The Security and Operations Center (SOC) is where the cybersecurity strategy of a business is coordinated and implemented. It is where security issues are dealt with on an organizational and technical level. It will normally comprise a team of skilled cybersecurity experts who develop and implement such security policies and use the necessary technology to monitor and respond to identified network threats. The SOC is composed of the three building blocks of people, processes and technology that go hand in hand to manage and enhance the organization’s security posture. Finally, governance and compliance provide a framework for tying these building blocks together.
The following are the main benefits of SOC solutions that businesses stand to gain:
1. Timely threat reports
Because the nature of a security operations center is centralized, it enables faster reporting of threats at a single location. The challenge of a decentralized cybersecurity strategy is that there are multiple locations where a threat incident may be reported. This delays the response time because of the delay in getting the information to the responsible party. The time lost in relaying the information and initiating the response will give attackers more time to wreak havoc and cause significant compromise to the network. Which brings us to the next benefit of SOC’s…
2. Quicker and more effective response times
Timely threat reports enable quicker response times to identify threats and vulnerabilities. With enhanced threat monitoring and detection capabilities, SOC teams can respond rapidly to identified threats. In some cases, the team may even take proactive measures before a threat is even identified. The risk of network compromise and damage is significantly reduced thanks to timelier responses.
3. Improved communication & collaboration
Being in a centralized location allows SOCs to collaborate and coordinate among the members of its cybersecurity team more effectively. They can work and develop solutions together to better monitor and protect a network. Also, they are aware of the tasks and activities of other team members to avoid the duplication of effort.
An SOC team is typically well versed in communication and collaboration with the whole organization as well. The SOC team is in a unique position to educate employees, third-party contractors, clients and other stakeholders about potential threats by conducting security awareness training programs. SOC teams can also share security insights with the C-suite executive and management, business leaders, and department heads. This will enable the latter to calculate potential risks, evaluate them, and if a new policy or control should be adopted to mitigate those risks.
4. Mitigated cost of breaches, operational and capital expenditures
SOCs can prove to be more cost effective than other cybersecurity strategies. With the entire team co-located in one place, businesses will only have to contend with the cost of a single location. This would not be the case if an organization were not centralized, with several specialists scattered across different locations, with multiple facilities or rooms resulting in increased capital and operational expenditure.
SOC teams can reduce the effect of a breach and cut potential costs that breach may incur through data loss, lawsuits, and most especially damage done to the business’s reputation. During an attack, SOC teams have the capability to minimize downtime and disruption to prevent those monetary losses.
Additionally, security experts in a streamlined and centralized team can prevent multiple groups or departments from duplicating efforts by working on the same cybersecurity incidents. Another cost advantage to consider is that outsourcing tasks to managed security service providers or virtual SOCs can offload some or all of the security responsibilities to eliminate the need for a dedicated in-house SOC facility and staff.
5. Skilled security expertise
Businesses enjoy the advantage of being able to readily locate and engage the skills of skilled experts through SOCs even amidst a shortage in skilled cybersecurity specialists. SOC teams are usually composed of cybersecurity experts with a diverse set of skills, enabling team members to easily synergize their skills to develop cyber security solutions.
The team members of a security operations center often consists of a SOC manager, incident responder, security analysts among other specialized positions like security engineers, threat hunters, compliance auditors and threat hunters. Each of these has a diverse skill set which combined with those of other SOC employees, is critical in enabling them to detect, remediate, analyze and learn from threats.
Team members will also have a comprehensive knowledge of threat detection and prevention technologies, such as security information and event management (SIEM), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, behavioral threat analytics, cloud access security brokers and advanced threat detection techniques.
6. Threat monitoring & prevention
With their access to the latest threat monitoring and detection tools, SOCs allow for a more sophisticated monitoring of business networks. Consequently they are in a better position to recognize and contain threats due to increased visibility and control over security systems. These tools are critical in enabling SOCs conduct analysis and threat hunting to preempt attacks before these vulnerabilities and issues cause incidents in the first place.
7. Round-the clock continuous protection
Security operations centers run round the clock, 24/7 all year round. This continuous monitoring is vital in detecting the first signs of anomalous network activity. After all, attacks don’t follow the conventional schedule of a 9 to 5 office shift on weekdays. SOC team members monitor for potential vulnerabilities round the clock to apprehend threats at all hours – regardless if they’re in-house, hired, or virtual.
8. Regulatory compliance
SOC monitoring capabilities are fundamental to enterprise compliance of security regulations such as the General Data Protection and Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for example. These regulations require particular security monitoring functions as outlined in the above mentioned.
9. Improved business reputation
Having a security operations center is the ultimate indicator to the various stakeholders of a company that it takes data security and privacy seriously. In turn, this increases the confidence of customers and employees in sharing data with the business. Improved business reputation amongst stakeholders due to a well-run SOC can also increase recommendations from current clients as well as prospective ones.
Setting up and maintaining security operations centers is no small deal. UDT has highly skilled cybersecurity experts ready to help your business set up a SOC that’s tailor fit for your business needs.