The Persisting Challenges of SOC 2 Reporting

Information technology plays an important role in day to day functioning of organisations and in light of recent COVID-19 situation, resilient IT structure proved helpful to carry out basic business operations in IT and service industry. This have also raised concerns regarding information security and scrutiny of service organizations’ control infrastructure and driven demand for attestation reports. As a result, the SOC 2 examination's can provide the service organisation a comfort over service organisation’s information security and their control environment. The SOC 2’s operational and security centric approach, allows for an attestation process that addresses critical security concerns that customers have regarding third party services. The top 3 challenges voiced in the industry and accompanying recommendations are listed below. 1) SOC Report Selection The market place is filled with confusion because of the uncertainty of the potential customer backlash of issuing one report over the other. Even though the Trust Service Principles were recently revised and enhanced, users and service organizations are concerned whether the customer will understand the inherent value found in the criteria. For reporting options including non-SOC reporting, service organizations are strongly encouraged to consult with an experienced and reputable SOC 2 firm. This firm should provide the organization with various choices and paths without requiring any commitment. As a result, service organizations will be more prepared to convey the importance of the provided service, more effective at communicating the positive impact, and the type of control in place with customers and stakeholders. If the SOC 2 is the chosen solution, the benefits and significance of the Trust Service Principles should be emphasized by the service organization. 2) Selection of Trust Service Principles for SOC 2 Engagements Many of the service organizations choosing to have SOC 2 examination are not clear on the exact Trust Service Principle(s) that should be included in the report. In addition, the best method of using the service principles in describing the control environment also represents a grey area. The most common concerns are, "Are the controls in place?", "Will the controls satisfy the required criteria?", and "Should the organization provide a Type 1 or Type 2 report?". The best way to reach a common solution is by starting with the end. In the beginning, communicating and determining the information the user organization will want should guide towards electing the best Trust Services Principles. As a leading provider of SOC 2 reporting, we ensures the most beneficial reporting solutions are chosen. The Persisting Challenges of SOC 2 Reporting 3) SOC 1 and SOC 2 Are NOT Created Equal Don't assume SOC 1 and 2 activities are identical. SOC 2 Principles create a preset baseline standard. From there, service providers commonly identify, adjust or implement new baseline standards for achieving the SOC criteria. In contrast, more flexibility may exist under the control objective framework of the SOC 1. On the path to being successful, SOC 2 service organizations should plan and be prepared. To achieve this, readiness assessments are found to be very helpful. In conjunction, everyone's expectations must be set at the most appropriate level, both internally and externally. It's also equally important to determine the organization's existing controls and commitments to its customers.