What is SOC (Security Operations Center)

Benefits, Challenges, and Components of SOC - Security Operations Centers for Organizations

SOC Definition: The ultimate security goal of an organization is to protect its confidential information and data assets from internal and external threats. It's where SOC (Security Operations Center) plays an important role.

Whether running a small organization or a big business, you need a security operations center. Today, I plan to share everything about SOC, from its benefits to components to challenges. Let's continue reading to know how this center is essential.

What is SOC (Security Operations Center)?

SOC stands for Security Operations Center. In your organization's security department, you create a centralized location. Security analyst continuously monitors and respond to security incidents and alerts in this center.

A team of cyber security experts in different areas, such as application security, threat intelligence, and network security, manage this center. The purpose is to monitor threats and respond to them on time.

What is SOC vs EDR

Why Do Organizations Need a SOC (Security Operations Center)?

Why should an organization set up a separate full-fledged SOC? Here is why?

Almost 4 out of 10 businesses (39%) reported cybersecurity breaches in 2021

What is SOC (Security Operations Center) - It is essential to stay protected in a business' cyber security approach. Instead of responding to a threat, monitoring the system and not letting cyber criminals invade the network is vital.

With the mean of SOC, an organization can:

  • Improve their security posture
  • Prevent attack before it boosts the cost of damage
  • Respond to threats on-time
  • Decrease risk of breach

The GDPR requires organizations to have an incident response plan to report data breaches within 72 hours. A SOC can help organizations meet this requirement.

Today, organizations use payment cards, and SOC helps them comply with industry regulations. For example, you require a Security Operations Center (SOC) team if your business accepts payment through a credit card. It's the first requirement of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

What Are SOC (Security Operations Center) Benefits?

Before you spend money on setting up this security center, you want to know how SOC (Security Operations Center) will help you.

Zero-day attacks and threats are becoming quite common, and your organization must have a full-fledged security system to deal with these threats. Thankfully, SOC can boost the ability of your organization to monitor, detect, analyze, and respond to zero-day attacks and similar security incidents.

Your organization can prevent future attacks by containing the damage, analyzing attack points, and implementing better risk management strategies.

Reduced risk of breach

Expert keeps an eye on all the activities inside your business system and activities. It becomes easy for them to identify threats and respond to them on time. Your organization can decrease the risk of data breaches through SOC (Security Operations Center).

Improved incident response

Another plus point of SOC is improvement in response time. You create a centralized security system where you get incident and threat alerts. Experts get notified on time, and they can respond to threats as quickly as they can.

Improved SOC compliance

As I told you before, your organization needs to comply with industry regulations such as GDPR and PCI DSS, and thereby, setting up a centralized security center becomes a requisite.

Increased efficiency

Your SOC (Security Operations Center) security system can automate repetitive tasks in this system. For example, they can perform an auto analysis of malware. This automation boosts security team efficiency.

Improved visibility

SOC is a centralized security center. It lets you dig deep into your security posture. Experts can quickly analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your network.

What Are the Challenges of Implementing a SOC (Security Operations Center)?

You'll encounter some challenges when you plan to create a SOC for your organization. Here are four common roadblocks you must overcome before enjoying complete visibility into your security posture.

Cost

To create this SOC (Security Operations Center), you need to designate a specific place in your organization. And it's essential to purchase expensive security tools and types of equipment. And not just that, you need highly trained staff that manage this whole center 24/7. So, the cost is the first challenge you need to tackle.

Time

You can wait to create SOC, but the whole setup is time-consuming. And, it's vital to spend time training your security staff.

Change management

You'll have to make changes in your security structure. Existing employees will only be comfortable with the new hi-tech system.

Resources

Before considering SOC security, you need proper funding and staff to run this SOC center. With adequate resources, it's easier to manage the whole center effectively.

What Are the Components of a SOC (Security Operations Center)?

A Security Operation center (SOC) comprises four components; let's look closely at them.

People

People refer to the SOC team, which includes managers, engineers, and analysts. You will hire staff and train them. The people component also has the procedure you follow to manage employee access and bring new employees on board.

Process

It is undoubtedly the most critical component. It comprises all those processes and systems you put in place to investigate, analyze, monitor, detect, and respond to threats. You must add some procedures for dealing with false positives and quick responses to external and internal threats.

Technology

Your SOC requires hi-tech tools through which they can perform their cyber security duties. These tools include but are not limited to SIEM tools, antivirus programs, EDR, XDR, MDR, intrusion detections system, etc.

Facilities

As I told you before, you need to designate a specific office place for setting up these SOC (Security Operations Center) centers. The facilities also include logical features that help the SOC team run the day-to-day operations.

Wrap up - Xcitium's SOC (Security Operations Center)

Every second counts in a cyber attack- Organizations need to be proactive in their approach to dealing with these attacks. Setting up SOC and having a well-trained SOC team to prevent threats is vital.

Zero Day attacks are on the rise, so it is more important than ever to have a robust cyber security strategy in place. Xcitium's SOC (Security Operations Center) can help you protect your organization from these sophisticated threats with our 24/7 managed cyber security services. Contact us today to learn more about SOC and how we can help you keep your data safe.

FAQ section

A Security Operations Centre (SOC) is a centralized unit responsible for real-time monitoring, detection, analysis, and response to cybersecurity threats and incidents. The SOC is staffed by highly experienced security professionals such as analysts, engineers, and other specialists who work together to protect an organization's information assets.

Security Operations Center's (SOC) essential functions include:

  • Monitor and analyze network traffic, systems, and applications for potential security concerns.
  • Detection and reaction to incidents, including threat containment and mitigation
  • Threat intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination
  • Vulnerability management and timely patching
  • Making security awareness and training available to staff
  • Compliance monitoring and reporting

Security Operations Centres (SOCs) are often divided into three types:

Internal SOC: Operated and controlled by the organization's personnel.

Outsourced SOC: A third-party service provider, often known as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP), operates an outsourced SOC.

Hybrid SOC: A combination of in-house and outsourced SOC that uses internal and external resources.

A Security Operations Centre (SOC) must have the following components:

  • Competent security analysts, engineers, and incident responders are needed.
  • Policies and procedures for incident management, threat intelligence, and other security activities that are well-structured, documented, and evaluated regularly.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems, Intrusion Detection/Prevention Systems (IDS/IPS), Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), and threat intelligence platforms are examples of advanced security tools and platforms.

A SOC has several advantages, including:

  • improved detection and response capabilities,
  • increased visibility into the security position of the organization
  • Security incidents have a lower impact and last less time.
  • Observance of regulatory regulations and industry norms
  • Intellectual property and essential information assets are protected.
  • Employee security awareness and training have been improved.

A Security Operations Centre (SOC) typically employs a varied collection of security specialists, including:

Security analysts are in charge of tracking and analyzing security events and warnings.

Incident Responders specialize in managing and responding to security issues.

Threat Intelligence Analysts gather, analyze, and disseminate threat intelligence to inform SOC operations.

Security Engineers are responsible for maintaining and optimizing the SOC's security tools and infrastructure.

SOC Manager oversees the whole SOC, ensuring efficient operations and effective team collaboration.

A Security Operations Centre (SOC) is primarily responsible for cybersecurity, identifying and responding to security issues. In contrast, a Network Operations Centre (NOC) oversees the network, server, and other IT system availability, performance, and dependability. While a SOC and a NOC are concerned with monitoring and maintaining an organization's IT infrastructure, their goals differ. In some organizations, the SOC and NOC may collaborate closely or be combined into a single body.

If your company handles sensitive data, works in a highly regulated field, or is vulnerable to cyber threats, building a Security Operations Centre (SOC) is beneficial. The scale and complexity of your IT infrastructure, the value of your information assets, and the possible impact of a security breach on your organization's reputation, operations, and financial well-being are all factors to consider.

The costs of establishing and operating a Security Operations Centre (SOC) can vary significantly based on considerations such as:

  • The SOC model (in-house, outsourced, or hybrid)
  • The size and complexity of your organization's information technology infrastructure
  • The necessary degree of skill and personnel
  • The techniques and technology used for security
  • Outsourcing some or all of the SOC functions to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) may be a more cost-effective solution for smaller organizations or those with limited resources. When considering whether to construct a SOC, it is critical to do a detailed cost-benefit analysis considering the initial investment and ongoing operational expenditures.

Measuring the success of a Security Operations Centre (SOC) can be difficult, but metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) can help. The following are some popular KPIs and hands used to measure SOC performance:

Mean Time to Detect (MTTD): The average time it takes for a security incident to be detected by the SOC.

MTTR: The average time it takes for the SOC to respond to and contain a security event (MTTR).

  • False Positive Rate: The percentage of security alerts the SOC mistakenly classifies as threats.
  • Incident Response Rate: The percentage of security incidents that the SOC reacts to and resolved satisfactorily.
  • Compliance Metrics: The extent to which the SOC complies with relevant regulatory requirements and industry standards.
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