Cybersecurity Assessment

Ensuring the protection of your clients’ personal information, as well as interests held by any third-party stakeholders in your service organization, is one of your primary priorities—among many—as your company’s IT leader. But as we all know, Cybersecurity is non-negotiable in the modern business climate. Everything is online, which means that everything is vulnerable, and everyone must behave accordingly.

Doing all the leg work to make sure everything is secure is only one part of the equation, though. You must also find the right cybersecurity assessment methodology to give you the feedback and security certification you need for your clients’ and third-parties’ peace of mind, as well as your own.

Whether your business’s goal is to reassure existing clients, or your service organization is working hard to add new clients to the roster, it is important to find the right type of reporting standard for your Service Organization Control (SOC).

What Is the AICPA SOC for Cybersecurity?

The AICPA has developed the SOC for cybersecurity, which is an examination engagement performed in accordance with the organization’s clarified attestation standards on an entity’s cybersecurity risk management program.

The AICPA created a guide called Reporting on an Entity’s Cybersecurity Risk Management Program and Controls that may help clarify their standards.

Why Is Performing the Correct Cybersecurity Assessment So Important for Your Service Organization?

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) reports what we all see daily, which is that cybersecurity threats are on the rise. No company—no matter how large or small, or whether public or private—is immune to the threat of some sort of cyber intrusion. Cybercriminals are here to stay, it seems.

However, even with the threat of an endless stream of ill-intentioned hackers, honest businesses are not doomed to “sitting duck” status. Tools like cybersecurity assessments are your weapons against online criminal behavior.

Basically, with tools like the SOC and the SOC 2 assessments, you can not only hold off malicious attacks against your system; but you can easily demonstrate that you can do so to crucial parties like your board of directors, management team, investors, customers and any other stakeholders and interested parties.

Now you just need to choose the right cybersecurity assessment: SOC 2 or SOC?

So, to Choose SOC 2 or SOC Reporting for Your Organization’s Next Cybersecurity Assessment?

While both SOC 2 and SOC audits can help your service organization improve and demonstrate the soundness of your controls to put your clients’ and stakeholders’ concerns to rest, one option is better than the other.

Each type of examination is performed under different circumstances and with different criteria to fulfill different needs, so each one will contain different content.

What Is the SOC 2 and When Is It Best to Use for Your Cybersecurity Assessment?

The SOC 2 report features criterion that are based upon policies, communications, procedures and monitoring in your organization. When performing a SOC 2 audit, you have the chance to explain the systems in use and to assess the design and operating effectiveness of your control environment.

SOC 2 reports include the following:

  • Management’s written assertion describing the system, or the control environment.
  • The SOC 2 auditor’s opinion of the accuracy and fairness of the presentation of management’s description in their written assertion. The auditor also provides an opinion regarding the design and operating effectiveness of controls as they apply to the Trust Services Criteria.
  • The SOC 2 auditor provides a SOC 2 Type 2 report that serves as a summary and as results of the auditing team’s tests and controls.

These reports frequently contain sensitive organizational data that are only shared between parties who have a direct interest in and authority over the information.

What Is the SOC and When Is It Best to Use for Your Cybersecurity Assessment?

The SOC has three basic components that adhere to SSAE 18 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements), which replaced SSAE 16 on May 1, 2017.

A few of the core components of the SOC include:

  • Management’s written description of the organization’s cybersecurity risk management program.
  • A description of the effectiveness of the controls within the service organization’s program in achieving the entity’s cybersecurity objectives.
  • The auditor’s opinion on whether management’s written description is presented in alignment with the description criteria and whether the controls were effective to help the organization achieve their cybersecurity goals.

What Is the Simplest Way to Choose the Right Reporting Tool for Your Next Cybersecurity Assessment?

If you still need help sorting out your cybersecurity assessment needs, our team at I.S. Partners, LLC. can help. Let one of our experienced and trusted experts help you protect your system to keep you on track to achieve your business goals.

We would love to talk to you about all the ways these assessments can benefit you and your customers, prospects and any other stakeholders. Call us at 215-631-3452 or request a quote today to discuss your SOC Audit needs, options and solutions!

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