The Importance of Security Operations Centers to Contemporary Organizations
The Importance Of Security Operations Centers To Contemporary Organizations

As organizations grow more dependent on IT solutions, they have also become potential subjects of cyber threats. These threats vary in terms of the risk they portend for their targets; the more lethal ones could inflict costly damage on their victims.

Businesses, public sector concerns, and other institutions have responded by taking proactive measures to prevent these threats from being actualized. In some cases, the creation of a Security Operations Center sits at the core of their strategy.

What Is a Security Operations Center?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a unit that’s built to tackle the security issues of an organization. It consists of the personnel, technologies, and processes that are required to maintain the organization’s security status.

The personnel at a Security Operations Center include members of the IT team who are adequately skilled at identifying and dealing with threats. The SOC’s processes involve monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and responding to threats.

Technologies used at a SOC are built to scour networks, servers, endpoints, websites, and databases for signs that such systems have been compromised. They also include tools that help with reporting such incidents.

In other words, the SOC serves as a point at which events logged throughout an institution are monitored. This setup works through the data and determines whether there are threats, and how to defend the organization against such threats where they exist.

The Functions of a Security Operations Center

As has already been hinted, a Security Operations Center needs to have visibility into the various aspects of the assets it is supposed to protect. It should also track the networked interaction between these assets, including software, endpoints, and servers.

Also part of the SOC’s mandate is preparation for possible attacks. To do this successfully, teams within the SOC will have to keep tabs on the latest developments in cybersecurity, such as emerging threats and best practices for defending systems against them. Vulnerabilities should be patched, firewalls updated, and applications secured.

Monitoring systems with tools such as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is standard practice for SOCs. The EDR continuously collects and analyzes activity data from endpoints throughout the organization, and provides automated responses to perceived irregularities within these data that may signal an imminent attack. SIEM similarly gives SOC personnel insights into activities in their IT environment.  

In addition to these, the Security Operations Center also ranks security alerts, discerns genuine risks from false positives, responds to threats (by shutting down or isolating compromised endpoints, etc.), and carries out recovery and remediation following an attack.

The Structure of a Security Operations Center

Given its various duties, the SOC is ideally staffed with multiple IT security professionals, each playing a specific role within the setup.

A manager, who leads the team, should coordinate and oversee the processes ongoing within the SOC. They should also be able to fill any of the roles there. An analyst collects and analyzes past data or data generated after a breach has occurred.

Another role, the investigator, involves assessing a breach and answering questions about how and why the event occurred. They may also take on the role of the incidence responder, who takes action to minimize the impact of breaches. 

One person could play multiple roles; it all depends on how big the organization affected is.

The structure of the SOC should be documented, with each role defined, and questions around responsibility and collaboration answered. Security processes that ought to be defined include monitoring, alerting, escalation, investigation, incident logging, compliance monitoring, and reporting.

Benefits of a Security Operations Center

An immediately perceivable benefit of the SOC is that knowledge is centralized. Personnel at the SOC gain a bird’s eye view of their organization’s networks and are better able to spot vulnerabilities. This setup lets them share vital information so that their work is more coordinated and ultimately effective. 

This approach to security may reduce running costs as well. With the cybersecurity team and infrastructure in one location, resources are concentrated in one place at a given time. Because they are in a single location, organizations don’t have to spend more to maintain various offices across different locations.

Centralization may also help improve collaboration between members of the IT security team. They can leverage each other’s expertise and experience, and develop solutions that help their parent company in many ways. 

With greater team collaboration comes improved response times. The use of advanced tools for threat detection and monitoring strengthens this benefit even more. With proactive network and endpoint monitoring tools, it’s even possible to protect against cyber threats before they materialize.

Finally, there’s the round-the-clock protection that SOC affords. Because attacks aren’t limited to working hours during weekdays, SOCs are built to monitor for potential vulnerabilities every hour of every day.

An Option Worth Considering: Managed Security Operations Center

Not all businesses are able to set up a functional SOC. The expertise, experience, tools, and space required to run it may constitute a drain on resources, besides forcing the business to take on additional tasks to its core operations.

Managed SOCs are a solution to this problem. Cybersecurity firms often offer this as a service to their client organizations. This means that businesses don’t need to have a large department dealing with security issues. Signing up with a reputable cybersecurity firm will allow them to have a SOC with that firm, and focus on their core operations.

Layer3 can help you manage your company’s IT security. We do this by leveraging the expertise and experience of our cybersecurity experts, and our knowledge of the present and emerging risks that enterprises face in today’s world. These, combined with our advanced threat detection and security intelligence tools and systems, will take care of the things you would typically assign to an in-house SOC. This guarantees cost savings for your organization and lets you devote more time and resources to your principal operations.

If you would like to learn more about our IT security service offerings, you can get in touch with us here



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