Security Operations Centers are critical to any organization because they take care of the growing online threats. Let us examine the need for having a SOC and the challenges it faces. This article also looks at the benefits of SOC as a Service and its future trends.
With more enterprisesgoing online, there is an increased amount of risk involved in business activities. Online fraud is on the increase, with a significant number of businesses losing a great deal of money as well as reputation. Hence, it becomes essential for every business entity to invest in setting up a security operations center to identify, analyze, and monitor security issues.
Need of Having a SOC
Online transactions are the order of the day in the current digital era. Hence, it becomes imperative for business organizations to be vigilant. Otherwise, they can end up compromising crucial customer data with cybercriminals who are always on the prowl.
Cybercrime is a specialized crime that requires unique ways of tackling. The security and operations team have to look at various aspects while dealing with such crimes. Any shortcoming on the part of the security team can result in both losses of money and reputation to the business. Therefore, all business organizations should invest in a robust security operations center.
How Does a SOC Work?
The beauty of the SOC is that it does not focus on developing a security strategy or design any security architecture. The SOC concentrates on the ongoing, operational component of enterprise information security.
The SOC comprises of a team of security analysts who are responsible for analyzing, responding, reporting, and preventing cybersecurity incidents. Some of the additional responsibilities of a SOC include Cryptanalysis, forensic analysis, and malware reverse engineering.
Establishing a SOC requires the business to define a clear strategy that considers business-specific goals from different departments of the business. It also requires support from the executives of the organization. On determining the policy, the next step is the setting up of the infrastructure.
A SOC infrastructure includes breach detection solutions, IPS/IDS, firewalls, and SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) system. The technology helps the SOC to collect data using different methods like telemetry, Syslog, etc. for analysis by the SOC staff. The SOC also considers aspects like protecting sensitive data and compliance with Government and industry regulations.
SOC and Related Terminologies
A SOC works in a structured manner to collect and analyze different kinds of data to ensure a secure working environment. Some of the common technical aspects associated with a SOC are:
- SIEM – Security Information and Event Management
SIEM is a software solution that business organizations use to aggregate and analyze activity from various resources across your business’s IT infrastructure. Using SIEM, the SOC team can collect security data from servers, domain controllers, network devices, and so on.
- SOC as a Service
SOC as a Service is a software-based service used for managing and monitoring your logs, clouds, networks, devices, and assets used by internal IT security teams. SOC as a Service empowers businesses with the knowledge and skills required to combat cybersecurity threats.
- Security Automation
We are in an age of automation, where human intervention is becoming less and less desirable. SOCs also believe in the process of reducing human intervention as much as possible. Security automation is,by large, the process of automatic handling of security operation tasks such as scanning for vulnerabilities without human intervention.
- Incident Response
Dealing with a cyber-attack is a massive challenge. Handling the aftermath of a security breach is a monumental task. SOC looks at these aspects of security operations, as well. This aspect of the responsibility of a SOC is known as Incident Response. It refers to the organized approach taken by the SOC in bringing the situation under controlpost cyberattack. The objective of the incident response is to handle the situation in such a way that it limits damage while reducing the costs and the recovery time.
Challenges that a SOC Faces
Every security operations center faces these three prominent challenges:
- Allocation of resources – The primary challenge for a SOC is the availability of knowledgeable and qualified people to deal with the situation.
- Information Overload – While collecting data from various sources, the SOC gets voluminous amounts of data. The trick lies in isolating the essential data from the overload of information available with the SOC.
- Data Integrity and Intelligence Management – With the available amount of data, it becomes a challenge to develop and adopt standard naming conventions and indicator formats. Building up a predictive and actionable defense is essential as opposed to choosing knee-jerk reactions.
Benefits of a SOC
There are many benefits of having a SOC at hand. The major ones are listed below.
- Continuous monitoring:The most significant advantage of a SOC is that it provides continuous monitoring of activities. A dedicated 24×7 monitoring, 365 days a year, can help in reducing the instances of cyber threats considerably.
- Improved response time: As a result of continuous monitoring, the occurrence of any threat could be immediately noted, and actions taken the next moment. This can significantly reduce the extent of damages and costs.
- Organized knowledge: Since the SOC is fully dedicated to security issues all of the time, specialized knowledge is accumulated, which can be organized and utilized for analysis, research, and future use.
- Centralization and Cost-benefit: Since the dedicated security experts are centered in one location, the Finance only needs to take care of one cost center instead of spending on experts scattered over various locations, thus reducing wastage and easing budgeting.
- Statutory Compliance: As SOC consists of experts in the subject, they can easily take care of all legal regulations and compliance requirements related to the field of activity. Hence, there are no other hassles when it comes to the matter of statutes.
SOC is integral to the efficient functioning of any business entity. With the industry progressing at such a tremendous pace, the future trends of a SOC lie in outsourcing and automation. It can also include M&A activity in cybersecurity, thereby creating virtual platforms having combined capabilities. We can conclude by stating that business organizations should invest in a sound SOC or SOC as a Service to minimize threats to valuable information systems and tackle vulnerabilities.