If you're investing in IT to grow your business, you must also take appropriate measures to protect it. Maybe you've migrated the bulk of your business processes over to the cloud. Perhaps your staff are using software such as Tableau for business analytics or bespoke supply chain management apps. With so much infrastructure to cover, can an in-house team protect everything? Having a managed security operations center is a simple but effective way to protect your IT.
What is a security operations center?
A security operations center, or SOC, is a facility for managing an organization's cybersecurity framework. It's a centralized location where teams of experts can work together to protect an organization's data and networks.
Key functions of a SOC
Before a cybersecurity incident occurs:
- Keep an inventory of what needs protecting and the tools needed to protect these.
- Implement preventative measures for existing threats and secure vulnerabilities to prepare for upcoming ones.
- Monitor the organization’s network for abnormalities or suspicious activities.
- Log normal network activity to establish baselines that help identify abnormalities that may indicate the existence of cyberthreats.
- Audit systems to ensure that the organization is meeting compliance requirements.
During a cybersecurity incident:
- Determine the seriousness of emerging threats to be able to prioritize and respond to them accordingly.
- Act as a first responder during adverse data security events.
After a cybersecurity incident:
- Investigate the root cause of an adverse IT event.
- Restore systems and deploy backups to recover compromised or lost data.
- Refine and improve cybersecurity systems.
Typically, a SOC will have staff who are experts in cybersecurity, networking, and data analysis. They use specialized tools to monitor your entire IT environment and promptly respond to threats.
Some of these tools include the following:
- Security information and event management (SIEM) solution
- Intrusion detection systems (IDS)
These utilize tools that scan network traffic for known threats to thwart cyberattacks at the earliest possible moment. The sooner such threats are quashed, the less opportunity they have to wreak havoc on your IT systems.
- User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA)
This machine learning-powered tool learns the normal behaviors of users and devices so that it can flag unusual actions as suspicious. For instance, a regular user may rarely delete files, much less large quantities of it. If that user suddenly deletes folders containing hundreds of files each, the tool will flag this as a likely security threat.
- Digital forensics tools
The aftermath of a cyberattack involves a lot of paperwork. Often, insurance claims must be made and lawsuits filed by affected parties must be responded to. To accomplish these, the SOC team must use digital forensics tools to gather digital evidence.
This allows SOC administrators to gather, store, and analyze cybersecurity data, as well as report security-related events in real time.
Why should businesses get a managed SOC?
Building a SOC in house requires a massive IT investment, and maintaining it involves continual upgrades, which means further cash outflow down the line.
What’s more, operating an in-house SOC necessitates the hiring of cybersecurity experts with high salaries. Outsourcing a SOC is therefore more cost-efficient because you get more for less. That is, the team behind a managed SOC is likely to be larger than what most enterprises can build on their own, and more experts often means having a more diverse set of skills and ideas.
Moreover, these experts serve a wide range of clients, and their broader experience makes them more knowledgeable of how cybercriminals operate. They learn about the latest tools being used by hackers, what methods they use to infiltrate networks, and how to detect them. This means that the managed SOC team can be extremely proactive in defending against cyberattacks and preventing them from causing any damage.
Last but not least, managed SOC specialists continuously update their knowledge by studying the latest threat intelligence, vulnerability alerts, and news. In contrast, smaller internal teams are usually unable to keep up with the latest cybersecurity developments, so a managed SOC provides better overall service.
Building your own SOC means taking your chances as you try to learn along the way. Why do this when you can rely on Athens Micro, a SOC-certified IT services provider since 2014? Count on us to build and operate the best cyber defenses for your business. Leave us a message or call us toll-free at 1-866-262-4461 to learn more.