What are the SOC 2 5 trust principles? With the rise of data breaches over the past few years, SaaS organizations must prioritize protecting sensitive business information. One essential standard that helps achieve this goal is Service Organization Control 2 (SOC 2). SOC 2 compliance for SaaS ensures the security, privacy, and integrity of data in a company.

This blog post is a comprehensive overview of SOC 2 that will help you understand how a SOC 2 compliance checklist enables organizations to fortify their data security and privacy measures.

What Is SOC 2 and Its 5 Trust Principles?

SOC 2 is a compliance standard for service providers like SaaS and cloud computing companies. It defines how service organizations should manage customer data and outlines the five trust principles of assessing a company's internal controls for data security and privacy. These principles include security, availability, confidentiality, privacy, and processing integrity.

SOC 2 was created by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to help organizations comply with industry-standard data security protocols. For compliance, a business must be audited by an independent certified public account (CPA) firm that evaluates whether a company's internal procedures meet the SOC 2 requirements.

After the assessment, the CPA firm can write two types of SOC 2 reports:

  • SOC 2 Type 1 evaluates the effectiveness of a company's data security and privacy measures at a specific time.

  • SOC 2 Type 2 evaluates the effectiveness of an organization's internal data security and privacy controls over some time.

What Are the Areas of the SOC 2 Report?

Here are the common SOC 2 report sections.

Management Assertion

This section includes a formal statement from the organization under audit. It outlines the internal controls put in place to ensure SOC 2 compliance. In this part of the report, the evaluated company asserts that its systems should operate effectively to meet a specific SOC 2 trust principle.

System Description

This section provides detailed information about an organization's systems and the services it offers. It outlines relevant system processes and controls to meet particular trust services criteria.

Description of Criteria

This part of the report details the procedures used to test the effectiveness of your data safety measures. It also entails test results, including any identified deficiencies in a company's internal controls.

Independent Service Auditor's Report

This report summarizes the auditor's conclusions regarding your organization's SOC 2 internal controls. It shows whether your company passed the assessment. In this section, the auditor can give a qualified or unqualified opinion.

  • Qualified opinion means the auditor has identified deficiencies or weaknesses in a firm's SOC 2 internal controls

  • An unqualified opinion means the auditor is satisfied with the effectiveness of an organization's internal controls regarding data management and safety

What Are the 5 Trust Service Principles of SOC 2?

Here are the five SOC 2 principles:

1. Security

This principle focuses on an organization's ability to protect its system and data from unauthorized access by outsiders. It involves using robust security measures such as access controls and encryption to prevent intrusion and data theft.

2. Confidentiality

Confidentiality involves safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure. This principle aims to ensure confidential information is restricted to authorized individuals within an organization and is protected according to an agreement between two parties.

3. Availability

This SOC 2 principle addresses a SaaS company's commitment to ensuring that its systems and services are available as agreed upon in a contract. It emphasizes reducing downtime and maintaining reliable access to services.

4. Privacy

This principle evaluates how well a service firm manages personal information according to its privacy policy and relevant regulations. It addresses data collection, use, retention, and disposal controls as data privacy laws require.

5. Processing Integrity

As the name suggests, this principle focuses on the accuracy, timeliness, and completeness of data processing in an organization. It ensures internal data processing in a firm meets specified objectives.

Which of the 5 Trust Services Criteria Is Required for Every SOC 2?

While all five trust service criteria (security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy) are integral to SOC 2, security is the required fundamental principle for every SOC 2 evaluation.

We consider security as foundational, as it is necessary to ensure data privacy, integrity, and confidentiality. Without robust security measures, an organization may struggle to uphold the remaining four principles effectively. Contact Trava today to learn more about SOC 2.