SOC 2 Program Checklist

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SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2) is a framework developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to assess and report on the controls relevant to the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a service organization’s systems. A SOC 2 program checklist is a structured document or tool used by organizations to guide them through the process of developing, implementing, and maintaining a SOC 2 compliance program.

A SOC 2 program checklist typically includes a comprehensive list of tasks, activities, and considerations necessary for achieving and maintaining SOC 2 compliance.

Read more about SOC 2 Overview and Guides, which explains the basics of the SOC 2 compliance readiness process and provides an outline of what you can expect as you work towards compliance.

The following screenshot shows the SOC 2 program audit checklist.

SOC 2 Program Checklist

Here is a simplified SOC 2 program checklist to follow. You can download this checklist at the end of this article.

SOC 2 program checklist

SOC 2 CHECKLIST
1 – SCOPE
  Identify the people, processes, and technology that support your business

        Identify the trust criteria (there are five criteria)

      ☐ Security

              – Included in all SOC 2 reports.

        Availability (If answered yes to any of these questions)

              – Are you hosting the services that your customers are paying for?

              – Are you responsible for its uptime?

              – Are you making commitments on uptime in your contracts with the customers?

        Confidentiality

              – If customers are providing you with data that is not publicly available, you probably have signed a contract to ensure that you will make efforts to keep it confidential.

        Processing integrity

              – Consider this if you are processing transactions on behalf of your clients and need to ensure that the data input and output reconcile. Also needed to make sure processing was completely accurate.

        Privacy

              – If you are obtaining personal data from your customers during the course of providing services, this will need to be included.

 

2 – TYPE
Identify the people, processes, and technology that support your business

       ☐ Type 1 if you were asked to demonstrate the design and execution of controls

       ☐ Type 2 if you were asked to demonstrate the operating effectiveness of controls over a period of time

3 – GAP ANALYSIS
Identify your current documentation posture

       ☐ Have you specified and properly documented the activities and procedures that make up your company’s control environment?

       ☐ Do you review documents on a regular basis to make sure they are up-to-date and accurate?

Identify your current control environment posture

       ☐ What is the organization’s governance structure?

       ☐ What are the executive leadership and management tone and example?

       ☐ Have you designed and implemented hiring and exit procedures?

       ☐ What are the executive leadership and management tone and example?

       ☐ How are personnel who are implementing or directing internal controls evaluated for competency?

       ☐ Are possible threats being identified?

       ☐ Have you put any mitigating plans in place?

       ☐ Do you have a protocol for dealing with incidents and a disaster recovery plan in place?

       ☐ What kind of management supervision and governance do you have in place for your control of the environment and reporting events, security problems, and fraud?

Identify your current security environment posture

       ☐ Do you have access limited to positions that need it, with the appropriateness of the access? Given being reviewed on a regular basis?

       ☐ Do you have policies in place for giving and taking away access from workers, customers, and other parties?

       ☐ Do you encrypt data while it’s in transit and while it’s at rest?

       ☐ Do you impose restrictions on administrative access to the technological stack?

Identify your current risk mitigation environment posture

       ☐ Have you conducted vulnerability assessments or penetration testing regular basis to detect weaknesses in your environment?

       ☐ Do you have backup processes in place?

       ☐ Do you test your disaster recovery procedures on a yearly basis to guarantee that you can restart operations in case of a calamity?

       ☐ Do you regularly check for intrusion attempts, system performance, and availability?

Identify your current system changes environment posture

       ☐ Are system modifications tested and authorized before they are implemented?

       ☐ Do you inform your employees about system changes?

       ☐ Are your controls being monitored on a regular basis?

       ☐ Have you enabled notification of settings changes?

       ☐ Is your technology up to date in terms of upgrades?

       ☐ Do you have a system in place for separating development and production tasks?

Identify your current remote working environment posture

       ☐ Is technology being used uniformly across all employee locations?

       ☐ Do you provide staff with regular security awareness training, address data privacy in common spaces, use secure connections while working from home, and raise awareness of phishing attempts?

       ☐ Do you use multifactor authentication to get into your company’s network and other systems?

       ☐ Have you deployed mobile device management to make sure that mobile devices are encrypted and authenticated?

4 – CONTROL IMPLEMENTATION
☐ Design the controls to address your gaps

☐ Implement controls to address your gaps

☐ Test the controls to ensure that they are operating effectively.

5 – AUDIT READY
Identify the auditor

☐ Initiate kick-off to set expectations

☐ Grant them access to TrustCloud.

6 – MAINTENANCE
Maintain the program to show continuous compliance via TC integrations

Download the checklist here:

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