security operations center with a guy and a girl looking at a map

Understanding Operational SOC Security

Organizations that deal with large volumes of data need to have the right specialists available to help them deal with potential cybersecurity threats.

However, it’s not just hackers that could have access to your data. A user error could accidentally open up a vulnerability in your network systems. A disgruntled employee could be looking to cause trouble. A corporate spy might be trying to gain access to your data.

This is where a security operations center (SOC) and a team of professional security specialists can help ensure that your business is ready to defend your network and data from any potential threats. In this article, we’re going to discuss what a SOC is, how it can help your business, and also some of the practices involved to help you set up an efficient SOC.

SOC (1)

Building a Security Operations Center: In-House vs Vendor

What Is a SOC? When is it right for me?

A security operations center is a team of information security specialists monitor and analyze an organization’s security systems. The purpose of SOC security is to help an organization detect and respond to any kind of cybersecurity incidents- such as a denial-of-service attack, or the discovery of an exploit that could have been used to access personal data that is stored on your business’s servers.

Most SOC teams consist of a manager that oversees the entire operation, and several engineers and analysts that keep a close eye on the information flowing through your network.

This will ensure that you always have eyes on the data that goes through your network, and the engineers will be able to repair and potential threats and security vulnerabilities that could be used as a point of entry for cybercriminals.

In addition to analysts and engineers, you will typically have an incident response team that is on call and available to manage any potential security issues that you’re facing. Security issues should be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure that no lasting damage is caused to your business, and there also needs to be a method of reporting and analyzing the damage so that your security specialists can patch the issue and prevent it from happening in the future.

Your company’s SOC is responsible for analyzing any potential threats and stamping them out before they can spread around your business network and cause unnecessary damage to your entire business.

Security operations centers have to monitor and analyze activity on your networks in order to determine what can be considered dangerous or concerning, so they will need unparalleled access to your network in order to do their job correctly. Because of this, it’s crucial that you have skilled, experienced, professional and trustworthy staff as part of your SOC’s team, whether you choose to employ a SOC in-house or outsource to a SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) company.

How Does a SOC Function?

In most cases, a SOC doesn’t actually develop security strategies. Nor do they design the security architecture responsible for safeguarding your business network.

In fact, your SOC team usually only gets involved in the ongoing maintenance and analysis of your network security solution. While they do possess the skills to patch any vulnerabilities and essentially plug any holes in your network, they do not control the design, development or deployment of your business’s essential security systems.

A SOC, usually, only analyzes the information flowing through your network. They respond to threats, and they report on incidents and try to prevent cybersecurity incidents from happening.

But they have to rely on the technologies that you’ve provided them.

This means that it’s vital that your existing network security solutions are up to date and that your networking specialists are working closely with your SOC to ensure that any fixes and solutions are deployed immediately with the analysts’ help.

It’s also vital that your business defines a strategy that will be carried out by your SOC team. Not every business can make use of a SOC and it’s an incredibly expensive investment even for smaller corporations.

The larger your organization, the more costly it will become, and the more demanding it will be to analyze every packet of network traffic to ensure that the business is kept safe and secured. As a result, your SOC will need to be established with input from other departments, executives and management teams in your company to ensure that there is a place for a SOC team.

BitLyft AIR® Security Operations Center Overview


The Best SOC Practices

It’s vital to consider different SOC practices to ensure that your team is running efficiently and capturing any potential threats before they’re able to do damage.

  • Protect the SOC itself – A SOC is vulnerable because it is often part of the network itself. Although it can be somewhat isolated with various strategies, it requires access to your business network in order to analyze the data that is flowing through your office. Because of this, it’s vital that you protect the SOC itself or else it can become compromised, thus becoming useless in the event of a cybercriminal attack.
  • Secure the SOC location – Protecting the physical location of the SOC is also important to prevent it from becoming compromised. This could be due to disgruntled employees or even corporate spies. These situations are far more unlikely to happen compared to something related to human error, but either way, keeping the location hidden so that the SOC team can work in peace and unaffected by the rest of the business can be a huge advantage.
  • Emphasis on the human element – Some SOCs will focus primarily on automated tools to analyze information, but it’s actually important to put emphasis on the human element as well. Many successful SOCs use both automated process and manual human analysis in order to ensure that a network is secured. This will enhance your security measures and offer more protection against cybersecurity threats.

For your SOC team to be a worthwhile investment, they have to be well-equipped and secured in your corporation so that they are not influenced by outside factors. They need to be well-trained and skilled to handle all kinds of potential threats.

And the larger your business, the more staff you’ll need.

That’s why we at BitLyft are dedicated to providing thorough SOC services for organizations of all sizes, at a fraction of the cost of an in-house security operations center. We take the time to partner with your organization to truly determine the context of your business’ activity, and can lend our expert analysts to your cause.

Reach out today and set up a brief conversation. We’d love to chat about the ways we can help you secure your technology environment.

Building a Security Operations Center: In-House vs Vendor

Jason Miller

Jason Miller, Founder and CEO of BitLyft Cybersecurity, has dedicated his 20-year IT career, including co-founding SaaS pioneer Reviora, to removing cybersecurity barriers for mid-sized enterprises. Establishing BitLyft in 2016, Jason set out to unburden security teams with innovative, approachable, and affordable solutions, a vision which has made BitLyft a respected managed detection and response provider. Outside his cybersecurity pursuits, Jason is an avid tree farmer and outdoor enthusiast, planting nearly 300 trees on his ten-acre plot and finding joy in hiking, hunting, and driving his white Tesla Model 3. His diverse passions mirror the balanced blend of expertise, dedication, and joy he brings to BitLyft.

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