How Much Does SOC 2 Compliance Cost?
Much has been said about the importance and advantages of SOC 2 compliance and less about its costs. This post provides an in-depth look into the typical expenses surrounding the entire process. It also outlines some practical hacks on how to save time, money, and other resources while you acquire a brand-enhancing and business-building SOC 2 audit report.
SOC 2 Cost Factors
For the uninitiated, the SOC 2 certification cycle might seem complex and time-consuming. Experienced compliance service providers can simplify and accelerate the process for you, but the rigorous nature of the SOC 2 framework will persist by design.
The process essentially comprises four stages: scoping, gap assessment, remediation, and audit reporting. The costs related to those stages depend on several factors. These include the size and complexity of your organization; the scope and type of the audit; the remediation measures; and the service fees of qualified third-party assessors.
Here is a breakdown of the common cost factors you will likely encounter:
- Scope — This factor considers the scale and complexity of your business and specifies all the elements to be assessed and tested in the SOC audit. Naturally, a broader scope entails higher costs.
- Size and complexity of the organization
- Trust Services Criteria (TSC) to be included in the report in addition to Security (i.e., Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, or Privacy)
- Report Type — This factor considers the audit report type your organization needs:
- Type 1: A SOC 2 Type 1 report is a one-time audit that evaluates the organization’s controls at a specific point in time. This report type costs less and cycles faster.
- Type 2: A SOC 2 Type 2 report is a more comprehensive audit that evaluates the organization’s controls over an extended period of time. This report type costs more and takes a longer period to complete.
- Internal Resources — This factor refers to the aggregate investment in human resources, facilities, and other preparatory and administrative expenses that you allocate/dedicate for SOC 2 compliance. It may include staff time for data collection, auditor interviews, documentation, training, and other activities needed for audit completion.
- Gap Assessment — This process thoroughly evaluates how your system and organization controls fare with the specific Trust Services Criteria (Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, Privacy) you have decided to include in the audit report. An experienced third-party assessor can adopt a streamlined approach for risk analysis, control identification, testing, remediation planning, and reporting to speed up the process and reduce costs.
- Remediation — This factor covers the expenses for all the activities needed to close the compliance gaps identified in a prior assessment. In some cases, a company just needs to create and implement new policies, procedures, or controls to address the uncovered risks and vulnerabilities, thereby incurring minimal costs. However, there might be instances where the acquisition of tools, software, services (such as cloud-based backup storage), or technologies (such as a new endpoint detection and response system) is necessary.
- Auditor’s fees — This factor depends on the auditing firm’s experience and expertise, the physical location of your organization (for onsite visits and related expenses), the scope and type of audit you want, and added services.
In summary, the overall cost of SOC 2 compliance covers preparations, the actual audit, and the continuous maintenance thereafter.
TrustNet’s SOC 2 Compliance Pricing
Trust is integral to our brand and how we work with clients. As such, all our relationships hinge on transparency and on consistently delivering the quality of service expected by internal and external stakeholders.
That mantra also drives how we price our services.
Our premium enterprise-grade solutions are designed for businesses of all sizes and across industries at very accessible price points. In addition to industry awards for our innovation programs, we have also been cited by our clients and leading cybersecurity media for delivering some of the best-value solutions on the market. That’s because we dislike hidden charges as much as the everyday consumer and tech buyer. As a result, every transaction with TrustNet is guaranteed to be transparent and cost-efficient.
Moreover, you can request custom pricing based on the unique needs of your business. In our decades of industry experience, we have found that flexibility, transparency, and reliability are key to orchestrating the compliance outcomes our clients desire for their companies.
SOC 2 Element/Phase
SOC Accelerator Plus TM
variable, depends on the nature and extent of compliance gap
Type 1 Report (Audit)
Type 2 Report (Audit)
Advanced Compliance Platform
(Only offered to complement
audit and advisory services)
Full Compliance Cycle
$40,000 for Type 1 Report
$50,000 for Type 2 Report
(All of the above)
Tips for Reducing Costs
The total cost of SOC 2 compliance typically ranges from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Moreover, SOC 2 compliance is not a one-time expense because most companies need to re-certify their compliance yearly. That makes SOC 2 an ongoing strategic investment for your business to stay competitive and on par with regulatory standards.
Here are some actionable tips for reducing the cost of SOC 2 compliance:
- Choose the right partner. Work with an experienced and trusted SOC 2 assessor. Experienced auditors use streamlined processes and advanced technologies that can help you save time and money on achieving compliance. Choose qualified auditors knowledgeable about your industry and have served clients similar in size and line of business as your company.
- Limit the scope of the audit. While it is commendable to include all five Trust Services Criteria in your audit, doing so will increase the cost and complexity of the process. Unless potential customers or investors require the inclusion of a specific TSC, you can limit the audit only to the criteria relevant to your business or industry.
- Prepare for the audit. You can start by documenting your current controls and processes and performing a readiness self-assessment (preferably with an independent SOC 2 assessor). Identify compliance gaps, build a remediation roadmap, and start pre-audit remediation. Close the gaps by implementing the required controls (such as policies, procedures, and security measures).
- Leverage technology. Use a GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) management platform that works effectively for your organization. Such tools and software can help automate regulatory workflows and tedious auditing tasks such as control mapping and evidence collection.
- Monitor and maintain. SOC 2 compliance is not a one-time event. For most businesses and industries, an annual re-certification is necessary. Ongoing compliance requires specialized tools, regular workforce training, and dedicated staff to monitor and maintain the required controls. The idea here is simple: keeping your systems compliant costs far less than belatedly remediating major gaps that arise due to neglect.
SOC 2 compliance requires significant resources but yields long-term strategic benefits for your business. Enhanced customer trust, improved security posture, and expanded business opportunities are just some of the competitive advantages a SOC 2 certification can bring to the table.
Understanding the cost factors associated with SOC 2 can help you budget accordingly and plan a successful attestation process. By planning and working with a trusted compliance assessor, you can ensure that benefits always outweigh costs by an exponential margin. Partnering with experienced assessors also helps prevent runaway costs, wasted efforts, and protracted timelines.
The bottom line on SOC 2 costs is clear: there’s a best-value solution wherever you are in your compliance journey.
Choose the gold standard in SOC 2 services. Request a Custom Quote for TrustNet to build a flexible SOC 2 program for your unique business needs.