SOC 2 Examination

SOC 2 - Report on Controls at a Service Organization Relevant to Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality or Privacy. SOC 2 examinations are designed for a broad range of users that need information and assurance about the controls at a service organization relevant to security, availability and processing integrity of the systems the service organization uses to process users' data, and the confidentiality and privacy of the information processed by these systems. Use of this report is restricted. These reports can play an important role in oversight of the organization, vendor management programs, and internal corporate governance and risk management processes.

The 2017 AICPA Trust Services Principles

The 2016 AICPA Trust Services Principles

Types of SOC 2 Engagements

  • Readiness Assessment - these reviews are designed to assist service organizations in assessing their preparedness for a SOC 2 examination. Readiness Assessments are non-attest consulting engagements designed to identify gaps in controls and advise the service organization of necessary corrective actions in preparation for the SOC examination. We work closely with the service organization to ensure mutual agreement on the applicable trust services principles and criteria, as well as the risks significant to user organizations
  • Type I - reports on fairness of the presentation of management's description of the service organization's system and the suitability of the design of the controls to meet the applicable trust services principles and criteria included in the description as of a specified date. The SOC 2, Type 1 may be beneficial for organizations that have never completed an examination, since it assesses the design of controls at a specified date.
  • Type II - reports on fairness of the presentation of management's description of the service organization's system and the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of the controls to meet the applicable trust services principles and criteria throughout the specified period. The SOC 2, Type 2 examination is typically suggested for organizations that have been through a readiness assessment or previously completed a Type 1 examination, since it assesses both the design and operating effectiveness of controls over a period of time.
  • Additional Subject Matter - a service organization may request that the SOC report address additional subject matter that is not specifically covered by the trust services principles and criteria. Examples of such subject matter may include:
    • SOC for Service Organizations: SOC 2HiTrust
    • SOC for Service Organizations: SOC 2 CSA STAR Attestation
    • compliance with certain criteria based on regulatory requirements (i.e., HIPAA, GLBA)
    • compliance with certain criteria based on industry requirements (i.e., Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI/DSS), American Land Title Association (ALTA) title insurance and settlement company best practices)
    • compliance with performance criteria established in a service-level agreement

Click here to read about the other types of SOC examinations and the overall SOC Practice at Schneider Downs.

case studies

big problem:
Ransomware attack halted a global manufacturer's operations.
big thinking:
Recover and secure the system – fast – save $1 million in ransom.
big problem:
High tax burden for family-owned franchisor.
big thinking:
Comprehensive planning for a 15% tax reduction.

our thoughts on

Five Questions to Assist With Identifying SOC Report Scope

The SOC reporting process can start with an organization’s desire to communicate to customers and potential customers that the organization’s

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SOC 2 Reports: Common Control Exceptions and How to Avoid Them

In performing SOC 2 examinations, we often come across the same types of control exceptions. To assist organizations with avoiding these exceptions, we’ve

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SOC 2 Examinations - What Are the Trust Services Criteria and Categories?

The 2017 Trust Services Criteria (TSC), which superseded the 2016 Trust Services Principles and Criteria (TSPC), serves as the control criteria for attestation

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How to Decide if a Type 1 or Type 2 SOC Report is Right for Your Organization

In a previous article, we described the differences between SOC 1 reports and SOC 2 reports. Once an organization decides to pursue a SOC 1 or SOC 2 report,

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SOC Report Refresher: What Are the Different Types of SOC Reports?

The rise of cloud computing has played a key role with businesses that outsource certain functions to service organizations. Since such organizations are

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