To establish an effective SOC 2 compliance program, the following steps should be taken:
Set Goals -The organization must clearly define the program’s objectives. They must investigate what is critical to regularly test for, and why. They must also understand which stakeholders (managers, business partners, customers) need access to compliance reports.
Choose Trust Service Criteria (TSC) - Security is the only TSC classified as mandatory by the AICPA for SOC 2 audits. Based on the focus of the organization, businesses should also consider adopting some of the other Trust Service Criteria.
Integrate SOC 2 with other audits - Because SOC 2 covers a lot of the same ground as other audits for specific industry spaces, businesses should consider integrating their SOC 2 report with other compliance initiatives to boost efficiency and save resources.
Choose the report that fits the organization best - SOC 2 reports come in 2 types and each organization must select the report that’s right for them:
- SOC 2 Type 1 - This report highlights the organization’s systems and whether its design is living up to company expectations. Like a blood test, it provides a picture of where the organization’s systems are standing at a particular moment in time. This report is essentially a glance into how systems are operating, giving quick results.
- SOC 2 Type 2 - This report focuses on the efficacy of the company’s system over a longer period of time. It also analyzes how effectively the system is designed and how smoothly it’s operating. SOC 2 Type 2 delves deeper, helping provide an understanding of its long-term functioning.
Both reports are useful, depending on the organization’s unique needs.