SOC 2 Compliance Software Solution
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) is the world’s largest professional accounting association, uniting accountants from over 140 countries. Today, the organization sets professional, ethical, and security standards for certified public accountants (CPAs) business spheres. One of these standards is called System and Organization Controls (SOC).
SOC is a suite of audit reports that reflect the confidence, trust, and credibility of a service organization’s internal controls. There are three categories of SOC reports:
Each category of SOC report contains two types of reports:
- Type 1 — Describes the overall suitability of the security rules (controls) in the organization at a particular date
- Type 2 —Evaluates the operating effectiveness of implemented controls over a set period of time (usually up to a year)
While complying with SOC 2 isn’t mandatory, organizations usually aim to obtain an SOC 2 Type 2 report to gain customer trust and a competitive advantage — two major benefits of SOC 2 compliance.
Why is complying with SOC 2 important?
Let’s start with clarifying who needs SOC 2 compliance. An SOC 2 audit applies to any organization that stores customer data in the cloud. Achieving and maintaining SOC 2 compliance helps you ensure your organizational controls and practices are sufficient to effectively protect customer data. It also proves to your customers that your organization can maintain the needed level of information security.
What is SOC 2 compliance? You can approach SOC 2 in two ways:
- As a requirement to establish and follow appropriate cybersecurity policies and procedures
- As a technical audit that evaluates security controls implemented in your organization
The basis of SOC 2 compliance is formed by a set of trust services criteria (TSC).
Understanding SOC 2 trust services criteria
SOC 2 outlines five key criteria that distinguish trustworthy service providers:
Security is the primary services criterion that evaluates how well an organization protects its data and systems from unauthorized access, damage, and information disclosure. To successfully implement this criterion, organizations may use measures like two-factor authentication and deploy robust access management and user activity monitoring tools.
Security is the only trust criterion that must be included in every SOC 2 Type 2 report.
The availability criterion focuses on an organization’s ability to maintain the minimally acceptable level of network and system performance and mitigate potential external threats. Implementing tools for system performance monitoring and cybersecurity incident response can help organizations ensure the availability of their networks and systems.
The processing integrity criterion aims to evaluate the ability of an organization’s systems to perform without critical errors or delays. To successfully implement this TSC, an organization needs to ensure that its data is processed accurately and only by authorized users and systems.
The confidentiality criterion addresses an organization’s ability to properly limit access to customer data that requires enhanced protection and prevent its unauthorized disclosure. Organizations can implement this trust criterion by setting granular access permissions and ensuring strong encryption for all kinds of sensitive data.
The privacy criterion focuses on the ability of an organization to protect the personally identifiable information (PII) of their customers. An organization is supposed to collect, process, and disclose the PII of customers securely and in accordance with their internal policies as well as with the Generally Accepted Privacy Principles set by the AICPA. This trust criterion can also be implemented by applying robust access management and data encryption capabilities.
Correlation with other compliance requirements
Similarly to ISO 27001, SOC 2 allows organizations to choose the tools and procedures for implementing particular TSCs. Furthermore, implementing all five TSCs isn’t necessary; organizations can decide on their own which of the five criteria to focus their efforts on. The only TSC that’s necessary for SOC 2 compliance is the Security criterion.
As a result, organizations can significantly speed up and simplify the process of achieving SOC 2 compliance by only adopting the practices, tools, and procedures that are relevant to their operations and objectives.
When designing an SOC 2 compliance program, pay attention to the requirements of other IT regulations, laws, and standards that are relevant to your organization. SOC 2 TSCs are closely aligned with key cybersecurity regimes, including:
You can find detailed mappings of SOC criteria to the requirements of key frameworks and cybersecurity standards on the AICPA’s website.
Achieving SOC 2 compliance with Ekran System
Ekran System is a robust insider risk management solution that helps you implement key SOC 2 trust services criteria. By deploying Ekran System as SOC 2 compliance software, you can:
- Effectively manage access to critical data and set granular access permissions for different users and roles
- Prevent unauthorized access to your data and systems with two-factor authentication, one-time passwords, and manual access approvals
- Continuously monitor user activity to gain full visibility into the way your users handle sensitive customer data
- Set and customize alerts and notifications for timely detection of insider threats and security rule violations
- Ensure a timely response to cybersecurity incidents, both manually and automatically
- Generate and export detailed reports for further audit and analysis
Ekran System is not only an efficient SOC 2 compliance software solution. Our platform can also help your organization meet the requirements of world-recognized regulations, laws, and standards, including NIST SP 800-53, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and GDPR.