UPDATES 4 May 2023

Which SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria (TSC) should we attest to

Sr. Engineer - FauxChain

When pursuing SOC 2 compliance, one of the most critical decisions your organization must make is determining which Trust Services Criteria (TSC) to attest to. The TSC, established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), include Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. Each criterion addresses a specific aspect of your organization’s controls, and the selection of criteria depends on the nature of your business and the expectations of your clients. In this blog post, we will provide guidance on how to choose the most relevant TSC for your organization.

1. Understanding Your Business Objectives

Before selecting the TSC to attest to, it is essential to understand your organization’s business objectives and how they relate to the services you provide. Consider the types of data you handle, the systems you use, and the expectations of your clients. Identifying your key business objectives will help you determine which TSC are most relevant to your organization.

2. Evaluating Your Risks and Regulatory Requirements

The selection of TSC should also be guided by your organization’s risk profile and any regulatory requirements that apply to your industry. Assess the potential risks associated with the services you provide and the data you handle, and determine which TSC would help mitigate those risks. Additionally, consider any legal or regulatory obligations that may require specific controls related to information security, privacy, or availability.

3. Assessing Client Expectations

Understanding the expectations of your clients is crucial when selecting the TSC to attest to. Your clients may have specific requirements or expectations related to the controls you have in place, and selecting the appropriate TSC can help you meet those expectations. Communicate with your clients to gain insight into their needs and preferences, and consider their feedback when selecting the TSC for your SOC 2 audit.

4. Analyzing the Trust Services Criteria

Analyze each TSC to determine its relevance to your organization. Below is a brief overview of each criterion to help guide your decision-making process:

● Security: This criterion is the foundation of SOC 2 and is mandatory for all SOC 2 reports. It focuses on the protection of information and systems from unauthorized access, disclosure, and destruction.
● Availability: If your organization provides services that require consistent uptime and accessibility, this criterion may be relevant to you. It addresses the availability and reliability of systems.
● Processing Integrity: If your organization processes transactions or manages data on behalf of clients, this criterion may be important. It focuses on the accurate, complete, and timely processing of transactions and data.
● Confidentiality: If your organization handles sensitive information that must be protected from unauthorized access and disclosure, this criterion is crucial. It involves the protection of confidential information.
● Privacy: If your organization collects, uses, retains, discloses, or disposes of personal information, this criterion is essential. It addresses the protection of personal information in compliance with applicable privacy laws and regulations.

Selecting the appropriate SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria for your organization is a crucial step in the compliance journey. Consider your business objectives, risk profile, regulatory requirements, and client expectations when making this decision. By attesting to the most relevant TSC, you can demonstrate your commitment to maintaining robust controls and safeguarding your clients’ data. If you’re unsure about which TSC to select, consult with an experienced SOC 2 professional, like Neutral Partners, who can provide guidance tailored to your organization’s specific needs.

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