SOC 2 vs. ISO 27001 & 27002: Which one is right for your organization?

As business networks continue to grow, the need for greater network support often places a good deal of strain on an organization’s resources. This has led many companies to outsource certain aspects of their IT. While this has led to greater organizational efficiency, it has also raised concerns of the security of those systems. While companies recognize the need to expand the storage and performance capacities of their information systems, they also need to balance that need with the demand that their clients have for effective internal and external controls. Security standard audits can help to meet those demands. Deciding which of the standards to follow, however, could present you and your management team with quite a challenge.

ISO – A Snapshot of your Information Security Management System (ISMS)

Many companies look to the 27001/27002 standards created by the International Organization for Standardization as the basis for their system of organizational controls. ISO 27001 lists those auditable requirements related to Information Security Management Systems that an organization must adhere to in order to remain compliant, while 27002 lists the operational controls that should be considered by an organization based on best practices. While subtle differences do exist between the two, both are meant to help a company achieve the same goal: to demonstrate the stability of its ISMS.

Auditing your organization to ISO standards can offer you a number of unique benefits. These include:

  • Enhanced reputation: Those who understand the basis of ISO 27001/27002 know that they exist as a result of recognized best practices. Thus, your adherence to them shows your commitment to following such practices within your organization.
  • Improved business performance: The ISO standards themselves are constantly being updated. Thus fluidity allows for the continuous improvement of your internal processes as you work to stay current with the updated standards.
  • Commercial recognition: Many clients now understand the significance of security standard certifications. Thus, if you can demonstrate that your organization is ISO-certified, you may have an advantage over your competitors who aren’t.
A More Comprehensive View with SOC 2

Yet this isn’t to say that an ISO 27001 & 27002 audit should be viewed as the end-all solution for organizational auditing standards. The ISO certification is merely proof of your organization’s ability to maintain an effective ISMS at a certain point in time. This lack of long-term assurance has caused many organizations to look to a Service Organization Control attestation in order to demonstrate their ability to maintain their network security. Specifically, the SOC 2 attestation standard requires that a period of time assurance be given in order to be considered compliant. A SOC 2 audit examines the actual technology and processes behind your security, thus proving your ability to maintain your controls, as opposed to simply being able to execute them. This more comprehensive view has led many to consider the SOC 2 audit as the most relevant to today’s multi-faceted security market.

Meeting your clients’ expectations when it comes to your Information System (IS) security requires a continuous effort from you and your management team. Security standard certifications such as SOC 2 and ISO 27001/27002 are tools that can help in that endeavor. Choosing which of those standards will best support your organizational goals requires an in-depth knowledge of their principles and purposes. I.S. Partners, LLC can provide you with that knowledge. Our team of auditors can help you to determine which set of standards will best address the security concerns of your clients, and how to bring your organizational controls in line with such standards.

If you would like to find out if a SOC 2 or ISO 27001/27002 is right for your company, or you would like to receive more information about I.S. Partners, LLC, please call 215-675-1400 or email us at info@ispartnersllc.com.

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