If you’re a service provider that processes customer data or provides hosting or other services, an independent third-party examination report is more than a requirement of doing business; it’s a vital opportunity to:
Streamline business processes
Strengthen operational controls
Build trust and mitigate risk
Comply with regulatory requirements
Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Service Organization Control (SOC) reports are designed to help service organizations build trust and confidence in the services being provided, and the controls related to those services. A SOC report shows your customers that you have managed their data securely and with integrity.
Only independent Certified Public Accountants can issue SOC reports. Each type of SOC report is designed to help service organizations meet specific user needs:
SOC 1 REPORT
SOC 1 reports are specifically focused on internal controls over financial reporting. A SOC 1 is an examination of the internal controls (policies, procedures, and technologies) which a service provider has implemented to protect client data.
SOC 2 REPORT
SOC 2 reports are for companies that store or process data, more focused on a company’s non-financial reporting controls. SOC 2 defines criteria for managing customer data based on five “trust service categories”—security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality and privacy. These reports are intended for use by stakeholders and regulators that need an in-depth understanding of the organization and its internal controls structure.
SOC 3 REPORT
These reports are designed for users who need reassurance on controls at the service organization but do not require the depth of information provided in a SOC2 report.