Benefits: enhancing risk management

and transparency

Organizations often face inquiries about security standards from (potential) clients; what are the differences between an ISAE 3402 | SOC1, ISAE 3000 | SOC2, and an ISO 27001 audit? Which standard is more applicable to our business, ISAE or ISO 27001? What are the pros and cons of ISAE versus ISO 27001? ISAE 3402 and ISO 27001 are fundamentally different types of standards with equally dissonant usage. The main differences lie in the reporting format and the conducted audit.

Tangible benefits

  • Risk intelligence
  • Market confidence
  • Audit efficiency
  • Enhanced control

ISAE and security

ISAE 3402 is an attestation from an independent auditor comparing System and Organization Controls (SOC) information to audit objectives or criteria. In an ISAE 3402 (SOC1) report, general IT controls (ITGCs) and thus security are included, but the primary scope is financial procedures and controls. An ISAE 3000 (SOC2) report focuses on the Trust Service Criteria, including security, availability, and privacy, and has more overlap with ISO 27001. A significant distinction is that ISAE 3402 and ISAE 3000 (SOC 2) reports provide an assurance statement, while ISO 27001 is a certification.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is a risk-based standard for establishing, implementing, and improving the information security management system (ISMS) of an organization. This standard security framework is maintained by ISO and IEC. The implemented ISO 27001 framework is certified by independent certification bodies. The organization must have the procedures and controls described in the High Level Structure (HLS) and Annex A of the ISO 27001 framework. The resulting security framework mitigates risks through the implementation of procedures and controls. ISO 27001 is a comprehensive system for ensuring information security, and all organizations that have implemented ISO 27001 must have at least an information security management system.

ISO 27001 or ISAE 3402?

The world has changed. ISO 27001 used to be the benchmark for information security, but with information security risks constantly evolving, many organizations require greater certainty about information security. ISO 27001 is a prescribed set of controls, while ISAE 3402 and 3000 standards are based on principles. This means that the controls cannot be formally implemented but work effectively. If so, an auditor will qualify the ISAE 3402 assurance opinion. An ISAE 3402/3000 audit is an in-depth audit focused on the effectiveness of the risk framework in controlling risks. If risks are not effectively controlled, this will be disclosed in the ISAE 3402 report. This level of transparency is required in the global economy and the constantly evolving threat landscape.

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