SOC 2 Bridge Letters

Are you curious about SOC 2 bridge letters? If so, you’re in the right place. We’ll dive deep and provide you with an overview of what a SOC 2 bridge letter is, who issues them, and how long they last. A bridge letter is an important document in the world of system and organization controls (SOC) reporting, and understanding its purpose can help you make the most of the SOC 2 audit process. 

What is a SOC 2 bridge letter? 

A SOC 2 report bridge letter is a document that outlines the steps an organization has taken to ensure its compliance with the security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy principles of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Trust Service Principles. 

This letter is typically requested by customers or prospects who are evaluating an organization’s IT infrastructure for risk management purposes. It bridges any gaps between existing policies and procedures in place at an organization and those outlined by the AICPA’s Trust Service Principles.

What’s included in a SOC 2 bridge letter?

A SOC 2 bridge letter includes a description of the organization’s internal control environment, any material changes to its systems or processes since an initial report was issued, and details about how those changes have been addressed. 

It also outlines the scope of the services provided to clients and any other relevant information that may be necessary for understanding the security posture of the organization.

An outline of a SOC 2 bridge letter

  • Overview of the company and its services
  • Description of relevant SOC 2 controls and risk management processes 
  • Summary of findings from a recent audit or review conducted by an independent third party 
  • Explanation of any remediation activities taken to address identified gaps in compliance with SOC 2 requirements 
  • Assurance that the company is committed to complying with applicable security standards and regulations, such as SOC 2 
  • Statement from the organization’s executive leadership regarding their commitment to data security and privacy protection for customers

Who issues a bridge letter?

A bridge letter is typically issued by an accredited third-party auditor, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), to show that the organization’s controls and practices comply with the AICPA Trust Services Principles and Criteria, the key component of a SOC 2 report.

A summary of a bridge letter’s benefits:

  • Provides assurance that the company has met all necessary requirements and can continue its operation without interruption. 
  • Acts as an interim report when an organization does not have the time or resources to obtain a full SOC 2 report
  • Provides a succinct summary of a system’s compliance with the AICPA Trust Services Principles and Criteria, to be used to demonstrate internal control effectiveness and customer confidence. 

Having a SOC 2 bridge letter helps organizations maintain their customer trust and protect their sensitive data by providing assurance that the organization is actively monitoring their security practices. The report also provides peace of mind for customers, as it demonstrates that their data is being kept safe and secure.

Duration of a SOC 2 report bridge letter

A SOC 2 report bridge letter typically takes between 1-2 weeks to complete. The timeline is based on the complexity of the review, the number of documents needed, and how quickly they are provided.

How long is the bridge letter valid for and why do you need it?

A SOC 2 bridge letter report is typically valid for 3 months from the date of issuance.  A SOC 2 bridge letter is to be used only as an interim document, providing customers with an initial level of assurance about an organization’s compliance with applicable security requirements until the organization’s full SOC 2 audit report can be issued.

Having a SOC 2 bridge report is really important for any organization that wants to demonstrate its commitment to data security. It shows the intent and that you are compliant, meaning that the organization has taken the necessary steps to protect confidential data, and is in line with the trust service principles established by AICPA. 

Overall, it is a valuable tool for organizations who are in the process of completing their SOC 2 audits. It ensures customers their data is secure and protected in accordance with security standards, effectively gaining credibility and trust. Not to mention, having a SOC 2 bridge report letter offers organizations peace of mind and customer confidence.