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Understanding SOC 2+ Reports and Frameworks

July 02, 2024

By Michael S. Nyman, CPA 

In the rapidly progressing landscape of information security and data privacy, organizations seeking to provide assurance regarding the reliability and security of their services often undergo examinations like a System and Organization Control (SOC) 2 report based on the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Service Criteria (TSC).  

Organizations are continually seeking additional control frameworks to demonstrate their commitment to safeguarding clients’ sensitive information. The SOC 2+ report has emerged as a valuable tool, combining the strengths of SOC 2 TSC with additional components tailored to specific organizational needs.  

SOC 2 reports are designed to assess and attest service organizations securely manage data to protect clients’ interests. A SOC 2+ report extends the conventional SOC 2 TSC by incorporating supplementary elements aligning with an organization’s specific requirements or industry standards.  

This approach allows businesses to tailor reporting to address specific concerns, providing stakeholders a more comprehensive view of their security posture. 

Components of a SOC 2+ report 

SOC 2 trust service criteria categories 

The TSC categories are a set of standards designed to evaluate the reliability and security of information systems. These criteria are often used in audits of service organizations managing sensitive data. There are five categories of TSC, each focusing on various aspects of information systems. The TSC were last updated in January 2022 with these categories: 


This assesses the system’s protection and the information it processes from unauthorized access, both physical and logical. It includes measures such as access controls, encryption, and monitoring to uphold the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data. 


Availability measures the accessibility of the system, services and information when needed by authorized users. This category evaluates the organization’s ability to keep its systems operational and available for use as agreed upon in service-level agreements. 

Processing Integrity

This focuses on the accuracy, completeness and validity of system processing. It assesses whether the system performs its functions in an authorized, accurate and timely manner. Controls related to data input, processing, output and error handling are examined. 


Confidentiality evaluates protecting sensitive information to prevent its unauthorized disclosure. It includes controls restricting access to information to only those individuals or entities with the proper authorization. Encryption, data classification and disposal of data are examples of controls this category considers. 


The privacy category assesses the organization’s policies and procedures related to the collection, use, retention, disclosure and disposal of personal information. It focuses on whether the organization complies with applicable privacy laws and regulations and protects the privacy rights of individuals.  

Additional frameworks for SOC 2+ reports 

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 27001

Integrating the international standard for information security management systems (ISMS) enhances the information security component in a SOC 2 plus report. 

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Cybersecurity Framework

 Aligning with the NIST framework provides a structured approach to managing and improving an organization’s cybersecurity posture. 

GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

Incorporating GDPR principles supports compliance with European data protection laws, bolstering data privacy aspects of the SOC 2+ report. 

HITRUST CSF (Health Information Trust Alliance common security framework)

Ideal for healthcare organizations, HITRUST CSF integrates specific controls addressing distinct challenges in health care. 

COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technologies)

Integrating COBIT provides a governance and management framework, enhancing information technology processes and controls. 

CIS Controls (Center for Internet Security Controls)

These are a set of recommended practices developed by the Center for Internet Security to help organizations improve their cybersecurity posture. 

Benefits of SOC 2+ reports 

Tailored Compliance

Organizations can align SOC 2+ reports with specific industry standards or regulatory requirements. 

Enhanced Stakeholder Confidence

A SOC 2+ report provides stakeholders with a more detailed and relevant understanding of an organization’s commitment to security and controls. 

This helps provide transparency to stakeholders and maintain a comprehensive approach to managing risk and securing sensitive information. Additionally, engaging with a qualified independent auditor can help organizations navigate the complexities of multiple frameworks and assess whether the service organization implements a robust control environment. 

In an era where data security and compliance are paramount, the SOC 2+ report stands out as a flexible and comprehensive tool. By integrating additional frameworks tailored to an organization’s needs, businesses can demonstrate a heightened commitment to information security and compliance, fostering trust with clients and stakeholders alike.  

For more information on SOC reports in Arizona, contact Mike Nyman at or 602-604-3524.  

The information contained herein is general in nature and is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal, accounting, investment, or tax advice or opinion provided by CliftonLarsonAllen LLP (CLA) to the reader. For more information, visit 

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