Best Practices for Security Operations Center (SOC)
Businesses are bombarding with security data generated by disparate systems, platforms, and applications. Concerning the state of the network, potential threats, and suspicious behaviour. Threat intelligence, endpoint security, intrusion detection and prevention, security information and event management (SIEM), and other security systems overwhelm security teams with alerts and log entries.
Cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and numerous, which means some of these messages require urgent attention. Where should we focus our attention? Security operations center (SOC) can help there.
Security operations center: what are they?
The security operations center (SOC) is a centralized location where an IT security team monitors and analyzes an organization’s security posture and operations. The SOC team is responsible for detecting, analyzing, and responding to anomalies and potential cybersecurity incidents using a variety of technologies and processes. To ensure that security issues are addressed rapidly as soon as they are discovered. Employees work closely with incident response teams. To ensure the supporting groups have accurate information regarding current risk status, risk assessments, coordination, and communication are vital.
In other words, a SOC provides information about how security operations are managed. To deal with any potential security issues, continuous prevention and protection, threat detection, and response capabilities are available.
A SOC provides the following benefits:
- Defending against malware threats that can spread in minutes with rapid response times
- Recovering quickly from malicious attacks such as DDoS
- A real-time monitoring system
- Aggregation of log files
- Reporting centrally
- A visual representation of security status
- An investigation and analysis of the post-incident
Comparison of NOC and SOC outsourcing services
The network operations center (NOC) team and security operations teams (SOCs) are frequently confused. Issues are identified, investigated, prioritized, escalated, and resolved by SOCs and NOCs. But they handle a wildly different set of problems. Anomalies are all they look for. Multiple anomalies can occur simultaneously on both the network and security sides. Security operations centers are primarily concerned with security anomalies. Outsourced NOC services, on the other hand, are performance- and availability-driven.
Both perspectives are necessary for organizations.
A traditional versus a global security operations center (SOC)
A traditional security operations center and a global SOC are both the same thing. However, the scope of the two is different. Several companies monitor global operations, while others are only interested in the operations in their immediate region. Additionally, global SOCs usually report to several smaller SOCs. Controlling the actions of a security operations team is much easier when they are focused on a smaller area.
Operations centers for cloud services
As a result of cloud security, it is no longer necessary for a SOC to be physically based in one location. Service providers are now offering SOC-as-a-Service. Those companies that prefer to keep their SOC functions in-house tend to have at least a part of their environment in the cloud.
Regardless of the terminology used to describe SOCs, most of the tools or systems being monitored are hosted in the cloud.
Security operations center design and construction
Based on requirements and scope, SOCs are designed. SIEM is critical to a SOC for aggregating and analyzing security information, but the remote work tools and platforms utilized will vary according to the environment. Network bandwidth, incident response capabilities (automated and manual). The analytical capabilities should be considered.
The first step in designing a SOC should be an audit of existing security procedures. Based on this audit, planning is then developed. Plan your training sessions as well as choose a location, ensure you have the necessary resources, and budget for training. Training plans may differ as the SOC develops. There is no way to plan. Those who believe they have covered every possibility could be caught off guard by factors. Such as an entirely new attack vector or an inadequately protected component of their infrastructure. Hence, don’t believe everything is perfectly designed and planned. It’s always possible to improve things, and threats are constantly changing. As the SOC evolves, it must remain flexible in its planning and construction.
Planned tasks for the SOC should also be defined. Detecting external attacks, monitoring organizational compliance, detecting insider threats, and managing incidents are all elements of an effective security program. Establish the process for gathering, aggregating, centralizing, summarizing, analyzing, and visualizing data to achieve maximum effectiveness. Each group of users will have different requirements for accessing the data, which must be addressed during the design phase.
A SOC requires the following technologies
A wide range of security technologies are used or accessed by security operations centers, such as:
- Monitor, detect, investigate, and remediate security events
- A firewall
- Systems for detecting and preventing intrusions
- Management of security incidents
- Analysis of forensic evidence
- Protecting endpoints
- Tools for detecting threats
- Tools for detecting threats
- Management of security devices
- Management of threats and vulnerabilities
- Reporting and management of compliance
- Analyzing behavior
- Analysis of traffic patterns
- Automating and orchestrating security
- Simulation of an attack
Some of these functions are included in SIEM systems, but not all. Further complicating matters, vendors are packaging more and more security tools together into larger suites. The SIEM name is sometimes retained, but other names are more elaborate.
Depending on the scope and requirements of the SOC, the technologies deployed will vary.
Most SOCs have some kind of SIEM as a core component of their data aggregation.
Staff and management of the SOC
Depending on the organizational structure, SOCs can be managed in a variety of ways. SOC managers typically report to the CISO or another C-level executive, such as the CTO or CIO. Under the SOC manager, there are various responsibilities and roles. They include those who respond to incidents after they have happened, those who analyze the general threat landscape, those who hunt down threat actors, and more.