SOC 2 Compliance Requirements: Essential Knowledge For Security Audits
SOC 2 compliance helps you prioritize your security control measures to ensure better data security for your clients. This has practical value and clients demand that companies that handle client data should conform to the SOC 2 compliance.
Certified third part auditors generate SOC 2 report after ensuring that your company conforms to the data security auditing framework laid down by the AICPA.
The report of your control measures generated by CPAs gives the client confidence in your ability to handle their sensitive data.
If your company does not specialize in handling financial data then you do not need the SOC 1. If you want to share your policies and procedures for data security with your client then the SOC 3 is too non-technical.
In this case you need the SOC 2. If you simply want to have your security control design audited then go for the Type I SOC 2.
But for auditing the day-to-day implementation of these procedures you need the stringent Type II SOC 2 report. Find out more at https://duplocloud.com/solutions/security-and-compliance/soc-2
With no specific checklists, the AICPA guidelines for auditing are based on 5 Trust Services Criteria (TCAs).
Your data security measures should address these principle criteria, but their interpretation can be broad. To help with the implementation it also offers “points of focus”
The first point of focus is the Control Environment. This ensures that the employees maintain ethical standards and accountability while implementing controls.
The same is also applicable to the board of directors and management. The second point of focus is Communication/ Information which ensures a uniform code of conduct is communicated to all personnel.
The third point of focus is Risk Assessment aimed at assessing exploitable weaknesses and determining potential for data breach.
The fourth and fifth points of focus are Control Monitoring and Control Activities respectively. Together this ensures that control processes are monitored and gaps addressed by developing more secure technologies, processes and policies.
The requirements for SOC 2 Compliance are mainly the five TSCs. These are security, privacy, process integrity, availability and confidentiality.
Your clients rely on you for preventing unauthorized access and use of their data. There are four main ways to directly address these security concerns. These CC series controls based on COSO principle 12 are as follows:
This looks at how your company restricts logical and physical access to the client’s data. To address this, companies may use cameras, firewalls, multifactor authentication, restricting portable storage of client data, and such policies play a role here.
This looks at your procedures for detecting anomalies and addressing security events. Different companies use different protocols for this and the audit looks at their effectiveness.
This looks at how you manage the changes in the IT infrastructure. This includes the design of the new system and the process of deployment.
This looks at the process of establishing risks to business disruption and vendor activities. It also includes the mitigation process for resolving the identified risks.
Companies that handle client data need to have clear privacy objectives on data collection as well as processing.
These objectives must be communicated to the clients. This ensures access and disclosure of data follow stated objectives. This P series criteria of Privacy ensures that these processes are followed and adequately monitored.
The PI series criteria Process integrity ensures that all data collection is objective based. Companies must define what data it needs and maintain records of inputs and outputs.
A Series criteria of Availability ensures customers can access data as and when they want subject to prior agreement. For this, companies monitor system capacities and check system integrity after a breach.
The legal framework of every country accommodates confidentiality concerns of an individual. Companies must abide by these and other regulations and contractual agreements pertaining to client confidentiality.
The C Series Confidentiality criteria ensures that sensitive personal information of clients and their customers is secure. For this, companies have to destroy confidential information when it is no longer needed.
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