Reviewing the Advantages of a SOC 2 Security Framework

Information technology security control frameworks share the same end goal: Protect your business's information security from ever-increasing cyber breaches and information security incidents.

Following a set framework helps you control and shield your information by offering best practices and proven, organized responses to cyber threats. While there are many frameworks from which to choose – Service Organization Control (SOC), ISO 27001, HITRUST – the selection often comes down to a couple of key factors. Read on to discover which IT security framework might suit your business best.

Choosing the Right Framework for You

The type of framework that's best for your organization may depend on your industry. Are you in healthcare? HITRUST certification by the HITRUST Alliance will help you prove your compliance with HIPAA requirements based on a standardized framework. Federal agencies, on the other hand, might be required to stick to NIST or FedRAMP frameworks, while non-federal agencies might choose those same government-based frameworks to demonstrate their adoption of these authoritative security practices, particularly if they do a lot of contracting with federal agencies.

Many frameworks, such as ISO 27001, COBIT 5, and NIST 800-53, utilize the AICPA’s Trust Service Criteria (TSC) guidelines commonly associated with the AICPA’s SOC 2 framework. Both SOC 2 and ISO 27001 are extremely popular choices in today's cybersecurity environment, with SOC 2 currently leading in U.S. markets. International organizations, on the other hand, tend to favor ISO 27001 because of requirements included in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In general, ISO 27001 tends to be more prescriptive, but it can have more precise requirements, while SOC 2 meets the needs of a broader range of companies and is more flexible, allowing you to choose your organization's specific controls in order to meet the TSC and achieve certification.

Taking a Closer Look at the SOC 2

Another reason your company may want to take a closer look at SOC 2 involves the extra reporting that accompanies it. As an attest service that requires an auditor to evaluate a company's control over information security while following a specific set of standards, SOC 2 protects your information through an intense evaluation of how your IT controls over processes and people measure up to the AICPA's TSC of security, availability, processing, integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The result is a SOC 2 report that is more akin to an audit, providing third-party attestation that your organization is following industry-established IT guidelines. The results of a SOC 2 can also be used to demonstrate your superior security practices to stakeholders.

Also like an audit, with SOC 2, an expert auditor provides guidance specific to your organization that will help you improve controls and mitigate your risks. By understanding potential deficiencies in your control environment, you may be better positioned to ward off cyber attacks or data breaches.

Where Can I Learn More?

For more information on the SOC 2 security framework or other information security protocols, contact Scott Woznicki or another member of our team.

Published on November 22, 2021