Systems and Organizational Controls (SOC) 2® examinations, and on occasion SOC 3® examinations—also known as SOC 2 and 3 audits—have become an expected standard for service organizations that interact with, or operate as, vendors or service providers that store, process, or maintain client data.
Chief information security officers (CISOs), CFOs, and auditors rely on SOC 2 reports to gain comfort and valuable insight over the internal controls of critical vendors and service providers.
Regardless of your company’s line of services—from software as a service (SaaS) to intelligent autonomous systems (IAS), you likely need an annual SOC 2 or SOC 3 report if you interact with customer data or are a third-party provider.
Most technology companies need SOC 2 examinations because they are third-party providers that store, process, or maintain customer data.
Increased security concerns rising proportionally as the IT industry promotes new products and services in the cloud continue to drive growth in the number of SOC 2 examinations performed. A SOC 2 report is now considered a base requirement for technology service providers.
SOC 2 examinations emphasize system reliability by measuring the effectiveness of internal controls related to five trust services categories:
Trust service categories can apply to the below system components.
SOC 2 examinations are often requested for:
Similar to a SOC 1 report, there are two types within SOC 2:
Like SOC 1 examination reports, SOC 2 examination reports can be distributed only to management; current and prospective customers, or user entities; practitioners providing services to such user entities; and regulators.
SOC 3 reports are essentially a smaller-scale SOC 2 report and used primarily for public distribution.
While demand is lower for these reports, the public distribution element can be compelling for companies as the use of a SOC 3 report isn’t restricted.
SOC 3 covers the same subject matter as a SOC 2 report, but with some key differences:
Companies generally must complete a SOC 2 examination before requesting a SOC 3 report, but the SOC 3 report can be issued concurrently with the SOC 2 report.
Once a preliminary readiness assessment is complete, a timeline can be developed for the engagement based on the assessment results.
Our professionals provide SOC audits for a range of client types including SaaS, Iaas, and PaaS companies, business intelligence providers, colocation data centers, financial institutions and service companies, third-party administrators, benefits administrators, and more.
Companies can register for an American Institute of Certified Public Accountant (AICPA) SOC seal for public distribution.
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