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SOC 2 is an information security framework for service organisations, and is characterised by five sets of Trust Services Criteria compliance controls: security, privacy, confidentiality, availability and processing integrity. However, not all controls are relevant to every organisation, and security is the only mandatory control set.

As part of the process of successfully achieving SOC 2, your organisation must undergo an external audit run independently by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) before receiving a final client report. There are two types of SOC 2 report: Type 1 and Type 2. When comparing the SOC 2 Type 1 report vs SOC 2 Type 2 report, how do you choose which is right for your business? First, we’ll discuss the two different report types.

What is a SOC 2 Type 1 report?

A SOC 2 Type 1 report assesses an organisation’s design of security processes and the suitability of its controls at a specific point in time. In this report, the auditor reviews the systems and controls the organisation currently has in place and the documentation around those systems and controls.

What is a SOC 2 Type 2 report?

A SOC 2 Type 2 report, often written as Type II, assesses your organisation’s design of security processes and controls over a longer period of time, usually around six months. The longer timeframe means the external auditor can assess the design and suitability of your controls – and their operating effectiveness.

SOC 2 Type 1 reports are a snapshot of an organisation’s SOC 2 preparedness. SOC 2 Type 2 reports delve into detail about the design of controls and their ongoing effectiveness, meaning organisations that gain an unmodified opinion (yes, that’s essentially a ‘pass’) in a SOC 2 Type 2 report can showcase their commitment to data security to customers and prospective customers.

Deciding between SOC 2 Type 1 vs SOC 2 Type 2

SOC 2 Type 1 vs SOC 2 Type 2 reports can serve very different purposes for an organisation. If SOC 2 Type 1 report is the support act at a concert, giving fans a sense of what the overall experience will be like, SOC 2 Type 2 report is the headline act. It’s the full shebang, complete with pyrotechnics. It’s probably the reason they booked the concert in the first place!

A SOC 2 Type 1 report indicates that your organisation has best practices in place. It’s solid proof that your organisation has implemented necessary controls for data security. Comparatively, a SOC 2 Type 2 report delves deeper, evidencing your organisation’s controls and their effectiveness for your customers (and potential customers) to see. It’s assurance that your organisation has processes and controls in place to keep data secure, just like SOC 2 Type 1, but also that your business applies these controls effectively. Your auditor will give their opinion on the suitability of design, implementation of controls, and overall operating effectiveness.

It’s the proof in the pudding. Not only does your organisation have the necessary controls in place – they’re also effective at protecting sensitive data.

That’s why many organisations work towards SOC 2 Type 2 success. An unmodified opinion via an independent auditor, backed by a report stating what the organisation is doing to protect sensitive data, can help organisations appeal to prospective customers and be considered in new business tenders. It’s a huge competitive advantage.

Achieving SOC 2 Type 2 With Hicomply

With Hicomply, you will be audit ready for SOC 2 Type 2, ensuring your organisation is considered in key tenders as well as building trust with your existing customers and the third-party suppliers you work with. The Hicomply SOC 2 automated framework will guide you through the process of:

  • Scoping your organisation
  • Identifying core focus areas from the five Trust Services Criteria, including the mandatory Security controls
  • Building out your controls using Hicomply’s existing templates
  • Undertaking risk assessments and treating identified risks within the Hicomply platform
  • Identifying how a risk impacts your organisation’s security objectives and if the risk poses any fraud risk as well as security risk
  • Automatically generating policies and procedures – again, from our templates!

With the automation options within the Hicomply platform, you can reduce the time it takes to achieve an unmodified opinion in your SOC 2 Type 2 report by 50% - and reduce the cost to your business.

Ready to secure your data and win more business? Get in touch.