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A Guide to Security Operations Centre

Though cyberattacks have been around for decades, hacker masterminds of today use advanced technologies to unleash catastrophe at a global level. The contemporary cyber threats range from malware, spam, phishing, ransomware, Corporate Account Takeover (CATO) to DDoS attacks, to name a few.

If cyberthreat itself is a challenging topic, proactively detecting and mitigating them is even more so. This is precisely where the Security Operations Center steps in to fortify organizations and help them defend against growing cyber-attacks.
In this blog, let us see what Security Operations Center (SOC) is, its benefits, and, more importantly, how to set up your first SOC. In a way, this blog will serve as an ultimate quick-start guide to setting up a powerful SOC for your organization.

What is Security Operations Center (SOC)?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a physical facility that houses a team of security experts armed with modern security platforms and tools, to regularly analyze and monitor an organization’s security systems. A typical SOC team comprises security analysts and engineers who observe, analyze, and supervise the IT systems on a regular basis. It also employs managers to oversee the entire security operations.

How does SOC work?

One of the fundamental requirements of an organization for their SOC team is the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system.

The SIEM collects events and logs from several other security tools and generates security alerts. The SOC team examines these alerts to understand the extent of the threat.

SOC analysts are generally organized into four tiers: Tier 1 Analyst, Tier 2 Analyst, Tier 3 Senior Analyst, and the Tier 4 Analyst (SOC Manager).

  1. First, the SIEM alerts are passed to Tier 1 analysts who monitor, prioritize and investigate them.
  2. The identified threats are segregated and passed to a Tier 2 analyst for further analysis. The Tier 2 analyst also decides on a strategy for containment.
  3. Then, identified threats are pushed to the Tier 3 Analyst, who manages and takes necessary action of the incident.
  4. The role of the Tier 4 analyst (also called the SOC manager) is to oversee recruitment, strategy, priorities and direct the SOC staff when major security incidents occur.

Benefits of SOC

A well-established SOC not only acts as a prime cogwheel in building cybersecurity, but it also brings in a slew of advantages to an organization.

Reduced cybersecurity costs: Though SOC will incur expenditure, the expense is well worth it as it helps save enormous costs in the long run.

Round-the-clock protection: The 24/7 monitoring by SOC helps organizations defend against threats, regardless of source, time, and type of attack.

Strengthening business reputation: A solid and reliable SOC plays a crucial role in fostering trust, where customers feel more comfortable sharing and exchanging sensitive information.

4 Steps to setting up a SOC

1. Let everyone in your organization know about SOC

Since SOC is different from the IT helpdesk, it is important that everyone in the organization learn the significance of SOC and what it can bring to the table. Ensure that everyone understands the importance of your Security Operations Center framework, so in case if there are any securities issues, concerns, or challenges, they can bring them up to your notice. This will also strengthen your SOC further.

2. Get the right resource

Resources are critical to SOC success. Bring in the right set of people (analysts, engineers, managers) to make your SOC work just the way you want. Since cybercrimes are evolving rapidly, it goes without saying that you should up-skill your SOC force as and when required to enable them to be well-prepared and be future-ready.

3. Put the right infrastructure in place

Infrastructure is the foundation on which your SOC rests. Without appropriate security software tools, physical devices, and infrastructure needs, your SOC is as good as nothing. So make sure you build up the best infrastructure possible to reap maximum benefit.

4. Have a detailed action plan, ready

Create a clear, predefined incident response action plan. It is also important to sketch out a reliable protocol to avoid going astray in your defense against the looming threats. The best way to tackle this is to study other organizations’ SOC protocols and then customize them to suit your organizations’ specific needs.

SOC Best Practices

  • Fuse automation intelligence and human intelligence to combat threats
  • Since SOC is a combination of various technologies, put your technology stack in place, such as SIEM tools, prevention tools, digital assessment tools, incident monitoring systems, tools for effective response, and so on.
  • As SOCs are known to protect known assets, it is wise to map third-party services and traffic flowing between the assets to make them more efficient.
  • Constantly review and update your SOC strategy and processes to face emerging risks.

Since the world has become a complex web of connected technologies, SOC services are widely considered the best defense against looming cyber threats.
As cybercriminals are finding innovative means to intercept and bypass securities and breach data, SOCs have grown from ‘good-to-have’ set up to a ‘must-have’ facility in today’s organizations.

Talk to a cybersecurity expert at Netlabs today, who not only can guide you to setup your SOC, but also can provide it as a Managed Service – Managed SOC Services (M-SOC).

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