SOC 2

 

Service Organization ControlS

Today’s data-driven businesses require SOC 2 certification to ensure data security and privacy. The implementation process assesses and reviews your organization’s data security protocol. Thus, SOC 2 compliance enables a robust security framework and mitigates potential risks. The continuous incidents of data breaches make SOC 2 certification essential for service providers. SaaS-based companies must manage their functionality. 

In addition, the SOC 2 certification has multiple benefits that need consideration before implementation. It enables trust and confidence, mitigates risk, and prevents data breaches. Thus, it helps improve the organization’s overall security. Furthermore, it creates trust among clients regarding their data privacy and improves business capabilities.

SOC 2 Certifiction

Certification and Auditing Services by CertPro For SOC 2 Certification

If your organization aims to secure its organizational and customer data, SOC 2 certification can help you achieve these goals. In addition, executing SOC 2 compliance can be a complex procedure requiring expert support and guidance. In this regard, CertPro can help you on your SOC 2 compliance journey. We understand the significance of the regulations and offer adequate support and advice. CertPro has a quality expert team to provide concrete solutions and suggestions for your SOC 2 certification process. Our experts will ensure that your organization follows the AICPA(American Institute of CPAs) requirements for cyber security.

Why choose CertPro for SOC 2 certification and auditing?

CertPro is a reputed SOC 2 compliance auditor. Therefore, collaboration with CertPro enables various favorable options for your organization. Our qualified professionals will provide tailored assistance in the complex certification process. Again, CertPro strictly follows data security and legal guidelines when implementing compliance. Thus, we assure you that our services help you build trust and mitigate potential threats related to data security. CertPro assures you of a smooth certification process that creates a positive positioning in the dynamic market.

                Factors CertPro Advantage
               Time to Certification 4x faster than traditional approaches
               Price Competitive rates with flexible options
               Process Streamlined and efficient methodology
               Expertise 10+ years of industry experience

Certpro’s Cost-Effective Approach to SOC 2 Certification

CertPro delivers the best prices for SOC 2 certification. We assure you that with CertPro, your investment will produce the best value for your organization. Accordingly, our skilled professionals are familiar with the certification process, streamlining resource allocation, and reducing nonessential expenditures. Thus, we provide tailored remedies that align with your organization’s objectives and goals. Therefore, it reduces the SOC 2 cost of compliance. Furthermore, CertPro allows you to achieve SOC 2 compliance without creating financial burdens. Hence,  you can adhere to the most rigorous data security and trustworthiness requirements under CertPro’s recommendation.

No. of employees Timeline Cost (approx.)
1 – 25 6 weeks 4750 USD
25-100 8 weeks 6750 USD
100-250 8-10 weeks 9750 USD
250 plus 12 weeks Custom plans
For SOC 2 Type II audit attestation post Type I @ 3000 USD

UNDERSTANDING SOC 2

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) established SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2), a widely used auditing standard. It focuses on the system and organization controls for service providers that store, process, or transmit sensitive data. SOC 2 reports provide detailed information about the effectiveness of these controls in ensuring security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

The SOC (Service Organization Control) suite of services consists of SOC 1, & SOC 2. These services are designed to provide assurance and confidence to clients and stakeholders regarding an organization’s controls and practices.

  • SOC 1: SOC 1, or SSAE 18 reports, focuses on financial reporting controls. They assess the effectiveness of an organization’s internal controls over financial reporting and are typically relevant for companies providing outsourced services that impact their clients’ financial statements.
  • SOC 2: The SOC 2 report evaluates an organization’s controls for security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy, assuring the effectiveness of its systems and organization control measures. It assesses the system and organization controls on financial reporting. It is commonly used by SaaS providers, cloud service providers, and other technology-related companies to demonstrate their commitment to data security.

These SOC reports and services are essential for organizations to demonstrate their commitment to security, privacy, financial controls, cybersecurity, and supply chain integrity. SOC for Cybersecurity and Supply Chain are two specialized assessments within the SOC framework that focus on specific areas of risk management.

  • SOC for Cybersecurity: SOC for Cybersecurity is an evaluation specifically focused on an organization’s cybersecurity risk management program, providing an in-depth assessment of its effectiveness. It evaluates the effectiveness of controls and processes related to identifying, protecting against, detecting, responding to, and recovering from cybersecurity incidents.
  • SOC for Supply Chain: This is a newer addition to the SOC suite. It addresses the risks associated with an organization’s supply chain and assesses the controls to manage them. The SOC for Supply Chain evaluates procurement, vendor management, logistics, and information security processes to verify the security and integrity of the supply chain.

A SOC for cybersecurity and supply chain integrity provides organizations with valuable insights and assurances regarding their risk management practices in critical areas.

THE STEPS TO GET SOC 2 CERTIFICATION

The certification process demands multiple steps for a successful certification and to ensure cybersecurity. However, the steps can vary depending on the organization’s structure and functionality. The steps required to become SOC 2 certified are summarized as follows:

1.  Understand the scope: An organization must select trust service criteria based on its requirements. In this view, security is the common trust idea. In addition, the organization can choose more trusted services for its SOC 2 report.  

2.  Assess Current Controls: Internal audits evaluate controls and ascertain their effectiveness. Thus, the process involves conducting a risk assessment and documenting the implementation regarding data security.

3. Remediate Gaps: In this step, the auditor identifies the gap between the existing controls and the implementation of necessary controls to ensure cybersecurity. Therefore, implementing new strategies, documentation processes, and proper monitoring systems confirms compliance with regulatory rules. 

4. Engage a CPA Firm: An external auditor or a certified public accountant is appointed to evaluate the organization’s cyber security protocols. Therefore, the auditing process examines every facet of the organization’s activities to assess the efficacy of controls. 

5.  Pre-Assessment Readiness Review: This step recognizes the organization’s readiness for the final SOC 2 audit process. Therefore, an internal readiness overview of the processes ensures the proper execution of strategies and documentation.

6. SOC 2 Audit: The external auditor reviews the effectiveness of your organization’s data security measures. Consequently, efficient communication between the business and external auditors is essential to delivering evidence and quickening the certification process.

7.  Receive Audit Report: Companies must get a SOC 2 report from the external auditor. The report demonstrates that the business follows strict protocols that ensure cybersecurity and lessen the likelihood of data leaks. Therefore, the report can be Type I or Type II. The organization decides which one is appropriate for its business.  

8.  Ongoing Compliance: Obtaining SOC 2 certification in practice calls for ongoing observation and development. The process allows for strong security measures and lowers the likelihood of non-compliance-related issues.

Note: Collaboration with an experienced auditing firm can make the auditing process smooth and easy. Therefore, it guarantees that all the necessary steps are considered for a simple certification process.

THE STEPS TO GET SOC 2 CERTIFICATION

IMPORTANCE OF SOC 2

If your organization manages and handles a considerable amount of data, then SOC 2 compliance is crucial for securing the sensitive data. The process ensures that your organization follows a strict protocol for securing the client’s data. Therefore, it helps create trust and develop business relationships with customers and partners. In addition, following a compliance regulation reduces the risk of data breaches and fosters a formal framework in the risk-handling process. Thus, the process gives you a competitive advantage and offers business opportunities. Lastly, implementing SOC 2 compliance improves your organization’s security and privacy posture. SOC 2 compliance certification helps your business grow and get marketers’ appreciation.

COMPARING SOC 2 EVALUATIONS: TYPE I VS TYPE II

Implementing SOC 2 compliance is a complex process for organizations. In addition, the certification can be of two types: Type I and Type II. The primary differences are the scope and duration of audits. Type I takes less effort and time, while Type II demands extensive reviewing of the operational process and recommends implementation for improvement.

COMPARING SOC 2 EVALUATIONS TYPE I VS TYPE II(NW)

A GUIDE TO SOC 2 REPORTING

SOC 2 reporting evaluates the implemented controls regarding cyber security and the organization’s measures for mitigating risks. There are two types of SOC 2 certification: I and II. Type I certification requires less time and effort compared to Type II. In addition, SOC 2 Type II certification demands significant effort and commitment to achieve success. However, it increases customer trust, improves security protocol, and provides competitive advantages. Organizations can get an easy certification process if they collaborate with an experienced auditing team. Again, organizations can show their dedication to data security by adequately adhering to regulatory compliance and monitoring.

A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO DIFFERENT SOC 2 COMPLIANCE TYPES

SOC 2 compliance can be categorized into two types. Each of them has specific objectives and requirements. 

  • Type I Compliance: It assesses the sustainability and design of an organization’s controls. Therefore, the process requires recognizing the scope, understanding the trust service criteria, determining the risks, and developing controls.
  • Type II Compliance: The Type II certification process requires the evaluation of functional controls in organizations. Thus, it takes 6 to 12 months to achieve the process. In this segment, different controls are implemented to achieve the desired goal. In addition, an external auditor audits the implemented controls to ensure data safety.    

Therefore, implementing SOC 2 compliance showcases the organization’s dedication to data security and prevents cyber attacks.

SOC 2 REQUIREMENTS: A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW

The certification procedure imposes extra requirements to fulfill the trust service standards.  Consequently, the following is a list of prerequisites for SOC 2 compliance requirements:

  • Control Objectives: The organization must have specific objectives when selecting the trust service criteria. These objectives help outline the desired outcomes of implementing controls to protect sensitive data. 
  • Written Policies & Procedures: It is essential to document policies and procedures implemented to secure the data. Proper documentation of policies and procedures can also be used for future reference and auditing. 
  • Risk Assessment: An adequate risk assessment procedure can help recognize the organization’s vulnerabilities and implement mitigation strategies. 
  • Control Activities: SOC 2 Compliance certification requires logical and physical access controls. These controls prevent unauthorized access to and alteration of data while being handled and stored. 
  • Monitoring Services: Continuous monitoring is necessary for SOC 2 compliance and certification to guarantee the efficacy of data security measures. Thus, the process covers the incident response and security backup processes.
  • Testing: Periodic testing of the controls ensures the framework’s effectiveness in data security. The process includes audits and reviewing of internal controls.  
  • Third-Party Service Providers: Collaboration with third-party service providers ensures the follow-through of robust data security protocols. Therefore, SOC 2 certification requires effective vendor management.
  • Reporting: A SOC 2 report suggested that the organization follows a strict and effective protocol for maintaining data security. It also signifies that the controls executed are efficient in this process.

Note: The above-stated requirements are necessary for SOC 2 compliance. It ensures that the organization implements correct strategies in its data security aspect.

SOC 2 REQUIREMENTS A COMPREHENSIVE OVERVIEW

THE BENEFITS OF AN SOC 2 AUDIT

The certification offers your company several advantages that support business expansion. It provides competitive advantages, mitigates threats, and improves services. Some benefits are enumerated below:

  • Demonstrating Compliance: The certification guarantees the security of the organization’s data. Therefore, it lowers the possibility of cyberattacks and builds trust. 
  • Building Trust: The certification results in the stakeholders’ developing reliance and trust. Thus, clients understand that service providers value their privacy and take various security measures to protect data. 
  • Competitive Advantage: The organization’s adherence to industry-specific norms and regulations shows how committed the company is to data security and protection. Thus, it enables trust and confidence among the stakeholders. In addition, it helps in business growth and attracts customers. 
  • Risk Management: SOC 2 certification reduces the likelihood of data breaches and the organization’s security risk. Therefore, it reduces the risks of penalties and damages for non-compliance. 
  • Improved Internal Controls: The certification guarantees the security of the organization’s data. It also lowers the possibility of cyberattacks and builds consumer trust. Furthermore, the SOC 2 certification process confirms a robust framework in cyber security.
  • Assisting Organizations: SOC 2 certification lowers the possibility of data breaches and guarantees that service providers offer continuing support services. In addition, it encourages efficient vendor management and guarantees robust data security procedures while working with vendors

WHAT IS THE SOC 2 COMPLIANCE CHECKLIST?

The SOC 2 compliance checklist provides comprehensive instructions for achieving and preserving SOC 2 compliance. Specific duties may vary based on the nature of the products and services offered, the scope of the report, and the needed report type, even if particular steps are the same for all companies seeking SOC 2 certification. Creating security rules, implementing controls, carrying out risk analyses, and performing audits are typical universal phases. The checklist needs to be customized to the unique needs of every firm to guarantee complete compliance. Organizations may effectively navigate the SOC 2 compliance procedure and mitigate possible risks if these factors are closely examined and the checklist is customized appropriately.

1.  SOC 2 planning and Preparation: A personalized checklist will put you in the best possible position for success in your SOC 2 compliance journey. At the initial stage, identify the trust service criteria for your organization based on your company’s needs. The next stage is to define the characteristics specific to your business and the scope of your compliance efforts. Establish a robust communication network between key departments, including administration, human resources, and other critical divisions, to encourage internal synergy. This ensures that all parties agree and actively engage in the compliance process.

Do a thorough readiness assessment to identify areas for development and ascertain your organization’s existing state. Following this personalized checklist will pave the way for seamless SOC 2 compliance and show your stakeholders how committed your company is to data security and dependability.

2.  Implementation of SOC 2 controls: Develop clear objectives that align with your company’s requirements and familiarize yourself with the Trust Services Criteria, encompassing processing integrity, availability, privacy, security, and processing integrity. Choose the audit technique that best meets your needs: SOC 2 Type 1 for a snapshot review or SOC 2 Type 2 for a more thorough analysis of ongoing controls.

The next crucial step is to establish the parameters that apply to your company and specify the scope of your compliance activities. Effective communication channels must be cultivated amongst key departments, including administration, HR, and other related areas to ensure active engagement and internal coordination during the compliance process.

Conduct a thorough readiness assessment to determine opportunities for improvement and analyze your organization’s current status. Using this customized checklist, you can set the stage for an easy and quick route to SOC 2 compliance while proving your organization’s dedication to data security and reliability to stakeholders.

3.  SOC 2 audit: Once all the necessary controls have been implemented, you should be ready for your SOC 2 audit.

  • Collect Evidence: Gather all relevant paperwork and proof so your auditor can perform a comprehensive audit.
  • Hire a SOC 2 auditor with the following qualifications: Choose an auditor from a respectable AICPA-accredited company to guarantee the legitimacy and experience required for your SOC 2 audit.
  • Work together with the auditor: Keep lines of communication open with the auditor you have selected, and send them any additional files or information they need to complete the audit.

A SOC 2 Type 2 audit will likely take longer than a SOC 2 Type 1 audit. Furthermore, ensure you have all the necessary paperwork ready, including a detailed statement detailing any changes you made to the system while it was under audit.

4.  SOC 2 maintenance: Once SOC 2 compliance is attained, it must be sustained over time. This checklist aids in establishing a sustainable maintenance strategy. Use a trust management platform to enable continuous monitoring so that you can regularly assess your system for changes and compliance gaps. Ensure the monitoring solution you select is scalable, can compile documents, integrates with current workflows, sends out control discrepancy notifications, and offers complete visibility into your security infrastructure. This proactive strategy promotes continuous adherence to SOC 2 standards by enabling the prompt discovery and correction of compliance concerns. You can effectively maintain compliance by incorporating these procedures into your operational framework, thereby protecting the integrity and reputation of your firm over time.

THE IMPORTANCE OF SOC 2 COMPLIANCE FOR DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTION

The certification process ensures data privacy and secures sensitive data. Therefore, some other critical importance are discussed below: 

  • Trust and Confidence: The organization follows a strict protocol to safeguard customers’ data, creating trust and belief among stakeholders and customers. In addition, it positively impacts the market and helps in business growth.  
  • Industry Recognition: It provides competitive opportunities in the global market and offers positive advantages. Furthermore, it shows the organization’s commitment to industry-specific regulations. 
  • Comprehensive Evaluation: The certification process assesses the organization’s data protection controls, reviewing its functionality and approaches to ensuring data security. 
  • Risk Mitigation: Implementing regulatory compliance decreases cyberattack risks and vulnerabilities. Consequently,  it oversees and controls the company’s data security.
  • Customer Expectations: Modern customers are concerned about data privacy and security. Therefore, SOC 2 certification confirms that the organization maintains a proper data security protocol.
  • Internal Process Improvement: The organization’s adherence to industry-specific norms and regulations is demonstrated by its enforcement of regulatory compliance. Thus, it shows an effective internal process that helps the organization function. 
  • Incident Response Readiness: The certification process ensures a proper framework for incident response, reducing the risks and maintaining privacy.   

SOC 2 certification is essential for maintaining your organization’s data security. It also offers customers trust and mitigates potential risks. Therefore, adherence to compliance enables a positive impact on businesses and opportunities.

ELIGIBILITY FOR SOC 2 CERTIFICATION

SOC 2 certification ensures data security and privacy if your organization keeps and saves customer data. Therefore, the certification is a testament to the business’s commitment to data security. It also provides customers with the assurance that their personal information is secure. Moreover, SOC 2 certification and compliance are necessary for the financial, SaaS, and healthcare industries. It helps them keep up their good name. However, if your company deals with customer data violations, you could run into financial problems. Similarly, being certified offers you a competitive advantage over rivals globally.

Again, an organization’s security measures may have holes that need to be filled, as identified by SOC 2 certification. Finding vulnerabilities reduces the risk of data manipulation, prevents data breaches, and lessens the impact on finances. If you are SOC 2 certified, clients and marketers will finally come to your business.

HOW MUCH DOES SOC 2 CERTIFICATION COST?

The SOC 2 certification cost varies based on the complexity and size of the firm. Therefore, small firms with straightforward data systems must spend less on compliance processes than significant sectors. Additionally, compared to Type 2 reports, SOC 2 Type 1 reports need less time and resources. Therefore, Type 2 reports are expensive as the process requires extensive analyses and control suggestions. Furthermore, external auditors may want hefty fees to do the audit. Thus, compare the prices and capabilities of the auditing firms before choosing them. Additionally, the costs associated with SOC 2 certification include recurring audits, implementation of strategies,  surveillance audits, and monitoring. In this context, if the compliance fees are high, there is a significant danger of financial loss to the company in case of non-compliance. In general, the cost of SOC 2 certification for an organization with 1 to 25 employees can be approximately $4,750 USD. It can be around $6,750 for organizations with 25 to 100 employees. Lastly, the cost can be up to $9,750 for an organization with over 100 employees.

CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS IN SOC 2 CERTIFICATION

Challenges in SOC 2 certification include:

  • Scope Determination: Organizations must choose trust principles before implementing a data security architecture.  
  • Control Implementation: Documenting the implemented controls is crucial, as the record can be used in future audit processes. 
  • Gap Remediation: Addressing the vulnerabilities and taking sufficient measures to implement the controls is essential.

Solutions to confound these challenges include:

  • Expert Guidance: The process is complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, you need expert guidance and support to implement adequate controls.    
  • Clear Documentation: Organizations must have a straightforward process for executing data security controls and policies. 

Ongoing Monitoring: Continuous monitoring of the controls helps recognize the systems’ potential threats and vulnerabilities. It also assists in prompt modifications of controls that prevent threats.

    HOW LONG DOES SOC 2 CERTIFICATION LAST?

    If your organization receives the SOC 2 report, it is valid for one year only. After that, it must undergo a recertification process to continue compliance. The recertification process also demands internal and external audits. Thus, complying with regulatory compliance signifies that the organization prioritizes its customer data and maintains a robust framework for data security. Lastly, the surveillance audit confirms that the organization follows industry standards in continuing its businesses.

    CERTPRO: EMPOWERING YOUR BUSINESS TO ATTAIN SOC 2 COMPLIANCE EFFORTLESSLY

    Enforcing regulatory compliance shows that your business is credible regarding cybersecurity. Consequently, CertPro can help your company develop a secure information handling protocol. Therefore, we provide our clients with high-caliber services. Furthermore, our team of experts will assist you in putting in place a robust cybersecurity architecture. Once you achieve SOC 2 compliance, our services will still be available. Additionally, CertPro adapts the compliance strategy to the firm’s unique needs. Again, we will adhere to your organization’s data security and trust service requirements while offering comprehensive services throughout the certification process.

    Therefore, choose CertPro, SOC 2 compliance experts, to achieve a strategic framework that is both affordable and helps you enforce data security regulations in your organization. Last but not least, selecting CertPro for your SOC 2 certification will help you protect your data and build stakeholder confidence and trust.

    FAQ’s

    HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE SOC 2 COMPLIANCE?

    The timeframe to achieve SOC 2 compliance varies depending on the organization’s readiness and the complexity of its control environment. It can range from several months to a year or more, considering the time required for gap analysis, control implementation, testing, and audit preparation.

    WHICH IS BETTER SOC 1 OR SOC 2?

    SOC 1 and SOC 2 primarily distinguish themselves by their focal points. While SOC 1 reports primarily manage financial data, SOC 2 reports encompass a broader array of topics, including availability, security, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

    WHAT ARE THE SOC 2 CONTROLS?

    SOC 2 controls are the procedures, policies, and technology measures put in place to prevent and detect security breaches, thereby strengthening your information security standards. They help to anticipate and detect potential security flaws.

    WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE OF SOC 2 NON-COMPLIANCE?

    Consequences of SOC 2 non-compliance include loss of customer trust, reputational damage, potential legal and regulatory penalties, increased security risks, an inability to attract new customers, and limited business opportunities due to non-compliance with industry standards and customer requirements.

    IS SOC 2 CERTIFICATION MANDATORY?

    Although SOC 2 certification is not necessary, customers, business partners, or regulatory bodies frequently request it in order to evaluate an organization’s control environment. Obtaining SOC 2 certification can enhance an organization’s credibility, trustworthiness, and competitiveness.
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