It’s almost impossible to run a service business without using large amounts of data placed on the web or any kind of medium that’s computer-related. The digital world has become as important as the physical. They are often interrelated and meeting standards in one area usually helps with the standards in the other.
This is why SSAE 16 access control compliance for today’s service companies entails more than just the physical requirements. In fact for SSAE 16 compliance, how sensitive private data are stored online are just as important how confidential hard paper information are stored. So, when you think of how to execute the SSAE 16 physical security compliance requirements and get a positive audit report, electronic access control solutions can help you tackle the problem for physical access and web-based information storage.
SSAE 16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements 16) is a must for CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) who need to follow the regulations set by the U.S. Auditing Standards Board (ASB). It describes and identifies how service companies report on compliance controls. Most CPA companies have undertaken steps to update the access control system to the SSAE 16 criteria, successfully replacing the old SAS 70.
When a client entrusts the running of finances or other vital areas to a service company, they have every right to ask essential questions about data security and compliance reporting. This concern usually includes the need for some form of validation that the company is competent and not jeopardize sensitive data with negligent handling. If a service includes money management and outsourced financial services, the concern is expectedly much higher.
The SSAE 16 compliance is a guidance. There are many ways in which you can organize your physical access control to meet the SSAE 16 auditing standards. Controls that are required to fit within the SSAE 16 compliance criteria will benefit in users’ financial reporting, maintain secure, readily available and confidential information processing.
SOC reports for service companies encompass other user entities. Therefore, whenever you extend the physical data access to a customer or enables cloud access, get managed security services or alternative expertise from a user entity, you need to think of how it will contribute to the SSAE 16 access control compliance network. As with any information security management, SSAE 16 for physical security solutions are written into the job description of whoever is held responsible - usually company leaders, CEOs or CIOs. Also, they usually include all staff and outsourced partners.
When an independent CPA reports about your high compliance to SSAE, you’d be able to assure your clients that you have high level of security that would not be compromised.
This is because means that you have set the right hierarchical responsibility for access to your premises and most importantly that you work with partners that don’t take data security lightly. How do CPAs then make this process work for them and their clients?
Depending on the application of the SOC report, the first step in the task of the CPA includes asking a few vital questions. The second step is about deciding about the type of SSAE 16 access control compliance report that needs to be issued.
Main areas of focus include:
Do note that the SOC 1, SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports for SSAE 16 physical security compliance are prerequisites of each other. In other words, you will need to attain SOC 1 before you can apply for SOC 2, and so on.
However, one important point to note is that an attainment of a higher level of reports does not entail that you are automatically certified for a lower level of report. For example, you’ll still need to meet an independent set of criteria for for SOC 1 even though you have met SOC 2. The SOC 3 report is different in a sense that it provides public use of the acquired certification. It’s a proof of operational excellence. Getting one, two or all three of them will depend on the type of service that you provide. For highly-developed electronic access systems, complex data networks are not an issue. They can help your managers make effective decisions in meeting multiple SSAE 16 compliance criteria.
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