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What is SOC2 compliance?

Posted 28th Feb 2024 by Travis Swientek

The SOC 2 framework is published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is a voluntary cybersecurity attestation.

What is SOC2 compliance?

System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 can mean one of several things. It can refer to a report that can be provided to third parties to demonstrate strong security controls. It can be an audit performed by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or CPA firm that generates the audit report. Or, it can refer to to the controls and the framework of controls that allow an organization to attain a SOC 2 report that demonstrates compliance. This comprehensive compliance framework focuses on ensuring that service organizations implement and maintain stringent internal controls around five trust services criteria (TSC): security, availability, confidentiality, processing integrity, and privacy of customer data.

The SOC 2 framework is published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and is a voluntary cybersecurity attestation. Despite being voluntary, many U.S. companies require demonstration of SOC 2 compliance of their service providers. SOC 2 compliance stands as a testament to an organization's commitment to managing customer data with the highest standards of security and privacy.

SOC 2 Type 1 evaluates whether controls are designed properly at a point of time, whereas SOC 2 Type 2 evaluates whether controls are designed and functioning as intended over a specified period of time. SOC 2 reports are private and generally distributed to customers under NDA. Companies that wish to discuss their SOC 2 compliance to a public, general audience will do so as a SOC 3 report. Companies that wish to attest to security controls internationally often undertake ISO 27001 compliance. Unliked SOC 2, which focuses on demonstration of appropriate security controls to protect customer data, ISO 27001 validates the presence of an operational Information Security Management Systems (ISMS) to manage a company’s information security program on a continual basis.

Critical Elements of SOC 2 Compliance

  • Trust Services Criteria (TSC): The heart of SOC 2 compliance, encompassing principles on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy, guiding organizations in the protection of customer data.
  • Audit and Reporting: An independent SOC 2 audit assesses the effectiveness of an organization's controls, resulting in a SOC 2 report that serves as a crucial tool for demonstrating compliance to stakeholders.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Improvement: SOC 2 is not a one-off certification but a continuous commitment to upholding high standards through regular monitoring and updating of security practices to protect against new threats. The SOC 2 standard does not directly require vulnerability scanning but rather mandates that organizations implement effective controls to ensure system and data security.

Addressing Modern Security Challenges with SOC 2

In the digital age, with increasing data breaches and cyber threats, SOC 2 compliance assures customers that their sensitive information is handled securely. It requires a proactive approach to risk management, incident response, and change management, ensuring that service organizations can swiftly adapt to and mitigate potential security risks.

Teleport Take

Teleport Access Platform facilitates SOC 2 compliance for organizations operating in cloud environments, SaaS, and beyond, by providing an essential layer of security and access control that aligns with the Trust Services Criteria:

  • Access Controls: Teleport automates the enforcement of access controls, significantly reducing the risk of unauthorized access and ensuring that sensitive data is accessed only by authenticated and authorized users.
  • Comprehensive Security Policies: By enabling organizations to easily implement and manage security policies, Teleport supports the continuous improvement and monitoring required for SOC 2 compliance.
  • Audit-Ready Reporting: Teleport provides detailed logging and audit trails for all access events, supporting the SOC 2 audit process by offering clear evidence of compliance with security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy standards.
  • Scalable Risk Management: With features designed for scalability, Teleport enables organizations to effectively manage risk, conduct thorough risk assessments, and ensure disaster recovery and business continuity practices are in place, regardless of their size or complexity.

By leveraging Teleport's capabilities, organizations can achieve and maintain SOC 2 compliance more efficiently, demonstrating to customers, stakeholders, and business partners their dedication to securing and protecting sensitive data. Teleport's focus on streamlining compliance tasks, coupled with its robust security features, makes it an invaluable tool for organizations aiming to uphold the highest standards of data protection and privacy as mandated by SOC 2.