A SOC provides a centralized, real-time view of your entire network, including multiple locations and thousands of endpoints. This allows the team to quickly detect, identify and prevent threats before they become a significant problem.
A SOC team includes a manager who oversees the security systems and procedures, an analyst, and an investigator (often, one person performs both roles). A SIEM or endpoint detection and response (EDR) system is often the heart of the monitoring process.
Detecting and Responding to Incidents
A SOC is the hub of an organization’s security posture. It identifies threats, assesses risks, and implements strategies that protect the organization from them. A SOC cyber security must collect data and monitor systems for anomalies and potential dangers. They also need to have 24/7 monitoring and alerting capabilities in place to be proactive about identifying threats.
One way a SOC can do this is by using a unified security operations platform that enables them to identify attacks more effectively and quickly. This allows SOC teams to avoid alert fatigue, reduce false positives, and focus on effective countermeasures.
If a threat is detected, SOC teams work to stop it from spreading, whether they do that by isolating affected endpoints or, in the case of ransomware, by deploying viable backups that will allow them to recover data without paying a ransom. They also investigate the incident by determining what happened, when, and why so that they can prevent it from happening again in the future.
SOCs are undergoing significant change to meet the demands of today’s cybersecurity landscape. This includes the integration of SOCs with other departments and increased collaboration among security professionals. However, it’s important to remember that a SOC is only beneficial if it has the resources and staffing to address an organization’s security concerns.
Detecting and Responding to Threats
A SOC acts as a central hub, taking in telemetry across the organization’s networks, devices, systems, information stores, and more. This enables the SOC team to quickly detect and respond to threats in real-time.
SOC teams isolate unusual activity on servers, databases, endpoints, and applications and take action when necessary. This may involve sandboxing suspicious data, implementing security protocols to protect vulnerable systems, or shutting down endpoints used as a network bridge. They also work with the development and IT operations teams to prevent breaches from occurring in the first place.
Prevention is always better than reaction, so the SOC should use continuous monitoring and analysis to detect new threats before they can cause damage. This may involve assessing existing attacks while working to identify emerging risks and determining an organization’s risk tolerance level.
Building a SOC takes significant investment, time, and talent. The threat landscape changes constantly, and staff members must regularly be trained to keep up. Because of this, many organizations choose to outsource some or all of their SOC functions to managed security service providers. These companies specialize in analyzing, monitoring, and responding to cybersecurity threats and can help you create and maintain a strong SOC without making significant infrastructure or workforce investments.
Keeping Up with the Latest Threats
In addition to detecting and responding to existing threats, a SOC must constantly manage emerging ones. This continual management of threats enables the SOC team to improve an organization’s security posture and reduce the risk of costly data breaches.
SOC teams must use various technologies to detect, respond to, and report cybersecurity incidents. These include security information and event management (SIEM) systems, endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools, network monitoring platforms, anti-virus software, and malware analysis tools. The SOC team also works with external cyber threat intelligence sources like news feeds, signature updates, incident reports, and vulnerability alerts to help them avoid bad actors and protect the organization.
The SOC team must continuously monitor all systems’ behavior around the clock every day of the year to ensure they capture the most severe threats. Using advanced SIEM and EDR tools that learn how to identify the expected behavior of users and the endpoints they are using, they can adjust their system settings to prevent false positives from triggering defensive actions. Keeping all activity logs in a central repository helps SOC teams to backtrack and pinpoint suspicious moves that may have led to a breach.
Keeping Up with Compliance
Whether you run a large company or a small business, it’s vital to prioritize cyber protection. If you don’t, your organization could be vulnerable to a data breach that results in loss of consumer confidence, customers leaving, and even fines and lawsuits.
A security operations center can help you develop and implement security policies and solutions while ensuring your company complies with industry and federal regulations. It can do this by conducting risk assessments, deploying security solutions, and monitoring and analyzing logs and network traffic.
Additionally, a SOC can scan networks continuously and alert teams to threats when they occur. This can help to prevent attacks and identify patterns of behavior that indicate a potential breach. It can also help to detect anomalies and improve threat response times.
However, it’s essential to remember that a security operations center can only protect your organization from cyberattacks without the proper technology. For instance, a SOC needs access to a security platform with unified detection and response capabilities. It also cross-correlates information to bolster the security fabric and reduce alert fatigue and context switching. This solution can provide a comprehensive defense against the most sophisticated threats.