SOC 1 vs SOC 2 Certification: Which One Do You Need?

In today’s business world, IT and data rule. But keeping it all safe, secure and readily available requires round-the-clock dedication, physical capacity and flexible resources. For many organisations, managing this in-house simply isn’t feasible – hence the ever-growing demand for outsourcing. 

If your company performs outsourcing services for other businesses, it’s highly likely that you’ll need SOC (Service Organisation Control) certification. Not only will this improve the employee experience, it’s also pivotal in attracting and retaining clients. That’s why it’s important to know the ins and outs of this certification, and crucially, which type your service organisation needs: SOC 1 or SOC 2.

It all comes down to what kind of outsourcing services you provide for your clients, and after this blog, you’ll have a crystal-clear picture of what applies to you, and how to achieve it. 

What is SOC certification?

From software and infrastructure, to data centres and cloud hosting, service providers take the weight off their clients’ shoulders by facilitating processes for them. But when controls aren’t up to standard, the sensitive data and critical functions of the end client are at risk. The consequences of this can be so dire that many businesses seek assurance from service providers before using them for outsourcing – in some cases, it’s even a legal prerequisite.

This assurance comes in the form of SOC certification. Generally, this entails a report conducted by an auditor, who’ll certify your IT controls and processes once you’ve demonstrated your adherence to a risk management framework. But what’s the difference between SOC 1 and SOC 2?

SOC 1 vs SOC 2

SOC 1

Designed specifically for finance-related services, SOC 1 provides an assurance report over a service organisation's IT controls and processes – particularly those that could affect their clients’ financial reporting. Focus areas for auditors include: the effectiveness of services, adequate security controls and sufficient anti-fraud measures.

If your organisation provides Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and/or data centres, SOC 1 is right for you. Here are some examples of non-traditional service organisations that also need SOC 1 certification:

  • Payroll processors
  • Asset Managers
  • Pension service providers
  • Loan serving companies

SOC 2

Unlike SOC 1, SOC 2 was designed specifically for non-finance related services. It provides an assurance report of a service organisation's IT controls and process – particularly those that affect information security. The auditing process is underpinned by five key principles: security, availability, processing/data integrity, confidentiality and privacy. 

Should your services process or store sensitive customer data of a non-financial nature, SOC 2 is what you need. Examples of non-traditional service organisations that also require this certification include:

  • Law firms
  • Cloud hosters
  • Consultancies
  • Cryptocurrency services

Achieve certification with Centre for Assessment

Gaining SOC certification allows your service organisation to stand out in a highly competitive industry, and demonstrates that you can be trusted with your clients’ data and processes. So, start your certification journey today, with Centre for Assessment.

We’re a UKAS-accredited certification body with the experience and expertise to deliver bespoke, in-depth auditing to meet your organisation’s requirements – whether that’s SOC 1 or SOC 2. Our friendly professionals are committed to paving the way for your SOC certification, and will ensure a smooth process for you and your team.

Want to know more? Contact us today on 0161 237 4080 or email sales@centreforassessment.co.uk.

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