SOC 2 vs ISO 27001 Key Difference Between The Standards

Cybercrime has consistently posed a threat to companies of all sizes. In the recent past, the criminals have been targeting highly sensitive information in various organizations. No company or organization would wish the leakage or compromise of such crucial information. As such, it’s necessary to comply with the set standards to prevent such occurrences. These standards include the ISO 27001 and SOC 2 reporting which complements each other to ensure that your data is safe as well as offer a proof of compliance to business partners.

ISO 27001 Compliance

If you need your company to comply with this standard, then you have to establish a system that will guarantee confidentiality and safety of data. The 1SO 27001 involves the creation of an Information Security Management System (ISMS) that collates all the company data. The system should be devised in such a way that it incorporates the risk assessment process with reference to data protection and employees’ behavior.

Unlike most compliance certification requirements, ISO 27001 does not dictate what the specific company should do. Rather, it’s formulated as a policy that offers risk-mitigation suggestions allowing the organization to make independent decisions on whether to consider their implementation. The less-constraining strategy allows a flexible approach to measures taken to highlight vulnerabilities and improve internal audits as well as monitoring.

SOC 2 (Service Organization Control) Report

Unlike SOC 1 which deals with financial data, the SOC 2 report is not specific. The report highlights various controls and the effect they’ll have on the security, privacy, system availability, processing integrity, and confidentiality of data in an organization. The SOC 2 standards require that you produce either Type 1 or Type II reports. These reports are different from each other; Type 1 concentrates on control and effectiveness at a specific time while Type II gives an expanded report by reviewing the controls over an extended period. While Type II allows the clients a long-term assurance, it’ll take more time to implement and the cost is significantly higher.

When you call in an auditor, they will use Type 1 reports to assess the management information and how the reports have described the controls put in place for data security. Also, the auditor will concentrate on reviewing the documentation provided by the clients. If Type II reports are used in the auditing process, the management description will still be considered. However, the auditor will look at the report’s details for a period of six months to establish conformity with the intended standards over a long time.

Your company can involve a third party in the entire process to review compliance. You can allow your customers to review your organization to ensure that data protection measures are strictly followed. Alternatively, you may invoke the use of a software that will update all the security measures to comply with the standards. The tool will also be crucial in giving you alerts of potential threats to trigger your upgrading of the system thus eliminating the threat.

How ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Work Together

When your company complies with ISO 27001, you’ll be confident with the control and processing of your data. It will enable you to critically evaluate the accessibility of your data to third party providers thus enhancing your security situation. You should always ensure that vendors only access your systems to retrieve data that is necessary for their working process. After mitigating all your risks based on both your requirements and those of your vendors, you should use that information to create the SOC 2 reports. Whenever there is an audit for SOC 2 reports, you’ll be required to fulfill the SSAE 18 standards whose aim is to increase the quality of the report and consequently enhance your data security. Since the compliance with ISO 27001 aligns with the requirements of SSAE 18, the SOC 2 reports easily meet the SSAE 18 requirements forming a synergy that works efficiently towards ensuring unmatched data security. The SOC 2 and ISO 27001 are thus the ideal certifications for the vendors and clients to review your control processes.

Simplifying ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Documentation through Automation

The documentation work involved in the two certifications can be overwhelming due to the intense tracking and monitoring of the company’s activities. The problem is even more pronounced if you have numerous third parties accessing your systems. You can, however, resolve the problem by automating your processes into a single location. This will make the auditing of both the company’s controls and third-party vendor’s controls synchronized into a single document which is easier to amend and review.

Data security is a sensitive issue that you should not take for granted. You should ensure compliance with the ISO 27001 and SOC 2 reporting to keep your systems, the vendors, and the clients safe from cybercrime.

Author Bio

Ken Lynch is an enterprise software startup veteran, who has always been fascinated about what drives workers to work and how to make work more engaging. Ken founded Reciprocity to pursue just that. He has propelled Reciprocity’s success with this mission-based goal of engaging employees with the governance, risk, and compliance goals of their company in order to create more socially minded corporate citizens. Ken earned his BS in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. Learn more at


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