A Security Operation Center (SOC) is a centralized function within an organization employing people, processes, and technology to continuously monitor and improve an organization’s security posture while preventing, detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents.
A SOC acts like the hub or central command post, taking in telemetry from across an organization’s IT infrastructure, including its networks, devices, appliances, and information stores, wherever those assets reside.
The proliferation of advanced threats places a premium on collecting context from diverse sources. Essentially, the SOC is the correlation point for every event logged within the organization that is being monitored. For each of these events, the SOC must decide how they will be managed and acted upon.
SOC is to monitor, detect, investigate, and respond to cyberthreats around the clock. Security operations teams are charged with monitoring and protecting many assets, such as intellectual property, personnel data, business systems, and brand integrity. As the implementation component of an organization’s overall cybersecurity framework, security operations teams act as the central point of collaboration in coordinated efforts to monitor, assess, and defend against cyberattacks.
• Monitor security access and report suspicious activity to a higher level or team members.
• Conduct security assessments regularly to identify vulnerabilities and performing risk analysis.
• Analyze the breach to reach the root cause.
• Generate reports for IT administrators, business managers, and security leaders. These reports serve as an input to evaluate the efficacy of the security policies.
• Advise and implement necessary changes required to counter the attack or improvise security standards.
• Keep the security systems up to date and contributing to security strategies.
• Document incidents to contribute to incident response and disaster recovery plans.
• Perform internal and external security audits.
• In the case of third-party vendors, verify their security strength and collaborate with them
If a vulnerability is found or an incident is discovered, the SOC will engage with the on-site IT team to respond to the issue and investigate the root cause.
Need for SOC
Organizations with an on-board SOC can proactively fight against cyber attackers. The team can have significant impacts on business outcomes.
Here are the primary benefits of having a security operations center –
The SOC team comes into the picture as soon as any breach or incident occurs. They offer real-time services by keeping all the processes and software in one place, thus, maintaining smooth operations.
Maintain Client and Employee Trust Customers and employees trust the organizations to keep their data safe from the outside world. SOC team helps in preventing data loss, thus, maintaining brand integrity.
Maximum Awareness and Minimum Costs
It increases the ability to reduce the potential losses due to security breaches, contributing to high ROI. With the integration of the SOC team, firms can save money on recoveries from data theft.
Collaborating across departments and functions SOCs are unique in that they are a team of highly trained individuals working toward a common goal. As they proceed during cybersecurity incidents, they require other departments to work similarly to operate efficiently.
• Dedicated or Internal SOC — The enterprise sets up its own cybersecurity team within its workforce. Building an internal in-house SOC is recommended for large-sized organizations who are mature from an IT and IT security perspective. Organizations who tend to build internal SOCs have the budget to support an investment that includes 24×7 around-the-clock effort and tends to deal with lots of moving parts in and around their network infrastructure. One of the more essential advantages that building an internal SOC has includes having the most visibility across the network (internally).
• Virtual SOC — The security team does not have a dedicated facility and often works remotely. Selecting a virtual SOC is recommended for the majority of organizations who seek assistance from an outside firm to perform highly-skilled monitoring and detection duties. Some organizations may be mature in nature from an IT and IT security perspective, however budget constraints and limited expertise may hinder the ability to build a fully functional internal 24 x 7 SOC.
Shared SOC delivery
For organizations that can’t afford an in-house SOC but worry about completely outsourcing the function, there is the shared SOC option, which can deliver the best of both worlds:
The intimacy and control of local handling
The knowledge and economies of scale of an outsourced operation
The ability to draw on a supplier’s larger pool of resources to supplement local capabilities in times of stress, such as during in-house staff shortages or seasonal peaks in business activity and threats.
“The biggest problem in incident response is understanding how the business is using its servers, its data, and who has access.”
Incident Response panel at SecureWorld Chicago