Achieving SOC 2 Compliance with Razorthorn

System and Organisation Controls 2, or SOC 2, is an auditing procedure developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The SOC 2 audit was launched in 2010 to aid companies in storing and protecting their customers data adhering to an audit so that the data being stored followed some sort of standardisation. A SOC 2 certification lasts for a year, so re-certification is required on an annual basis.

The goal of SOC 2 is to provide assurance to clients and customers that the services provided by your organisation have necessary controls and safeguards when hosting or processing their data, with the highest control measures in place when selecting technology vendors and outsourced providers. Obtaining a SOC 2 report has become an important consideration in vendor risk management programmes, and signals to potential clients that a service organisation has strong controls and transparency around how it handles security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy.

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Benefits of SOC 2 Compliance

Enhanced Trust and Credibility

Achieving SOC 2 compliance is a testament to a company’s unwavering commitment to the highest standards of security and privacy. It showcases a proactive stance in safeguarding not just data but the overall trust and confidence of clients and partners.

Competitive Advantage

In today’s competitive landscape, SOC 2 compliance stands out as a hallmark of reliability and security. Many businesses prioritise this certification when choosing vendors, giving compliant organisations a distinct competitive advantage. It becomes a key differentiator that elevates the brand and instils confidence in potential clients.

Improved Data Protection

SOC 2 compliance is not just a certification; it’s a robust strategy for ensuring the utmost protection of sensitive data. By adhering to the stringent SOC 2 framework, organisations establish and fortify layers of defence, creating an environment where data is not only secure but also managed with the highest standards of confidentiality and integrity.

Reduced Incidents and Breaches

Following the SOC 2 framework isn’t just about meeting compliance; it’s a proactive approach that significantly diminishes the likelihood of security incidents and data breaches. The meticulous adherence to SOC 2 controls creates a resilient cybersecurity infrastructure, reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing the overall resilience of the organisation against potential threats. It’s not merely a checkbox; it’s a robust strategy for incident prevention and risk mitigation.

The Razorthorn Approach

1. Gap Analysis (Pre-Assessment)

In the initial phase of our SOC 2 Analysis, Razorthorn conducts a meticulous pre-assessment to thoroughly evaluate your current cybersecurity landscape against SOC 2 standards. This comprehensive examination aims to identify any existing gaps that require attention to align with the stringent SOC 2 criteria. A detailed report is then presented, outlining any identified non-conformities. The report not only highlights these non-conformities but also assesses their severity, providing a clear roadmap for the required remedial activities.

2. Planning & Remediation

Following the Gap Analysis, we begin a collaborative journey, tailoring our approach to your company’s distinctive needs. This phase is not just about closing gaps; it’s a comprehensive strategy encompassing advice, guidance and clarity at every step. Our experienced consultants work closely with your team, offering expert advice through the implementation process. This includes a deep understanding of your business, setting both business and security policies and objectives, and determining the applicable SOC 2 trust principles. We ensure that the entire process is not just about meeting standards but is intricately woven into the fabric of your organisational objectives.

3. Achieving Certification

The culmination of our SOC 2 Analysis is the achievement of certification. In this final stage, your organisation completes the scheduled and highlighted activities designed for the next 12 months of certification. Razorthorn remains a steadfast support throughout this journey, offering continuous guidance during the certification and audit process. Our commitment extends beyond certification, ensuring that your organisation not only meets the standards but continues to uphold them in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity. We believe in a partnership that goes beyond compliance, creating a resilient cybersecurity framework that stands the test of time.

Tailored Reporting

Unlike the certification process that comes with ISO 27001, there is no specific requirement checklist. Instead, the AICPA service criteria provide guidelines that outline the structure of each audit, creating a customised report for the company using Trusted Service Criteria (TSC).

Security is the primary focus, ensuring protection against unauthorised disclosure. We determine system accessibility for employees and clients when needed and examine system functionality, ensuring it performs its intended functions without delay, error, omission or accidental manipulation. We evaluate how the organisation protects sensitive business information, restricting access to authorised personnel. Finally, we assess the control activities for the protection of customers’ Personal Identifiable Information (PII), ensuring compliance with the AICPA’s Generally Accepted Privacy Principle.

This thorough understanding forms the basis for a tailored and effective SOC 2 audit, addressing your specific security and compliance needs.

Complementary Services

Penetration testing and vulnerability scanning stand as pivotal pillars for fortifying an organisation’s overall defence against cyber threats. While not explicitly mandatory for SOC 2 compliance, penetration testing emerges as highly recommended by auditors to fortify audit processes and fulfil specific Trust Services Criteria. Aligning with CC4.1, it expands evaluation avenues, including pentesting, ISO certifications, or even innovative bug bounty programmes. Additionally, vulnerability scanning, although not obligatory, significantly supports Trusted Services Criteria like CC7.1, aiding in prompt identification and remediation of potential vulnerabilities. Embracing both practices decisively bolsters an organisation’s cybersecurity resilience.

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