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One of the most time-consuming aspects of getting your SOC 2 is the implementation and testing of your security controls. If you’re preparing for your SOC 2 audit manually, it can be difficult to assess if you’ve fully satisfied the appropriate requirements. So, how can you tell when you’re ready for your audit? If you want to be sure, try doing a SOC 2 readiness assessment.

There are two types of assessments you can do to evaluate whether you’re ready for your SOC 2 audit: a self-assessment or an official SOC 2 readiness assessment. In this article, we’ll explain what both of these SOC 2 readiness assessment options are and what steps are involved in each.

What is a SOC 2 self assessment?

A SOC 2 self assessment is an evaluation of your SOC 2 controls by someone within your organization. This person should have a good understanding of the SOC 2 criteria and the controls needed. This individual will act as an internal auditor and investigate the organization’s controls applicable to your report. This self-assessment will help you identify areas of non-compliance that you can mitigate before your official SOC 2 audit.

What is a SOC 2 readiness assessment?

A SOC 2 readiness assessment will also look at your SOC 2 controls before your official audit. The difference is that it’s done by an external AICPA-accredited auditor, instead of someone within your organization. Essentially, it’s a practice test for your real SOC 2 audit. 

A formal readiness assessment is more reliable than a self-assessment because it’s performed by someone who follows the same criteria and training as your official auditor. The reliability of your self-assessment is dependent on the expertise of the internal staff member who is conducting it. 

Another major difference between these assessments is cost. A formal readiness assessment can cost between $10,000 to $17,000 depending on the size and complexity of your information security, while a self assessment comes at no extra cost to your organization. 

Why should I do a SOC 2 readiness assessment?

Preparing for your SOC 2 audit requires significant time and resources. Assessing your SOC 2 readiness in advance, whether you choose a formal readiness assessment or a self-assessment, can save you time and money in the long run. This assessment will ensure you can mitigate any compliance gaps ahead of time and reduce your risk of not passing. 

How to assess your SOC 2 readiness

Below we’ve laid out the steps for a SOC 2 self assessment and a SOC 2 readiness assessment: 

SOC 2 self-assessment checklist

1. Determine the scope of your report by identifying which of the Trust Services Criteria is applicable to your organization. 

2. Determine if you’re pursuing a SOC 2 Type 1 or a SOC 2 Type 2 report.

3. Review the controls in the security criteria to determine if you meet the requirements:

  • CC1: Control environment
  • CC2: Communication and information
  • CC3: Risk assessment
  • CC4: Monitoring controls
  • CC5: Control activities
  • CC6: Logical and physical access controls
  • CC7: System operations
  • CC8: Change management
  • CC9: Risk mitigation

4. Review any additional criteria that are relevant to your audit:

  • Availability
  • Confidentiality
  • Processing integrity
  • Privacy

5. Create a list of controls that do not align with the criteria and adjust them accordingly.

SOC 2 readiness assessment checklist

1. Determine the scope of your report by identifying which of the Trust Services Criteria is applicable to your organization. 

2. Determine if you’re pursuing a SOC 2 Type 1 or a SOC 2 Type 2 report.

3. Hire an AICPA-accredited auditor to perform a SOC 2 readiness assessment.

4. Provide your auditor with any documentation and evidence they need to conduct the assessment.

5. Receive your readiness assessment report and adjust your controls accordingly.

Automated SOC 2 readiness assessment

If you opt to use compliance automation tools for your SOC 2 readiness assessment, you can get the expertise of an auditor without the expensive price tag.  

Vanta’s trust management platform with compliance automation capabilities can conduct an automated screening of your security controls against the necessary SOC 2 criteria, giving you a detailed report of any areas of non-compliance. This gives you reliable gap analysis to adjust your controls before your formal audit without any additional cost. 

Automate your SOC 2 readiness assessment by requesting a demo.

Preparing for a SOC 2 audit

SOC 2 readiness assessment checklist

A black and white drawing of a rock formation.

One of the most time-consuming aspects of getting your SOC 2 is the implementation and testing of your security controls. If you’re preparing for your SOC 2 audit manually, it can be difficult to assess if you’ve fully satisfied the appropriate requirements. So, how can you tell when you’re ready for your audit? If you want to be sure, try doing a SOC 2 readiness assessment.

There are two types of assessments you can do to evaluate whether you’re ready for your SOC 2 audit: a self-assessment or an official SOC 2 readiness assessment. In this article, we’ll explain what both of these SOC 2 readiness assessment options are and what steps are involved in each.

What is a SOC 2 self assessment?

A SOC 2 self assessment is an evaluation of your SOC 2 controls by someone within your organization. This person should have a good understanding of the SOC 2 criteria and the controls needed. This individual will act as an internal auditor and investigate the organization’s controls applicable to your report. This self-assessment will help you identify areas of non-compliance that you can mitigate before your official SOC 2 audit.

What is a SOC 2 readiness assessment?

A SOC 2 readiness assessment will also look at your SOC 2 controls before your official audit. The difference is that it’s done by an external AICPA-accredited auditor, instead of someone within your organization. Essentially, it’s a practice test for your real SOC 2 audit. 

A formal readiness assessment is more reliable than a self-assessment because it’s performed by someone who follows the same criteria and training as your official auditor. The reliability of your self-assessment is dependent on the expertise of the internal staff member who is conducting it. 

Another major difference between these assessments is cost. A formal readiness assessment can cost between $10,000 to $17,000 depending on the size and complexity of your information security, while a self assessment comes at no extra cost to your organization. 

Why should I do a SOC 2 readiness assessment?

Preparing for your SOC 2 audit requires significant time and resources. Assessing your SOC 2 readiness in advance, whether you choose a formal readiness assessment or a self-assessment, can save you time and money in the long run. This assessment will ensure you can mitigate any compliance gaps ahead of time and reduce your risk of not passing. 

How to assess your SOC 2 readiness

Below we’ve laid out the steps for a SOC 2 self assessment and a SOC 2 readiness assessment: 

SOC 2 self-assessment checklist

1. Determine the scope of your report by identifying which of the Trust Services Criteria is applicable to your organization. 

2. Determine if you’re pursuing a SOC 2 Type 1 or a SOC 2 Type 2 report.

3. Review the controls in the security criteria to determine if you meet the requirements:

  • CC1: Control environment
  • CC2: Communication and information
  • CC3: Risk assessment
  • CC4: Monitoring controls
  • CC5: Control activities
  • CC6: Logical and physical access controls
  • CC7: System operations
  • CC8: Change management
  • CC9: Risk mitigation

4. Review any additional criteria that are relevant to your audit:

  • Availability
  • Confidentiality
  • Processing integrity
  • Privacy

5. Create a list of controls that do not align with the criteria and adjust them accordingly.

SOC 2 readiness assessment checklist

1. Determine the scope of your report by identifying which of the Trust Services Criteria is applicable to your organization. 

2. Determine if you’re pursuing a SOC 2 Type 1 or a SOC 2 Type 2 report.

3. Hire an AICPA-accredited auditor to perform a SOC 2 readiness assessment.

4. Provide your auditor with any documentation and evidence they need to conduct the assessment.

5. Receive your readiness assessment report and adjust your controls accordingly.

Automated SOC 2 readiness assessment

If you opt to use compliance automation tools for your SOC 2 readiness assessment, you can get the expertise of an auditor without the expensive price tag.  

Vanta’s trust management platform with compliance automation capabilities can conduct an automated screening of your security controls against the necessary SOC 2 criteria, giving you a detailed report of any areas of non-compliance. This gives you reliable gap analysis to adjust your controls before your formal audit without any additional cost. 

Automate your SOC 2 readiness assessment by requesting a demo.

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