SOC 2 Type 1 assessments are offered as “fixed fee” engagements from NDB, North America’s leading provider of high-quality, comprehensive, and competitively priced System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 engagements. Additionally, we provide a complimentary SOC 2 Policy Packet for each of our clients! It’s also fundamentally important to understand key concepts in the entire SOC 2 auditing process, those that can directly impact audit costs, duration, and assessment results. The more you educate yourself on the numerous details of SOC 2 compliance, the better prepared you’ll be for ensuring a successful assessment process from day one, so take note of the following measures:
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1. SOC 2 is Different from SOC 1. Sure, they’re both AICPA audits – and share many similarities – but they are also different, and this you need to know. SSAE 18 SOC 1 is traditionally tailored towards service organizations providing essential services to that can impact a client’s financial reporting. As for SOC 2, it’s targeted to the growing technology sector – data centers, SaaS offerings, managed services, and more – businesses offering technology products and services.
2. A Readiness Assessment is Essential. One of the most fundamentally important initiatives to undertake for helping ensure a successful SOC 2 audit is a readiness assessment. Why? Because it helps unearth and identify key internal control weaknesses and gaps that must be remediated prior to the audit commencing. If not, then businesses can expect unsatisfactory audit findings – which nobody wants – so performing a brief and cost-effective exercise is a must for all service organizations.
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure that you have a complete listing of all relevant information systems within your organization – specifically – networking devices, servers, laptops, and more – anything for which an organization owns and is being deployed into a production environment.
Why is this important? First and foremost, you need to know exactly what I.T. systems you have, where they are located, their purpose, etc., as you cannot protect what you don’t know you have – as the old saying goes.
Second, auditors performing SOC 2 audits will request an asset inventory for purposes of sampling. NDB can provide you with an actual asset inventory spreadsheet that’s incredibly comprehensive and easy-to-use. The asset inventory, along with our SOC 2 Policy Packet, helps businesses in becoming SOC 2 compliant quickly and cost-effectively.
3. Documentation is Key to SOC 2 audit success. SOC 2 audits share a similar theme with almost every other regulatory compliance mandate today, and that’s the need for comprehensive security documentation – policies and procedures – to be in place. Nobody likes authoring policy documents – it’s laborious, time-consuming, and not very exciting – but it has to be done, and it’s why NDB offers clients our industry leading SOC 2 Policy Packet that comes complete with dozens of essential security policy templates.
4. Understand what the TSPs are. The Trust Services Criteria (TSP) – of which there are five to choose from – form the underlying basis of the entire SOC 2 audit. They are the framework for auditing used by CPA firms to examine a service organization’s control environment, and though each of the five TSPs are different, they do share commonalities. While most service organizations will almost always assess against the “Security” TSP, after that, you’ll need to determine critical scope issues to see which of the other four are viable.
Here’s a quick snapshot of what you need to know about SOC 2 Type 1 assessments:
SOC 2 Type 1 assessments are a critical component of the AICPA SOC reporting framework. Organizations can opt for a SOC 2 Type 1 or a SOC 2 Type 2 assessments, both of which are offered by NDB at competitively priced “fixed fees”. SOC 2 assessments are vastly different from SOC 1 assessments. SOC 2 assessments are geared towards many of today’s technology driven service organizations.