What is a Security Operations Centre (SOC)?

Mitigating the risk of a cyberattack through comprehensive threat detection, prevention and response is vital for business continuity and retaining customer trust. A fundamental way to achieve this is through a security operations centre (SOC), enabling businesses to unify and coordinate all cybersecurity technologies and operations and build greater cyber resilience.

What is a SOC?

A SOC is a centralised team of IT security professionals who continually monitor a business’s IT infrastructure, including networks, servers, devices, databases, applications and more. The aim is to detect, analyse and respond to security incidents as they happen, ensuring a proactive defence posture against cyber attacks. In addition to monitoring the cyber environment, a SOC also selects, operates and maintains a company’s cybersecurity technologies, suggests improvements that will improve cyber resilience, and ensures the business operates securely at all times.

What Does a SOC Do?

A SOC’s primary role is to streamline threat detection, assessment and management to make the entire organisation more secure. A SOC achieves this by collecting data, analysing for suspicious activity and highlighting indicators of compromise. The core responsibilities of a SOC include the following:

  • Continuous Monitoring - examining all systems 24/7 to gain complete visibility and ensure any issues are detected and responded to quickly. 
  • Threat Detection - using security information and event management (SIEM) or extended detection and response (XDR) technology for real-time analysis.
  • Response Planning - creating an incident response plan that is able to defend against new and ongoing attacks and adjust as the threat landscape evolves. 
  • Incident Recovery - reconfiguring, updating and backing up systems and mission-critical data and conducting post-incident analysis.
  • Compliance Management - ensuring cyber security activities adhere to regulatory standards and data privacy regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, PCI DSS, and HIPAA.
  • Asset Management - gaining an awareness of all tools, software, hardware and technologies used and ensuring they work correctly and are regularly patched. 
  • Data Collection - creating a central repository for all cybersecurity-related data, ensuring the security centre can be used as an organisational resource.
  • Remediation Activities & Continual Maintenance – SOC team members performing vulnerability assessments and penetration tests, then use data-driven analysis to address areas of weakness, improve cybersecurity, and recommend better security strategies.

Who Needs a SOC?

Many organisations can benefit from having a security operations centre (SOC) in place, including those in the healthcare, education, finance and insurance industry. Essentially, any organisation that relies on digital technology, processes sensitive information, or conducts business online can benefit from having a SOC to monitor, detect, and respond to cyber threats effectively.

To determine whether a SOC is needed, organisations may want to consider whether they have a core business need for any of the following:

  • Maintaining business continuity in the event of a data breach
  • Defining policies and procedures for managing cybersecurity operations
  • Establishing an incident response plan to use in the event of an attack
  • Documenting security infrastructure required to respond to an attack
  • Identifying and training security teams to identify and respond to attacks
  • Establishing a professional cybersecurity function to prepare for and manage attacks

Overcoming SOC Challenges

Effective SOC management requires navigating several critical challenges that can hinder an organisation's ability to detect and respond to cyber threats, including:

  • Alert Fatigue - the sheer volume of security alerts can overwhelm security teams, leading to threats being miscategorised or insufficiently managed.
  • Threat Complexity - a SOC must be sophisticated, combining technology, people and processes, which can be challenging to maintain. 
  • Cost Optimisation - building and maintaining a robust SOC requires significant investment and upfront cost, especially if done in-house. 
  • Skills Gap - cybersecurity professionals are in extremely high demand, making it difficult to recruit and retain experienced staff. 
  • Compliance Requirements - a SOC must stay informed about constantly changing data security compliance regulations to protect the business’s reputation.  

How to Choose the Right SOC Investment

Investing in a SOC can be a critical step in safeguarding your organisation against the ever-evolving threat landscape. However, building and maintaining an in-house SOC can be a resource-intensive endeavour, requiring significant investments in personnel, technology, and ongoing maintenance. For many organisations, a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) offers a compelling alternative.

Intalock offers a comprehensive SOC solution designed to streamline your security operations and maximise your defences:

  • Cost-Effective Expertise - gain access to a team of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals without the burden of recruiting, training, and retaining in-house staff. 
  • Scalable Solutions - as your business grows or security threats shift, Intalock scales its services to ensure your defences remain current and effective.  
  • Proactive Threat Detection and Response - leverage advanced security tools and methodologies to continuously monitor your network for suspicious activity.
  • Advanced Technologies - employ leading-edge security technologies, including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems, advanced threat detection tools, and intrusion prevention systems. 
  • Compliance Management - ensure your organisation remains compliant and avoids the hefty fines and reputational damage associated with non-compliance.
  • Personalised Security Solutions - Intalock takes the time to understand your organisation's specific security needs, risk profile, and industry regulations and then tailors its SOC services to provide targeted protection that addresses your unique vulnerabilities.
  • 24/7 Security Monitoring - implement 24/7 network monitoring, ensuring that suspicious activity is identified and addressed promptly.

Improving Your Security Posture

With the right partnership, you gain access to a comprehensive and cost-effective SOC solution that optimises your security posture, frees up valuable internal resources, and empowers you to focus on your core business objectives with greater peace of mind. If you’d like to learn more about protecting your organisation with 24/7 security operation centre (SOC) monitoring and incident response services, contact the experts at InfoTrust today.

 

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