A lot of fast-growing companies face the ISO 27001 vs SOC 2 debate when deciding which type of compliance to pursue. And it’s a tough decision to make — partly because the two frameworks are so similar.

Both frameworks:

  • Prove to clients that you can be trusted with their data
  • Cover foundational security principles like data integrity, availability, and confidentiality
  • Require an independent audit by a certified third party
  • Need significant time, effort, and money to achieve

Are you better off pursuing ISO 27001 certification or a SOC 2 report? Which holds more weight with your customers? Is one more difficult to get than the other?

Use this SOC 2 vs ISO 27001 comparison to understand the key differences between the two frameworks.


Is ISO 27001 the same as SOC 1®?

No, ISO 27001 is an international standard for security and compliance created jointly by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. This framework outlines the requirements to establish, maintain, and continually improve an information security management system (ISMS). SOC 1 is part of a suite of services created and maintained by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). This organizational controls audit aims to analyze a service organization’s controls relevant to its users’ financial statements. 

Does ISO 27001 cover SOC 2?

ISO 27001 does overlap with SOC 2 significantly. In an analysis of Secureframe-authored common controls, we found that organizations that were compliant with SOC 2 are more than 90% compliant with ISO 27001.

What is SOC 2 Type 2 vs ISO?

The major difference is that SOC 2 Type 2 evaluates the suitability of the design and operating effectiveness of an organization's security controls over an extended period of time, whereas ISO 27001 determines whether an organization has built an information security management system (ISMS) capable of protecting sensitive data.