Learn how security operations centers (SOCs) function and why so many firms rely on SOCs for incident detection.

A Security Operations Center Definition

Ongoing monitoring and analysis of an organization’s security posture is the responsibility of a team at a security operations center (SOC). Security incidents can be detected, analyzed, and responded to by a SOC team that employs both cutting-edge software solutions and well-established procedures. Managers that oversee security operations often work in security operations centers, which are staffed with security analysts and engineers. Security operations centers (SOCs) work closely with organizations’ incident response teams to promptly handle security concerns that are discovered.

Monitoring and analyzing network, server, end-point, database, application, and other system activities to look for an aberrant activity that could be symptomatic of a security incident or compromise is the primary function of security operations centers. The SOC is responsible for identifying, analyzing, defending, investigating, and reporting any potential security incidents.

Understanding the Operation of a SOC

When it comes to the day-to-day running of the company’s security operations, the SOC team isn’t concerned with defining or implementing security policies or architectures. Cybersecurity occurrences are tracked, investigated, responded to, reported on, and prevented by the security analysts that staff the security operations center. Some SOCs can also perform advanced forensics, cryptanalysis, and malware reverse engineering as part of their incident analysis capabilities.

An organization’s SOC should begin with a plan that involves input and support from top-level management, as well as business-specific goals from other divisions. Once a strategy has been devised, the necessary infrastructure must be put in place. In a typical SOC setup, Bit4Id Chief Information Security Officer Pierluigi Paganini says, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), intrusion detection systems (IDS), probes, and a SIEM system are all standard components. Data flows, telemetry, packet capture, Syslog, and other techniques should be in place so that SOC employees can correlate and evaluate data activity. For the purpose of protecting sensitive data, the security operations center keeps a close eye on networks and endpoints for vulnerabilities.

The Advantages of a Security Operations Center

The most important benefit of establishing a security operations center is the ability to notice and respond to security incidents more quickly. In order to detect and respond to security issues in a timely manner, SOC teams analyze this activity throughout an organization’s networks, endpoints, and servers around the clock. A SOC’s ability to monitor for incidents and intrusions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year provides enterprises a leg up in the fight against all kinds of threats. According to Verizon’s annual report on data breaches, establishing a security operations center helps firms minimize the gap between attackers’ time to compromise and the time it takes for them to be detected.

Security Operations Center (SOC) roles

Both the security technologies you utilize (e.g., software) and the SOC team members make up the framework of your security operations.

The following people make up a SOC team:

  • As the group’s manager, you are capable of taking on any function while also keeping an eye on the group’s security measures and processes as a whole.
  • Analyst: e Analysts compile and analyze data, either from a period of time (the preceding quarter, for example) or after a breach.
  • In the event of a security breach, the investigator works closely with the responder to determine what happened and why (typically, the same individual serves in both capacities).
  • In the event of a security breach, the responder must perform a variety of duties. In an emergency, having someone who understands these needs is a lifesaver.
  • A compliance mandate is a part of all current and future legislation. Maintaining these standards and ensuring that your organization adheres to them is the responsibility of this position.

Please note that depending on the scale of a company, a single person may be responsible for many jobs. Depending on the situation, the “team” could be down to only one or two persons.

Security Operations Center Best Practices

To “evaluate and mitigate threats directly rather than rely on a script,” many security leaders are putting greater emphasis on the human factor than the technological one. Operatives at the SOC constantly monitor known and existing threats while also attempting to detect new ones. Both the firm and the customer’s needs are met by these solutions, which also work within their risk tolerances. Security solutions like firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) can help prevent minor assaults, but they can’t stop major ones.

Keep up with the latest threat intelligence and use it to improve the SOC’s detection and defense procedures to achieve the best possible results. The SOC, according to the InfoSec Institute, collects data from within the company and correlates it with data from a variety of outside sources to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities within the system. Using this external intelligence, the SOC is able to stay on top of the latest cyber dangers. To stay on top of threats, SOC workers must continuously feed threat intelligence into SOC monitoring systems, and the SOC itself must have processes in place to distinguish between true threats and non-threats.

Security operations centers (SOCs) that are effective and efficient use security automation. Organizations can better protect themselves from data breaches and cyberattacks by combining highly-skilled security analysts with security automation. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) that offer SOC services are increasingly popular with enterprises that lack in-house resources.

Quick Recap

Having a SOC is a good idea for most businesses. An MSSP or a SOC-as-a-service solution can fill the gap for businesses where running their own SOC does not match the economics of scale. SOCs, whether in-house or outsourced, are held accountable for the safety of the data they process and store. Despite the fact that cyberattacks are a constant threat, a SOC can assist mitigate their effects.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about how a SOC can help you achieve your IT audit obligations.