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The Latest SOC 2 Revisions and What They Mean for Your Business

Lauren Blanc

Marketing Manager


If your company handles sensitive customer data, you’re probably familiar with the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 audit. This esteemed report evaluates your IT security controls to provide assurance that data stays protected. SaaS companies often pursue SOC 2 compliance to assure customers that sensitive data is properly managed.

While no direct changes were made to the core Trust Services Criteria (TSC) (namely Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) did update the SOC 2® guide in October 2022. 

But, what do these updates mean for your organization as you prepare for your next audit? Let’s break it down.

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What Are the Key SOC 2 Updates?

First off, the TSC remained intact – no dramatic overhaul there! But the guide provides expanded guidance to help auditors consistently assess controls.

Here are some of the key things the updates provide:

  • Enhanced risk insights into the TSCs: Each TSC contains a “Point of Focus,” which are basically additional guidelines that help you design and identify the right controls. The 2022 revision deals primarily with updating these Points of Focus. The revised Points of Focus offer more examples of inherent risks auditors may consider. They also emphasize specific risk areas, potentially prompting more in-depth questioning during examinations.
  • Spotlight on privacy: With data privacy laws proliferating, the guide includes strengthened guidance around related controls more in line with evolving privacy regulations.
  • Data management emphasis: Expect potential scrutiny on backup procedures, storage, and detection controls.
  • Accuracy assurance: There is clearer guidance for auditors around assessing the completeness and accuracy of documentation provided by companies undergoing audits.

What Could This Mean During Your Next Audit?

For most organizations, these updates will not necessitate major changes. The revisions offer guidance to auditors but do not alter the core SOC 2 criteria.

However, you may notice the following in your next audit:

  • More detailed questions: Auditors may ask more specific questions related to the updated Points of Focus. Be prepared to provide full details on controls in highlighted risk areas.
  • Spot checks on privacy measures: With strengthened privacy guidance, auditors may dig deeper into related controls like data encryption, access limits, etc.
  • Enhanced data management reviews: Be ready to showcase backup systems, storage protections, and other key data security controls.
  • No major overhaul needed: Since no foundational criteria changed, this should not require reinventing your entire SOC 2 processes. But be ready to illustrate controls in newly emphasized areas.

Key Takeaways

The 2022 SOC 2 guide revisions mainly provide clarification for auditors, meaning they won’t necessitate starting SOC 2 controls from scratch. 

Companies seeking SOC 2 may see slightly more rigorous audits focusing on privacy, data security, and key risk points. But overall, these updates should not substantially impact existing SOC 2 controls.

With clear documentation and visibility into your safeguards, you can show auditors your commitment to managing risks highlighted in this update. As data regulations expand, sound controls become even more crucial.

But since SOC 2 reports involve strategic decision-making, having an expert guide helps navigate the process without the stress and guesswork. And this is why so many SaaS companies enjoy integrated technology-driven compliance advisory services that help optimize their SOC 2 reporting in a way that aligns with their business goals.

See some of Scytale’s customer stories here

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