What is a security operations center, and does your business need one?

This has been said before, but it bears repeating: IT is a tool that bolsters the capabilities of an organization. Take a chatbot as an example. Unlike a human agent who can only respond to clients one at a time, a chatbot can take on hundreds of clients simultaneously. Additionally, it doesn’t need to take breaks, doesn’t get mentally fatigued, and doesn’t need benefits.

Indeed, IT increases productivity, but the converse is also true: productivity crashes when your IT systems become dysfunctional due to malware and other cyberattacks. Not only that, but sensitive data, such as customer information and proprietary company intellectual property, can be stolen. In short, you need to protect your IT systems if you want your Salt Lake City business to survive and thrive. One effective solution is to have your own security operations center or SOC.

What is a security operations center?

A SOC is an in-house facility that contains a comprehensive set of IT security resources that include the following:

  • Information security (infosec) team
    Comprising security engineers, analysts, and managers, this team is responsible for continuously monitoring the company’s IT infrastructure for threats, analyzing systems for vulnerabilities, and preventing and responding to cybersecurity incidents. The infosec team is responsible for reporting everything from potential threat discoveries to actual hacking campaigns. If and when cybersecurity incidents do occur, the team is also responsible for providing technical support to affected parties, be they your staff, business partners, or customers.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) solution
    This contains tools that enable the infosec team to establish and implement security rules.
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS)
    These are signature-based tools that inspect network traffic for malicious payloads, helping your security team spot cyberattacks in the early stages. The shorter the time between threat detection and the security breach, the less downtime and damage your organization will suffer if ever the assault is actually launched.
  • Vulnerability assessment tools
    The infosec team uses these to detect security holes that an attacker may exploit to infiltrate your IT systems. In addition to helping your team find gaps to close, these tools also help determine if your organization is compliant with data regulations and certification requirements.
  • User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA)
    UEBA utilizes behavior modeling to create baselines that make aberrant actions (such as sudden data exfiltration being done by a staff member or a device like a router) more noticeable. This makes such actions easier to flag as potential security threats.
  • Digital forensics tools
    These enable the infosec team to gather digital evidence that can be used in insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Cryptanalysis programs
    These are used to break cryptographic systems employed in malware such as ransomware so that such malicious software are nullified.
  • Malware reverse engineering tools
    These allow infosec engineers to analyze what a malware program does, discover the systems it impacts, and determine ways to thwart it.

It’s important to note that a SOC is not responsible for coming up with security strategies, developing security architecture, or installing security measures. As its name denotes, the SOC is the one that operates the company’s existing cybersecurity framework.

Why have a SOC? Isn’t having firewalls and antivirus software enough?

While having firewalls and antivirus software is important, these are not enough to defend against the most sophisticated cyberthreats. Furthermore, most cybercriminals take advantage of IT systems’ greatest vulnerability: human users. Cybersecurity tools on their own can’t match the ingenuity of human threat actors who prey upon human weaknesses, which is why such actors must be matched with human cybersecurity operatives.

Most cybercriminals take advantage of IT systems’ greatest vulnerability: human users. Cybersecurity tools on their own can’t match the ingenuity of human threat actors who prey upon human weaknesses.

Additionally, there’s so much threat intelligence coming from external sources like threat briefs, signature updates, news feeds, vulnerability alerts, and incident reports. You need a dedicated team that will keep up with ever-evolving cyberthreats.

A SOC is resource-intensive and requires significant investments to build and maintain. Fortunately, you don’t need to have a SOC in-house — instead, you can leverage Netwize’s outsourced SOC services. We’ve already built the SOC for you, so just send us a message or call us at 801-747-3200 today to learn more.

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