Data drives most of today’s cloud-based organizations. If your company stores, manages, or handles sensitive customer data, you need a system of security controls to handle data breaches, human error, and other types of damage stemming from unauthorized access.
A service organization controls (SOC) 2 report verifies that an organization follows specific best practices to protect their clients’ data before outsourcing a business function to that organization. A SOC 2 report is a form of security compliance that many US-based technology firms have standardized. SOC 2 reports are built on 5 trust criteria: Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.
One of the most common questions we hear is: “How long does it take to get SOC 2?”
SOC 2 Type 1
1. Define the Scope
Plan and strategize to define the scope. People, location, policies and procedures, and the technology stack you use impact the security of sensitive data. Start by determining which of the Trust Service Criteria (TSC), such as security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy, you want to include in your scope while security is mandatory. Otherwise, conduct a risk assessment to identify internal and external risks to your organization to identify the controls to be implemented.
In a nutshell, what type of customer information you store and the process, you follow influence this decision.
Timing: It usually takes 3 to 5 weeks to implement this, but with Scrut automation, you will be able to do it in less than 1 week.
2. Select the auditor
Selecting an auditor is the most challenging and important step. While selecting an auditor, keep the following checklist in mind:
- Auditing firm reputation
- Communication style
- Knowledge of tech stack
Timing: We have a vast network of auditors with in-depth experience conducting SOC 2 audits across geographies and industries. Scrut automation can help you identify the ‘best-fit’ auditor for your requirements within a couple of days. All you need to do is click a button!
3. Confirm schedules and get a checklist
The auditor should provide you with all the tools, such as the audit checklist and work schedule. Write or update your policies to have clear evidence that SOC 2 TSCs are met as it simplifies and streamlines the auditor’s work.
Have the policies in place for:
- Passwords Policy
- Data Backup Policy
- Access control Policy
- Network Security Policy
- Incident Response Policy
- Personnel Security Policy
- Change Management Policy
- Data Breach Response Policy
- Disaster Recovery Plan Policy
- Monitoring and Logging Policy
- Data retention and disposal Policy
- End-User Encryption Key Protection Policy
- Risk Assessment Standards and Procedures
- Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Policy
- Acceptable Encryption and Key Management Policy
- User Identification, Authentication, and Authorization Policy
If controls are insufficient or not present to demonstrate compliance to a selected Trust Service Criteria (TSC), you will have to remediate actions to demonstrate compliance.
Timing: With Scrut, you can achieve this in 1-2 weeks.
4. Collect evidence
Evidence is everything that you hand over to the auditor for evaluation. It includes documents like spreadsheets, Emails, and screenshots on access control metrics, approval of privileged access given, minutes of meetings, screenshots of password policy, information security training presentations, and patch management reports.
Evidence is something you hand over to an auditor for evaluation to prove system controls are in place to protect the data. Collecting evidence for various artefacts controls across TSCs can be overwhelming, and this is the most time-consuming step in the SOC 2 compliance audit process. So, it’s good to automate this evidence collection.
Timing: It usually takes 6-8 weeks to complete the process. With Scrut automation, you can achieve this in 2-3 weeks. That means, with the Scrut automation tool, you can automate 85% of evidence collection.
5. The audit
When the above checklist is done, the auditor starts the audit. The auditor will begin gathering and examining audit evidence for the SOC 2 report.
Timing: It usually takes 4-6 months to complete. With Scrut automation, you can achieve this in 6-8 weeks.
SOC 2 Type 2
SOC 2 Type 2 takes longer than SOC 2 Type 1. You will need to complete all the above steps mentioned in SOC 2 Type 1.
Few auditors will let you start the process from scratch, while Scrut helps you continue to process from SOC 2 Type 1 to achieve SOC 2 Type 2. This way, the process becomes much easier and less expensive.
How long does it take to get a SOC 2 certification?
In a nutshell, SOC 2 Type 1 audit will take 3 to 4 months, and SOC 2 Type 2 audit will take 7-8 months. SOC 2 Type 2 controls are described and evaluated for a minimum of 6 months to check if the controls are functioning as defined by management. And that’s why SOC 2 Type 2 consumes more time than SOC 2 Type 1 reports.
With the help of Scrut, you can get SOC 2 certification quickly and cost-effectively.
These mistakes or exceptions can occur at any stage; the only way any organisation can aim to control them is by following the right security protocols and ensuring that all their employees are clinically trained with the right information. Constant monitoring will help you assess any loopholes you may have in your security controls.
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.