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.

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Who Needs SOC For Cybersecurity?

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.


Components of the SOC for Cybersecurity Assessment

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.


SOC for Cybersecurity vs. SOC 2 Audit

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. 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.


Steps to SOC for Cybersecurity Audit Success

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


Take the Anxiety out of SOC for Cybersecurity

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.

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SOC 1®, SOC 2® and SOC 3® are registered trademarks of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). The AICPA® Trust Services Criteria for Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy is copyrighted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. All rights reserved.

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