SOC 2, or System and Organization Controls 2, is a widely recognized auditing standard that evaluates an organization’s controls related to:
Let’s explore the essential guidelines and principles that are behind SOC 2 readiness.
Understanding SOC 2 Guidelines: Adherence to the Rules
To achieve SOC 2 readiness, organizations must adhere to specific SOC 2 guidelines set forth by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). These guidelines outline the criteria that an organization needs to meet to be considered secure and reliable when it comes to handling customer data. The SOC 2 framework consists of five SOC 2 trust principles.
The security SOC 2 principle assesses whether an organization has implemented suitable measures to protect its systems from unauthorized access or breaches.
It includes policies and procedures related to:
Availability refers to the accessibility of a system or service as agreed upon with customers or users. This SOC 2 principle ensures that organizations have appropriate redundancy measures in place to minimize downtime due to unexpected events such as power outages or hardware failures. It also involves disaster recovery planning and ensuring regular backups are performed.
3. Processing Integrity
Processing integrity focuses on verifying that all data processing activities are accurate, complete, timely, and authorized by valid users.
Organizations need robust controls in place to ensure data is processed correctly through various stages, such as:
- Input Validation Controls
- Data Transformation Controls
- Output Reporting Controls
Confidentiality requires organizations to protect sensitive information from unauthorized use or disclosure.
This SOC 2 principle encompasses the:
- Safeguarding Customer Data with Access Controls
- Encryption Methods
- Secure Transmission Protocols
- Employee Training on Handling Confidential Data
The privacy SOC 2 principle assesses whether an organization has implemented appropriate measures to comply with applicable privacy laws and regulations.
- Obtaining Consent for Collecting Personal Information
- Providing Clear Privacy Notices
- Limited Use of Collected Data
- Establishing Procedures for Complaints & Inquiries Related to Privacy Concerns