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Does your company need SOC 2 or SOC 3?

You may have heard of SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports, but what exactly are they? What is the difference between the two? And which report is the right one for your company? Let's take a closer look.

What is SOC 2 and SOC 3?

SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports are audit reports that assess whether a service provider has adequate controls in place to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data. However, there are some key differences between the two report types.

Main differences between SOC 2 and SOC 3

The main difference between SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports is that SOC 3 reports are intended for the public while SOC 2 reports are only intended for existing and potential customers. A SOC 3 report includes a description of the service provider's system, the auditor's opinion on the effectiveness of the controls, and the service provider's attestation.

SOC 2 reports are more detailed than SOC 3 reports and provide more detail on the service organization's controls. They provide only limited information about the service provider's system and controls due to their confidential nature. Therefore, they cannot be published like the SOC 3 reports.

Another key difference is that SOC 2 reports focus on five trust principles - security, availability, integrity of processing, confidentiality and privacy - while SOC 3 focuses only on security and availability. For this reason, the SOC 2 reports are usually more comprehensive than the SOC 3 reports.

A final difference is that a company can have either a Type 2 or Type 1 assessment for its SOC 2 report. A Type 1 assessment assesses the design of the controls at a point in time, while a Type 2 assessment assesses both the design and effectiveness of the controls over a period of time. For a SOC 3 report, a company can only opt for a Type 1 assessment.

Which report for your company?

While both types of reports have their own benefits, it ultimately comes down to what your business needs. If you want to make your report publicly available to increase the trust of current and potential customers, you should opt for a SOC 3 report. However, if you want a more comprehensive assessment of your organization's controls - even if it's for internal use only - a SOC 2 report is probably your best bet.

Summary

So if you have to decide on a SOC 2 or SOC 3 report for your company, you should consider what your requirements are and who you want to make the information available to. If you need a more comprehensive assessment or want to keep the information confidential, you should opt for a SOC 2 report. However, if you're looking for something to share publicly to build trust with current and potential customers, you should opt for a SOC 3 report.

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