and Privacy.

The SOC 2 Compliance reports can play an important role in:

  • Oversight of third party organisations
  • Evaluating vender security practices
  • Internal corporate governance
  • Internal risk management
  • Regulatory oversight

Types of SOC 2 Compliance Reports

There are two types of reports as part of a SOC 2 Compliance Audits:

Type 1 – Management Description: covers the management’s snapshot of the organisation including the scope, description of the system and controls implemented. The SOC 2 Type 1 report shows that the organisation has best practices in place.

Type 2 – Operational Effectiveness: covers the actual operational effectiveness of the controls implemented. An external CPA must carry out a thorough examination of your internal control policies and practices over a period of time and certify their operational effectiveness. The SOC 2 Type 2 report shows that the organisation has successfully planned, deployed and validated controls in-line with industry best practices.


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Benefits of SOC 2 Compliance Audit & Certification

Documentation

A comprehensive report of the information security processes, policies, controls in place at your organisation.

Assurance

Independent third-party verified assurance of your data security controls for your customers and partners.

Awareness

Your teams and partners gain improved insight over your risk, governance, best practices and internal controls.

Approach for SOC 2 Compliance Audit & Certification

Phase 1: Gap Assessment

The engagement starts with a Gap Assessment of existing policies, processes & practices against the requirements of SOC 2 Compliance. An appropriate Gap Assessment report is prepared, highlighting the gaps, planning actions for mitigation, etc. The organisation’s feedback, response and plan to address the SOC 2 Trust Service Principle and Criteria (TSP) is also documented.

Phase 2: Security Controls, Documentation & Training

At this stage, our team works with the organisation in planning Security Controls based on the current landscape. Documentation templates required for security control planning such as Policies, Procedures, Templates, Formats etc are provided as required. In-addition our team can provide training or guidance on best practices for implementing appropriate controls and policies. Information security awareness around best practices, policies & processes are carried out for relevant teams and stakeholders.

In-case of SOC 2 Type 1 Assessment, submissions and documentations can be made to the CPA / CA authority. In the case of SOC 2 Type 2 Assessment, the assessment can be scheduled and process for the certification audit initiated.

Phase 3: Monitoring & Observation

At this phase. the in-scope system, control, policies, processes should be defined, documented & implemented and our teams will initiate monitoring the progress and compliance. Various processes, records and operational reports will be validated for effectiveness and integrity. Our team may suggest improvements as needed.

Phase 4: Readiness Assessment

At this phase, our team will carry out a comprehensive internal assessment of the readiness for the SOC 2 Type 2 attestation. The intent is to identify and mitigate any potential gaps or areas of improvement prior to the external audit.

Phase 5: External Assessment

Once the readiness and SOC 2 implementation is completely ready and validated, the external CPA can be invited for the final assessment. Our team will provide appropriate guidance and hand-holding through this process.

Phase 6: Certification

On successful completion of the earlier five phases, the external CPA should issue the Attested SOC 2 Compliance Report.

 

 

SOC 2 Compliance Audit & Certification – Cheatsheet

SOC 2 Compliance Audit & Certification – Cheatsheet

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