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A-LIGN Announces A-SCEND’s Readiness Assessments for SOC 2 and HIPAA

Assessment dashboard

Hi everyone, for those of you that don’t know me, I’m Jason Kosecki, A-LIGN’s VP of Operations for the A-SCEND platform. I’m back to fill you in on two new auditor-assisted automated readiness assessments that will help you reduce resources and time required when preparing for audits! 

In case you’re not familiar, A-SCEND is our end-to-end compliance management platform purpose-built for cybersecurity compliance, with an emphasis on the end-user.  A-SCEND streamlines the audit process by centralizing evidence collection, standardizing compliance requests, and consolidating multiple audits into a single audit experience.  

We have recently released two new auditor-assisted automated readiness assessments for SOC 2 and HIPAA. What are these readiness assessments?  Glad you asked.  Let’s dive right in … 

A-SCEND’s SOC 2 and HIPAA Readiness Assessments Reduce the Resources and Time Required to Prepare for Your Audit 

A-SCEND’s Readiness Assessment is an automated list of questions that you answer about your security posture. By answering the questions and providing evidence, A-SCEND will identify your level of readiness for a SOC 2 or HIPAA assessment. In addition to helping you prepare for a SOC 2 or HIPAA examination, the readiness assessment also highlights where your organization has gaps that need remediation prior to the audit, and the severity of those gaps.   Recommendations are built into the platform for your review and can then be used as guidance to remediate any gaps you may have. For organizations that need a guide to help achieve compliance, our expert auditors will review the safeguards in place and identify areas where you can enhance your information security program. 

A-SCEND’s new readiness assessments are the only compliance management solutions that include live auditor assistance. With our readiness assessments, customers not only benefit from preparing for their SOC 2 or HIPAA compliance in half the time, but they also gain the support of experienced auditors.  In addition, once you’re ready for your SOC 2 examination or HIPAA assessment there’s no reason to find another auditing firm – our experts can do it all – from readiness to report.  How does it work?  Let’s take a look. 

A-SCEND’s SOC 2 and HIPAA Readiness Assessments Combine Software with the Expertise from Industry Experts 

Gauging your organization’s level of readiness before beginning a SOC 2 examination or HIPAA assessment has never been easier.  Let’s use, A-SCEND’s SOC 2 Readiness Assessment as an example to walk you through the ins and out.  

The SOC 2 Readiness Assessment dashboard shows overall progress as an easy-to-read percentage, current gaps identified in real time, and the same gaps categorized by severity.   You’re also able to easily view your assessment categories with “at a glance” completion percentages.   

If you select the “resume” button to the right of one of the assessment categories, you are prompted to answer multiple-choice questions.  If you’re stuck, not a problem!  We offer tips based off of the thousands of SOC 2 audits we’ve completed to help guide you in the right direction.  In this same portion of the assessment, as shown below, you can also communicate and upload evidence files to be reviewed by an A-LIGN assessor.  Your answers to these questions will help our auditors identify gaps and access the severity for that category of the SOC 2 assessment.   

At any time during the assessment, you can select “Assessment Reports”, to the left of the screen in the gray column.  This report allows you to review your answers in their entirety, your organization’s identified gaps, gap severity findings and remediation recommendations. You can also use this document to report to upper management on the status of your assessment. 

Finally, you can print out your report at any time throughout this process.  This document will include all areas of the assessment along with details on any gaps that have been identified.  I’ve included an example of the report, shown below.  

The Benefits of A-SCEND’s SOC 2 and HIPAA Readiness Assessments 

A-LIGN is the only auditing firm to provide both software and industry experts to complete your audit.  Are there other benefits to A-SCEND’s Readiness Assessments?  Absolutely.  Here are just a few … 

  • Make SOC 2 and HIPAA Compliance Easy: Includes everything you’ll need to prepare for your SOC 2 examination or HIPAA assessment in a language you’ll understand with clear and easy multiple-choice Q&As 
  • Get Expert Advice, On-Demand: You can have questions answered by an experienced staff auditor either through the “comments” functionality or live auditor assistance 
  • Fix Audit Gaps in Advance: Discover issues with policies, procedures, and system configurations through easy-to-read charts before your audit  
  • Learn from Thousands of Audits: Get tips and recommendations from our auditors on every question to assist throughout the assessment  
  • Share Progress with Your Team: Access the easy-to-read readiness report available for download  
  • Complete Your Audit without Switching Auditors: Once you’re ready to begin your SOC 2 examination or HIPAA assessment, the information from the Readiness Assessment will directly tie to the Information Request List (IRL) required for your audit. Any evidence that you uploaded will also automatically transfer over to your audit assessment. 

A-SCEND minimizes expenditures and increases productivity.  With the release of A-SCEND’s new Readiness Assessments for SOC 2 and HIPAA, we will help your organization become compliant, from readiness to report.  

As always, I want to hear from you!  If you have input, comments, ideas for upcoming releases , please reach out to [email protected]  

Download our HIPAA checklist now!