27. What is SOC 3 reporting and why are documented policies and procedures so important and do you offer such documentation?
SOC 3 reporting is a reporting option under the AICPA Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting framework – a comprehensive set of options for reporting on controls at service organizations. Along with SOC 3, there’s also SOC 1 SSAE 16 and SOC 2 AT 101 reporting. An important component of SOC 3 reporting is the reliance on the Trust Services Principles (TSP) and criteria, which are essentially best practices (or “broad areas”, as they are called) for policies, communication, procedures, and monitoring as it relates to the broad-based principles of the following trust services: (1). Security. (2). Availability. (3). Processing Integrity. (4). Confidentiality. (5). Privacy. Additionally, SOC 3 reporting also allows service organizations to receive and display SysTrust and WebTrust seals, should they desire.
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But it’s these “broad areas” within each of the four (4) main Trust Services Principles (1). Security. (2). Availability. (3). Processing Integrity. (4). Confidentiality.) that require a large number of documented operational and information security policies and procedures to be in place for SOC 3 compliance. Specifically, the “broad areas” of “policies”, and “procedures” require just that – documented policies and procedures to be in place. The Global Information Security Compliance Packet (GISCP) set of policies, procedures, templates – and more – from Flat Iron Technologies, LLC, is exactly what service organizations need in helping comply with SOC 3 reporting requirements.
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Let’s take a look at an example (which is just one of many found within the four (4) main Trust Services Principles) to give you a better idea of SOC 3 and the true need for documented policies and procedures. Under the “security” principle with the TSP, there is a “broad area” known as “Policies”, for which the following is stated:
- The entity defines and documents its policies for the security of its system.
- The entity’s security policies are established and periodically reviewed and approved by a designated individual or group.
- The entity’s security policies include, but may not be limited to, the following matters:
In short, the list of required policies and procedures is quite extensive, thus service organizations would highly benefit from the Flat Iron Technologies, LLC Global Information Security Compliance Packet (GISCP) set of operational, business specific, and information security policies and procedures. You’ll receive hundreds of high-quality templates for helping develop essential documentation necessary for SOC 3 compliance.