SOC – what is it and why do you need it?

 In Security Blog

A security operation center (SOC) is a centralized function that deals with security issues of an organization on a technical level. A team of professionals with expertise in information technology and information security is responsible for monitoring and improving the organizations security posture while preventing, detecting, analyzing and responding to the information security incidents.

It is comprised of a dedicated team of security analysts working together to monitor and shutdown security threats depending on the company and its requirements. It may also include team members with specific skills in digital forensic analysis, cryptanalysis, malware reverse engineering, and more.

Security operations teams are charged with monitoring and protecting many assets, such as intellectual property, personnel data, business systems, and brand integrity. Consumers and employees alike want to know their information will be safe once they offer it to their company of choice. Taking strict measures to prevent data loss is one of the best ways to improve and maintain brand integrity in the long run.

Forming a SOC has become more important for organizations as security breaches are on the rise and the cost associated with data loss is often high. An effective SOC not only helps to minimize the cost of a data breach or an attack by responding to intrusions quickly, but also by constantly improving detection and prevention practices.

A SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management) system can include dozens of tools and processes to track and maintain security, such as:

  • Data correlation from network discovery (data flows, telemetry, packets, syslog, etc.)
  • Firewalls and antivirus detection
  • Cyber threat intelligence
  • Vulnerability and penetration tests
  • Website assessment
  • Database scanners
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS)
  • Intrusion prevention systems (IPS)
  • Log management systems
  • Governance and compliance systems

There are a few standard models SOCs typically fit into, from internally centralized structures to those that run remotely. Internal SOC, Internal virtual SOC, Co-managed SOC, Command SOC and Fusion SOC are few of them, but Outsourced virtual SOC is a trending and very popular solution for so many reasons. Here are few reasons why you should outsource your SOC/SIEM.

Finding and maintaining talented SIEM/SOC team is expensive.

Deploying SIEM and SOC locally requires you to hire a new employees who is 100% up to date with the security industry. Mostly, you do this because your current team doesn’t have much experience in the InfoSec area. Unfortunately, finding a single talented person to address all SIEM /SOC related issues can be a complete nightmare. Even if you opt to hire a bunch of security experts, it will be difficult to keep them in-house due to the high costs of their salaries. Although security important, most organizations have a limited budget and outsourcing the SIEM/SOC is a good bet.

Outsourcing lowers the Risk of conflict of interest between departments

Your organization’s departments know the expectations and implications of outsourced SIEM and SOC beforehand. These include the top-level management and financing departments. Therefore, it will be easy to project future requirements for the new service including budgeting.

Contrary to this, locally deployed SIEM is dynamic in nature as the department undergoes a “learning curve”. As your new security team masters the industry, their demands could choke the other departments, and this might lead to a conflict of interests between the units.

A good example is when the security team insists on purchasing new costly technology when the company is strapped for cash. This might cause a problem because failing to comply with the team’s requirements could lead to an incomplete SOC, which in turn could be comprised.

Benefit of trends and detection on other customers

Outsourced SOC takes advantage of optimized services based on trends and detection of other customers. Designing your own personal In-house SIEM requires you to re-invent the wheel and it’s an extremely hard and very expensive task to even come closer to the level which a good experienced MSSP’s are providing.

Why on earth would you want to duplicate a service that has already been created and optimized by geniuses and security geeks? Of course, this would be a sheer waste of time. Furthermore, since your local security center relies on a limited set of data, you can’t get the most when it comes to detecting intrusion

Enhancing efficiency in order to concentrate on your primary business

Your goal in a business is to get more customers and increase profitability while reducing costs at the same time. Have you ever asked yourself whether you are getting enough time to concentrate on your core business? If you haven’t, it’s time to change your investment strategies.

Engaging your local staff with SOC related tasks makes them less productive. This means they will have to dedicate a certain amount of time on security matters and leave their primary focus. This means you will be spending a lot of money to pay their salaries, but your overall business efficiency will be lower.

Why not offload that burden to a reputable MSSP? This will ensure that all your employees are tasked with duties inside the scope of your business. This will improve productivity by far and your company can even harness great talents. Remember your employees will acquire new experience when working on specific projects without distraction.

Scalability and flexibility

MSSP provides services based on features or levels. For example, a SOC may have a primary, advanced and a professional packages. In simple terms, they are doing this to cater for different levels of businesses.

For instance, your start-up company may require only a single security expert working for a few hours a day. When you outsource the service, your MSSP will pool your needs and those of others to hire a full-time team. You can later scale up and get another plan as your business grows.

This leads to flexibility as you only pay for what you require. The same analogy is used by web hosts. They offer shared hosting for start-ups, virtual private servers for middle-class companies and dedicated bare-metal servers for big companies.

Accessing more threat intelligence

MSSP has tons of threat data and the good news is that you can transform it into something actionable. For instance, if there is a new vulnerability or possible exploits on your servers, MSSP intelligence will recommend a way to patch your system. Sometimes, they may even suggest new ways to mitigate possible losses which is just what your business needs.

MSSP intelligence is more focused and leads to proper insights that are useful to your security challenges. Also, previous intelligence data collected over time is very helpful in creating a better layer to deal with a threat surface. Security threats are agile, so your SOC must be ready to stay up to date on security intelligence to continuously improve detection and defense. If your team’s resources are concentrated on other priorities, it may be wise to leverage an MSSP to manage your SOC.

Cyberon has its own SOC service named CENTRY which is designed to meet your needs regardless of size and complexity. Our solution is purely powered by open source which makes it dynamic and independent of your hardware, software or other security systems. We integrate with everything and everyone, totally seamless in your environment. Get notified proactively and reactively on potential threats by security professionals, guiding or solving the issues for you.

  1. https://www.gartner.com/en/newsroom/press-releases/2017-10-12-security-operations-centers-and-their-role-in-cybersecurity
  2. https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/Security-Operations-Center-SOC
  3. https://www.blackstratus.com/what-is-a-security-operations-center-and-why-is-it-important/
  4. https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/security-awareness/operations/what-is-soc.html
  5. https://www.alienvault.com/resource-center/ebook/building-a-soc/soc-team
  6. https://www.scarlettculture.com/blog/7-reasons-why-siem-and-soc-should-be-100-outsourced
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