SOC 3 Reports

man in blue button-down shirt signing papers with a penCertified public accountants perform SOC (System and Organization Controls) examinations in order to analyze the strength and functionality of  your company’s systems. SOC3 reports are freely distributed to the public to provide assurance in your company’s information security and management. Learn about the scale and scope of SOC3 reports and why they are so valuable for today’s businesses.

What a SOC 3 Report Covers

In most respects, an SOC 3 report analyzes most of the same controls as a SOC 2 report. It mostly delves into information security, unlike a SOC1 report, which primarily determines the existence and function of key accounting and financial controls.

A SOC 3 report will assess your company according to five controls set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, known as the Trust Services Criteria.

  1. Security: Your information systems are protected against unauthorized access.
  2. Availability: Your information systems are accessible, operable, and maintained regularly.
  3. Processing Integrity: Your system processing is valid, accurate, timely, and authorized to fulfill its objectives.
  4. Confidentiality: Information classified as confidential is protected against unauthorized access.
  5. Privacy: Sensitive information meets agreed-upon privacy criteria involving access, use, consent, and disposal.

Is a SOC 3 Report a Summary of a SOC 2 Report?

A SOC 3 audit report is often called a more concise and less thorough version of a SOC 2 report. However, saying that a SOC 3 report is a summary of a SOC 2 report is an oversimplification. There is a significant amount of overlap in the material that both reports cover, but SOC 3 reports also vary in how they are used.

SOC 2 reports are restricted-use. This means they can only be distributed among key players in your company, including investors, senior management, analysts, and boards of directors. SOC 2 reports are highly detailed and contain extensive, often sensitive, information about a company’s information security efforts.

SOC 3 reports, however, can be freely and publicly distributed. They are often displayed on a company’s website, much like a trust badge that denotes security certifications. A SOC 3 report does not require the same level of detail as a SOC 2 report, but it still offers key assurances in relation to your company’s information security.

Many companies opt to perform both SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports. The former is a thorough document containing vital information useful to analysts and management, while the latter is a certified mark of assurance for vendors and clients. Maintaining SOC compliance and displaying it through both SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports is an important assurance you should have for all of your stakeholders.

Contact Maxwell Locke & Ritter For SOC 3 Report Expertise

Are you still unsure which SOC report you need or what else the auditing process has in store? Our experienced CPAs at Maxwell Locke & Ritter are able to personally assist you. Contact us today for more information.

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