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SOC 2 Compliance Employee Training Plan: Good Plans Go A Long Way

What is SOC 2 Training?

SOC 2 is a framework for auditing internal processes and procedures. In recent years, it has become increasingly more common and popular, especially for technology companies. SOC 2 is governed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), and regular SOC 2 compliance training has become important in the protection of sensitive data. 
One popular SOC 2 employee compliance training program is for cybersecurity awareness. This program teaches employees about the tactics employed by hackers to compromise security of client data, and teaches employees ways to avoid compromising their personal access, and that of the company. 

SOC 2 Employee Compliance Training Example

A typical SOC 2 compliance training plan will include the following elements:

What is SOC2

  • A Description of the history, purpose, and scope of SOC 2 that carries throughout the training plan, as well as an overview of SOC 2 costs.

How to plan for SOC 2

  •  Understanding the requirements, putting together a team, and creating a project timeline to become SOC 2 compliant. During this time, there will be a clear setting of requirements across teams, as well as estimated project milestones.

Overview of SOC 2 Controls and Policies

  • During this stage of the employee SOC 2 compliance training, team members get an analysis of the various controls, policies, and what mistakes to avoid when customizing policies for your existing systems.

SOC 2 Best Practices

  •  During this stage of the SOC 2 employee compliance training, employees learn how to map controls to policies, and are trained in how to assess the scope of each policy within the company’s context.

SOC 2 Implementation

  • During this stage of SOC 2 compliance training, employees learn how to go live with SOC 2 policies, how to track tasks against the project, and how to achieve SOC 2 certification

The Importance of SOC 2 Employee Training Plan Controls

How you train your employees will largely determine their effectiveness and adherence to company policies. While many practices can be common sense and their skills catered specifically to the job they were hired to perform, a training plan can go a long way to ensure that elements of your organization stay safe, secure and run as smoothly as possible. 

This control is closely tied with other controls surrounding training plans. This one in particular is a high-level, formal training plan that leadership will create at least once annually based on the organization’s needs. This process needs to be done regularly as the organization’s scope and goals will change as it grows and evolves.

How to Implement Employee Training Plan Controls for Your Audits

An employee training plan must be made annually to determine the training needs of employees required to perform job-related tasks and in order to meet the company’s business objectives. Onboarding new employees with different or specialized roles or changes in business processes can also call for an update to this training plan. In terms of maintaining a secure organization specifically, organizations will sometimes update their training plan quarterly depending on the need. This will be something that your leadership can define when creating a training plan. 

When preparing for your audit ensure that:

  1. You have a training plan in place.
    • Determine what needs to be captured for each department and what the specific training requirements are.
    • Can be at an organizational level or department-specific. No hard and fast rules here!
    • Shouldn’t be specific to technical job needs and should cover security awareness training. 
  2. Identify training needs.
    • Can be captured through performance evaluations and needs. 

Other things to consider: If your organization is small or you are not at the stage of needing an overall organization training plan. A good idea is to include this control as part of the evaluation process of your employees. As you discuss their performance and the goals for the next year, you can also ask the supervisors to discuss changes to the role as well as training needs. This will make sure that you cover the control without having to implement a whole process around it.