Thinking About Getting Your Cloud Platform SOC 2 Compliant?
If your company handles sensitive data, you may be required to undergo a SOC 2 audit to ensure that your systems and processes are secure and compliant with industry standards. There are five basic steps to ensure compliance the first time around — from understanding the requirements to scheduling through to passing the audit. Let’s go through them.
Step 1: Understand the SOC 2 Reports & Requirements
First things first. Before you begin preparing for a SOC 2 audit, it’s important to understand the types of reports and the associated requirements. SOC 2 audits are based on the Trust Services Criteria (TSC), which are a set of principles developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to evaluate the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a system. You’ll need to determine which TSC principles are relevant to your organisation and ensure that your systems and processes meet those requirements. It’s also important to note that SOC 2 audits are conducted by independent auditors, so you’ll need to be prepared to provide evidence to support your compliance with the TSC principles. You’ll also need to understand the difference between a Type 1 Report (a snapshot audit of the controls at a point in time) and Type 2 consists of the audit of the controls over a designated period of time.
Step 2: Identify Your Scope & Objectives
The next step in preparing for a SOC 2 audit is to identify the scope and objectives of the audit. This involves determining which systems, processes, and controls will be included in the audit and what specific goals you hope to achieve. You’ll need to consider factors such as the size and complexity of your organization, the types of data you handle, and any regulatory requirements that apply to your industry. Once you have a clear understanding of your scope and objectives, you can begin to develop a plan for preparing your documentation and gathering evidence to support your compliance with the TSC principles.
Step 3: Develop Policies & Procedures
One of the key components of preparing for a SOC 2 audit is developing and documenting your organisation’s policies and procedures. This is your next step. These policies and procedures should outline how your organization handles sensitive data, manages access controls, and responds to security incidents. They should also address how your organization ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data, as well as how you monitor and report on compliance with the TSC principles. Your policies and procedures should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure they remain current and effective.
Step 4: Implement Controls & Test Them
Once you have developed your policies and procedures, it’s time to implement controls to ensure they are being followed. This step is crucial as it involves implementing access controls, monitoring systems, and conducting regular security assessments. It’s also critical that you test these controls to ensure they are effective and identify any weaknesses that need to be addressed. This can be done through internal audits or by hiring a third-party auditor to conduct a readiness assessment. By implementing and testing controls, you can demonstrate to auditors that your organisation is committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of sensitive data.
Step 5: Prepare Your Documentation & Schedule the Audit
Once you have implemented and tested your controls, it’s now time to prepare your documentation and schedule the SOC 2 audit. This documentation should include your policies and procedures, evidence of control implementation and testing, and any other relevant documentation. It’s important to ensure that your documentation is organized and easily accessible to the auditor. You should also schedule the audit with a qualified auditor who has experience with SOC 2 audits. The auditor will review your documentation, conduct interviews with key personnel, and perform testing to determine if your controls are effective and in compliance with the SOC 2 requirements.
That’s it – 5 Steps to Your SOC 2 Audit
Need a Dance Partner for Your SOC 2?
Does your organisation require assistance with preparing for a SOC 1 or SOC 2 report? Risk Crew can help you get everything in place, to pass your audit. Our SOC 2 Compliance Service follows a simple approach to fast-track your organisation to compliance. Get in touch. We like to help. It’s what we do.