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SOC 2 Cloud Security Checklist

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Professionally drawn Comprehensive and Robust SOC 2 Cloud Security Checklist to find out gaps and non conformances, is prepared by a committee of Industry experts, Principal Auditors and Lead Instructors of SOC 2, under the aegis of SOC 2 Compliance Institute. The Checklist has 499 Compliance audit Questionnaires, covering Cloud Consumer, and Cloud Service Provider.

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SOC 2 Audit Checklist for Cloud Security | SOC 2 Cloud Security Checklist


SOC 2 Audit Checklist questionnaires to determine the non-conformance of Cloud Security in accordance with SOC 2 Compliance, contains downloadable Excel File with  499 Checklist questions covering the requirements of Cloud Security.

The SOC 2 Cloud Security Checklist Compliance questionnaires are mapped to the critical security concerns. This would enable to pin-point non-compliance/deviations as well as focused suitable remediation, trend analysis from one audit to another audit over a period of time, besides Cloud Security maturity status.

The Salient attributes of the Checklist are as under:-

File format – Excel
Content Contribution – Committee of SOC 2 Industry Experts, Principal Instructors, and Lead Auditors.
Checklist Approved By– SOC 2 Compliance Institute
Language – English
File Delivery method – Immediate and Automatic. Through the secure link in the email provided at the time of check-out
Link Validity – 01 Day from the time of receiving the link through email
Download Limit – 03
File Size – 156 Kilobyte(KB)

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This Cloud Computing Security checklist is useful for-

  1. Customer Organization Planning for SOC 2 Certification.
  2.  Information Security compliance and Certification requirements for Vendor organizations like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, FaaS, that may be operating as Private Cloud, Public Cloud, or Hybrid Cloud service providers.
  3. Security Compliance Audits of Holistic Cloud Service Providers (CSP)
  4. Gap Assessments by Customers before engaging Cloud Services
  5.  Auditing and Selecting IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) Organization as Vendor.
  6. Auditing and Selecting PaaS (Platform as a Service) Organization as Vendor.
  7. Auditing and Selecting SaaS (Software as a Service) Organization as Vendor.
  8. Auditing and Selecting FaaS (Function as a Service) Organization as Vendor.
  9. Enhancing longevity of the businesses of customers and CSPs.
  10. Organizations keen for robust, resilient, and value-added Information Security Management System in Cloud Computing Security.
  11. Organizations keen to protect themselves against issues from the Cloud Security requirement of ISMS.
  12. Organizations who want to survive client audits.
  13. Information Security Professionals.
  14. Internal auditors of SOC 2 Management System
  15. External Auditors of SOC 2 Management System
  16. Auditors of the client organizations who are tasked to assess the ISMS capability of their Service Providers, Vendors, and contractors.
  17. Students of Information Security Management System
  18. Job Interview preparation
  19.  Information Security Consultants.
  • The SOC 2 Cloud Security Checklist is prepared by Expert Panel of SOC 2 Principal Auditors & Lead Instructors of Information Security Management System having aggregated panel team experience of over 328 years, under the aegis of SOC 2 Compliance Institute.
  • The checklist is validated by the Head of the expert committee and approved by SOC 2 Compliance Institute.

The SOC 2 Audit checklist on Requirements of Cloud Security in accordance with Trust Services Principles, and COSO Criteria follows the cardinals of: -

  1. Risk-based thinking (RBT),
  2. Process approach, and
  3. PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) methodology.

The expert panel of SOC 2 auditors and Instructors have conducted hundreds of audits and Training on. Besides, there is a continuous calibration of the Lead Auditors, and InfoSec experts w.r.t Cloud Security requirements, interpretation, and audit experiences.

  • Securely save the original checklist file, and use the copy of the file as your working document during preparation/conduct of the Cloud Security Audit.
  • Information Security assessments probe multithreaded Investigation audit trails. Cloud Security Checklist has hundreds of investigative questions. Invariably, the organization's  processes are at various levels of ISMS maturity, therefore, use checklist investigation Questionnaires' quantum apportioned to the current status of threats emerging from risk exposure.

The Checklist contains an investigation audit trails Questionnaires on various aspects of cloud services' infra, resilience, redundancies, capacities, scale, technology, obsolescence & retention period, asset management, access control, architecture,  network, QRT, ERT, Incident organization, hardening, Governance, SLAs, maintenance, physical-environmental-climatic security, BCP-DR, Certifications & Standards, help desk TATs, Policies, rules and SoPs enforcement, migration agility, Vendor security, including Risk assessment and risk treatment with deep investigation probes on dozens of dozens security challenges including dependencies etc..so on and so forth. In total there are 499 Information security compliance question. 

Information Security is backbone of a Cloud. All Processes and functions of Cloud Management System must be carried out with highest degree of Information Systems controls. It is therefore important that Cloud Security management is done in the most diligent manner otherwise Organizations would cease to exit due to barrage of InfoSec threats/risks its systems and processes are exposed to.

The most important objective while carrying out assessment of numerous niche areas of the Cloud Security, the auditor must ascertain that what is the “degree of compliance” of information Security Controls to run its Cloud Systems, Processes, Infrastructure, Operations, DBMS, Big data,  Data security and privacy, rollbacks, change management, environment, maintenance, reliability, technology, etc to name a few niches? 

In order to perform Value-Added SOC 2 Cloud Security Audit, the auditor must set out a large canvas with help of the following extremely deep pointers. Only step-by-step, systematic planning of audit Questions followed by extensive audit-trail would help the auditor cover all areas of Information Security assessment. Otherwise, it would be professional Hara-kiri (Japanese term for Ceremonial Suicide).

  • What engineering based security architecture solutions are considered by CSP based on its current requirement, and future ramp-ups, including multitude of interfaces, add-ons, and plug-ins.
  • How Information Security processes running like a bloodline across the CSP Management system are ensuring that Customer information at rest, information under processed, and information in transit remain “confidential” in accordance with the information value and information exposure risk value?
  • How CSP information System processes are ensuring to preserve “Integrity” of Customer information at rest, information getting processed, and information in transit?
  • How CSP Information System processes are ensuring that information at rest, information getting processed, and information in transit remains “available” to the right person, at the right time, and right place throughout its life cycle?
  • How the Cloud Security processes are carried out on the basis of RBT?
  • What information Security controls are in place triggered due to RBT?
  • What PDCA rigors are followed for the deployed “Information Security Controls” life Cycle management?
  1. Cloud Security audits are investigative audits carried out to confirm the level of compliances.
  2. Value added Cloud audit cannot be performed effectively without meticulous planning, and preparation.
  3. There is an important adage that “we never plan to fail, but invariably we fail to plan”. Ignorance is the germinating ground for Overconfidence. An ignorant child trying to catch fire gets burnt.
  4. Cloud Security Checklist is an important working document of an auditor. It contains all Cloud Security performance, and Cloud security compliance questions against which the auditee must demonstrate evidences of compliance.
  5. The auditor needs to keep referring to this working document throughout the audit to ensure that assessment is taking place in a focused planned manner, and no vital area is missed out in the investigation audit.
  6. Cloud Security audit checklist improves the efficiency of the audit including time management. This checklist serves as an aide-memoire that is equally useful for auditor or auditee,
  7. It is extremely important to prepare and plan for a Cloud Security audit. The checklist to perform Cloud audit is essential component of audit planning and preparation. There are numerous niches with dozens and dozens processes, and sub processes to be covered during the assessment, and time is the biggest constraint for the auditor. The time-pressure viz urgency to cover niche verticals inadvertently or otherwise, makes an auditor to skip processes, sub-processes, critical elements thus resulting into erroneous audit outputs. For example, a fully body health check-up has a defined cycle time, if performed hurriedly, without planning, without preparation, with an urgency to complete the check-up "somehow-anyhow" would definitely produce erroneous results even though factual status of body organs and systems would be otherwise.
  8. It takes plenty of years, and costly lessons learnt to arrive at a decent level of understanding of the InfoSec subject. Therefore, it is highly advantageous to have a well-prepared detailed Cloud Security checklist. A meticulously prepared comprehensive Professional audit checklist has all the compliance questions to be covered by the auditor seamlessly. An auditor without Cloud Security audit Checklist would be like a soldier without fighting equipment.
  1. If a business is worth doing, then it is worth doing it in a secured manner. Hence, there can not be any compromise. Without a Comprehensive professionally drawn Cloud security checklist by your side, there is the likelihood that compromise may take place. This compromise is extremely costly for Organizations and Professionals.
  2. Cloud Security audit is though very logical but requires a systematic detailed investigative approach. For a newbie entity (organization and professional) there are proverbial many a slip between cup and lips in the realm of Cloud security management' thorough understanding.
  3. Even with several years of experience by an entity's (organization and professional) side, Cloud security assessments (read investigations) go astray due to several reasons including engineered distractions, bias, time constraint, (un)comfortable niches, auditee guided audit (investigation), lack of optimum exposure and experience etc.
  4. For Each vulnerability/Risk at the organization level, site level, department level, process, sub-process level, device & component level, tools/application level, people level, technology platform level, delivered products/services level, it is humanly possible to miss out a large number of unidentified Cloud vulnerabilities/risk due to various reasons including ignorance, rush, vested disinterest, insider threat, connivance between the various working groups, tendency to promote tools for shear commercial interests rather than a holistic security solution, and so on the list is very long. Comprehensive and detailed Cloud Security Checklist Questions enables "carpet bombing" of all Information Security requirements to detect what "exactly" is the compliance and non-compliance status.
  5. What is the biggest risk for a CSP organization? The biggest vulnerability is the "Gang of unidentified risks", lurking in the dark, ready to pounce when the victim organization least expects it. The risks in this Gang, work sympathetically, and in synergy to inflict maximum damage, including corporate Mortality, huge penalties by the customers/clients and regulatory bodies, flight away of business, loss of reputation and brand value, loss of Jobs, Bankruptcy, etc. This becomes very much possible without a professionally drawn comprehensive and robust Cloud Security Audit Checklist by your side.
  6. Of course, Cloud security Audit becomes a robust, immensely focused, efficient, time saver exercise with sharp Checklist Questions, because a comprehensive professionally drawn checklist is built over a period of time pooled by panel of SMEs having decades of experience. The checklists have significant number of dynamic questions leading to further deep audit investigation trail.

With cloud-based services, subsystems and subsystem components fall outside the purview of the direct control of a cloud Consumer’s organization. Since the adoption of a cloud-based solution will not inherently provide for the similar level of security and compliance with the mandates in the traditional IT model, ability to perform a comprehensive risk assessment is key to building reliability & trust in the cloud-based system as the starting step in authorizing its operation. Characteristics of a cloud Ecosystem that need to be taken into consideration are

• Broad networks access, • Decreased visibility and control by cloud Consumers, • Dynamic system boundaries and comingled roles and responsibilities between the cloud Consumer and Cloud Service Provider, • Multi-tenancy, • Data residency, • Measured service, and • Significant increase in scale (on demand), dynamics (elasticity, cost optimization), and complexity (automation, virtualization). These attributes often present a cloud Consumer with significant security risks that are different from those in traditional information technology solutions. In order To preserve the security level of their information system and data in a cloud-based solution, cloud Consumers must have the ability to identify all cloud-specific, risk-adjusted security and privacy controls in advance. Cloud Consumers must also request from the cloud Service Providers and Brokers, through contractual means and SLAs, that all security and privacy components are identified and that their controls are fully and accurately implemented.

Adopting a cloud solution for information system requires from cloud Consumers to diligently identify their security requirement, assess each prospective service provider’s security and privacy controls, negotiate SLA and Service Agreements and build trust based on the Cloud security audit results with the cloud Provider before authorizing the service. A thorough risk analysis coupled with secure cloud Ecosystem orchestration in this Cloud security Checklist  are intended to assist the cloud Consumer in managing risk and making informed decisions in adopting cloud services, followed by periodical cloud security audits.

Cloud bursting is called as configuration which is set up between public cloud and private cloud to address the peaks in IT demands with an advantage of economical saving ( a user pays for the resource if there is demand for these resources) and, if any organization on private cloud consumes 100% of the existing resources then the overflow traffic is directed to the public cloud to avoid interruption of cloud service.

Various Scenarios of the sudden increase in the workload

  1. Sales Campaign
  2. Month-end loads in Financial Applications
  3. The Jump in the users count for E-commerce companies during festival time and offer period.
  4. Increased data traffic level due to mergers and acquisition Features
  5. Increased load on Results Announcement day, for education web portal

Security Challenges

  • Bandwidth issue restricts the movement of data/ applications and delays the start.
  • Not all the applications can be moved to the public cloud due to the Confidentiality of the business information.
  • Regulation and Compliance, Security issues in having the data in the public cloud.
  • Inability to deal with latency issues for some applications.
  • Performance issues in some cases

Hear What they say (Testimonials)

Nathalie Mertens
Nathalie Mertens

It is a huge reservoir of Compliance Checklist Questionnaires on ISMS Framework. This is my Go-To tool. Truly a Professional Checklist!

Oliver Anderson

26 days before of ISO 27001 Certification Audit, we performed gap assessment with this Monster Compliance checklist on the ISMS framework deployed. We detected 37 major gaps, and we thought our ISMS is untouchable.

Daisuke Sugiyama
Daisuke Sugiyama

Being CTO of the large Japanese MNC Conglomerate, this checklist enables me to ensure much much superior internal audits of 65 locations worldwide, as well as large base of critical suppliers.

Leslie Chatwal
SOC Head

This Checklist is an Eye Opener, rather mind opener in the realm of Information Security Management System Framework

Cathal O'Connor
Cathal O'Connor
Founder, Information Security Risk Advisory Firm

All the 16 niche area checklist are awesome to perform validation check on the compliance of the requirements of ISMS foundation as per ISO 27001. I am getting amazing feedback from my clients after completion of client audits by my team.

Daniel Archambeau
Daniel Archambeau
Senior Manager, IT

What they teach in Lead Auditor  and Lead Implementer Courses is like Kindergarten compared to the learning I received from this monster Compliance Checklist on ISO 27001 Framework. These Guys are ISMS wizards!

Adelinda M
Adelinda M

Excellent work! Definitely unparalleled in the entire world.  This Checklist is what I have been looking for a long time.

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