What’s the Difference Between SOC 2 and SOC for Cybersecurity?

July 28, 2021 | SOC 2

With cyberattacks and data breaches making headlines regularly these days, companies want to partner with businesses that they know will take care of their data. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has developed multiple reporting frameworks for organizations to use to communicate the policies, procedures, and activities—also known as controls—they have in place. Having a System and Organization Controls (SOC) report lets your customers or potential customers know you have the controls in place to protect their data and mitigate risk. But with multiple different reporting frameworks, it can be a challenge to understand which report is right for your organization. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few key differences between two similar reports: SOC 2 and SOC for Cybersecurity. 

What is SOC 2? 

The SOC 2 examination reports on one or any combination of the AICPA trust services criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It demonstrates an organization’s commitment to its customer and partner requirements and cybersecurity best practices.

What is SOC for Cybersecurity? 

The SOC for Cybersecurity report was designed by the AICPA to help organizations communicate pertinent information regarding their cybersecurity risk management efforts, and educate stakeholders about the systems, processes, and controls they have in place to detect, prevent, and respond to breaches. 

How does the subject matter differ? 

A SOC for Cybersecurity report hones in on an organization’s cybersecurity management program, whereas a SOC 2 report focuses on the AICPA trust services criteria and includes a wider variety of controls. 

How does the purpose and use of each report differ? 

While a SOC 2 report communicates that an organization’s controls are properly designed, implemented, and maintained effectively in order to handle customer or partner’s data, a SOC for Cybersecurity report communicates more specifically on your organization’s cybersecurity management program. 

Do the reports have different audiences? 

A SOC for Cybersecurity report is typically for general use by anyone interested in or impacted by the organization’s cybersecurity controls, both internally and externally. In contrast, a SOC 2 report often plays a larger role when it comes to vendor management or meeting customer requirements by communicating how an organization’s controls match the AICPA trust services criteria.

Who needs these reports?

A SOC for Cybersecurity examination can be performed for any type of organization looking to minimize their cybersecurity risk, regardless of size or industry. Organizations that should consider a SOC 2 report include cloud service providers (e.g., SaaS, IaaS, PaaS), enterprises housing third-party data, IT systems management, and data center colocation facilities. 

If I already have a SOC 2 report, should I consider a SOC for Cybersecurity report? 

If you already have a SOC 2 report, your organization could potentially benefit from a SOC for Cybersecurity report, too. Reach out to BARR Advisory to discuss the right report for your organization.

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