What is SOC 2 ?
SOC 2 is a set of guidelines for managing client data that was created by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and is entirely based on five "trust carrier principles": security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.
SOC 2 reviews are particular to each firm, unlike PCI DSS, which has highly rigid standards. Each individual designs its own controls to adhere to one or more of the trust principles in accordance with its corporate practices.
These internal reports give you crucial information on the data management practices used by your service provider, as well as regulators, business partners, suppliers, etc.
There are two sorts of SOC reports:
Type I describes a vendor’s systems and whether their format is suitable to meet applicable trust principles.
Type II details the operational effectiveness of these systems.
SOC 2 certification
SOC 2 certification is issued by outside auditors. They assess the extent to which a vendor complies with one or more of the five trust principles based on the systems and processes in place.
Trust principles are broken down as follows:
The security concept deals with preventing unwanted access to system resources. Access controls aid in preventing potential system abuse, data theft or unauthorized removal, software misuse, and incorrect information manipulation or disclosure.
Intrusion detection, two-factor authentication, network and web application firewalls, and other IT security solutions are helpful in preventing security breaches that could result in unauthorized access to systems and data.
According to a contract or service level agreement, the accessibility of the system, goods, or services is referred to as the availability principle (SLA). As a result, both parties agree on the minimum acceptable performance level for system availability.
This concept includes availability-related security-related requirements but does not address system operation and usability. Monitoring network availability and performance, managing site failover, and responding to security incidents are crucial in this situation.
3. Processing integrity
The processing integrity concept examines if a system succeeds in its purpose (i.e., delivers the right data at the right price at the right time). As a result, data processing needs to be approved, legitimate, comprehensive, and accurate.
Processing integrity, however, does not always imply data integrity. It is typically not the processing entity's obligation to identify faults in data if they already exist when the data is input into the system. Processing integrity can be ensured with the use of monitoring data processing and quality assurance techniques.
Data is considered as confidential if access to and disclosure of the information is limited to a particular group of people or organisations. Data that is exclusively meant for use by employees of the organisation, as well as business strategies, proprietary information, internal price lists, and other sorts of sensitive financial information, are a few examples.
An essential safeguard for maintaining transmission secrecy is encryption. Information that is handled or kept on computer systems can be protected by network and application firewalls as well as stringent access controls.
The privacy principle focuses on how the system collects, uses, retains, discloses, and discards personal data in accordance with the organization's privacy notice and standards outlined in the AICPA's generally recognised privacy principles (GAPP).
Details that can identify an individual are referred to as personal identifiable information (PII) (e.g., name, address, Social Security number). A higher level of security is typically required for sensitive personal information, which includes include information relating to health, race, sexual orientation, and religion. All PII must be shielded from unwanted access via controls.