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Frequently asked questions
What is the SOC 2 certification process?
Despite popularly being referred to as a “SOC 2 certification,” SOC 2 is actually an attestation. It means that SOC 2 audit report is an attestation to what the auditor has observed in the organization’s security program.
The SOC 2 compliance audit typically consists of the following:
- Gap assessment to identify areas of improvement
- Scope finalization across the Trust Service Criteria (TSC)
- Policy updates, as needed, and training
- Evidence collection across relevant controls
- Drafting of SOC 2 compliance report
Who does SOC 2 compliance apply to?
SOC 2 applies to any technology service provider or SaaS company that handles or stores customer data. Third-party vendors, other partners, or support organizations that those firms work with should also maintain SOC 2 compliance to ensure the integrity of their data systems and safeguards.
Why is it important to be SOC 2 compliant?
If you are a company looking to scale up by pitching for high-value projects, selling to enterprise customers, or expanding to the US, having SOC 2 compliance can help tip the scales in your favor. It demonstrates adherence to data protection standards to improve your customers’ trust in your product and brand. The SOC 2 compliance communicates to your customers, vendors, and other stakeholders that all data is in safe hands when given to you, which in turn instills confidence in all your potential partnerships.
Who can perform the SOC 2 audit?
An independent CPA or a licensed CPA firm auditor can only perform a SOC 2 compliance audit. The AICPA regulates SOC 2 compliance audits.
What are the advantages of SOC 2 certification?
The following are some of the advantages of SOC 2 compliance:
- A boost in customer trust and loyalty
- The assurance that your information systems, personally identifiable information, and networks are secure
- A competitive advantage over competitors
What's the difference between SOC 1, SOC 2 & SOC 3?
In simple terms, SOC 1 focuses on financial reporting, whereas SOC 2 focuses on compliance and operations. SOC 3 contains the same information as SOC 2, but SOC 3 is for a general audience, i.e., SOC 2 report is for auditors and specific stakeholders that require detailed information with respect to a company’s infosec controls, whereas SOC 3 can be made available for public consumption.
What's the difference between SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2?
SOC 2 Type 1 report highlights policies and procedures for ensuring adherence to Trust Service Criteria(TSC) at once, i.e., the auditor will evaluate whether an organization has the right policies, procedures, and controls against the TSCs in scope.
SOC 2 Type 2 report evaluates the control effectiveness of the same policies and procedures during a specified period – often 6-12 months.
What are the SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria (TSCs)?
SOC 2 compliance is based on Trust Service Criteria (TSCs). The Trust Service Criteria was established by the Assurance Services Executive Committee (ASEC) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). It is used to evaluate and report the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of controls relevant to Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.
These 5 Trust Service Criteria act as the evaluation structure of the SOC 2 audit and report. Out of the 5 TSCs, all the SOC 2 reports must include the Security Trust Service Criteria. The other 4 TSCs are optional and can be added to the report at the discretion of management.
What is the penalty for non-compliance with SOC 2?
While there are no legal penalties for SOC 2 non-compliance, the cost of non-compliance can be seen in indirect costs – mostly in loss of revenue and delayed sales cycles. Moreover, a lack of SOC 2 certification can put the organization at risk of potential data breaches due to a lack of adequate controls, and the costs of a data breach can run into the millions. Furthermore, non-compliance exposes your company to civil lawsuits from dissatisfied customers and loss of business and reputation.
How often does a SOC 2 compliance audit need to be performed?
It is an industry standard to conduct a SOC 2 compliance audit annually or when significant changes are made that will impact the controlled environment. This shows commitment to compliance and encourages trust in the service organization’s systems.
How much does SOC 2 compliance cost?
The cost of SOC 2 compliance varies depending on your business’s size, infrastructure’s complexity, and the scope for which your organization seeks attestation. As a starting point, costs can range from $20,000 to $80,000.
Why is SOC 2 Challenging?
With time, more organizations are stepping forward and demanding third-party security attestation from compliance companies to ensure that their vendors are trustworthy business partners. Although an organization follows the right information security procedures, it can be challenging to establish proof for the same to potential customers. And so, SOC 2 audit attestation is a widely accepted infosec standard to showcase adherence to best-in-class infosec practices.
However, SOC 2 can require significant effort in developing the right procedures and protocols and enforcing them. In addition, gathering evidence across the organization and the application landscape can be particularly daunting – due to which DevOps and compliance teams spend months getting a successful SOC 2 report.
Scrut Automation reduces your SOC 2 burden by combining the comprehensive automated compliance platform with the most seamless audit experience.