Both SOC II Compliance and ISO 27001 provide criteria and frameworks to establish information security management systems. Both are globally recognized. There are slight differences to each and enterprises must consider certain factors about their own product/services, industry, and regulatory governance when looking at either SOC II Compliance or ISO 27001 Certification.

Soc II Compliance Certification

SOC II Compliance, as provided by the American Institute of CPAs AICPA, operates on five defined principles and controls which are Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy. There are Type 1 and Type 2 reports which can play an important roles in the oversight of an enterprise, vendor management programs, internal governance, and risk management processes, and regulatory oversight. You can find more information about SOC II Compliance on this website here.

ISO 27001 Certification

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 provides specific requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an organization’s security management system within the context of that organization and its particular operations. Their requirements include the assessment and treatment of information security risks customized to the unique needs of that organization. Due to this need, the requirements provided by ISO/IEC 27001:2013 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations so that they may customize those requirements to their practices/industry.

Soc II Certification vs ISO 27001 Certification

SOC II provides a North American worldview with governance from AICPA which provides FPA Firm Attest Examination Opinion certification. ISO 27001 has an International worldview with ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) governance with ISO Accredited Registrar Certification. SOC II is applicable to an organization’s systems and its purposeI is to assist service organization management in customer reports that it has met established security criteria which ensures against unauthorized access and cover a point in time or period in time. ISO 27001 helps organizations establish and certify their Information Security Management System (ISMS) which meets specified requirements and thus is able to be certified as best practices which covers a point in time.. The SOC II structure is Principles and Criteria with Good Practice while ISO 27001 is Information Security framework with Best Practice. Many best use cases for SOC II is to measure Service Organization against static security principles and criteria. ISO 27001 is best used to establish, implement, maintain, and improve an ISMS. There are third-party CAPA/CA Firms worldwide that provide certification for SOC II. There are many consultants for ISO 27001 though free certifiers. The Nature of an Audit or Certification Testing both rely on design effectiveness with SOC II Type 2 also adding in operating effectiveness into the equation. Those going through the process will find SOC II reports will contain an auditor’s opinion, the manager’s assertion with a description of controls, user control considerations, tests of controls, and the results. Those going for ISO 27001 will have a single page certification. The difficulty to achieve SOC II compliance may be seen with Moderate Difficulty with ISO 27001 Certification achieved with Higher Difficulty.

ISACA Comparison Chart

Below is a chart created by ISACA which shows a comparison between ISO 27001 and SOC II Type 2:



Companies must continue to evaluate and revaluate their risk mitigation strategies and also consider what methods to adopt to align with their current technologies and today’s threat landscape. An organization’s data governance and privacy programs/policies use align with the company’s goals as the company matures. Security and compliance must remain top of mind today with an eye to the future.