In today's digital age, ensuring the security and integrity of customer data is paramount. SOC audits, developed by the AICPA, provide that assurance, focusing on key areas like cybersecurity controls and vendor risk management.
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Your specific SOC requirements will vary depending on whether you are seeking attestation for SOC 1, SOC 2, or SOC 3. Regardless of the standard, however, the key to a successful SOC audit is preparation.
Before your formal audit, you should spend ample reviewing your compliance requirements and have supporting documentation that validates your efforts.
Here are a few tips from our guide to SOC compliance:
Establish your goals.
What is the scope of your audit? It’s crucial to understand what requirements pertain to your business, what level or type of certification you want and how the requirements apply to your existing sensitive data and systems
Conduct a risk assessment and implement the appropriate remediation and security controls.
In addition to understanding which data is sensitive and should be safeguarded, you should consider security measures such as user access controls, strong passwords, firewalls and two-factor authentication (2FA) for sign-on.
Organize your materials.
The next step is to prepare the documents and correspondence that validate the effectiveness of your security controls.
Conduct a self-audit.
Before submitting your organization for an official audit, it’s important to assure that you’re ready. Otherwise, you face excessive costs associated with applying for a new audit after failing your first. If you can show the assessor conducting your official audit that you’ve remediated any potential compliance issues or are in the process of doing so, your organization will be well on its way to achieving official attestation.
Get help if you need it.
Let’s face it: Between the various types of SOC compliance, the various trust principles, and the different types of audits, SOC certification can be overwhelming. Moreover, SOC 2 (the most commonly sought SOC audit) is a complex framework that changes frequently. So it’s important to get the help you need to achieve compliance and satisfy stakeholders.