SOC 2 Compliance Checklist | SentinelOne

SOC 2 Compliance Checklist: An Easy Guide 101

Today’s IT landscape increasingly relies on cloud-hosted apps; thus, SaaS companies must maintain compliance with industry standards and benchmarks like SOC 2. Therefore, achieving SOC 2 compliance is more of a “when” question than a “why”. In light of this, here is a helpful 

SOC 2 compliance checklist to aid in the planning and beginning of your compliance journey.

Understanding the prerequisites and procedural stages is crucial if you need to prepare for SOC 2 compliance but are unsure how to proceed, where to begin, or what to expect.

In this article, we will give you a thorough SOC 2 Compliance Checklist to help you prepare for a smooth compliance journey, either on your own or with a third-party vendor.

What is SOC 2 Compliance?

SOC 2 Compliance refers to a set of guidelines and procedures that a business must adhere to in order to protect the security and privacy of sensitive data that customers have entrusted to it. It resembles a system of security controls and procedures put in place by a business to safeguard data, especially sensitive financial and personal information.

A corporation often submits to an audit by an impartial third party to ensure they satisfy certain requirements and criteria to attain SOC 2 Compliance. These standards frequently have as their foundations the security of the company’s systems, the management and control of data access, the handling of security incidents, and the protection of your privacy.

Why is SOC 2 Compliance Important?

For some reason, SOC 2 compliance is crucial. One benefit of having a SOC 2 report is that it verifies your information security procedures and gives your clients peace of mind that their data is safe in your cloud.

Therefore, technology service providers or SaaS firms managing consumer data in the cloud should adhere to the Soc 2 criteria checklist. Two, it usually results from client demand and is essential for obtaining business deals. It also establishes the groundwork for your regulatory journey because SOC 2 integrates with various frameworks.

Your SOC 2 accreditation demonstrates to an enterprise that they can trust your business to protect the data when they add you as a new SaaS vendor to their ecosystem.

SOC 2 Compliance Checklist

Here, we have provided the optimum SOC 2 Compliance Checklist to make the process simpler and easier for you:

#1 Assess the Need for a Type 1 Report

The first decision you make is whether you want the auditor to perform a SOC 2 Type 1 audit first, followed by a SOC 2 Type 2 audit that is more rigorous.

The policies, procedures, and control evidence are evaluated in a SOC 2 Type 1 audit to see if they are well-designed to fulfill SOC 2 standards. This audit takes a snapshot in time to assess if controls were properly created as of a particular date.

A SOC 2 Type 2 audit, on the other hand, is more thorough. In addition to evaluating design, auditors look at data to ensure that controls have been functioning correctly to satisfy SOC 2 requirements.

Usually, businesses choose a Type 1 audit before a Type 2. But it’s not necessary, and some people go straight to a Type 2.

For initial SOC 2 audits, customers frequently accept a Type 1 report but frequently anticipate a more thorough Type 2 report in the future since it displays continued compliance and dedication to data security.

#2 Define Your Scope

Setting the scope of your audit is essential in the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist since it will show the auditor that you know all of your data security obligations under the SOC 2 compliance checklist. It will also speed up the procedure by eliminating the requirements that don’t apply to you. 

You must specify the audit’s scope by choosing the TSC (Trust Services Criteria) that applies to your company based on the data you retain or transmit. Note that Security as a TSC is a prerequisite. Regulatory regulations will also influence your choice of criteria. However, based on our observations, most SaaS companies require Security, Availability, and Confidentiality (or their combination) as TSCs for their SOC 2 journey. 

There are five TSCs:

  • Security: Information and systems are shielded from unauthorized access, unauthorized disclosure of information, and system damage that could jeopardize the accessibility, integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of information or systems and impair the ability of the entity to achieve its goals.
  • Availability: Information and systems are operationally accessible and can be used to achieve the entity’s objectives.
  • Processing integrity: System processing is approved, timely, accurate, complete, and legitimate to achieve the objectives of the entity.
  • Confidentiality: Information that has been marked as confidential is protected in order to achieve the goals of the entity.
  • Privacy: To achieve the goals of the entity, personal information is gathered, used, disclosed, kept, and disposed of.

There is no mandate that you use all five Trust Services Criteria. The sole essential element is security, though availability and confidentiality are also typically added. 

#3 Internal Communication of Processes

Internal Communication is an important part of SOC 2 Compliance Checklist. Throughout your SOC 2 audit planning process, it is crucial to communicate internally with key players.

The top management and department heads of your company (human resources, engineering, DevOps, security, IT, etc.) are in charge of implementing your SOC 2 procedures and supplying the auditor with evidence. Employee readiness depends on communicating the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the audit. 

#4 Conduct a Gap Assessment

At this point of the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist, you must assess your policies and processes to see how well they adhere to the guidelines and standards of the SOC compliance checklist. Doing this lets you learn more about the policies, practices, and controls your company already employs and how they stack up against SOC 2 requirements.

Fill up the gaps with better or newer controls, if necessary. These could entail, among other things, updating control documents, offering employee training courses, and changing workflows. You can prioritize the remediation with the aid of the risk ratings. 

#5 Address Control Gaps

The next step in the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist is addressing control gaps. Remedial action and ensuring that SOC 2 control mandates are met can take some time after your gap evaluation. 

You have to collaborate with your team to:

  • Review policies.
  • Formalize the process.
  • Make the software changes that are required.
  • Address any extra steps, such as adding new tools and workflows.

By doing this, you can fill in any gaps before the audit.

#6 Inform Your Customers and Prospects

As the next step of the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist, talk with your team on a few strategies for promoting your security procedures to clients and potential clients in the interest of transparency and cultivating trust. You can still describe the procedures you’ve put in place to protect their data, even though you’re not required to declare that you’re seeking SOC 2 publicly.

#7 Continuously Monitor and Maintain Controls

Next, in the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist, create procedures that will assist you and your team in regularly monitoring and maintaining the controls you introduced and remedied to achieve SOC 2 compliance. If you haven’t done so before, put a tool in place that can automate control monitoring and evidence gathering. 

#8 Identify an Audit Firm

The next step in the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist is to decide what qualities you seek in an auditor before looking for an audit firm. The proper auditor can assist you in understanding and enhancing your compliance systems, shorten the procedure, and eventually provide a clean SOC 2 report in addition to performing your audit.

#9 Proceed with the SOC 2 Audit

As the next step in the SOC 2 Compliance Checklist, engage an independent certified auditor to conduct your SOC 2 audit and produce a report. Even though SOC 2 compliance costs can be high, pick an auditor with a proven track record and experience auditing businesses like yours.

During your Type 2 audit, be prepared for a protracted back-and-forth exchange with the auditor. You’ll be answering their questions, supplying proof, and determining which areas of compliance you need to improve. SOC 2 Type 2 audits typically take two weeks to six months to complete, depending on how many corrections or queries the auditor finds. Following the audit, a three to six-month monitoring period is required. A Type 2 report thus provides more thorough insights into the efficiency of your organization’s controls.


In conclusion, obtaining SOC 2 compliance is a crucial step for businesses devoted to protecting sensitive data and gaining the confidence of their customers. You may successfully negotiate the complicated world of security, privacy, and trust services requirements if you have a thorough SOC 2 compliance checklist as your road map. By taking these actions, checking your controls constantly, and making adjustments as needed, you’ll fulfill compliance standards and improve your data security posture, showcasing your dedication to safeguarding sensitive data in the modern digital era.

SentinelOne has established its position as a trusted national security partner to the Federal Government and achieved the coveted FedRAMP moderate designation from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program. SentinelOne’s Singularity XDR Platform has been assessed by an independent IRAP against the ‘Protected’ level controls under the independent Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP).

You can automate SOC 2 Compliance, PCI-DSS, GDPR, and HIPAA; SentinelOne implements the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Security Policy as well to protect organizations.


How can you achieve SOC 2 Compliance?

Achieve SOC 2 compliance by implementing security controls and policies, documenting procedures, and undergoing an audit by an independent auditor. Ensure your systems meet Trust Services Criteria, focusing on security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

What is the difference between SOC 1 and SOC 2?

SOC 1 focuses on financial controls affecting a client’s financial statements, while SOC 2 assesses a service provider’s security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy controls related to non-financial information.

What are the Benefits of the SOC 2 report?

A SOC 2 report demonstrates your commitment to data security and privacy. It enhances trust among customers and partners, reduces security risks, and helps comply with regulatory requirements.

When to choose SOC 2 Compliance?

A SOC 2 report demonstrates your commitment to data security and privacy. It enhances trust among customers and partners, reduces security risks, and helps comply with regulatory requirements.

Choose SOC 2 compliance when your business handles sensitive customer data, relies on cloud services, or seeks to gain a competitive edge by demonstrating robust security and privacy practices. It’s often crucial for technology, healthcare, and financial industries.