What are SOC Certifications? Definition
SOC (Security Operation Center) certifications are a way to validate the maturity and effectiveness of an organization’s security operations. They show that an organization has the ability to detect, respond to, and remediate cybersecurity incidents. SOC certification can be helpful for both small and large organizations. For small organizations, SOC certification can be a differentiator when competing for business. For larger organizations, SOC certification can provide assurance to shareholders and customers that their data is protected. In this blog post, we will explore what SOC certifications are, their benefits, and how to get started with the process.
What is a SOC certification?
A SOC certification is an attestment by an independent third party that a service organization has adequate controls and processes in place to provide services in line with their stated objectives. SOC 1, 2, and 3 are the most common types of SOC certifications, with SOC 1 covering controls related to financial reporting, SOC 2 covering controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy, and SOC 3 covering controls that are general in nature.
The different types of SOC certifications
There are three types of SOC certifications: SOC 1, SOC 2, and SOC 3.
SOC 1 certifications attest to the controls surrounding an organization’s financial reporting. In order to obtain a SOC 1 certification, an organization must have their system audited by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The CPA must then issue a report on the effectiveness of the controls in place.
SOC 2 certifications attest to the controls surrounding an organization’s security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of customer data. In order to obtain a SOC 2 certification, an organization must have their system audited by a qualified independent auditor. The auditor must then issue a report on the effectiveness of the controls in place.
SOC 3 certifications are similar to SOC 2 certifications, but the reports issued are publically available. This type of certification is often sought by organizations who wish to demonstrate their commitment to security and privacy to their customers or partners.
The benefits of having a SOC certification
There are many benefits to having a SOC certification. SOC certification demonstrates that an organization has taken the necessary steps to protect its data and customers’ information. This can instill confidence in customers and help an organization win new business. In addition, SOC certification can lead to lower insurance premiums and improved security posture.
How to get a SOC certification
There are a few steps to take in order to earn a SOC certification. First, potential candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited institution and have two years of experience in the field of information security. Candidates must then pass an exam that covers eight different domains of knowledge, including security program management, security incident response, and access control. Once candidates have passed the exam, they will be certified for three years.
What are the requirements for a SOC certification?
There are three types of SOC reports: Type 1, Type 2, and Type 3. To be certified, organizations must have their controls and processes audited and evaluated by a qualified independent accounting and auditing firm. The evaluation must be conducted in accordance with the AICPA’s attestation standards. The report must be prepared by a CPA who is a member of the AICPA.
Type 1 Report
A Type 1 report provides assurance that the controls at a service organization have been designed and implemented effectively. This type of report is typically used when an organization is seeking certification for the first time, or when there have been significant changes to the controls since the last certification.
Type 2 Report
A Type 2 report goes one step further than a Type 1 report, providing assurance that not only have the controls been designed and implemented effectively, but also that they are operating as intended on a day-to-day basis. This type of report is typically used when an organization wants to renew its certification.
Type 3 Report
A Type 3 report provides assurance that not only have the controls been designed and implemented effectively, but also that they are operating as intended on a day-to-day basis AND that they are effective in meeting the organization’s specific objectives. This type of report is typically used when an organization wants to demonstrate high levels of control over its operations, or when it wants to use the certification to market itself as having
SOC 2 is the most common type of SOC certification and simply put, it means that a company has been vetted and approved by an external auditor as having adequate security controls in place to protect customer data. Achieving SOC 2 compliance demonstrates that a company is serious about safeguarding customer information and takes data security seriously. For companies handling sensitive customer data, achieving SOC 2 compliance is essential to instilling trust in their customers and clients.