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Learn the Basics of SOC 2 Compliance

Trustworthy, secure, reliable — all companies strive to achieve and sustain these three qualities for their clients.

So, how can you ensure the data security of your clients?

Well, SOC 2 is your solution.

SOC 2 is a framework that applies to all technology service or SaaS companies that store customer data in the cloud. Compliance with SOC 2 ensures that organizational controls and measures can effectively protect and secure the data of their clients and customers.

Now, what is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 is a reporting platform developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). It shields the information of your clients and keeps it safe and secure.

As a framework for data protection — it works on the five trust service principles: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

What are the five trust services principles?

Following is a list of the same:

1. Security is the protection of information and systems from unauthorized access. A company can achieve this criterion by implementing IT security infrastructures such as two-factor authentication, firewalls, and other features.

2. Availability refers to whether the infrastructure, software, or information used by your company is secured by prevalent controls — ensuring that the operations are conducted, monitored, and maintained properly. This practice also assesses whether or not your organization works on minimally acceptable network performance levels and assesses and mitigates potential external threats.

3. Processing integrity secures that the systems perform their functions perfectly and without any error, delay, omission, or unauthorized or unintentional manipulation. This principle, therefore, checks whether all the data processing operations are authorized, complete, and accurate.

4. Confidentiality brackets the expertise of a company to protect data that should solely be accessible to a limited number of entities. As per this policy — confidential information about a company, such as business plans or intellectual property rights, or client data intended solely for company personnel (or any of such documents that require the protection by various laws, regulations, and agreements) are to be kept secured.

The Privacy standard reflects the ability of an organization to protect the personally identifiable information of customers from unauthorized access. This data includes their names, their social security numbers, and addresses, as well as other identifiers such as race, ethnicity, or health information.

Remember: SOC 2 is not a list of controls, tools, or processes that are mandatory to follow.

It rather lists the criteria required to maintain strong information security — allowing your company to adopt practices and processes that are relevant to its objectives and operations.

SOC 2 Type 1 vs. SOC 2 Type 2

Well, what is the difference?

The primary distinction between SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2 reports are:

1. The timeline and,

2. The subject matter covered.

SOC 2 Type 1 is a point-in-time report that solely covers control design.

This, therefore, implies that you can begin your audit as soon as your compliance program becomes fully operational.

The question, however, to be answered over here is: whether you are currently SOC 2 Type 1 compliant and can demonstrate to an auditor that your controls are designed appropriately or not?

SOC 2 Type 2 is a time-based report. It covers both — the design and operational effectiveness of controls.

Thus, when adhering to this reporting program, you have to verify that you have been compliant every hour of each day — within a set time frame (usually between six months and a year).

The question that pops over here is: whether you have consistently been SOC 2 Type 2 compliant and whether you can show an auditor that your controls have been designed competently and, hence, operated effectively?

Thus, ensure to answer these questions and subsequently start working on your SOC 2 compliance procedures.

To whom does SOC 2 apply?

As said earlier, SOC 2 applies to any technology service provider or SaaS provider that handles or stores customer data.

Third-party vendors, support organizations, or other partners with whom your firm collaborates — should all be SOC 2 compliant. This process will ensure the efficiency and integrity of your safeguards and data systems.

What are the advantages of SOC 2 Certification?

SOC 2 necessitates an organization to develop and implement specific information security policies and procedures that are well-aligned with its goals.

The compliance procedure can be conducted over a six to twelve-month period — to ensure that the security measures of a company are in accordance with the evolving requirements of cloud data protection.

Now, when your company adheres to SOC 2 compliance — it renders utmost satisfaction to your clients and their customers. It provides them with the assurance that you have the infrastructure, tools, and processes, effective enough, to protect their data from unauthorized access both — within and outside the firm.

Hence, SOC 2 compliance makes:

1. Your company understands what normal operations are and regularly monitors for malicious or unidentified activities. It consistently documents system configuration changes and keeps track of user access levels.

2. Your company has tools to detect threats and notify the appropriate parties — allowing them to evaluate the risks and granting them the power to take the required actions for protecting data and systems from unauthorized access or use.

3. Your company will have access to relevant data about any security incidents, allowing you to assess the scope of the problem, remediate systems or processes as needed, and restore data and process integrity.

How can Under-Controls Management System help?

Under-Controls Management System can help your company comply with or audit its SOC 2. This process can allow you to map your business processes, examine your infrastructure and security practices, and identify and rectify any gaps or vulnerabilities.

So, if your company handles or stores customer data, then SOC 2 framework can surely help you become compliant with industry standards. It can provide your customers with the confidence that you have the necessary processes and practices in place to protect their data.

So, what is the wait for?

Contact Under-Controls Management System as soon as possible.
We are there to help you move ahead.

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