SOC 2/AT-C 105 and 205

How SOC Audits Can Help Save on Errors & Omissions Insurance

As many companies look to reduce costs, one cost that continues to rise as the company grows is Errors and Omissions (E/O) insurance premiums. Both company liability and personal liability of the board of directors and owners is a topic that continues to be a focus of litigation. One of the ways a company can demonstrate they have sound controls over their control environment (which includes the tone at the top, board of directors’ participation, management oversight, etc) is to have a SOC audit conducted by a third-party auditing firm such as A-LIGN. 

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Relevant Audit Selection for Cloud Providers

Just as in physical storage, cloud service providers are used to store sensitive data.  This can be anything from credit card information to personal information such as social security numbers.  There are three key cloud services:  Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  The storage of sensitive data will inevitably lead a cloud service provider to need a specific audit performed by a third-party entity, such as A-LIGN, due to legal, regulatory and/or contractual obligations.  It is important for cloud service providers to understand its obligations first when selecting an audit.  

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SOC Vendor Due Diligence for Title Agencies

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) Best Practices Framework has been developed to assist lenders in satisfying their responsibility to manage third party vendors. ALTA members advocate a safe and efficient transfer of real estate and have high standards when searching land title records and preparing insurance documents. To provide the best possible chance of avoiding land title problems, risk should be eliminated prior to insuring. As such, effective safeguards should be in place.

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Does Your SOC Report Address Subservice Organizations Using the Carve Out or Inclusive Method?

By: Peter Clarke, Managing Consultant at A-LIGN A subservice organization is an entity that is used by the service organization to perform some of the services provided to customers (user entities).  An example of a common service provided by a subservice organization would be a company that offers their data center to a cloud provider (the service organization).  The service organization relies on processes and controls implemented at the subservice organization to meet the Control Objectives or Trust Services Principles of the SOC report. When a subservice organization is utilized by the service organization, there are two methods for reporting on the processes and controls at the subservice organization.  First, the processes and controls can be included as a part of the report.  This is the Inclusive method.  Second, the processes and controls can be excluded from the report.  This is the Carve Out method.  Each method requires that the service organization take steps to determine whether controls are in place and operating effectively to meet the needs of the end user (customer).

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How to Differentiate Your Title Agency for Success in a Dynamic Market

By: Blaise Wabo, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN In 2012 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a bulletin related to service providers’ oversight, in which they expect supervised banks and nonbanks (lenders) to oversee their business relationships with service providers in a manner that ensures compliance with Federal consumer financial…

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Understanding the Impact of Testing Exceptions in Type 2 SOC 1 and SOC 2 Reports

By: Ivan Reyes, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16 (“SSAE 16”) is an attestation standard whereby a service organization’s auditor issues an opinion on a service organization’s internal controls over financial reporting (ICFR). This is delivered in the form of a Service Organization Controls 1 (“SOC…

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CSA Integrates Cloud Controls Matrix with SOC 2 Reports for Cloud Providers

By: Peter Clarke, Senior Consultant at A-LIGN The AICPA recently released an Illustrative Type 2 SOC 2 Report to assist auditors in reporting on the suitability of design and operating effectiveness on cloud security providers. The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) builds upon the AICPA’s Trust Services…

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5 Steps to Succeed in Your Next Compliance Audit

By: Jay Anthony, President of Audit Liaison, PA Your organization has determined that there is a need for a compliance audit. But you have so many questions or don’t know where to start? A-LIGN has asked us to put together a short guide to help you decide the correct course…

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Trust Services Principles Update and Impact on SOC 2

By: Sara McLane, Senior Auditor at A-LIGN In February of 2014, the AICPA released the new Trust Services Principles and Criteria (TSP) for Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. The updated TSP will have a positive effect on our clients and other organizations obtaining a SOC 2 report by increasing the clarity for readers and users of the report. The updated TSP also reduces the appearance of redundancy. The TSP is now broken into two key components. The first major component is the common criteria. These criterions are applicable to Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, and Confidentiality. The Privacy criterions are set forth by the Generally Accepted Privacy Principles (GAPP) and are currently under revision to be released separately. The common criteria are now comprised of seven categories whereas the prior version of the TSP had four categories: policies, communications, procedures, and monitoring.

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