WHAT IS A SOC
A Security Operation Center (SOC) is a central command hub, providing round-the-clock security functions. Employing people, processes, and technology to continuously monitor and improve an organization’s security posture while preventing, detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents in real-time. Keeping assets, such as intellectual property, personnel data, business systems, and brand integrity safe 24 x 7 x 365.
WHAT WOULD A SOC DO?
In the SOC, internet traffic, networks, desktops, servers, endpoint devices, databases, applications, and other systems are continuously examined for signs of security irregularities. The team collects raw security-relevant data from firewalls, threat intel, intrusion prevention and detection systems (IPSes/IDSes), probes, and security information and event management (SIEM) systems. Alerts are created to immediately communicate to team members if any of the data is abnormal or displays indicators of compromise (IOCs).
The SOC team may work with your MSP team or internal IT departments but are typically self-contained with employees that have high-level IT and cybersecurity skills, dedicated to working with all security all day. Most SOCs operate around the clock, with employees working in shifts to continuously log activity and mitigate threats. The basic responsibilities of a SOC team include the following:
- Asset discovery and management: Acquiring a high awareness of all tools, software, hardware, and technologies used within the organization. Ensuring all assets are working properly and regularly patched and updated.
- Preparation and preventative maintenance: the SOC implements preventative measures and regularly maintains and updates existing systems; updating firewall policies; patching vulnerabilities; and whitelisting, blacklisting, and securing applications. Team members stay informed on the newest security innovations, the latest trends in cybercrime and the development of new threats on the horizon.
- Proactive behavioral monitoring: Analyzing all systems 24/7/365. Placing equal weight on reactive and proactive measures so any irregularity in activity is instantly detected and educating the data collection systems on which activities are suspicious and can be used to adjust information that might register as false positives.
- Activity log management: Recorded to backtrack or pinpoint previous actions that may have resulted in a breach. All communications and activities across an organization are logged by the SOC.
- Alert ranking and management: Ensures the most severe or urgent alerts are handled first. Teams will regularly rank cybersecurity threats in terms of potential damage.
- Compliance Support and management: Many of the SOC’s processes are guided by established best practices, but some are governed by compliance requirements. The SOC is responsible for regularly auditing their systems to ensure compliance with such regulations, which may be issued by their organization, by their industry, or by governing bodies. Examples of these regulations include GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. The SOC team members assist the company and help to oversee, educate, and enforce compliance and follow regulatory and organizational standards when carrying out business plans.
- Incident Response Development: Teams will help you create an incident response plan (IRP) to defend systems against new and old attacks and adjust the plan as necessary when new information is obtained to serve as ready guidance in a worst-case scenario.
- Threat Response + Incident recovery: As soon as an incident is confirmed, the SOC acts as the first responder, performing actions like shutting down or isolating endpoints, terminating harmful processes (or preventing them from executing), and deleting files, and more. The goal is to respond to the extent necessary while having as small an impact on business continuity as possible. Allows the organization to recover any compromised data quickly.
- Root Cause Investigation In the aftermath of an incident, the SOC is responsible for figuring out exactly what happened when, how and why.
WHY USE A SOC
Two of the most frequent obstacles that obstruct a company’s cybersecurity success are a lack of skilled staff, and the lack of threat monitoring, detection, and response. Organizations need proactive, effective, and efficient security coordination because the threats attacking their environments are relentless. Digital transformation initiatives have expanded the deployment of cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, while the increase of remote work and bring your own device (BYOD) policies has prompted the connection of remote and mobile devices to the corporate network making most enterprise networks more complex and complicated leaving an organization more vulnerable to cyber threats than ever before.
Organizations that choose to supplement their security program with a SOC, can quickly tap into a highly skilled pool of security experts and gain immediate visibility and insight across major attack vectors, consolidating the whole landscape into one single pane of glass. Think of a SOC as an extension to your existing MSP’s IT team, expanding your capabilities around the clock and providing an ideal solution for organizations by offering ongoing monitoring, security experts, and proactive security, minimizing the chances of a potential data breach by staying a step ahead of attackers and detecting responding to intrusions as they happen, saving a company millions of dollars in legal costs, reputational damage, customer churn, and business disruption.
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