5 Best Practices for a Successful SOC 2 Audit

Updated: Aug 1

Vector Representation of an SOC 2 Audit Report
Practices for a Successful SOC 2 Audit

Transactions, databases, and infrastructure are the organization's most valuable assets. Regardless of legal or regulatory requirements, keeping your company's and customer's information safe should be a top priority on your list of critical actions.

Information security has been taken more seriously by organizations than ever. With stringent compliance requirements in place, it's common to see organizations fail to safeguard customers' information. Organizations worldwide comply with standards like SOC 2 to establish a strong infosec posture to protect the organization's data and customers' information against data breaches.

Organizations that are undergoing SOC 2 audit for the first time should consider the following best practices for a successful audit:

1. Implement robust infosec policies

Organizations should implement administrative policies that match their structure, technologies, and everyday workflows. The policies should be written in simple English that employees can understand.

Policies define how security controls across applications and infrastructure should be implemented. And it illustrates steps for managing security in the workplace. You can find more details on the foundational policies that are needed for a successful SOC 2 audit here.

2. Set technical security controls

Once administrative security policies are developed, the organization must work to ensure that the technical security controls are in place across the applications and infrastructure. Your organization should implement security controls to match the infosec policies laid out.

Develop security controls and implement solutions around:

  • Backup

  • Encryption

  • Audit logging

  • Access control

  • Vulnerability scanning

  • Firewall and networking

  • Intrusion detection systems

3. Set up anomaly alerts

In today's day and age, it's no longer a question of whether a security incident will occur but when.

Each time an incident occurs, the organizations must have sufficient alerting procedures to get notified about unauthorized access to customers' data. With all the analytics programs and various management software available on the internet, it's now easier for companies to effectively measure every aspect of business activity.

To have a successful SOC 2 audit, you need to activate anomaly alerts to get notified about

  • Unauthorized exposure or modification of data

  • Configurations

  • Controls

  • File transfer activities

  • Account or login access

To avoid false alerts, you can customize the anomaly alerts and notifications according to your organization's environment and risk profile.

4. Perform audit trails

Organizations should develop detailed audit trails for data security incidents to know who, what, when, where, and how to determine an effective remediation plan.

Every minute detail is important - it will enable the team to draw insights on unauthorized exposure or modification of data and configurations, system components changes, and the incident's source and depth.

5. Make forensic data actionable

Monitoring suspicious activity and receiving real-time alerts is crucial. But the organization should also be able to take corrective action on alerts before a system-wide situation occurs.

Detecting and remediating such alerts are key factors for complying with SOC 2. While doing this, the organization's forensic data should provide visibility of the attack's point of origin, travel path, and impact on various parts of the system.

Following the above best practices can help your organization be better equipped for SOC 2 audits and maintain SOC 2 compliance.

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