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Why is Cybersecurity So Vital to Your Business?

Cybersecurity has become one of the top issues—if not the top issue—for companies around the world. Regardless of size or type of your business, your organization has loyal customers and third-party stakeholders to whom you are accountable when it comes to keeping confidential data safe within your computing system.

As business becomes increasingly and universally digitally-focused, it has also increasingly become the focal point of cybercriminals who will do anything possible to target vulnerabilities in your system.

While you and your IT team do everything in your power to thwart the efforts of determined cybercriminals, a hacker’s work is never done, and the factors involved have become far more complex than most companies can manage without a consistent cybersecurity framework that speaks a common language.

I.S. Partners SOC Cybersecurity Seal

What Is the Purpose of the SOC for Cybersecurity?

The SOC for Cybersecurity examination offers guidelines on how to create and document your cybersecurity risk management program, filled with controls and objectives to stay on track for prime cybersecurity. The examination also provides standards for public accounting firms to report on such cybersecurity programs and also gives clear guidance for CPAs to provide cybersecurity assurance.

Who Needs the SOC for Cybersecurity and Is It Required?

The SOC for Cybersecurity examination and report is appropriate and useful for a wide variety of organizations that rely on a critical infrastructure for core business operations.

Companies in all types of sectors and industries—including universities, healthcare organizations, government agencies and contractors, and transportation companies—are adopting the SOC for Cybersecurity since it provides a comprehensive means of assessing your cybersecurity controls, objectives and effectiveness.

What Are the Components of the SOC for Cybersecurity?

There are three core components involved with the SOC for Cybersecurity examination.

Description Criteria

The description criteria is information intended for use by management when designing and describing the cybersecurity risk management program in order for CPAs to report on management’s description of how sensitive data is handled.

Control Criteria

Organizations may use the Trust Services Criteria (formerly Principles) as control criteria, which is commonly used to evaluate the effectiveness of a company’s cyber security controls. CPAs may also choose to use this criteria to examine and evaluate the effectiveness of the controls.

Attestation Guide for CPAs

When it is time to report on the health of your critical infrastructure, it is important to engage an auditor for an objective opinion and attestation. He or she can attest to the effectiveness of controls within your program that are intended to achieve your cybersecurity goals.

How Is the SOC for Cybersecurity Different Than the SOC 2?

With the SOC 2 audit, your organization can apply the Trust Service Principles of Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality and Privacy to test the integrity of any vendors’ or third-party business associates’ critical infrastructure.

Both reports focus on cybersecurity and necessary safeguards, but the SOC 2 primarily focuses on general information security, regardless of the domain in which it is located. SOC for Cybersecurity goes deeper, focusing its protection on electronic information residing in cyberspace.

With the SOC for Cybersecurity, I.S. Partners, LLC’s experienced audit team can perform an entity-wide cybersecurity examination that provides new description criteria to efficiently describe the cybersecurity risk management program.

The scope of the SOC for Cybersecurity extends beyond existing SOC 2 reporting guidance, using additional controls, including the AICPA’s suite of System and Organization Controls.

How is a SOC for Cybersecurity Audit Performed?

A SOC for Cybersecurity audit is performed in accordance with the appropriate AICPA Statements on Standards for Attestation Engagements.

What Can You Do For Optimal Cybersecurity?

Your daily efforts go a long way toward establishing and fostering an atmosphere focused on optimal cybersecurity, but there are additional things you can do:

  • Assess your readiness for cybersecurity examination
  • Evaluate your current cybersecurity management program
  • Maintain transparency with stakeholders about your organization’s cybersecurity measures
  • Be sure that your organization is using an established cybersecurity control framework
  • Start the process: obtain your Seal of Excellence by requesting a quote.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between a Type I audit and a Type II audit?

    A Type I audit results in a report on management’s description of the service organization’s system and the suitability of the design of the controls to achieve the related control objectives included in the description as of a specific date. A Type II audit is the same as a Type I audit but with a report on the operating effectiveness of the controls throughout a specified period.

  • Why is I.S. Partners qualified to perform SOC audits?

    I.S. Partners, LLC is a Certified Public Accounting firm registered with the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) and PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board), and is managed by a group of highly-seasoned partners who have vast experience in performing SAS 70 / SSAE 16 / SOC audits, FISMA, HIPAA HITECH, Sarbanes-Oxley (Section 404) management self-assessments, Model Audit Rule compliance, and other specialized information technology audits.


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