5+1 Benefits of a Managed SOC
by Anastasios Arampatzis
When it comes to Operation Centers I can’t think anything less than a well hidden and protected infrastructure, where operators – experts of their kind – work with cutting edge technology, special tools and equipment to monitor and support ongoing operations in a timely manner. Accurate and timely decisions of great importance are taken, to assure that operations run smoothly like a well-oiled machine.
You will find Operation Centers running in many public organizations and private companies – Armed Forces, Police, Civil Protection, cargo and shipping companies. Everyone wants to monitor and control its operations. The same concept applies for a Security Operations Center (SOC): it monitors and detects possible threats and shores up digital environments against cybersecurity incidents.
What is a SOC?
A Security Operation Center (SOC) is a function within an organization, where personnel, procedures, processes and high tech equipment monitor, control and improve the security posture of an organization. SOC is responsible to detect, analyze and respond to cybersecurity threats as fast as possible, since reaction time is a critical factor, the bigger the delay, the bigger the cyber-attack impact on the organization’s tangible and intangible assets.
As a central hub, SOC monitors all organization’s IT infrastructures, devices, and networks residing in house or in the cloud. It gathers security information and logged events from different sources within its boundaries of interest; it analyzes incidents, makes decisions upon them and acts in a way that minimizes the cybersecurity risk.
How does it work?
SOC implements at the tactical level the organization’s security strategy developed by the CISOs and CSOs. The security strategy and policy has to be clearly defined, otherwise SOC teams can’t support operations effectively. Once the strategy is approved, SOC team is capable to strengthen the resilience of the organization and meet stakeholders’ needs.
In order to accomplish its mission, SOC is equipped with special tools and equipment: A security information and event management (SIEM) system, IPS/IDS, Firewalls, Incident detection tools, Advanced sandboxing mechanisms, Threat Intelligence feeds, Security Automation and Orchestration (SOAR) platforms and many more. On top lays the personnel, the security experts: SOC manager, security analysts, security investigators, incident responders, auditors. The SOC staff cooperates tightly with other internal teams to mitigate all security events by reducing their impact on organization’s operations; they monitor, correlate and analyze the IT infrastructure continuously to detect any abnormal sign that can be a potential cyber incident and take defensive actions. Advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data, assist security teams to act accurately and timely.