What Is IT Audit Readiness And Why Should Small Business Owners and Startup Entrepreneurs Pursue It?
SOC 2 is an auditing procedure that ensures service providers securely manage data, to protect the interests of the organization and the privacy of its client.
What Is SOC 2?
A SOC 2 is an attestation report that provides controls assurance over a defined set of the service provider’s systems. Each report covers a defined period of time (usually nine months) to be agreed on between the service auditor and service provider. The report can encompass between one and five trust services principles (TSP), depending on the needs of the service organization, which include: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The security principle is one of the most commonly selected and is used to determine whether relevant systems are protected against unauthorized access, use, or modification.
Preparing for SOC 2
Getting ready for an initial SOC 2 audit can be arduous and time-consuming, depending on the scope and level of complexity in the environment. The process begins with developing an understanding of what is driving the need for a SOC 2 audit and the systems that are relevant to those drivers. It continues through a gap assessment and an iterative cycle of remediation and readiness testing, correcting control and design gaps along the way until results fall consistently within an acceptable range of outcomes.
The Five Trust Principals Of SOC2
The security principle refers to the protection of system resources against unauthorized access. Access controls help prevent potential system abuse, theft or unauthorized removal of data, misuse of the software, and improper alteration or disclosure of information. IT security tools such as network and web application Firewalls (WAFs), two-factor authentication, and intrusion detection are useful in preventing security.
The availability principle refers to the accessibility of the system, products, or services as stipulated by a contract or service level agreement (SLA). As such, the minimum acceptable performance level for system availability is set by both parties. This principle does not address system functionality and usability but does involve security-related criteria that may affect availability. Monitoring network performance and availability, site failover, and security incident handling are critical in this context.
The processing integrity principle addresses whether or not a system achieves its purpose (i.e., delivers the right data at the right price at the right time). Accordingly, data processing must be complete, valid, accurate, timely, and authorized. However, processing integrity does not necessarily imply data integrity. If data contains errors prior to being input into the system, detecting them is not usually the responsibility of the processing entity. Monitoring of data processing, coupled with quality assurance procedures, can help ensure processing integrity.
Data is considered confidential if its access and disclosure are restricted to a specified set of persons or organizations. Examples may include data intended only for company personnel, as well as business plans, intellectual property, internal price lists, and other types of sensitive financial information. Encryption is an important control for protecting confidentiality during transmission. Network and application firewalls, together with rigorous access controls, can be used to safeguard information being processed or stored on computer systems.
The privacy principle addresses the system’s collection, use, retention, disclosure, and disposal of personal information in conformity with an organization’s privacy notice, as well as with criteria set forth in the AICPA’s generally accepted privacy principles (GAPP). Personal identifiable information (PII) refers to details that can distinguish an individual (e.g., name, address, Social Security number). Some personal data related to health, race, sexuality, and religion are also considered sensitive and generally requires an extra level of protection. Controls must be put in place to protect all PII from unauthorized access.
Why You Need Eden Data
At Eden Data, we like to consider each client’s needs individually, in order to determine the best approach to your unique requirements.
Eden Data was built on disruption: disruption of the century-old professional services model. We chose instead to partner with various organizations that have completely dominated their respective industries by creating forward-thinking SaaS tools related to cybersecurity and data protection. We then worked together to enhance the value we bring to organizations by coupling our services and creating holistic solutions that address the classic adage ‘People, Processes, Technology’.
Security That Works The Way You Do!
The product or service you provide to your customers is one-of-a-kind, so why shouldn’t your security program be?
Traditional consulting firms have resumés a mile-long… serving corporations that look nothing like your company from an IT perspective. Why not hire a firm that operates just like you and works exclusively with companies just like yours? Call Eden Data today to learn more about SOC 2 readiness.