SOC 3 and SOC 2 are both important evaluations that provide assurance regarding the effectiveness of an organization's controls. While they have similarities, there are some key differences between the two. In this article, we will explore what SOC 3 and SOC 2 are, their purposes, and how they differ from each other.
What is SOC 3?
SOC 3, also known as a System and Organization Controls 3 report, is a summary-level report that provides a general of an organization's controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It is designed to be publicly available and can be used for marketing purposes or to provide external stakeholders with confidence in an organization's control environment.
What is SOC 2?
SOC 2, on the other hand, is a more detailed and comprehensive evaluation that focuses on the design and operating effectiveness of an organization's controls. It is based on predefined criteria established by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and evaluates controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The SOC 2 report is primarily intended for internal stakeholders and provides a more in-depth understanding of an organization's control environment.
Differences between SOC 3 and SOC 2
The main difference between SOC 3 and SOC 2 lies in the level of detail provided in the reports. SOC 3 provides a high-level summary of an organization's controls, while SOC 2 goes into greater depth and includes detailed testing procedures and results. As SOC 2 reports are more comprehensive, they are typically only shared with relevant parties under non-disclosure agreements. SOC 3 reports, on the other hand, can be freely shared with the public.
Another difference is the format of the reports. SOC 3 reports are shorter and less technical, making them easier to understand for non-technical audiences. SOC 2 reports, on the other hand, are more technical and intended for those with a deeper understanding of control frameworks and auditing.
Both SOC 3 and SOC 2 evaluations are important in providing assurance regarding an organization's controls. SOC 3 reports provide a high-level summary that can be shared openly with the public, while SOC 2 reports provide a more detailed evaluation primarily intended for internal stakeholders. The choice between SOC 3 and SOC 2 depends on the specific needs of the organization and the target audience for the report.
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