7 ways to accelerate the SOC 2 audit process

If you are working in a B2B SaaS company with customers across enterprises, mid-market, or SMEs – irrespective of what market segment you are serving, the customers’ will expect you to protect their personal information. SOC 2 is one of the bases to assure your customers that you have the right information security posture to protect data.

SOC 2 is an audit process that measures and analyzes if your company can successfully manage the client’s data and information.

Developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, SOC 2 is concentrated on studying information systems for security purposes. As a part of the process, you are required to hire a CPA who acts as an auditor to review your SOC 2 report.

SOC 2 audit can be a long-winded process, but certainly, you can follow a few steps to accelerate the process.

1. Avoid analysis paralysis

Most company’s do not want to prepare for any compliance. A SOC 2 compliance is no exception.

However the internet is flooded with information with respect to SOC 2 standard and the audit process. While a few articles are helpful and others are not. No article will give a clear picture of the SOC 2 audit process.

So we suggest you talk to a compliance consultant, auditor or SOC 2 expert from Scrut automation to understand the SOC 2 audit process, such as time taken, resources needed, and proofs to be submitted.

2. Select SOC 2 report type

Before starting the SOC 2 report process, ask yourself what kind of report your organisation needs, a Type 1 or Type 2 report?

A Type 1 report typically says if the system controls are correctly designed, whereas a Type 2 report says if those controls function as intended.

3. Find an auditor

The toughest but most important step is to find the right auditor. Select an auditor or an auditing firm that has experience in conducting audits in a similar business to yours.

Here’s what you should look at while choosing an auditor:

  • Reputation
  • Experience
  • Knowledge of your tech stack
  • Communication style
  • Price
  • Approach
  • Team availability and escalation SLA

4. Choose your TSCs

Every organisation that undergoes SOC 2 should choose their Trust Service Criteria (TSC). TSC includes security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. But your organisation doesn’t have to undergo an audit for all five at one time. Choose the TSC based on what works for your business while security trust service is mandatory.

  • Security: Safeguarding information and systems against unauthorised access and disclosure of details.
  • Availability: Information and systems should meet your organisation’s service objectives mentioned in SLAs.
  • Processing integrity: Systems should perform their functions thoroughly and accurately to meet the organisation’s objectives.
  • Confidentiality: Encrypt the data, so no one uses, retains, and discloses clients’ personal data or information.
  • Privacy: No system or automation tool should not disclose and use peoples’ personal information.

5. Create timelines

If you are choosing the traditional way of conducting SOC 2 audits, SOC 2 Type 1 audit will take 1 to 3 months, and SOC 2 Type 2 audit will take 3-6 months. SOC 2 does not come up with built-in deadlines. It’s up to you to decide how fast you want to complete it while it takes at least 6 months.

Step 1: Choose SOC 2 Type 1 or Type 2

Step 2: Define the scope

Step 3: Conduct gap analysis

Step 4: Remediate gaps

Step 5: Collect evidence

Step 6: Readiness assessment

Step 7: Select Auditor

Step 8: Audit process

Step 9: Receive audit report

Building a project plan will help you in identifying delays upfront rather than 3 months down the road. So, that you can course correct it earlier rather than later.

6. Choose a right project manager

SOC 2 audit can take up to 1 year if you don’t have the right team to execute it. To make SOC 2 compliance successful, select the right people.

Auditors collect evidence from different people across teams. Without a good project manager, the auditors will be scrambling back and forth to collect the evidence. And it can get worse if they don’t understand how your organisation works or the way you store data.

To resolve this, you need a project manager who acts as a single point of contact for auditors. The project manager should be able:

  • Understand how the organisation works
  • Mobilise resources
  • Influence people to work on a priority basis
  • To work with people from cross functional teams such as IT, Devops, HR or finance.

The project manager will be held accountable for ensuring that the project is on time and on track as per the project plan.

7. Get executive buy-in

Getting an executive buy-in right before you start the project can make a huge difference to the time it takes to complete the project.

Imagine working with a team outside your department who won’t really understand the importance of the SOC 2 audit and the evidence needed for it to complete. In this situation, you need executive buy-in to motivate those teams outside your department. The right executive buy-in on board to clear the roadblocks and delays in completing the SOC 2 process.

Start your compliance process with us!

Scrut Automation is an innovative and radically simple governance, risk, and compliance automation platform for growing startups and mid-market enterprises. With Scrut, compliance teams can reduce ~70% of their manual effort in continuously maintaining compliance towards SOC 2, ISO 27001, GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and CCPA. Schedule your demo today to see how it works.

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