SOC 2 Cost Guide
The SOC 2 cost guide has been our most popular download every month since it was first released. It’s become highly popular because it outlines SOC 2 audit costs, certification costs, compliance costs, and savings from automation technology. Below you’ll find a spreadsheet table of SOC 2 costs that can guide your decision-making.
How Much Does SOC 2 Cost?
TL;DR: The table below breaks down the cost of SOC 2. The cost to get compliant without Tugboat Logic covers typical consulting and audit fees in each category. Tugboat Logic pricing varies based on your company’s needs. Keep in mind, the number of Trust Services Criteria that apply to your organization may affect the final price with or without Tugboat Logic. For an even more detailed breakdown, make sure to read about the different phases below.
SOC 2 Costs Explained
The total cost of SOC 2 can be broken down into three phases.
Phase 1: Risk Assessment (RA)
Here, you’re evaluating risks related to each Trust Service Criteria and whether your controls are effective. This exercise identifies potential hazards, including the consequences where they occur.
For example, are the systems you use to store data safe? How are they secured? Who can access them? Data breaches can cause financial and reputational damage. A thorough RA will help you find vulnerabilities and keep your data protected, avoiding that headache altogether.
Consultants and auditors start at about $10,000 for RAs, but Tugboat Logic will execute them for free. Whether you come on board at Tugboat Logic or sail off into the security sunset with someone else, our goal is the same. We want to help companies future-proof their security efforts. After all, safer data benefits everyone.
Security certifications like SOC 2 and ISO 27001 require you to conduct a risk assessment before engaging in the readiness phase.
Phase 2: Audit Readiness
This is the work of identifying your organization’s security risks, mapping out the corresponding SOC 2 Trust Services Criteria, and implementing security controls tied to those criteria.
If you outsource this step, reputable consultants or SaaS solutions will do the heavy lifting of writing policies and implementing the right controls. They’ll typically charge $15,000 – $30,000. The marketplace is massive. You’ll find everything from bargain-basement peddlers, with quality of work to match, to white-glove services that escort you through each step.
Higher cost does not mean a better service. One of our customers was quoted $90,000 by a consultant who was using SOC 2 policy and control templates he downloaded off the internet. Something the client could have easily done themselves, with identical forms.
Think of it this way, who would you trust to work on your home? You don’t trust just anyone to get the job done right the first time. You ask friends for referrals, compare the contractor’s skills, offerings, pricing, and conduct reference checks. Settling for average workmanship and quality isn’t enough for your home, and it shouldn’t be for your business either.
So, make sure to do your due diligence, shop around, and check out at least three reputable consultants or SaaS solution vendors.
Phase 3: The SOC 2 Audit
Now the real fun begins! An independent third-party audit firm, typically a CPA or CPA firm specializing in compliance, assesses your security controls implementation. The auditor collects a sample list of evidence for the controls you’ve implemented to independently determine whether you comply.
Why can’t you do this yourself? It’s simple. You can’t fairly audit something that you’ve built yourself because you’re biased. It would be too easy to overlook any flaws. Auditors need to be independent. They can’t tell you how to set up your environment and design your controls. That would compromise their independence. But, they can make recommendations.
Similar to the guidance we provided on the readiness phase, it’s best that you do your homework when selecting an auditor. Someone who will work with you versus working off a list is important. Some certification bodies specialize in specific industries. For example, they may be fluent in the retail sector’s needs but aren’t aware of your business’s specifics. As a result, you’ll end up losing time explaining the ins and outs of your organization.
Other tidbits to keep in mind are the auditor’s accreditation, specializations, and experience, as well as their reputation. It’s vital to vet multiple vendors so, do your due diligence and spend a little time shopping around for an auditor that’s right for you.
You need to find an auditor that fits your organization’s style vs. an auditor trying to fluff and puff you to win your business.
Vendors typically charge $15,000 – $30,000 for conducting the audit. Remember the consultant who quoted $90,000 for audit readiness forms printed off the internet? They cited $70,000 to conduct an audit. Buyer beware, as the saying goes!
One of our customers could have potentially paid out $160,000 for their SOC 2 if they hadn’t compared multiple vendors’ pricing and services. We’re grateful they chose to navigate the SOC 2 process with Tugboat Logic, and we were able to save them thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours.