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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3 Step Guide on How To Avoid Data Breaches Through Soft Targets

By: Chris Berberich, Senior Consultant and Penetration Tester at A-LIGN In the real world of budgets and limited personnel, prioritizing security resources is a must. For the majority of companies who depend on IT resources, prioritizing information security resources is based on the significance of an asset to their overall…

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How to Determine a Quality Audit Report

By: Sara McLane, Senior Auditor at A-LIGN Service auditor reports are a great way for any service organization to showcase its compliance, to retain customers and to gain a competitive advantage. But how do you really know that your organization has just obtained a quality audit report? And why does…

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4 Tips on How to Select a Quality Outsourced Vendor

By: Lori Crooks, Managing Consultant at A-LIGN As the popularity of outsourcing parts of information technology functions continue to grow, one common concern still remains: How do you know that you are partnering with a quality vendor? Below are a few tips that we have learned from our experience, in…

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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…

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7 New COSO Updates that Impact Your SSAE 16 Report

By: Scott Price, Managing Partner of A-LIGN The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) released an updated version of its “Internal Control – Integrated Framework” in May, 2013. The changes are a progressive move to align its framework with today’s business operating environment, much like the change from SAS 70 to SOC 1/SSAE 16. As technology and business practices evolve, organizations need updated guidance on how and what to address in their internal controls.

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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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