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SOC 2's Trust Service Criteria
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March 10, 2020

SOC 2's Trust Service Criteria

Once you’ve committed to a SOC 2 report, you’re ready to choose your Trust Service Criteria (TSC) categories.

Start by looking at the five categories from your customers’ perspectives:

  • What questions do they ask you?
  • Are they concerned about uptime and availability?
  • Or do they tend to ask more about data protection?

At a minimum, your SOC 2 report must include the Security category, which is called the “Common Criteria” because it provides a foundation for the other four categories. The other four categories—availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy— specify new commitments.

Often, companies will focus on Security the first year and add additional categories over time as their business matures.

Overview of the Trust Service Criteria (TSC) categories

The Trust Service Criteria consist of 5 categories:

  • Security (also known as Common Criteria)
  • Availability
  • Confidentiality
  • Processing integrity
  • Privacy

The latest set of Trust Service Criteria, TSP 100 – 2017, includes 33 main requirements (“Trust Service Criteria and Points of Focus”) for the Security category and 28 optional requirements across the other four criteria.

Let’s take a high-level look at each category:


Each requirement should be broken down into 1-5 sub-requirements that describe operational best practices.

Note: In a previous iteration of SOC 2 (for reporting before December 15, 2018), the TSCs were called Trust Service Principles. The acronym TSP is still used in some of AICPA’s formal documentation.

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PCI Compliance Selection Guide

Determine Your PCI Compliance Level

If your organization processes, stores, or transmits cardholder data, you must comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), a global mandate created by major credit card companies. Compliance is mandatory for any business that accepts credit card payments.

When establishing strategies for implementing and maintaining PCI compliance, your organization needs to understand what constitutes a Merchant or Service Provider, and whether a Self Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ) or Report on Compliance (ROC) is most applicable to your business.

Answer a few short questions and we’ll help identify your compliance level.

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Does your business offer services to customers who are interested in your level of PCI compliance?

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Identify your PCI SAQ or ROC level

The PCI Security Standards Council has established the below criteria for Merchant and Service Provider validation. Use these descriptions to help determine the SAQ or ROC that best applies to your organization.

Good news! Vanta supports all of the following compliance levels:

SAQ A

A SAQ A is required for Merchants that do not require the physical presence of a credit card (like an eCommerce, mail, or telephone purchase). This means that the Merchant’s business has fully outsourced all cardholder data processing to PCI DSS compliant third party Service Providers, with no electronic storage, processing, or transmission of any cardholder data on the Merchant’s system or premises.

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SAQ A-EP

A SAQ A-EP is similar to a SAQ A, but is a requirement for Merchants that don't receive cardholder data, but control how cardholder data is redirected to a PCI DSS validated third-party payment processor.

Learn more about eCommerce PCI

SAQ D
for service providers

A SAQ D includes over 200 requirements and covers the entirety of PCI DSS compliance. If you are a Service Provider, a SAQ D is the only SAQ you’re eligible to complete.

Use our PCI checklist

ROC
Level 1 for service providers

A Report on Compliance (ROC) is an annual assessment that determines your organization’s ability to protect cardholder data. If you’re a Merchant that processes over six million transactions annually or a Service Provider that processes more than 300,000 transactions annually, your organization is responsible for both a ROC and an Attestation of Compliance (AOC).

Automate your ROC and AOC

Download this checklist for easy reference

Questions?

Learn more about how Vanta can help. You can also find information on PCI compliance levels at the PCI Security Standards Council website or by contacting your payment processing partner.

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