How to get a SOC 2 Report: A Deeper Look

A SOC 2 report is an audit of your company’s security and trust practices. This report is a more detailed version of the SOC 1 report. It’s an audit that provides assurance and validation for customers and potential customers on how you, the company, handle their data. SOC 2 looks at many areas to determine whether the customer can rest easy when it comes to their data being held by your organization or not. It covers many things that would pertain to how you manage and maintain customer data. A SOC 2 report spans technology and applications to the people involved in handling your customer’s data.
Before getting into details about how to get a SOC 2 report, it is crucial to understand a few things about the certification process for customers.

· The purpose of the SOC2 audit is not only to assure that you are handling your customer’s data correctly, but it also provides validation on how you work with your clients. It means that all procedures and processes in your company that pertain to how you work with your customers will be audited and analyzed to determine whether it is working correctly or not. The SOC2 certification process looks at the methods, procedures, and technology used for you to function daily.

· SOC 2 means Service Organization Control 2. It is a set of standards and best practices that have been created by the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) to provide assurance to customers that their information is being handled correctly. It isn’t something that one can do overnight. It takes time and effort for your company to meet all the requirements needed for the certification process.

· The customer must have confidence in the organization that it is handling its data correctly. They need to see that you are following through with your security and trust practices and demonstrating these things for all aspects of your company, including technology, people, and procedures.

How Do You Achieve SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 certification has three main components that need to be met for your company to achieve it:

• The Trust Services Principles (TSPs) must be adhered to throughout the organization’s practices and procedures. These rules cover a wide range of topics, including customer service and the protection of your customer’s data.
• The Trust Service Criteria (TSCs) for each principle are to be met throughout the company, and that must also be adhered to for you to achieve SOC 2 compliance. These criteria are guidelines that the AICPA has set for each of the principles.
• The common criteria are rules that have been put into place for the auditing process. Common criteria are not included in TSPs or TSCs, but they are adhered to throughout all parts of your business and how you conduct yourself with customers.

Complying with the requirements of SOC 2 is a combination of you doing things yourself and using an outside source. The AICPA does require that an independent 3rd party helps in the certification process. It means that your company will have to pay for this service, but it’s worth it in the end.

What Are Some Things That SOC 2 Examines?

SOC 2 examiners will look at your business for how you handle passwords, data encryption, and the disconnection of services and training provided to employees. They will also ensure all employees are up-to-date with the latest technological developments and essential security updates within your organization.

· SOC 2 compliance measures how well you are protecting customer data/information. To accomplish this, they will be checking many things, including your physical and logical security access, as well as safeguarding the data itself.
· Accessibility – SOC 2 examiners will be making sure that your company is implementing controls to keep everyone out of harm’s way, not just customers but employees as well. All entrances to data centers and offices should have at least two layers of security to keep out intruders.
· Logical/Physical Controls – Logical controls consist of your systems and networks, and physical controls deal with access to these areas and who has control over them. As part of this section, they will be ensuring that the proper security measures are taken to protect data and customer information from outside and internal sources.
· Logical controls are broken down into two sections, including a network perimeter and an inside perimeter. Interconnection between servers and other devices defines a network perimeter. At the same time, an inside perimeter refers to the switches and routers to ensure that access to data is kept within certain boundaries.

How Can You Make Sure That All Your Systems Are Secure And Protected?

You have to make sure that you are getting the proper amount of protection for any sensitive information you may be dealing with and make sure that if someone is trying to break into your system, they cannot bring it down.
The first step in securing your data is by ensuring that you can protect it correctly. It means you must have the proper amount of physical and logical security in place.
The second step is to implement controls that make sure all systems are working correctly, and if they are not, you need to take measures to get them back online before continuing with your business.
The third step is to make sure that you can identify any problem that may arise and then deal with it as soon as possible. It goes hand-in-hand with your first step of having the proper amount of protection in place, so if a breach does happen, you can detect it early on before things get out of control.
The fourth and final step is to make sure you are getting any patches or updates regularly so that your systems can stay protected from any outside forces looking to harm.

How much does it cost to get a SOC 2 report?

The cost of getting a SOC 2 report depends on the complexity of an organization’s information security controls. The more complex the organization – and the more controls it has in place – the longer and more expensive it is to produce a report.
For example, health care providers with many complex systems and business processes will have a more detailed and complicated SOC 2 report than small businesses with fewer systems and more straightforward procedures.
The reason is that the smaller business has fewer controls in place, so there’s less to evaluate and document. The same applies to a large corporation with many information systems and business processes; the more extensive its operations, the more controls it will have in place.

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