First and foremost, when attempting to pass a SOC 2 audit—a test to check how well your policies and procedures work when it comes to protecting consumer data—you should write up a system description for the auditor first.
From there, you should learn the audit scope to do a preliminary audit of your policies yourself then afterwards, you can take the real audit exam for SOC 2 when everything is on the up and up.
A Proper System Description
Before going to the auditor, make a system description. It describes your system and it could be composed of a couple of paragraphs. If you have a more complex system, it might take over ten pages to describe it.
It depends on how complex your business and services are. However, expect at least one paragraph per product to describe it. They’re like unique SKUs, in a sense.
The Preparation Stage for an SOC 2 Audit
After defining the systems and figuring out the audit scope, prepare for the audit itself. Preparation involves having a checklist of documentation to send to the auditor. For example, you need a “Common Population” list.
This list of items documents your data that the auditor will comb through to see if they’re up to quality and data safety standards.
Policies and Documentation
The documents and policies you need to send to the soc 2 auditor include the following.
- Policies: Prepare a full-text document of all your policies addressing SOC 2 framework security controls for private user data protection.
- Procedures: Submit documents describing your company actions or activities that meet requirements for protecting user data, such as records of the workers and dates when such tasks were done. This includes off-boarding and account creation procedures.
- Implementation: Before the audit even happens, make sure your policies and procedures are implemented for every project and client. This includes:
- Pen and paper test results.
- Risk assessment management updates.
- Security awareness training for your workers.
- Operations: You need more items for submission, such as the list of workers, your organization’s structure, documented changes, and lists of any security issues within the audit period.
- Miscellaneous: Many companies forget to disclose to auditors any new business partners you’ve gotten within the period of auditing. This also includes any new third-party vendors you’re supporting by offering your in-scope data products.
The SOC 2 Audit Itself
After you’re assured you have the right security controls available, research and assess which auditors should engage with your audit. Get one that you can afford. SOC 2 audits typically range between $20,000 and $40,000 in terms of fees.
The price of such an audit depends on audit scope, how complex your system is based on its descriptions, and the CPA firm you’ve ultimately decided to go for.
Make Your SOC 2 Preparation Easier with Third-Party Companies
These third-party companies specialize in providing comprehensive audit and assurance services, ensuring that your organization meets the necessary standards and requirements for SOC 2 compliance. By leveraging their expertise, you can streamline the audit process and gain valuable insights into enhancing your data protection practices.
You can get a mock audit and auditor or third-party SOC 2 prep service to make the preparation much easier. Raise your SOC 2 readiness by having someone or some other consultancy generation most of your documents, manage your implementation, and do a report on how SOC-2-ready you are.
Such services can make your SOC 2 audit as easy and effortless as it can. Book a demonstration or quote prices from them post-haste.