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SOC 2 is a voluntary reporting standard that enables service provider organizations to detail to the internal controls they have in place to manage and secure information systems and data.

SOC 2 is a voluntary compliance standard for services organizations, which defines criteria for managing customer data. SOC 2 is the second of three types of reports under the System and Organization Controls (SOC) standards program managed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). SOC 2 is based on five core “trust service principles” – Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy.

The SOC 2 core “Trust Service Principles” focus on IT controls in the following areas:

  1. Security
    • Firewalls
    • Intrusion detection
    • Multi-factor authentication
  2. Availability
    • Performance monitoring
    • Disaster recovery
    • Incident handling
  3. Confidentiality
    • Encryption
    • Access controls
    • Firewalls
  4. Processing Integrity
    • Quality assurance
    • Process monitoring
  5. Privacy
    • Access Control
    • Multi-factor authentication
    • Encryption

SOC 2 reports provide internal and external stakeholders—regulators, customers, partners, vendors, etc.—with detailed information about the controls in place to manage and process their user data.

SOC 2 reports come in two types: 

  • Type I describes a service organization’s systems and whether the system design complies with the relevant trust principles.
  • Type II addresses and describes the operational efficiency of these systems.

You can find more detailed information about SOC 2 at the AICPA.

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