SSAE 18 SOC 1 and SOC 2 Compliance Best Practices for Texas Businesses
Texas businesses in Houston, Austin, Dallas – and all other surrounding locations – are being hammered with growing regulatory compliance audits, particularly SSAE 18 SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits. They can be expensive, time-consuming, and operationally challenging – no question about it – so now’s the time to learn essential best practices for helping slay the regulatory compliance dragon once and for all. After all, you’ve got a business to run, so turn to the Texas compliance experts today at NDB for learning important points about today’s demanding regulatory compliance challenges.
Texas’ Leading Provider of Fixed-Fee SOC Audits – Learn More
As for SSAE 18 SOC 1 and SOC 2 compliance, thousands of businesses throughout North America are performing these annual compliance audits, many of them in an efficient and cost-effective manner, thanks to learning important information regarding audit planning, preparation, and execution. Here’s what you need to know about SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits, compliments of the Texas compliance experts at NDB.
1. Find a Firm that Provides Fixed-Fees: Not only do you want to find a firm that offers fixed-fees, you also want to have a multi-year engagement for ensuring a consistent and efficient audit process from year to year. Changing auditors every year results in inefficiencies that often create additional costs for the overall audit. NDB offers fixed-fees for all SOC 2 engagements – it’s been our standard pricing model for years.
2. Begin with a Scoping & Readiness Assessment: Any type of compliance mandate – and especially SOC 1 and SOC 2 assessments – need to begin with a comprehensive scoping & readiness assessment, and for some obvious reasons. First and foremost, service organizations need to identify and confirm audit scope in terms of business processes, personnel involved, physical locations, and what relevant third-parties are considered part of the audit. Next, it’s highly essential to identify all gaps and control weaknesses that require remediation.
As to remediation, it’s a two-part process. First, it’s about remediating gaps in information security policies and procedures – and that can take some time. And second, it’s about remediating controls related to technical and security issues. Let’s take a quick look at both. On the documentation side, SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits are hugely dependent on having comprehensive InfoSec policies and procedures in place. Think access control, change management, incident response – and more – these are all control areas within SOC 1 and SOC 2 audits that require policies and procedures to be in place.
As for technical and remediation, this generally falls under configurations for IT systems. For example, password rules may need to be strengthened, servers need to be hardened with better configuration, and more.
3. Understand the Importance of Technical Remediation: As just mentioned above, technical remediation is not only important, but it’s also where good auditors will spend time for ensuring such measures were performed. Sure, they’ll look at your policies and procedures, but they’ll also spend quite a bit of time in looking at system settings and system configurations. To auditors, this is where the real assurances are that one’s controls are functioning as designed.
4. Be Mindful of Policies and Procedures: Documentation is a critical component for SOC 2 compliance, no question about it. As the AICPA continues to refine and enhance the Trust Services Principle and Criteria framework, it’s resulted in yet again an increase in policies and procedures for SOC 2 compliance.
From operational controls to strict InfoSec requirements – and more – service organizations undertaking annual SOC 2 compliance can expect to develop a wide-range of policies and procedures. NDB offers a comprehensive set of InfoSec templates for helping Texas businesses become SOC 2 compliant.
It’s also important to note that one of the most time-consuming aspects of remediating deficiencies found during the initial SOC 2 scoping& readiness assessment is that of documentation. That’s right – policies and procedures development is often the most time-consuming part of becoming SOC 2 compliant.
5. Know that Compliance is Annual: Today’s growing regulatory compliance mandates – and that includes SOC 2 audits, for sure – has become an annual requirement. That means every year service organizations will be assessed – and tested – for SOC 2 compliance. Because of this, it’s important to have a continuous monitoring program in place that consists of regularly scheduled “check-ups” of one’s controls. It’s about maintaining a mature posture in terms of your policies, procedures, and processes.
Texas’ Leading Provider of SOC 2 Audits
From Austin to San Angelo, and all throughout the great Lone Star State of Texas, we offer comprehensive fixed-fee services and solutions for SOC 2 compliance. Our services are high-quality, competitively priced, while also offering numerous complimentary services for our clients.
Contact us today to learn more about NDB and the broad range of services and solutions we offer to Texas businesses. Austin, Dallas, and Houston are booming with business, yet it also means that these very businesses have large compliance mandates. We can help. Let’s talk.