What Is SOC Cyber Security and Why Should You Care?


SOC cyber security is a process consisting of security measures that are put in place to protect an organization’s computer networks, systems, and data from unauthorized access or theft. By definition, SOC cyber security is the proactive attempt to avert or mitigate an attack on an organization’s computer systems before it occurs. A company’s “security operations center” (SOC) is responsible for implementing and managing the organization’s SOC cyber security program.

What is SOC cyber security

Cybersecurity risk management is an important part of every organization. A SOC for Cybersecurity examination is how a CPA reports on an organization’s cybersecurity risk management program. Its purpose is to communicate information about an organization’s cybersecurity risk management efforts to interested parties such as the board of directors, analysts, investors, business partners, and industry regulators. This gives those individuals a clear understanding of the organization’s cybersecurity risk management program and provides them with confidence in its efficacy.

The different types of SOC cyber security

There are four main types of SOC reports, which are governed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). These reports offer assurance that the controls service organizations put in place to protect their clients’ assets (data in most cases) are effective. The four main types are SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3, and SOC for Cybersecurity. Each type has a subset of reports.

SOC -1: – The SOC 1 Report is a report on Controls at a Service Organization which are relevant to user entities’ internal control over financial reporting.

SOC -2: – SOC 2 reports are attestations issued by an independent Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm. They focus on the operational risks associated with outsourcing to third-parties outside of financial reporting. SOC 2 reports are based on the Trust Services Criteria, which includes up to five categories: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and/or privacy.

SOC-3: – A SOC 3 report is less comprehensive than a SOC 2 report, but is also less restrictive. The main difference between the two reports is that the SOC 2 report focuses on details of the description and testing, whereas the SOC 3 report is a general-use report that is great for marketing purposes.

The benefits of SOC cyber security

Designing and implementing an effective SOC can be a complex process. An organization needs to identify, acquire, and deploy the tools required by the SOC and put in place policies and procedures for identifying and responding to cybersecurity incidents. Check Point has created Infinity SOC to help with this process—it is a pre-integrated, turnkey security solution that provides the tools and expertise needed to build and operate a world-class SOC.

The Infinity SOC platform enables your organization’s SOC team to use the same tools as Check Point Security Research. This gives SOC analysts the visibility and capabilities they need to identify and shut down attacks against their network with 99.9% precision. Deployed as a unified cloud-based platform, it increases security operations efficiency and ROI.

Security Operations Centers face many common challenges, which is why Check Point Infinity SOC was created. This solution helps organizations protect their networks by providing:

– Quick detection and shutdown of real attacks

– Rapid incident investigations

– Zero-friction deployment

How to get started with SOC cyber security

The cyber security market is growing rapidly and is expected to be worth more than $170 billion by 2020. With the increase in cybercrime and data breaches, organizations are realizing the importance of having a secure and compliant IT infrastructure.

The first step in getting started with SOC cyber security is to understand the different types of attacks that are possible and the risks that your organization faces. After you have a clear understanding of the threats, you need to develop a security strategy that addresses these threats. The next step is to implement the security strategy and make sure that it is enforced across the organization.

The future of SOC cyber security

The cyber security landscape is constantly changing as new technologies are developed and more sophisticated cyber threats emerge. It can be difficult to keep up with all the latest trends and developments, let alone know how to protect your organization from potential attacks.

In this rapidly changing environment, it is more important than ever to have a strong and effective cyber security strategy in place. SOC (security operations Centre) services can play a key role in helping organizations stay safe online.


SOC cyber security is a vital necessity for any business with a presence on the internet. By definition, SOC cyber security is the proactive attempt to avert or mitigate an attack on an organization’s computer systems before it occurs. In order to stay protected, every business should have a SOC cyber security program in place that is managed by a dedicated “security operations center” (SOC).



Compliance vs Security: What’s More Important In Your Business?

Introduction: –

Compliance and security are two of the most important aspects of any business. However, the question of which is more important is a difficult one to answer. Compliance is necessary to ensure that your business is following all the regulations governing it, while security protects your company from potential outside threats. While your business must have both compliance and security measures in place, you may have to prioritize one over the other depending on your specific situation.


Compliance: –

Compliance is key when it comes to data security. By following the guidelines set forth by organizations like ISO and NIST, as well as complying with federal laws like SOX and HIPAA, businesses can protect their customers and their data.

Soc compliance: – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act was a federal act that was passed by Congress in 2002 to prevent corporate fraud. SOX compliance is overseen by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and includes a variety of rules and regulations for financial reporting, record keeping, and accountability. The cybersecurity dimension of SOX includes regulatory standards for record-keeping, the implementation of strong internal controls to prevent fraud, and IT infrastructure regarding financial data.

Hippa compliance: – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, passed by the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights in 1996, protects citizens’ individually identifiable health information. HIPAA contains three overarching “rules”: the Privacy Rule, the Security Rule, and the Breach Notification Rule. These regulatory standards ensure that healthcare organizations and their business associates know how to handle patients’ sensitive data. PHI is formally defined as protected health information under HIPAA.

ISO Compliance: – The ISO is a Geneva-based NGO that publishes well-known standards. These standards are known for consolidating best practices into easy-to-understand frameworks. The ISO has released around 22,000 standards, including ISO 27001, their standard for developing information security management systems (ISMS). ISO 27001 outlines specific strategies and checklists for creating strong security measures across an organization.

Read our latest blog for HITRUST 


Security: –

Security is the term used to describe the systems and controls in place to protect your company’s assets. Security tools are in place to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing your company data, whether through a cyber-attack, leak, or breach. Security practices also provide a protocol for how to handle a security incident in the worst-case scenario. Here are some common categories for security tools:

IT Infrastructure: – There is no question that compliance is critically important for businesses. But often, security is prioritized over compliance, putting the business at risk. To make the best decisions for your business, it is important to understand the difference between compliance and security, and the risks and benefits of each.

Network Access: – It can be difficult to find the perfect balance between compliance and security, but with the help of identity access management tools, your business can stay safe and compliant. IAM tools can help to secure your network by regulating access and providing tight security protocols.

Authentication: If you’re a business, you know that compliance and security are two of the most important things you need to focus on. But what’s more important: compliance or security? It’s a tough question to answer, but with 2FA and MFA, you can have the best of both worlds. These tools offer an extra layer of protection that make sure your data is safe and compliant.

User Training: – Users are the cause of most information security incidents. Security professionals know that human error can be prevented through proper training. Employees need to be trained to identify and report phishing attacks, as well as understand how to create and implement a strong password. User education is an important part of any security program. Luckily, security educators are developing engaging and interesting training programs to help users get more invested in security and see it as a necessary part of their work.


The Importance of Both Compliance and Security: –

There are two important aspects of security and compliance that are interconnected: security and compliance. Security is the systems and controls put in place by a company to protect its assets, while compliance is meeting the standards that a third party has set forth as best practices or legal requirements. However, they are different in a few ways. For example, security is more preventative, while compliance is reactive in nature.

There are several standards and laws that businesses must adhere to to ensure the security of their data. These measures may be automatic for some companies, but compliance offers strategies to bring your business into alignment with best practices and the law. By complying with industry standards and regulations, you can protect your company from potential fines and penalties. Security and compliance are both important risk management tools. They help to protect your organization from potential harm by ensuring that your systems are secure and following regulations. You can use a third-party resource or standard protocol for security, or you can create a patching strategy for vulnerabilities. Either way, security, and compliance are essential components of risk management.

Ideally, a business’ security measures and compliance needs will be in alignment, but that is not always the case. Sometimes, security measures have been implemented, but not all of the boxes have been checked for compliance needs. For example, you may have invested in antimalware, but you haven’t trained your employees in NIST password guidelines and best practices. You may have satisfied one compliance framework, but if your organization is lacking cohesiveness, you could be at risk. Say, for example, you’ve implemented the PCI DSS security standard, which requires multi-factor authentication for accessing card payment data. However, you haven’t used those same authentication tools for other parts of your business. Organizations that lack a clear authentication tool for accessing cloud computing resources are still PCI DSS compliant. However, they may have security gaps in other areas. A comprehensive security assessment is necessary to identify these needs and ensure that compliance and security are aligned. Good governance across all aspects of the business is key to achieving this goal.


How Does Compliance Influence Security?

Security measures protect your company’s assets and stop unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive data. However, security teams also need to comply with the compliance needs of their organization. Many standards and frameworks help improve cybersecurity, deter fraud, and protect user data. Compliance measures can help your organization become more secure. They provide a set of clear frameworks, checklists, and best practices that reduce risk across an industry. ISO 27001 is a comprehensive compliance framework that outlines all of the components of a strong information security management system (ISMS). Organizations can use ISO 27001 as a blueprint for designing their security strategy, rather than using it as a secondary process.

If you are a health care professional read about HIPAA.


Conclusion: –

Compliance and security are both important aspects of any business. However, the question of which is more important is a difficult one to answer. Compliance is necessary to ensure that your business is following all the regulations governing it, while security protects your company from potential outside threats. While your business must have both compliance and security measures in place, you may have to prioritize one over the other depending on your specific situation.

Advantages of SOC Reporting

Advantages of SOC Reporting

In today’s world, you would hardly find an organization that does not outsource at least one function or component of their control environment to a third-party service provider. From payroll processing to invoice creation and cloud storage to backup solutions, third party vendors have provided companies with cost-effective and efficient ways to reduce the need for internal resources for performing reoccurring or computerized tasks.

While this has helped organizations reduce headcount, stress, and certain costs, it does not eliminate the company’s responsibility to ensure their processes are functioning correctly, their data is secure, and their control environment is integrated. Since, these types of associations have become more common, the demand from clients (or “user entities”) and their external auditors for service organizations to provide assurance that their processes and controls are designed, and operating, effectively has also increased. Complying a SOC 2 audit gives your organization an edge as you can assure your customers that you are taking all necessary steps to keep their data safe and safeguard against damaging breaches.

Following are the key benefits of having a compliant SOC report:

Attracts your buyers

Organizations concerned with security are more likely to become customers if you can provide a SOC 2 report, which shows that you are following best practices for implementing and reporting on control systems.

Acts as Differentiator

Your competitors may claim to be secure, however they cannot prove that without an audit. Getting a SOC 2 report can differentiate your organization from other companies in the marketplace that have not made as significant an investment of time and capital.

Enhancing Services

As SOC audit helps you learn to be more secure and efficient. You can streamline your processes and controls based on your understanding of the risks that your customers face. This in-turn will help you improve your services.

Establish Trust

While working with other people’s financial data / sensitive information, trust is the key thing you offer to your client. A SSAE 18 report performed by an independent auditor proves to clients that the systems and controls you have in place are secure and effective.

Save Time and Money

Audits can be time consuming and utilize valuable company resources. However, if you have a current report, it can be utilized by an external auditor and will help you save a lot of re-work. If you don’t a SOC report, you could face multiple user organizations’ auditors individually, repeating the process with each and every request

Identify and Remediate Deficiencies

Apart from having an internal audit function, a third-party auditor can bring in new perspective on control environment and help catch inefficiencies or areas for improvement within your service organization that will end up saving you time and money in the long run.

Make Public Companies your client

Publicly traded companies are required to use service providers that are SSAE 16 qualified. Having a SSAE 16/SOC audit will expand your market beyond privately held companies to include public corporations.

Establish relationship with your Auditor

By the end of your SSAE 18/SOC audit, your auditors will know your business inside and out. You’ll be able to take advantage of this valuable resource long after the audit is complete. Any time you have a question you can refer to this trusted, knowledgeable resource to help navigate even the toughest business decisions.

SOC 2 Audit for Amazon AWS Environments

SOC 2 Audit for Amazon AWS Environments

With the migration to the cloud happening at record pace, thousands of companies are currently
being needed to become SOC 2 compliant every year. In this blog, we will be touching upon the key
areas and their importance from a SOC2 perspective related to Amazon Web Services (AWS) being
used as a cloud platform.
SOC 2 Scoping & Readiness Assessment: Understanding scope and also the what business
processes are to be enclosed inside your SOC 2 audit is important, and conjointly for mitigating any
kind of scope related problems. Since you’re hosting your services (i.e., your production
environment) in AWS, it would have its own variety of advantages along with your SOC 2 audit.
oFirst, a wide range of the physical security controls are lined by AWS themselves as their
personal information centers store your virtual server instances.
oSecond, AWS incorporates a decent number of audit & compliance, and management tools &
solutions that are straightforward to “spin up” in any surroundings, additional serving to
compliance needs
Leverage AWS’ SOC Reports for Scope Reduction: For the CPA firm you engaged with to
perform your SOC 2 audit, they’ll kindle you to get a replica of AWS’ most current SOC 2 report,
and for an obvious reason – scope reduction. A large range of the controls you’ll want for SOC 2
compliance are literally lined by AWS’ report. From physical and environmental controls –AWS’
SOC 2 must be leveraged.

Utilize AWS’s Security and Compliance Tools: CloudWatch logs reports on application logs,
whereas CloudTrail Logs details on specific info on what occurred in your AWS account. These are
simply some samples of the various tools that AWS has accessible for your growing security,
governance, and regulative compliance desires.

Visit https://aws.amazon.com/products/security/ and you’ll notice a list of tools and solutions for
serving to meet growing regulative compliance desires for not solely SOC 2, but HIPAA, HITRUST,
GDPR, PCI DSS, FISMA, and far a lot of. Here may be a sneak peek at the various tools accessible
for from AWS in serving to with growing regulative compliance needs:

o AWS object: The AWS object portal provides on-demand access to AWS’ security and
compliance documents, conjointly referred to as audit artifacts.
o AWS Certificate Manager: AWS Certificate Manager may be a service that permits you
to simply provision, manage, and deploy Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security
(SSL/TLS) certificates.
o AWS CloudHSM: The AWS CloudHSM service helps you meet
company, written agreement and regulative compliance needs for information security by
mistreatment dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) appliances inside the AWS cloud.
o Amazon Cognito: Amazon Cognito permits you to add user sign-up/sign-in and access
management to your net and mobile apps quickly and simply.
o AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM): Use AWS Identity and Access
Management (IAM) to regulate users’ access to AWS services. Produce and manage users and
teams, and grant or deny access.

There are more tools accessible from AWS once it involves security & compliance, therefore use
them as required. They’ll build life within the cloud and they’ll build your SOC 2 audit much easier.
Implement the Tools: Sounds simple, however we’ll got to with courtesy prompt you that simply
knowing that such tools are accessible isn’t enough, you would like to place them to smart use as
auditors can wish to envision proof of such. If you’re not aware of AWS in terms of their toolsets
and offerings for regulative compliance, then it’s necessary to search out for AWS security &

Develop AWS info Security Policies and Procedures: One among the foremost aspects of
turning into SOC 2 criticism is developing all the specified info security policies and procedures.
Specifically, SOC 2 is significant on documentation, and you’ll have to be compelled to place in situ
strong, literary InfoSec policies. However a lot of necessary, these policies have to be compelled to
be written specifically for your surroundings inside AWS.
Here’s simply a little sample of policy documents you’ll want for turning into SOC 2 compliant:
o Access management
o Information backup
o Incident response
o Information retention and disposal
o Security and patch management – and many more.
Perform Essential Operational Initiatives: Four key operational initiatives that you simply
should perform for SOC 2 compliance are:
o Perform annual risk assessment
o Check your incident response annually
o Implement security awareness coaching
o Conduct vulnerability scans periodically

The Audit Begins: The auditors are going to be inquiring for a wide range of evidences.
Specifically, they’ll be requesting documentation (i.e., policies and procedures), proof of varied
system settings (this can are available the shape of screenshots), proof of operational measures
undertaken, like security awareness coaching, risk assessments, and more. It’s therefor essential to
produce them with any and every one requests that return your means. In short, be clear along with
your auditors.
We believe this the article would have enhances your understanding of AWS controls from a SOC2
perspective. Please reach out to us if you would like to know more about data security or need any
help to perform a SOC/ GDPR certification for your organization.

Visit our website https://accorppartners.com/soc/index.php to read more articles related to SOC

History of SOC reporting

History of SOC reporting


This blog helps you understand the history and background of SOC reporting and a brief overview of how it came into
existence and evolved as a way of addressing risks associated with outsourcing services.
Brief History
The increased prominence on governance, risk management, and compliance has steered companies to focus on internal
controls over all aspects of their operations. Service organizations providing outsourced services (IT, business processes,
etc.) often engage a third party audit firm to certify the design and operating effectiveness of these controls. The auditor’s
inspection of an organization’s internal control and the impact that a service organization may have on the entity’s
control environment has long been an area of focus in designing an acceptable audit approach.
The original standard for attesting was known as SAS 70 and was an established way by which service organizations
could illustrate the effectiveness of their internal controls. The SAS 70 audit was performed by a CPA and the result was a
report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting (ICFR). This report was often used by the
organizations to show that a vendor was secure and safe to work with. However, the report was principally was not meant
for that purpose.

Introduction of SSAE 16

The technology evolved and so did the AICPA’s attestation standards. SSAE No. 16 reporting standards was completed by
the AICPA in January 2010. SSAE 16 beneficially replaced SAS 70 as the reliable guidance for reporting on service
organizations. SSAE 16 was officially issued in April 2010 and became effective on 15th June 2011. SSAE 16 was drafted
with the objective and purpose of updating the US service organization reporting standard so that it reflects and adheres
to the new international service organization reporting standard – ISAE 3402.
SSAE 16 also established a new attestation standard called AT 801 which contained guidance for performing the service
auditor’s examination. Many service organizations that had previously performed a SAS 70 examination now switched to
the new standard in 2011 and now had an enhanced SSAE 16 report (also referred to as a Service Organization Controls
(SOC) 1 report).

The upgraded SSAE 18

The SSAE no. 18 (Statement on standards of attestation engagements) used for SOC reporting is the latest periodic
statement issued by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
(AICPA) effective from 1st May 2017. Following were the key changes in transforming from SSAE16 to SSAE18:
 SOC as defined under the SSAE-16 Standard stood for ‘Service Organization Control’. Under the new
Standard, SOC now stands for ‘System and Organizational Controls’, and applies to other types of
organizations and both system and/or entity-level controls.
 In the SSAE-16 Standard, complementary user-entity controls (CUEC) were defined as those controls at userentity organizations that were both necessary and unnecessary to achieve control objectives stated in
management’s description. Under the SSAE 18 Standard, CUEC are now defined as those controls that are only
necessary to achieve control objectives stated in management’s description.
 The new SSAE-18 Standard adds requirements related to subservice organizations (SSO) and vendor
management processes. When subservice organization is carved out, the inclusion of SSO controls are now
provided in management’s description similarly to CUECs. Also, vendor management processes to monitor the
effectiveness of controls at SSO have been stressed upon.
 The new SSAE-18 Standard requires that the Management Assertion letter accepting responsibility for the
description be signed. Previously, a Management Assertion letter was required but it did not have to be signed.
 The new SSAE-18 Standard has also included revisions to the language used in the Management Assertion Letter
and Service Auditor’s report to accommodate general changes and those associated with complementary userentity and subservice organization controls.

The following table summarizes some of the Statements relative to internal control, the effect of information technology
on a financial statement audit, and service organizations, that have been made since SAS No.70 standards introduced in
Statement Name Date Issued Title of Statement
SAS No. 70 April 1992 Service Organizations
SAS No. 78 December 1995
Consideration of Internal Control in a
Financial Statement Audit: An
Amendment to Statement on
Auditing Standards No. 55
SAS No. 88 December 1999 Service Organizations and Reporting
on Consistency
SAS No. 94 May 2001
The Effect of Information Technology
on the Auditor’s Consideration of
Internal Control in a Financial
Statement Audit
PCAOB No. 2 March 2004
An Audit of Internal Control over
Financial Reporting in Conjunction
with an Audit of Financial
Statements. (Note: Appendix B refers
to Service Organizations)
PCAOB No. 5 May 2007
An Audit of Internal Control over
Financial Reporting that is Integrated
with an Audit of Financial
Statements. (Note: Appendix B17-B17
covers Service Organization

ISAE No. 3402 December 2009 Assurance Reports on Controls at a
Service Organization
SSAE No. 16 April 2010 Reporting on Controls at a Service
SSAE No. 18 May 2017
Concepts common to all Attestation
engagements (with more stress on
system details, CUEC
(complimentary user organization
controls) and SSO (sub-service
organization) controls.)

Hope this blog would have added to your understanding the knowledge related to SOC reporting standards.
Stay connected and feel free to reach out for knowing more about different types SOC reporting.

Understanding a SOC 3 Report

Understanding a SOC 3 Report



Over the last decade, companies have started to see outsourcing as a way of reducing
costs and improving inefficiencies which lead to a rapid growth in outsourcing of
software as service and other cloud-based technologies. The change led to an
increased demand of SOC reports and has also increased the necessity for auditor
reporting at service organizations to make sure that these service providers have
appropriate internal controls in place to manage their information systems. As these
requests from customers for these reports become more frequent, it can often
become confusing on which report you ought to be providing also as which report
are going to be more useful for the Service Organization.


AICPA has 5 main Trust Services Criteria namely security, availability, processing
integrity, confidentiality and privacy. A Service Organization Control 3 (SOC 3)
report provides information related to a service organization’s internal controls
around these TSCs.
A SOC 3 is intended for a public audience. These reports are short and include lesser
details as compared to a Soc 2 report, which is distributed to a focused audience of
stakeholders. Due to generic nature, Soc 3 reports can be shared openly and posted
on a company’s website to portray their compliance. However, the report may still
be invaluable for an organization looking for insights on their current security and
control landscape.

Difference Between a SOC 2 and SOC 3 Report

Basically, both SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports revolve around same AICPA standards and
the work performed by the service auditor for the two reports is very similar. Both
reports are based on the AICPA’s TSCs and the controls identified and tested are
usually same for both the reports. Following are some key differences between both
the reports:
• SOC 2 reports can be either Type I or a Type II while a SOC 3 report is always
a Type II report
• SOC 3 report has a less detailed description of controls related to compliance
and operations. Also, it does not include detailed testing procedures or results
of testing.
• SOC 2 reports are meant for restricted use reports of the service organization’s
management, customers, and customers’ auditors. On contrary, SOC 3 reports
are general use reports that can be distributed freely as they contain
significantly less detail.
• SOC 3 report are more used as tool for attracting prospective customers but it
may not satisfy the needs of current customers and their auditors.
• A SOC 2 report is larger in size as it includes an auditor’s opinion,
management’s assertion, a detailed description of the system. It also includes
description of service organization’s internal controls and their test results
performed by the service auditors. However, a SOC 3 report is much smaller in
size and consists of a brief auditor’s opinion, management assertion, and a
brief narrative providing background on the service organization. It contains
very less detail on the specific controls operating within the service

Benefits of a SOC 3 Report

Following are some key benefits of obtaining a SOC 3 report:
• It evidences that your organization invests in security measures and portrays
customers that you’re transparent about your practices
• SOC 3 report can help enhance your company’s credibility and gain the trust of
new clients.
• Provides you an edge over competitors who do not have any third-party
• A positive report demonstrates you have a professional team and your
organization cares about clients to ensure that their data is safe from cyber


To conclude, it is relatively easier for an organization to decide if they need a SOC 1
or a SOC 2 because the key difference between being that SOC 1 is more inclined
towards impact of service organization’s controls on the customer’s internal control
over financial reporting. The decision becomes a little more difficult when deciding
between a SOC 2 and SOC 3 report.
Important thing to remember is that a SOC 2 is a restricted use report that contains
detailed information on the system, the controls in place, the service auditor’s test
procedures and the results of their test procedures. SOC 2 reports are useful for
corporate oversight, vendor management programs, internal corporate governance
and risk management processes.

A SOC 3 is a general use report that does not include much detail and is a great
marketing tool. They can be used to attract new client and induce confidence and
trust in both upcoming and existing clients.
We believe this the article would have enhanced your understanding about SOC 3
reports. Please feel free to reach out if you have any queries related to SOC reports
or need to get a SOC/ISO/GDPR certification done for your organization.
You can also visit our website https://accorppartners.com/soc/index.php to read
more articles related to SOC reporting

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SOC 2 vs. ISO 27001 Audit

SOC 2 vs. ISO 27001 Audit


As we talk about the two auditing standards, we should keep in mind that both are
information security standards and involve an external audit performed with an intent of
keeping your and client’s data safe. Both are standards have different fundamental
methodologies for providing an assurance. While, ISO 27001 is a certification of an ISMS
(Information Security Management System) tested against an established framework, SSAE is
an audit of the processes, policies and procedures an organization has in place.
ISO 27001 involves issuing a certificate of compliance by the auditor on completion which
confirms that the organization meets the requirements set by the International Organization
for Standardization (ISO) and International Electro technical Commission for protecting
information and managing risk. A SOC 2 attestation involves a report prepared by the auditor
to ascertain whether that a service organization’s security controls meet the relevant Trust
Services Criteria set by AICPA. While, both the standards cover most of the similar topics,
they focus on differing audit criteria and the details of the two standards are completely

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SOC 2 Assessment
SOC 2 audit involves evaluating a service organization’s internal controls, policies, and
procedures precisely based on the 5 trust services criteria i.e. security, availability, processing
integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The Trust Services Criteria are relevant to the services
of organization as follows:
 Security – Protection of system against unauthorized access
 Availability – Availability of the system for operation and use
 Processing Integrity – The system is processing information completely,
accurately and timely
 Confidentiality – Information classified as confidential is protected
 Privacy – Any personal information is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and
destroyed in accordance with the entity’s privacy notice.
ISO 27001 Audit
ISO 27001 is an internationally accepted standard for governing an organization’s
Information Security Management System (ISMS). The ISMS preserves the confidentiality,
integrity, and availability of information by applying a risk management process and induces
trust in external parties that information related risks are appropriately managed by the

The ISO 27001 standard regulates how an organization creates and run an effective ISMS
through policies and procedures and associated legal, physical, and technical controls
supporting an organization’s information risk management processes. An ISMS protects the
confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information by applying a risk management
process. Following 7 sections of the ISO 27001:2013 standard (from section 4 to 10) provide
the core guidelines for compliance with the standard:
 Section 4: Context of the Organization
 Section 5: Leadership
 Section 6: Planning
 Section 7: Support
 Section 8: Operation
 Section 9: Performance evaluation
 Section 10: Improvement.
Following are few other key differences between SOC 2 and ISO 27001 standards that
further enhance your understanding:
The certifying and governing bodies
The SOC 2 report is attested by a licensed CPA (Certified Public Accountant) firm attests whereas an
ISO 27001 certification is certified by a recognized ISO27001-accredited registrar. ISO 27001 is
managed by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and SOC 2 attestation standards
(SSAE 18) are regulated by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
Market Relevance
Both the standards are creditable security certifications accepted by clients widely. Precisely, if
you are selling services to organizations in the United States, SOC 2 is better suited. However,
if you are doing business internationally, ISO27001 is more extensively accepted by clients

Certification Renewals
SOC 2 has two types namely Type 1 (which gives a point in time design assessment) and Type
2 (which requires you to demonstrate effectiveness of your security controls for a period of
time, typically twelve months). Typically, a SOC 2 Type 2 needs to be renewed on an annual
basis. On the other hand, an ISO27001 engagement includes a 3 year commitment where you
have a point in time audit every year the certification and gets renewed annually after the
successful completion of the audit.
Report Type obtained on completion
SOC 2 gives you a detailed report containing the auditor’s opinion, management’s assertion,
description of controls, user control considerations, tests of controls, and the results.
However, ISO certification is a single page certification issued to the company.
Applicability and use
A SOC 2 report laid out on the Trust service criteria is applicable to an organization’s overall
system while ISO 27001 based on the Information Security Framework is precisely applicable
to organization’s ISMS.
Further, SOC 2 attestation being a good industry practice is used measure a Service
Organization against static security principles and criteria. The ISO 27001 is considered to be
one of the best practices performed to establish, implement, maintain, and improve the ISMS
of the organization.

Both SOC 2 and ISO 27001 are effective compliance methods for organizations to accept and
can be utilized to get an edge over market competition, demonstrate the design and operating
effectiveness of internal controls, and to achieve compliance with regulatory requirements.
One can decide to go through either a SOC 2 or ISO 27001 engagement based on their
understanding of markets, customer’s and the regulatory requirements that they need qualify.
Hope, you have a clearer picture about the two standards now. Please feel free to reach out to
us in case you have any queries or to seek more information.

The US and UK attestation standards (SSAE vs. ISAE)

The US and UK attestation standards (SSAE vs. ISAE)


Usually, when you look out to get an independent controls attestation for your organization by a third party service
auditor, you may come across many ways of getting that done. You can either get a SOC 1 or SOC2 audit done (Type
I or Type II) based on your requirements and choose your attestation standards for the report i.e. either ISAE (the
UK standard, No. 3402 being the latest one) or the SSAE (the US standard, No. 18 being the latest). In this article,
we will touch upon both the standards, their managing authorities and the key differences which will help you
understand what exactly they are and identify the best one for yourself.
ISAE stands for International Standards on Attestation Engagements (the UK standard) which is
managed by IAASB (International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board) which in turn reports to IFAC
(International Federation of accountants).

SSAE stands for Statement on Standards of Attestation Engagements (the US standard) and is managed
by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) which reports to FASB (Financial Accounting
Standards Board).
Principally both the standards are designed to achieve the same objective in terms of reporting the establishment
of effectively designed controls over financial reporting and each service organizations may need to provide
reports to their clients (user entities) according to different standards. For the service organizations catering
services within United States, SSAE18 is best suited. While for the ones providing services outside US, reporting
can be done in accordance with the ISAE 3402 standards (termed as a combined report).
Further, there are a few key differences when it comes to performance and reporting style of both the standards.
Below are the major key differences which one should know:
 Investigation of the Intentional Acts
Both the standards require the investigation of any deviations identified during the testing. They direct the
service auditor to investigate the noted deviations that could have been caused by an intentional act of service
organization’s (SO) personnel.
The SSAE 18 directs that the auditor should receive a written representation from SO management detailing any
actual or suspected intentional acts (like employee committing frauds) that could impact the fair presentation of
management’s description of the system. However, the ISAE 3402 does not explicitly require auditors to obtain
the written representations.

 Dealing with Operating Anomalies
Any finding that deviates from the standard is an Operating Anomaly. SSAE 18 treats all deviations in the same
manner, rather than as an anomaly. However, ISAE 3402 contains a requirement that allows a service auditor to
conclude that any identified deviation while testing a sample of the control can be considered an anomaly. The
idea is that when controls are sampled, they are not necessarily representative of the entire population from the
samples drawn.

 Assistance from Internal Audit Team
SSAE 18 enables the use of direct assistance from the service organization’s internal audit function in accordance
with the U.S. audit standards guidance. ISAE 3402 does not allows the use of the internal audit function for
direct assistance.

 Subsequent Events
SSAE 18 calls out that the service auditor should report any event that could be significant in order to prevent
users from being misled. A subsequent event would be something that could change management’s assertion
after the audit period has ended. However, ISAE 3402 restricts the types of subsequent events that would be
disclosed in the service auditor’s report to only those that could have a significant effect on the service auditor’s
 Statement on Restricting Use of the Service Auditor’s Report
SSAE 18 requires that the auditor’s report should include a statement restricting the use of the report to
management of the service organization, user entities, and user auditors. However, ISAE 3402 requires that the
service auditor’s report include a statement that indicates that the report is intended for the servi ce organization,
user entities & user a

uditors but does not require a statement restricting its use.
 Acceptance of Engagement and Continuation
SSAE 18 directs that management should acknowledge and accept the responsibility of providing the service
auditor with written representations at the conclusion of the engagement. However, ISAE 3402 does not
requires this acknowledgment.
 Disclaimer of Opinion
If the service provider does not provide the assessor with specific written representation, ISAE 3402 requires
that the auditor deny an opinion after discussing the concern with management. If this happens, the auditor can
carry out the required action.
SSAE 18 requires that the service auditor takes an action or withdraws from the engagement. The SSAE 18 also
contains certain incremental requirements for a situation where auditor plans to deny any opinion.
 Elements of the Section 801 Report That Are Not Required in the ISAE 3402

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SSAE 18 contains certain requirements that are additional to those in ISAE 3402. These requirements are as
o The identification of any information included in the documentation that is not covered by the service
auditor’s report.
o A reference to management’s assertion, and a statement that management is responsible for identifying
any of the risks that threaten the fulfillment of the control objectives.
o A statement that the examination included assessing the risks that management’s description of the service
organization’s system is not fairly presented and that the controls were not suitably designed or operating
effectively to achieve the related control objectives.
o A statement that an examination engagement of this type also includes evaluating the overall presentation
of management’s description of the service organization’s system and suitability of the control objectives
stated in the description.
We believe, that the article what have enhance your understanding of the two standards and their key differences.
Please reach out us if you still have any queries or for any further information.

What is HIPAA Compliance? HIPAA Laws & Rules

What is HIPAA Compliance? HIPAA Laws & Rules

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) puts the standard for diplomatic patient data security. Organizations that manage protected health information (PHI) must set physical, web, and operate security parameters in place and obey them to maintain HIPAA Compliance. Secured companies (anyone offering treatment, transaction, and operations in health protection) and business connections (anyone who has the right to patient data and gives service in treatment, revenue, or operations) must converge HIPAA Compliance. Other companies, like small business partners or any other business associates, must follow HIPAA compliance.

Requirement of HIPAA Compliance

HHS (Department of Health & Human Services) says that as health care service providers and other companies handling PHI upgraded to digital operations, involving Electronic Health Records (EHR), Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) management, radiology, pharmacy, and other management, HIPAA compliance is very significant than ever. Likely, health care plans offer rights to claim as well as care system and self-service requisition. While all of these digital processes offer increased effectiveness and strength, they also substantially increase the safety risks of meeting healthcare data.

Data Protection for Healthcare Organizations

The requirement for data privacy has enhanced with the rapid growth in the use and distribution of digital patient information. Nowadays, high-standard care needs healthcare companies to level this boosted requirement for data while following a HIPAA set of rules and protecting PHI. Getting a data protection plan in place permits healthcare entities to:

– Make sure the privacy and accessibility of PHI maintain the belief of medical practitioners and patients

– Meet HIPAA Compliance for right, inspection, ethics controls, data sharing, and device privacy

– Keep high visibility and management of confidential data all over the organization

The best data privacy techniques consider and safe patient information in all aspects, including organized and unorganized data formats, emails, contact numbers, and documents, while permitting healthcare organizations to share data privately to make sure the best viable patient care.

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Data Breaches Under HIPAA

As we suggested to prior, a data breach doesn’t importantly need to be an outer hack. Under HIPAA Compliance, a data violation is usually unsanctioned workforce or people examining Protected Health Information when they should not. It might be a destructive cyberattack structured to snatch PHI, it’s also any secured organization accessing or going through PHI in a time or way when they shouldn’t do this.

HIPAA says a data violation is “the possession, right, use, or opening of protected health information in a way not allowed which includes the security or privacy of the safest health care data.” To restrict data violation, organizations will have a strong network security system to keep breaches away, as well as an absolute internal security parameter.

Considering Usual HIPAA Violations

We’ve covered a few usual outlines of where HIPAA breaches happen, however, companies will have to teach in themselves multiple situations and cases that can activate any violation.

Here are a few general reasons that can lead to a HIPAA violation:

– Snatching of tool that contains PHI

– Hacking, virus, or malicious software

– Sending PHI to the unauthorized individual or community

– Disclosing PHI at a public place

– Sharing PHI on social media platforms


HIPAA was generated to verify patient or customer PHI data and information stays private. The parameters that HIPAA needs are developed to assist your company or organization take all the right actions to save healthcare information.

While HIPAA compliance may appear intimidating, a step-by-step procedure can help you complete it efficiently. If you find it very complex, make sure to consult with the financial advisors, i.e., Accorp Partners. At last, you should connect with a professional HIPAA compliance associate to verify everything on your HIPAA checklist — from the implementation of HIPAA Compliance to maintenance — gets verified properly.

Importance of SOC 2 Type 2 Audit and ISO 27001 Certification

Importance of SOC 2 Type 2 Audit and ISO 27001 Certification

In this digital world, the cyberattack is the most common and easy way to steal data, and a breach in data can be dangerous for the data handler as well as the breach of the privacy of the individual that has submitted his data to any organization. The organization which holds sensitive data requires the services of those organizations that safeguard their data against any cyber-crime. The organization must hold Software-as-a-service (SaaS) and be certified from SOC 2 Type 2 Audit Compliance and ISO 27001 certification.

Getting SOC 2 Certification by an accredited organization builds a sense of trust between customers that the company holding their data manages to keep all aspects of security to safeguard the data of their precious client. The client remains in peace of mind against any security threat posed by a group of hackers or cyber thieves that the organization is following the strict cyber security protocols to keep their data safe and secure. The ongoing compliance with SOC 2 Type 2 Audit and ISO 27001 certification is a demanding process by organizations, but we have to believe the demanding process of the third-party organization to provide the certificate of the SoC 2 Type 2 Audit.

What is SOC 2 Audit?

SOC stands for “System and Organization Control” and it was created and developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to make way to address growing concern over data privacy and protection. A SOC 2 report is designed in such a way to audit the process and controls of the service provider’s organization that stores customer data in the cloud server.

A SOC 2 audit is done by an independent third-party organization that reviews and tests everything of an organization like non-financing reporting controls as they are related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and the privacy management of the system.

What does SOC 2 require?

The SOC 2 Audit has two levels of inspection. SOC 2 Type 1 Audit requires taking control that goes in line with five trust factors provided by the AICPA.

The five factors are as follows: –

Security: The protection of the information at the collection and creation, use, processing, transmission, and storage and protecting the system used for processing the electronic information to make the entity complete its objective.

Availability: All the information and the system used in the maintenance of the data are available for processing operation and monitoring by the concerned authority.

Processing Integrity: This term is used for the completeness, validity, accuracy, timeliness, and authorization of the system processing.

Confidentiality: Confidentiality refers to the protection of the information that is termed as confidential from its collection and creation to the final disposition and removal of the data.

Privacy: Privacy is the key in every organization as it ensures the use of the personal information that is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and disposed of in line with the privacy policy drawn by the organization.

An SOC 2 type 2 goes a step ahead by allowing a third party to monitor and test the process that how well an organization is doing to control work over a certain period. The certification process in SOC 2 type 2 Audit from a third party usually takes time from six months to one year.

What is ISO 27001?

ISO 27001 is the internationally acclaimed standard that specifies the requirements of the things in ISMS (Information Security Management System).  ISO 27001 is the cornerstone of effective information security risk management.

ISO 27001 demands from the organizations are doing and checking systematically the organization’s information security lapse, making note of all the threats, vulnerabilities, and impacts. To create and implement all aspects of security threat from all angle that is deemed unacceptable. Adopt an overall security management system to counter any threat or breach of security in the organization system of information security controls.


Accorp Partners is the leading and qualified financial advisors and handles all types of SOC audit and SOC reporting like SOC 2 audit, SOC 2 Type 1 Type 2 audit, ISO 27001, SOC 1 audit, SOC 2 certification. Do check our website to find more about investing rules and regulations in different companies.

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