Companies, especially those with big online operations, must handle information safely. They must show they are taking steps to promote safe engagement with customers. In the Software as a Service (SaaS) industry, diligence in data management and cybersecurity shows SaaS companies are reliable. Compliance with SaaS is an essential part of showing any company's trustworthiness. This can include fulfilling several standards, and one of the most prominent and desired of these standards is SOC 2 Type II.

SOC 2 Type II is a cybersecurity compliance framework. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants created the framework. This standard audits companies and certifies that they have met the organization's stringent compliance standards. Thus, users know that companies that follow SOC 2 Type II take cybersecurity.

What Are SOC 2 Type II Common Criteria?

Most frameworks have specific criteria that companies must reach to comply with outlined standards. For example, SOC 2 common criteria mapping to NIST 80053 criteria mapping has some similarities. However, while SOC 2 focuses on only processes related to data and system security, NIST focuses on the data's security over the systems and processes. Both have similar effects but go about them in unique ways.

SOC 2 Type II focuses on its trust services criteria. It uses five principles that show a company meets security standards during an audit. These guidelines also give companies a good idea of what areas they need to focus on for a successful audit. The five criteria are:

  • Security

  • Confidentiality

  • Availability

  • Privacy

  • Processing Integrity

What Are SOC 2 Type II Requirements

SOC 2 Type 2 requirements are clear. They help businesses make smart compliance decisions. But, they are less strict than many other frameworks. SOC 2 Type II has its five trust services criteria as listed above, which can be subdivided into 64 individual requirements. These are not controls, so companies must decide what mechanisms they implement to fulfill the criteria.

The exact mechanisms a company uses will depend on each organization because this framework doesn't dictate certain controls to be used. SOC 2 Type II has no specific controls, but you will still have controls that show you meet the standards. Generally, auditors look for around 80-100 controls, but there's no exact number of controls you need to use as long as you meet the necessary guidelines.

What Are the Criteria For SOC 2 Risk Assessment

A SOC 2 risk assessment helps you determine the level of risk your business faces. You can determine what security issues are most likely to cause damage as well as the steps you can take to mitigate potential damage. SOC 2 risk assessment allows you to have controls that promote security and ensure you are adjusting based on changing risk factors.

The AICPA SOC 2 controls list is not definitive, but some common controls are common for companies facing an audit. If you lack these controls, your company may have a higher risk.

Examples of controls include:

  • Two-factor authentication

  • Web firewalls

  • Policies for security hiring

  • Having a process for identifying confidential data

  • Protecting confidential data from unauthorized access

  • Consent from subject

  • Limiting the collection of private data

  • Collecting data according to laws

  • Using data as specified

  • Controls to ensure outputs are only given to intended people

  • Prompt delivery of products

  • Recovery plan for potential incidents

  • Tools to identify and manage risk

There are lots of things to consider when you are working towards SOC 2 compliance, but Trava's SOC 2 compliance checklist can help you keep organized throughout the process.

Which Criteria Are Applicable to SOC 2 Engagements?

The SOC 2 list includes five principles. You want to keep these criteria in mind before a SOC 2 Type II audit. You may need to address certain areas more extensively based on your current security controls and risk assessment. More importantly, you have to determine how you can best fulfill the criteria using your available resources.

Embracing Compliance With SOC 2 Type II

At Trava, we understand the importance of compliance with SOC 2 Type II, but we also know how overwhelming compliance can be.

Reach out to us, and we'll be happy to help you understand the SOC 2 criteria list and how to fulfill all the compliance frameworks you are trying to fulfill. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and direct you in the right compliance direction for your SaaS company. It's time to guarantee your security and protect what is most important to you.