Adopting AWS Security Controls to Achieve SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 compliance for Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a widely recognized cybersecurity standard for data privacy. In this guide, we'll show you how to perform compliance checks to maintain AWS SOC 2 standards.

Patrick Londa
Jul 21, 2023
 min read
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In light of the increase in demand to protect and secure data, organizations need to ensure their technology infrastructure adheres to the highest security standards. 

One such standard is Systems and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) compliance for AWS (Amazon Web Services). It aims to assess how an organization’s technology infrastructure securely stores, processes, and transfers data. But even as the importance of compliance grows, many organizations using AWS are still unclear about what SOC 2 compliance entails and how it applies to them.

This guide will explain SOC 2 compliance for AWS, why it’s important, and how organizations can ensure their systems are compliant.

Understanding SOC 2 Compliance

SOC 2 is an auditing standard established by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). It requires organizations to prove their systems, processes, and controls are secure and protect customers’ data. The standard is grounded on five trust services criteria: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. So, organizations must ensure their systems are built with these criteria in mind to maintain compliance.

Here is a quick breakdown of each of the five criteria required to comply with SOC 2:


This highlights the protection of data stored in the cloud from unauthorized access and confirms secure data transmission between systems. Physical and logical security controls are implemented, such as firewalls, authentication systems, encryption techniques, and access control mechanisms.


Organizations must ensure their systems are available to customers at all times. A robust infrastructure needs to be developed to handle high traffic volumes and prevent outages. Redundancy and failover mechanisms should also be in place to make sure data is always available, especially in an emergency.

Processing Integrity

Processing integrity focuses on the accuracy and completeness of data stored in an organization’s systems. This includes established checks and balances to check that data is valid. Another focus area is the deployment of mechanisms to monitor data integrity. Lastly, this category checks that processes are up-to-date throughout the entire system.


Confidentiality confirms that customer data remains confidential and is only accessed by authorized personnel. Secure authentication systems should be adopted to protect data from unauthorized access. The use of encryption techniques is encouraged to protect data in transit.


The privacy of customer data must always be protected. Organizations should look to develop policies and procedures to ensure customer data is only collected, used, and disclosed per the organization’s privacy policy.

The primary reason organizations must ensure their systems comply with SOC 2 standards is due to the nature of the data stored on their systems. It’s the responsibility of organizations to protect customer data and ensure it remains secure. Failure to do so could result in hefty fines or other penalties. 

Additionally, organizations can maintain customer trust with proof that their systems are secure and their data is safe. SOC 2 compliance helps ensure this trust and serves as a stamp of approval that data is stored securely.

How SOC 2 Compliance Applies to AWS Environments

AWS provides a set of reports (AWS SOC) that demonstrate how AWS enables key compliance controls and objectives. These reports provide organizations with a reference list to help them ensure their systems are compliant and prepare for audits. 

There is a AWS SOC 2 report that focuses specifically on the trust services criteria we mentioned earlier. It provides organizations with a comprehensive overview of the security controls in AWS and how you can use them to adhere to SOC 2 standards.

While AWS offers a SOC 2 report to its cloud customers with a list of controls, organizations are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their AWS environment actually complies with the trust services criteria. For organizations to attain SOC 2 compliance, they need to undergo an independent third-party SOC 2 audit and receive their own version of the SOC 2 report.

How Can Organizations Achieve SOC 2 Compliance for AWS?

There are various steps organizations can take to ensure their systems are compliant with AWS SOC 2 standards:

1. Identify the Required Security Controls

The first step is to prepare a comprehensive security program that outlines all the security controls and processes needed to achieve SOC 2 compliance. Some of these will be binary configuration requirements and others may require you to adapt your existing policies and procedures.

The AWS SOC 2 report, which you can access via a free tool called AWS Artifact, can provide you with that list of security controls.  

2. Find Compliance Gaps with a SOC 2 Audit

Now that you have a list of controls, you need to assess which ones you are adhering to already and where your gaps are. If you try to do this manually, it is a very time-consuming project. We’ll share a faster way to approach this using Blink in the next section.

As most companies want to ensure they are prepared to pass before bringing in a 3rd-party auditor, running internal SOC 2 audits is an important organizational competency to develop.

3. Set Up Enforcement Systems to Maintain SOC 2 Controls

If your organization has met SOC 2 compliance, they must now maintain it. The best way to ensure active compliance is by having systems in place to enforce the security controls and detect compliance gaps as they arise. Handling security policy enforcement with automated workflows is critical to reducing risk and responding quickly.

Automating SOC 2 Compliance Checks for AWS with Blink

By running one automation in Blink, you can check your AWS account against the SOC 2 standards by generating the relevant reports so you can identify compliance gaps.

Blink Automation: SOC 2 Compliance Report for AWS
Blink Automation: SOC 2 Compliance Report for AWS

When this automation runs, it executes the following steps:

  1. Generates reports for the 9 subcategories of the SOC Common Criteria (CC-series), as well as the CCA1.0 - Additional Criterial for Availability Report and CCC1.0 - Additional Criterial for Confidentiality Report.
  2. Generates reports for the 8 subcategories of the SOC Privacy Criteria. 
  3. Sends the report results to a specified email address.

You can schedule this automation to run on a weekly-basis to identify whether you are maintaining SOC 2 compliance or if you have issues you need to address.

With Blink, you can easily check your environments to see if they comply with security best practices, like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, PCI compliance, or ISO 27001.

The Blink library includes over 7K automations that you can run today to automate common workflows and standardize on best practices.

Get started with Blink today to see how easy automation can be.

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