In the ever-evolving landscape of digital commerce and data management, businesses face increasing pressure to ensure the security and privacy of their customers’ sensitive information. In this digital age, where data breaches and cyber threats loom large, maintaining trust and credibility with customers is paramount. One essential tool in this arsenal of trust-building measures is SOC 2 compliance. 

What is SOC 2 compliance? 

SOC 2 compliance, or Service Organization Control 2 compliance, is a set of standards designed to guide businesses in securely managing data to protect the interests and privacy of their clients. It’s not just an attestation; it’s a testament to a company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. 

Organizations that specialise in SOC 2 audits can check whether the business is SOC 2 compliant by auditing and preparing reports for the same. 

What is a SOC 2 audit report? 

A SOC 2 Audit report contains details of the evaluation of the service organization’s internal controls, policies, and procedures related to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Service Criteria.  

This report assures the effectiveness of the service organization’s controls in the context to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. It aids the client’s decision-making in selecting a service organization to work in collaboration. 

How many types of SOC 2 audit reports are there? 

SOC 2 audits constitute two types of audit reporting, namely SOC 2 Type 1 and SOC 2 Type 2. Type 1 covers the suitability of design controls and their effectiveness, while Type 2 covers a detailed description with evaluation and evidence of its operating effectiveness. 

A SOC 2 audit report consists of 8 essential sections based on the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). They are as follows:  

  1. An Independent Auditor’s report summarizes the auditor’s opinion on how effective the organization’s controls are when mapped with the TSC in scope.  
  2. A Management Assertion which is a written assertion by the management of an organization to the auditor describing their systems and operations that will help them achieve their business goals.  
  3. A Detailed Description of Controls which provides details like disclosures, an overview of operations, and infrastructure which highlights whether controls are in place for a secure business operation.  
  4. The Details of Control Environment, which provides details about the control environment, risk assessment, information and communication systems, and monitoring of activities.  
  5. A Detailed Description of Systems that provides details of all the critical systems of an organization that supports the delivery of products, solutions, or services to its customers.  
  6. Tests of Controls and Results that will test the effectiveness of an organization’s control systems and how it delivers its products and services to the customers. It will contain information on:  

       – Control Objectives related to the applicable TSC.  

       – Controls in place to meet the organization’s objectives.  

       – An Auditor’s Test to see if the software and hardware systems are compliant.  

    7. Optional Information that provides details about the Incident Report System, Business Continuity Program, time taken to recover from a data breach, and more.  

  8. A Bridge Letter, also known as a Gap Letter, is issued by the organization to the customer between the expiry of the previous year’s SOC report and the release of a new one. This letter is an assurance to the customer that there are no problems with the organization’s compliance position. 

All these sections cover Security, Availability, Processing Integrity, Confidentiality, and Privacy controls. It also works as evidence and provides assurance to clients, management, and user entities about the suitability and effectiveness of the Service Organization’s Controls. 

What are the criteria for the SOC 2 audit report? 

The audit report follows the SOC 2 criteria designed to assess the effectiveness of controls related to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a service organization’s systems as stated in the Trust Services Criteria (TSC) established by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).  

How long does it take to complete an SOC 2 audit report? 

It takes 8-12 weeks on an average to complete a SOC2 Audit with reporting. But depending on the size of the business, products and services, and requirements it can take up to 12 months.

How much does an SOC 2 audit cost? 

It usually depends on several factors including the size and complexity of your organization, the scope of the audit, the chosen audit firm, and the level of readiness of your organization’s existing controls and processes. 

What is the validity of an SOC 2 audit report? 

A SOC2 audit report is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. It must be renewed annually, or after significant changes are introduced that may impact systems and control in an environment. 


Businesses may wonder whether the SOC 2 compliance and its audit process is worth their time and cost, but this as an investment that offers advantages like trust with customers and partners, strong resilience to cyber threats and operational risks, provides advantages over its competitors and enhances its brand value as it prioritizes data security, privacy, and regulatory compliance. All these are key factors to position itself for long-term success in the digital age.