TutorialsKey Functions Performed By The Security Operations Center (SOC)

Key Functions Performed By The Security Operations Center (SOC)

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This post will show you what the Security Operations Center is about and why it matters to your company and brand.

As of 2019, over 7,000 breaches have been committed by cyberattacks. The combined force of this strategically placed invasion has exposed over 15.1 billion records. The median cost of a data breach is now $3,92 million. It takes in-house defense and cyber units an average of 2790 days to identify a perp and contain a possible break.

A cyberattack not only undermines your company brand but also exposes your clients, and as of 2016, it also makes you liable to different criminal charges depending on your region. Governments worldwide have established regulations to protect ID and data, forcing companies to bear the responsibility for said protection.

In other words, when a breach happens, and someone is exposed to an attack, your company is the one that should have protected them, and YOU and your business bear the brunt of the responsibility, penalties, and charges. By 2019, 865 organizations rated SOC as an essential pillar of their organization and the critical component of their cybersecurity strategy.

An effective SOC helps your company understand its weakness when dealing with pressing security problems, and, more importantly, given the level of mastery and adaptability most cybercriminals operate within the present, it improves your overall posture to future attacks. 

What Is SOC?

What Is SOC

SOC stands for Security Operations Center. It is the spine and central nervous system upon which every company's cybersecurity program is built. SOCs are hubs for specialists tasked with keeping your company safe from cyber assault.

They serve as the bat cave for people working off-site or on-site, whose primary goal is to keep your company safe from digital bullies. 

What Are Its Goals And Purpose?

It ultimately depends on the company. Each SOC team has different objectives, varying from one organization to another. Each company has its goals, objectives,  and what it needs to protect.

An industry might have IP (intellectual property) issues they must keep under wraps. A political office might have classified emails. A banking institution might have client IDs and codes. E-commerce might need to safeguard client portfolios. It all depends. 

Nonetheless, most SOC units have typical mission parameters:

  • Consolidate and analyze data from networks, devices, and cloud services.¬†
  • Critically view all data and coordinate responses to alerts and critical information.
  • Write incident reports on alerts and effectively think up ways to shore up and plan for future attacks.¬†

Essential Functions Of A Security Operations Center Team

Key Functions Of A Security Operations Center Team

SOC teams have various functions, and each differs from client to client. Nevertheless, an average SOC team has to be able to provide specific benefits or goal-oriented components.

Minimize a Breach's Impact

The SOC team's main objective is to minimize the impact of an attack on the organization. They work on the principle that attacks will occur no matter how proactive you are.

They cut down the time before detection (known as dwell time), they shore up critical assets, and, more importantly, they manage to protect vulnerable data that might compromise the organization. 

Reduce Response Time

The less time an attacker has to stop poking around in your system, the better. SOC teams can accelerate the pace and can contract an attacker's breach.

Increase Visibility of Security

Sometimes, the best deterrent is to look strong. To make it so a perpetrator thinks twice before launching an attack.

That's why we like our fences and we like to place the security company's logo on our front yard. SOC teams make it known that a cyberattack will cost a perpetrator time and money by simply existing and making it known that they are present.

AUDITs

The first order of business for a SOC time is to analyze your business and tell you, objectively, where you're losing water. Where you are weak and where you need to marshal your forces. They are objective in this task.

Proactive

SOC teams react and are proactive by staying one step ahead of attackers. They are well-informed of what's happening worldwide and will act accordingly and proactively chase a potential threat.

Digital Clues

SOC teams also analyze digital clues to discover evidence of attacks that might not have triggered any sort of alarm. This is important because they proactively search patterns and spots where your safety procedures are being tested.

Keep Business Informed

The ultimate goal of a great SOC team is to keep you informed. To give you up-to-date communication on the current trends, and data that might end up affecting your business.

To help shape your future security maps and responses and better calculate the financial loss a cyber threat might cost you. Depending on your business needs, this SOC team will provide all the benefits of cybersecurity services.

What Makes A Good SOC Team?

It's experts, and they've trained their personnel accordingly. A great SOC team is competent in all things related to cybersecurity, and overall, all act proactively, not only reactive. It is preemptive and not passive.

READ ALSO: Compliance In The Cloud: Why IAM Is Critical

Why is an effective security operations center essential and for whom can it be especially necessary? 

Outside SOC teams as a service, help organizations overcome the problems of an ever-changing cybersecurity landscape. One where they might have talent gaps. They also offer a rapid response and quick scalability if needed.

What is the key function of the SOC?

The SOC's primary function is proactively managing an organization's security posture. This encompasses:

  • Security Event Monitoring and Analysis:¬†SOC analysts continuously monitor IT systems and networks for suspicious activity that might indicate a potential security breach.
  • Security Incident Response:¬†If a security threat is detected, the SOC team initiates a coordinated incident response to contain the threat, minimize damage, and restore normal operations.
  • Threat Detection and Hunting:¬†SOC analysts actively search for hidden threats within the network, going beyond simply reacting to alerts.

What are the functions of a security operations center?

The SOC performs a variety of essential security functions, including:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM):¬†Utilizing SIEM tools, the SOC collects, aggregates, and analyzes data from various security sources to identify potential security incidents.
  • Vulnerability Management:¬†The SOC proactively identifies and addresses vulnerabilities in systems and applications to minimize potential attack vectors.
  • Security Posture Management: The SOC assesses the organization's overall security posture and recommends improvements to strengthen its defenses.
  • Compliance Reporting:¬†The SOC ensures the organization adheres to security regulations and compliance standards.

READ ALSO: Essential Cyber Security Plan for Small Business

What are the key processes of SOC?

The SOC follows a structured process to ensure effective security operations:

  1. Log Collection and Aggregation: Security logs from various network devices and systems are collected and centralized for analysis.
  2. Event Correlation and Normalization: Raw log data is normalized and correlated to identify potential security incidents.
  3. Security Event Analysis: SIEM and security analysts examine the normalized data to determine if it represents a genuine threat.
  4. Incident Response: If a threat is confirmed, the SOC initiates an incident response plan to contain, eradicate, and recover from the attack.
  5. Lessons Learned and Improvement: The SOC team analyzes past incidents to identify areas for improvement and enhance their security posture.

What are the key components of a security operations center?

Several key components work together within a SOC:

  • People:¬†Highly skilled security analysts staff the SOC, possessing expertise in threat detection, incident response, and security tools.
  • Technology:¬†Advanced security technologies like SIEM, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and threat intelligence feeds empower SOC analysts.
  • Processes:¬†Defined workflows and procedures guide SOC activities, ensuring efficient incident response and streamlined security operations.

By understanding the functions, processes, and components of a Security Operations Center, you gain valuable insight into the vital role it plays in safeguarding our digital infrastructure.

Note: This was initially published in March 2021, but has been updated for freshness and accuracy.


About the Author:

Editor at SecureBlitz | Website | + posts

Christian Schmitz is a professional journalist and editor at SecureBlitz.com. He has a keen eye for the ever-changing cybersecurity industry and is passionate about spreading awareness of the industry's latest trends. Before joining SecureBlitz, Christian worked as a journalist for a local community newspaper in Nuremberg. Through his years of experience, Christian has developed a sharp eye for detail, an acute understanding of the cybersecurity industry, and an unwavering commitment to delivering accurate and up-to-date information.

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