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Why the Security Operations Center Is Becoming a Business Necessity

Author: Luis R. Colon, CISSP, Information Security Manager/Monday, February 05, 2018/Categories: Security Services

There is plenty of data that proves the increased volume and sophistication of IT security threats. But the problems run far deeper. It’s not just about stealing someone’s social security number or a company’s trade secrets. Cybercrime is now a preferred method of attack, literally, by terrorists and state-sponsored groups. Activist groups are hacking. Malware, malicious code and other hacking tools are constantly being bought and sold on the dark web. Cybercrime has become big business.

Today’s threat landscape requires a fully integrated, comprehensive approach to security and compliance, which is why more organizations are creating security operations centers (SOCs). A SOC is a dedicated facility where all of an organization’s information systems, such as websites, applications, data center infrastructure, and devices (desktop, mobile, Internet of Things, etc.) are centrally monitored, analyzed and protected. The SOC is responsible for preventing, detecting and responding to security incidents and determining potential business impact.

At the core of the SOC is a security monitoring system that collects data from a wide range of sources, including endpoints, network traffic and flows, system logs, threat intelligence feeds, and security event reports. Having centralized, end-to-end visibility into these sources makes it possible to quickly switch from data collection to data analysis and incident investigation. Adding context to each incident is a critical part of this process because context guides the investigation and allows analysts to prioritize incidents. Context saves time and resources and accelerates response times.

Visibility and context speak to the importance of having an intelligence-driven SOC. High volumes of data from internal and external sources are constantly monitored to enable the detection of indicators of an existing or future compromise. These indicators need to be analyzed and correlated before taking action. Without intelligent, fully integrated security solutions, it would be impossible for any security organization to efficiently manage security threats and incidents. The more data you have, the more important it becomes to have an intelligent SOC that can automate routine tasks and provide analysts with only the most serious treats and incidents to investigate.

If you already have a network operations center (NOC), you can transform it into a SOC. In fact, you’ve already made many of the necessary investments, including the facility itself and much of the equipment. Some workflows are already in place. However, you’ll need additional staffing and tools because people and process are as important to the SOC as technology.

Your SOC will need security analysts, researchers, investigators, responders and managers to fully leverage intelligent security systems. Your security team will need to implement repeatable, standardized processes for handling every alert, from analysis to investigation to correlation to response to recovery. The right blend of automated systems and manual processes is critical to a successful SOC.

Because of a serious shortage of security talent, organizations are outsourcing to improve their capabilities. Even the federal government is considering a shared SOC model that would enable the sharing of information, services and knowledge across agencies.

SageNet can help you build your own SOC or provide managed security services that enable you to secure all information systems and meet compliance requirements. Let us help you apply best practices to the creation and management of your SOC, convert your existing NOC into an SOC, or show you how our SOC can deliver the protection and expertise your organization demands.


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