What is a SOC 2 system description?

A SOC 2 System Description is a narrative description of a service organization's systems, policies, and procedures related to the Trust Services Criteria of security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy. The System Description is an essential component of a SOC 2 audit and is included in the SOC 2 report.

The purpose of the SOC 2 System Description is to provide information about the service organization's systems and controls to the auditor and the users of the SOC 2 report. The description should be detailed and comprehensive, covering all aspects of the service organization's systems and controls that are relevant to the Trust Services Criteria.

The SOC 2 System Description typically includes information about the service organization's:

  • Business operations
  • Information systems
  • Control environment
  • Risk assessment process
  • Monitoring activities
  • Incident response procedures
  • Security management practices
  • Data retention and disposal policies
  • Privacy policies and practices
  • Availability management practices
  • Processing integrity controls

The System Description should be tailored to the specific needs of the organization and should reflect the unique aspects of its systems and controls. It should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects the service organization's current systems and controls.