The cyber threat landscape is changing quickly, thus quick monitoring and action are needed to defend against future intrusions. The potential cost and harm to the organization from a cybersecurity problem increase the longer it goes unremedied. Let’s tackle SOC and its functions and challenges.

Security Operations Center (SOC)

A group of IT security experts known as a security operations center (SOC) monitors, detects, analyzes, and investigates cyber threats on behalf of the enterprise. For indications of a cyber security event, networks, servers, computers, endpoint devices, operating systems, applications, and databases are regularly inspected. The SOC team evaluates feeds, creates rules, pinpoints exceptions, improves replies, and continuously scans for new vulnerabilities.

Since technology systems in modern organizations operate continuously, SOCs typically work shifts around the clock to ensure a quick response to any new threats. SOC teams may cooperate with other divisions and staff members or work with knowledgeable outside IT security vendors.

SOC’s Advantages

A security operations center’s primary benefit is improving security issue detection through ongoing analysis and constant activity monitoring. SOC teams guarantee prompt detection and reaction to security problems by continuously monitoring this activity across an organization’s endpoints, servers, networks, and databases. No matter what time of day, who the assault is coming from, or what kind of attack it is, organizations rely on the SOC to safeguard them from security incidents and breaches.

SOC’s Function

  1. Maintaining a list of the resources that are available

The SOC is in charge of two categories of assets: procedures, gadgets, and software that need to be secured, as well as defensive instruments that can be used to do so.

  • SOC teams are unable to protect data and devices that are hidden from view. There will be gaps in the network security posture that attackers may find and exploit
  • How the SOC protects—To maximize the flexibility and effectiveness of SOC procedures, SOC teams must also be proficient in the use of all cybersecurity tools that are currently available.
  1. Preparation and Preventative Maintenance

Even the most prepared and nimble response mechanism falls short compared to preventing problems from arising in the first place. The SOC employs two different sorts of preemptive actions to stop cyberattacks before they occur:

  • Preparation: Team members must keep abreast of the most recent advancements in cybersecurity, cybercrime patterns, and the emergence of cutting-edge threats. This study can help build disaster recovery strategies that will direct the organization in an emergency and provide guidance for future cybersecurity measures.
  • Preventative maintenance entails all procedures that can make it more difficult for cyberattacks to be successful, such as patching security holes, updating firewall settings, creating whitelists and blacklists, and hardening IT systems.
  1. Constant Monitoring

The SOC employs technologies to continuously scan the network and alert any suspicious activity or anomaly. The SOC receives alerts of new threats via the network’s continuous monitoring, enabling the SOC to counter them or stop attacks in their early stages.

  1. Prioritization and Management of Alerts

The SOC must carefully review each alarm sent by monitoring systems, eliminate any false positives, and determine the gravity of any potential threats.

  1. Threat Response

The SOC team acts as a first responder as soon as an event is discovered, doing tasks including isolating or shutting down compromised endpoints, halting malicious operations, eradicating malware, and more. The goal is to lessen the threat with as little impact on the organization’s continuity as possible.

  1. Restoration and Cleanup

An SOC supervises the actions performed after an attack, making sure the company efficiently reduces the threat and gets in touch with those who are impacted. SOC teams need to do more than just view logs and send out alarms.

  1. Management of Logs

All network communications and actions across the whole enterprise should be gathered, maintained, and periodically reviewed by the SOC. IT and security experts can utilize this data for forensics and remediation after an incident, as well as to establish a baseline for typical network behavior and reveal dangers

  1. Root Cause Analysis

The SOC must determine precisely what happened, why, how, and when after an occurrence.

  1. Process Improvement for Security

The SOC must always make changes because cybercriminals update their tools and techniques to keep one step ahead of security. Conducting post-mortem investigations of incidents and determining what the SOC team could have done better are two ways to enhance the security process.

  1. Compliance Management

Organizations that practice compliance management safeguard themselves by adhering to security guidelines and external security standards.

SOC’s Team Roles

The SOC is made up of knowledgeable engineers, security analysts, and managers that make sure everything runs without a hitch. Engineers and analysts are allocated to a hierarchical level based on their expertise and talents in many SOCs to deal with security issues. Here is a typical team structure:

Level 1 – Security Analyst : Normally, the first responders to an occurrence are security analysts. They are the first responders securing against threats and examining cyberattacks. They must recognize threats, examine them, and act quickly.

Level 2 – Senior Security Analyst: When Level 1 analysts identify significant threats or widespread security incidents, senior analysts are activated. Senior analysts pore over intelligence reports, study the affected systems, and determine the nature of the assault.

Level 3 – Security Manager: Security managers are highly skilled security analysts who actively scan the network of the company for vulnerabilities. To identify and evaluate flaws and create recommendations for strengthening the overall security posture, they employ cutting-edge threat detection tools.

Level 4 – Chief Information Security Officer (SICO): The CISO defines and directs the company’s security operations. They are the expert on all aspects of the organization’s cyber security activities, including policies, processes, and plans. While some businesses additionally handle compliance, others have separate teams that are responsible for it

Security Engineer: Building security systems and architecture is the responsibility of security engineers; they also maintain security tools and suggest the use of new ones.

Incident Response Manager: A dedicated Director of Incident Response might be employed by the SOC in a major organization. This position is in charge of organizing and prioritizing actions during an event’s identification, analysis, and containment as well as communicating the impact of significant incidents to the entire business.

SOC’s Key Challenges and How to Defeat Them

Talent Gap – There are many cybersecurity job openings due to the significant scarcity of cybersecurity experts. Due to a talent shortage, there are millions of open cybersecurity roles around the world. SOC should look internally for talent and think about developing current staff to fill any shortages on the SOC team. Every crucial SOC role also needs a backup, or someone with the qualifications to keep things operating in case the important role is suddenly vacant.

Sophisticated Attackers – Because competent fraudsters are capable of getting through standard protections like endpoint security and firewalls, it calls for attention. Use tools that can detect anomalies or use machine learning to identify advanced threats, which will eliminate the need for manual inquiry.

Big Data – The average business deals with a huge amount of data and network traffic. The issue of real-time data analysis has grown as a result of the massive expansion of log data. To enable convenient, centralized analysis, SOCs use automated tools to parse, filter, correlate, and aggregate information.

Alert Fatigue – Many notifications either have insufficient context to fully analyze the situation or are false positives. Teams get distracted from actual security incidents by these kinds of subpar alerts. Enhancing warning quality and distinguishing between alerts of low and high priority are essential. By using behavioral analytics technologies, you can make sure that SOC teams focus on the most pressing problems first.

Unknown Threats – An unidentified threat cannot be found using traditional signature-based detection, firewalls, or endpoint detection. SOCs have a hard time identifying and defending against zero-day threats. By using behavior analytics to identify unusual behavior, SOC teams can enhance their rules, signature, and threshold-based threat detection solutions.

Security Tool Overload – Many businesses invest in a variety of security measures to find any potential problems. These solutions frequently lack connectivity, have a narrow field of use, and are unable to detect sophisticated attacks that traverse security silos. Utilize technologies like Extended Detection and Response (XDR), which aggregates information from all layers of the IT environment to detect cunning or elusive attacks.

The SOC makes sure assets are monitored for security events by developing a thorough understanding of the hardware, software, tools, and technologies used in the organization. You can learn more of how SOC will be able to help your business. Find out more in our website.