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      Information Security

      Security Operations Center: What Is It & Why Do You Need It?

      Sep 06, 2023

      6 minute read

      Keeping in mind the increased rate of cybercrime, it is essential to appoint a robust team that can provide a set of security guidelines and help you assess your existing policies.

      And Security Operations Center (SOC) helps enhance and ensure the well-being and operational safety of an organization.

      The SOC framework is a designated center where all the potential security loopholes on a business network, servers, and databases can be identified and mitigated.

      Here is a blog post that explores how SOC as a special cybersecurity team can play a vital role in protecting your organization.

      SOC as a special cybersecurity team

      How Does a Security Operations Center Work?

      1. Assets Awareness

      A Security Operations Center (SOC) needs to be well-versed with all the tools and technologies being used within the network. Understanding the hardware and software in the organization helps them detect threats at an early stage.

      2. Behavioral Monitoring

      SOC focuses on proactive measures to detect malicious activities before any irregularities occur.

      3. Managing Logs and Responses

      The members at a Security Operations Center can track previous actions that could have led to a confirmed breach. Therefore, a SOC always keeps track of all the communication and activity logs.

      4. Alert Severity Ranking

      SOC members rank threat alerts in order of severity to handle the most severe ones first.

      5. Defense Development

      SOC is responsible for constant surveillance of all inside operations to prevent security breaches. Teams can build an incident response plan (IRP) to defend their organization against attacks.

      6. Incident Recovery

      Reconfiguring, updating, and backing up systems are part of the incident recovery process to retrieve any compromised data.

      7. Compliance Management

      SOC team members ensure that all regulatory compliance and organizational standards are followed while formulating business plans.

      Key Roles and Responsibilities in a SOC Team

      Here are a few key roles and responsibilities that make an undefeated SOC team –

      1. SOC Manager

      They are the leaders of their organization with major responsibilities of hiring/firing, budgeting, etc. They report directly to the chief information security officer (CISO).

      2. Compliance Auditor

      They monitor and ensure everyone is following security protocols. They also play a vital role in the standardization of SOC processes.

      3. Incident Responder

      They are the ones responsible for addressing the alerts. They rank the threats based on severity and coordinate with the concerned enterprise to start recovery.

      4. SOC Analyst

      They proactively monitor business networks, review prior incidents, and investigate their root cause.

      5. Forensic Investigator

      They are specialists who analyze attacks by preserving digital evidence.

      Benefits of Security Operations Center-as-a-service (SOCaaS)

      1. Cost-Effectiveness

      Building an in-house Security Operations Center (SOC) can be expensive because it requires significant investments in infrastructure, tools, and personnel. Implementing SOCaaS eliminates these costs and provides a cost-effective subscription-based model. This allows organizations to access top-notch cybersecurity expertise and technology at an economical cost.

      2. Expert Opinion

      SOCaaS providers are staffed with experienced cybersecurity professionals who deeply understand the evolving threat landscape. Partnering with a SOCaaS provider can help you leverage such specialized skills and stay ahead of sophisticated cybersecurity threats.

      3. 24/7 Monitoring and Support

      The round-the-clock monitoring and support provided by SOCaaS providers help promptly identify cybersecurity incidents. This continuous vigilance is central to early threat detection and minimizing the potential impact of attacks.

      4. Advanced Security Technologies

      SOCaaS providers invest in state-of-the-art security technologies, AI-driven threat detection, machine learning, behavioral analytics, and advanced SIEM platforms. By leveraging these cutting-edge tools, a SOC analyst can quickly identify and respond to emerging threats.

      5. Scalability and Flexibility

      Organizations often face fluctuations in their security needs. Establishing a Security Operations Center in your organization can help you provide scalable and flexible cybersecurity solutions. This also allows organizations to scale their security operations as their business needs evolve easily.

      6. Rapid Deployment

      Building an in-house SOC can be time-consuming and may require recruiting and training security professionals. SOCaaS solutions, on the other hand, are usually ready for faster deployment and help organizations strengthen their cybersecurity capabilities swiftly.

      7. Regulatory Compliance

      SOCaaS providers are well-versed in compliance requirements and can help organizations meet the necessary security standards and regulations. This is particularly beneficial for industries with strict data protection and privacy regulations.

      8. Focus on Core Business Objectives

      By outsourcing their SOC responsibilities, organizations can focus on their core business operations and eliminate the burden of managing an in-house cybersecurity team.

      9. Threat Intelligence Sharing

      Since the SOC team works with multiple clients, they can gather threat intelligence reports from various sources. Such collective knowledge benefits customers and helps organizations leverage the insights to formulate a strategic plan against emerging threats.

      10. Incident Response Expertise

      The Security Operations Center team excels at creating incident response plans and outlining well-defined procedures to handle cybersecurity incidents efficiently. When organizations use SOCaaS, they can leverage the expertise of an experienced SOC team to reduce incident recovery time and minimize potential damages.

      Types of Security Operations Center Models

      1. Internal SOC

      The IT and security professionals within an organization fall under this model. Team members of this model are dedicated to central cybersecurity monitoring.

      2. Internal Virtual SOC

      The team under this model is responsible for taking reactive measures as soon as it receives security alerts.

      3. Co-Managed SOC

      This is a team of semi-dedicated individuals who work together in an organization to sustain security operations with a security service provider, managed by a third party.

      4. Command/Global SOC

      The team under this model coordinates with the groups of other SOC models sending them additional insights.

      5. Fusion SOC

      This model involves multiple security-focused facilities. It supervises the efforts of traditional IT and operational technology teams.

      6. Outsourced Virtual SOC

      This SOC model type operates remotely and acts as an independent third-party service provider.

      Tools and Technologies Used in a SOC

      1. Firewalls

      Firewalls are essential for network security as they monitor and control incoming and outgoing traffic based on predetermined security rules.

      2. Ticketing Tools

      Ticketing tools help prioritize and assign tasks, and ensure timely resolution of incidents. SOC teams use these tools to efficiently manage and track security incidents.

      3. Threat Intelligence Platforms

      Threat intelligence platforms collect, analyze, and share information about potential threats and vulnerabilities. SOC teams can utilize these platforms to stay updated on the latest threat landscape and make informed decisions.

      4. Network Detection and Response (NDR)

      NDR tools monitor network traffic and analyze them to detect suspicious or malicious activities. Since these tools are designed on advanced analytics and machine learning algorithms, SOC teams can use them to detect and respond to threats in real-time.

      5. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

      SIEM solutions collect and analyze security event data from network devices, servers, and applications. They provide real-time visibility into security events, thus, enabling SOC teams to quickly identify and respond to potential threats.

      6. Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)

      SOAR platforms automate and orchestrate security processes. They can also be integrated with various efficiency-enhancing security tools and technologies. This allows SOC teams to streamline incident response and threat-hunting activities.

      Best Practices to Follow at the Security Operations Center

      1. Broaden the Scope

      SOCs need to look at a wider scope with cloud-based systems. With every business getting digitized, all sensitive operations are exposed to greater vulnerability. Therefore, organizations should visualize and monitor new processes. It’ll not only help them analyze how the cloud infrastructure interacts but also enable them to locate potential vulnerabilities.

      2. Categorizing Critical Data

      An increase in the number of events across networks will require security teams to gather all relevant data and organize it. This will help in ranking an incident according to its severity.

      3. Efficient Analysis

      Retrieving lost data is one thing but analyzing it with advanced capabilities goes miles ahead to keep it secure. An organization needs to have skilled people to do the job and formulate an effective action plan.

      4. Implementing SOAR

      Organizations should also implement security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) processes within the cybersecurity sector. Automated tasks will lessen the human effort and fill in leakages that might occur due to manual testing.

      Wrapping Up

      The ever-evolving cyber threat landscape demands proactive and robust security measures to ensure uninterrupted business operations.

      Thus, establishing Security Operations Center (SOC) is no longer just an option but a necessity for businesses. Moreover, with the rapid advancements in technology and the growing sophistication of cyber threats, the need for a SOC will only become more prominent in the future.

      Want to Learn About Implementing & Maintaining a SOC Team? Talk to Us!

      Grazitti Interactive has a team of security professionals that can help you devise proactive strategies to stay ahead of the curve and be cyber-safe. Drop us a line at [email protected] if you’d like to know more about our cybersecurity services and we’ll take it from there.

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