Service Organization Control 2 (SOC2)
What is Service Organization Control 2?
Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2) is a framework for assessing and reporting on the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of data handled by service organizations. It is developed and maintained by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and is widely used to evaluate the controls and processes implemented by service providers, such as cloud service providers, data centers, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers, to protect the data and systems entrusted to them by their customers.
SOC 2 reports are essential for organizations that outsource critical functions or rely on third-party service providers to handle sensitive data. By obtaining a SOC 2 report from their service providers, organizations can gain assurance that the service provider’s controls and practices meet specific security and compliance standards. These reports are often used in vendor risk management and compliance assessments.
The SOC 2 framework includes five Trust Services Criteria, each addressing different aspects of information security and privacy:
- Security: This criterion evaluates the effectiveness of security controls to protect against unauthorized access, data breaches, and other security incidents.
- Availability: It assesses the availability of systems and services to ensure they are accessible and operational when needed.
- Processing Integrity: This criterion focuses on the accuracy and completeness of processing data and transactions.
- Confidentiality: It evaluates the protection of sensitive data from unauthorized access and disclosure.
- Privacy: This criterion assesses whether the service organization collects, uses, retains, and disposes of personal information in compliance with privacy regulations and customer expectations.
SOC 2 reports come in two main types:
- Type I: A Type I report provides an assessment of the service organization’s controls at a specific point in time. It offers a snapshot of the controls in place and their design effectiveness.
- Type II: A Type II report covers a more extended period, typically a minimum of six months. It not only assesses the design of controls but also their operational effectiveness over time. Type II reports provide a more comprehensive view of how controls are maintained and consistently applied.
Service organizations that undergo SOC 2 audits engage third-party auditing firms to evaluate their controls and processes. After the audit, the auditor issues a SOC 2 report that can be shared with the service organization’s customers and prospects as evidence of their commitment to data security and compliance.
SOC 2 reports are valuable tools for organizations seeking to assess and manage the risks associated with outsourcing services or relying on third-party providers. They help build trust between service providers and their clients by demonstrating adherence to recognized security and privacy standards.
What does SOC2 stand for?
Soc 2, pronounced “sock two” and more formally known as Service Organization Control 2, reports on various organizational controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality or privacy.
What is a SOC2 report? How do I review a SOC report?
A SOC 2 audit report provides detailed information and assurance about a service organisation’s security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy controls, based on their compliance with the AICPA’s (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) TSC (Trust Services Criteria).
What are the differences between SOC2 and SOC1?
SOC 2 reports: The SOC 1 addresses internal control relevant to a service organization’s client’s financial statements. The SOC 2 report addresses a service organization’s controls that are relevant to its operations and compliance, as outlined by the AICPA’s Trust Services Criteria (TSC).
What is User Access Review?
User access reviews (sometimes referred to as “access certification” or “access recertification”) are a periodic audit of existing access rights in your organization meant to remove unnecessary or outdated permissions, which are a risk to both cybersecurity and compliance.
How do I do a SOC2 access review?
Best Practices for Reviewing User Access:
- Create and keep an access management policy up to date.
- Establish a formal access review procedure.
- Implement role-based access control (RBAC) .
- Implement the principle of least privilege.
- Provide temporary access instead of permanent access.
- Involve employees and management.
What is Service Organization Control 2 Compliance?
SOC 2 is a voluntary compliance standard for service organizations, developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which specifies how organizations should manage customer data. The standard is based on the following Trust Services Criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, privacy.