SOC2 vs ASD Essential 8: Understanding Compliance Frameworks in Cybersecurity

The cybersecurity landscape is continuously evolving, with threats becoming more sophisticated day by day. It is crucial for businesses to ensure that their data, as well as their customer’s information, remains secure against breaches. Compliance frameworks like SOC2 and ASD Essential 8 emerge as critical tools in establishing a robust cybersecurity posture. But how do they differ, and which one should your organisation adopt? This blog post delves into the intricacies of both frameworks to help you decide.

Overview of SOC2

Service Organisation Control 2 (SOC2) is an auditing procedure developed by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), which ensures that service providers securely manage data to protect the interests of their organisations and the privacy of their clients. 

Key Components:

SOC2 is based on five “trust service principles”:

  • Security
  • Availability
  • Processing Integrity
  • Confidentiality
  • Privacy


Organisations must design and implement controls to safeguard against unauthorised access (both physical and logical). Regular monitoring and updates are required to align with the dynamic cybersecurity landscape.

Overview of ASD Essential 8

On the other side of the globe, the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) has its own set of strategies to mitigate cybersecurity incidents, known as the ASD Essential 8.

Key Components:

ASD Essential 8 focuses on essential mitigation strategies that organisations should implement as a baseline. This set includes:

  • Application control
  • Patching applications
  • Configuring Microsoft Office macro settings
  • User application hardening
  • Restricting administrative privileges
  • Patching operating systems
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Daily backup of important data


Similar to SOC2, ASD Essential 8 demands regular review and adherence to strategies that significantly mitigate the risk of a cybersecurity incident.

Comparison of SOC2 and ASD Essential 8

Comparing SOC2 and ASD Essential 8 highlights several similarities, such as the emphasis on regular patches and access control. Both frameworks serve to guide organisations in building a resilient cybersecurity posture.

The differences lie primarily in their origin and the scopes they cover; while SOC2 is broader in terms of principles, ASD Essential 8 is more prescriptive with specific mitigation strategies.

Benefits of SOC2 Compliance

  1. Reputation: SOC2 compliance attests to your strong cybersecurity practices, instilling trust in clients and partners.
  2. Risk Mitigation: Implementing SOC2’s trust principles can lead to identifying and mitigating potential risks proactively.
  3. Competitive Edge: Having SOC2 compliance can set you apart from competitors who do not meet these standards.

Benefits of ASD Essential 8 Compliance

  1. Tailored for Offense: Designed by intelligence and defence experts, ASD Essential 8 provides sharp strategies for today’s cyber threats.
  2. Cost-Effectiveness: The Essential 8 strategies are considered to be cost-effective with respect to the amount of security they provide.
  3. Flexibility: Organisations can start with the top four mitigation strategies and progressively implement additional strategies for enhanced security.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Framework

When choosing between SOC2 and ASD Essential 8, consider factors such as the nature of the data you are protecting, your organisation’s size, type, and location. Assess the regulatory requirements specific to your industry and geography.


Effective compliance frameworks are non-negotiable in the realm of cybersecurity. While SOC2 offers a broad, principles-based approach, ASD Essential 8 lays down a detailed, tactical playbook. Both have their merits, and the choice largely depends on your organisational context.

Siege Cyber can assist with assessing your compliance needs and navigating the complexities of cybersecurity frameworks. With expert guidance, choose the compliance framework that secures your digital assets and fortifies your defences against ever-growing cyber threats.


Interested in professional guidance? Contact Siege Cyber to fortify your digital defences with the most suitable cybersecurity framework for your organisation. 

Remember, cybersecurity is not just about risk management; it’s a strategic investment in your business continuity and reputation. Choose wisely, and stay secure. 

Keywords: SOC2 Compliance, ASD Essential 8, Cybersecurity Frameworks