Your company has been growing and now you want to get your SOC 2 audit cleared to get new clients. We can help you speed things up if you follow these steps.
Step 1: Bypass Rabbit Holes In The Internet
Google will not be able to guide you through the nuances of an SOC 2 audit. It will literally hand you millions of results and you will disorient yourself trying to sort through the mess of contradictions and lack of clear instructions. Your best bet would be to consult with people who deal with the auditing process day in and day out. They will help you with your particular needs.
Step 2: Find Your Auditor Fast
Unlike in most other audits the SOC 2 auditor is going to help you get the compliance by telling what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong. In fact, having a clear line of communication with your auditor will help you to be efficient. You can identify ways to address whatever needs to be changed in your processes for you to get the SOC 2 clearance. So choose the right auditor for you.
Step 3: Be Honest with your SOC 2 Auditor
Do not try to hide your shortcomings from the auditor. Be deliberate and clear about what your current Security Posture is. The auditor will be able to tell you exactly where you need to focus your effort to comply with the expectations of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. So you will be able to modify or update your governing policies, applied technologies and processes.
Step 4: Choose The “Type” You Need
You can choose to get a one-time clearance by facing an audit for a day. You can only get this SOC 2 Type 1 audit once whether you comply or not. This would show your clients that you are serious about your security concern and up-to-date with the latest best practices. But it would only demonstrate that you are trying to enact these security measures.
The SOC 2 Type 2 audit is a much more laborious and intensive effort to try and ensure that you enact all your security protocols on a day-to-day basis. For this you have to demonstrate to the auditor your processes and technologies and the usefulness of your policies through documented evidence over a period of 6 to 12 months. With random checks over this entire period the auditor will ensure that all your security measures indeed meet the SOC 2 compliance framework. But this clearance has to be renewed every year.
Step 5: Figure Out Your Criteria
There are five Trust Service Criteria required in every SOC 2 audit – security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. But if you can address the security criterion you can clear the SOC 2 audit. Some clients may have specific requirements for which you might have to address one or more of the other criteria as well. But you can do these in future audits according to your needs.
Step 6: Make A Realistic Timeline
To ensure that you manage to clear the audit in a reasonable timeline you must set your own timeline. The exact timeline can be suited to your situation but these are the key milestones you should plan for.
Choose your auditor and get their input on your Security Posture and how you can improve it within the first few weeks. Implement your security compliance measure and undergo a mock audit in the next few weeks. Prepare a draft report and undergo the actual audit in another few weeks.
Step 7: Get To Know Your Security Controls
There are many controls spread out across ten different security dimensions. Understanding each of them and charting the precise route you need to take to address each of them is a daunting task. But tools like Sprinto provides automated SOC 2 compliance tools with built-in templates for over 20 policies. Using such a tool will help you get your SOC 2 clearance faster and more easily.
Step 8: Get An Executive Buy-In
Since this is going to be an extensive audit affecting both your working framework and potential clients, it is a good idea to get executive buy-in from the very start. This will help you meet your timeline and avoid unnecessary complications along the way.
To Sum Up
Follow this blueprint we have laid out for you and you will have your SOC 2 compliance in no time.