Learn about the vital role Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analysts play in defending your company from cyberattacks, as well as about their main duties, career path, qualification requirements, and difficulties that SOC teams confront.

Overview

As your business grows in today’s digital environment, it will come under more and more cyber threats that could compromise your priceless assets and data. Creating a security operations centre (SOC) is essential to protecting your business and providing SOC analysts with the tools they need to strengthen your defences. These well qualified experts play a critical role in putting cybersecurity plans into action and safeguarding your company from online threats. This article will examine the tasks, duties, certifications, tools, and obstacles that SOC analysts encounter. It will also offer advice on how to overcome these obstacles and improve the security posture of your company.

A SOC analyst is who?

An organization’s Security Operations Centre is where a Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analyst works. The SOC Analyst is a member of a team whose job it is to put an organization’s cybersecurity plans into action and protect it from online attacks.

Principal Duties of a SOC Analyst

  • A SOC analyst is responsible for a number of tasks, such as:
  • Around-the-clock Security Monitoring: The SOC Analysts collaborate to keep an eye on the organization’s security around-the-clock.
  • Examining Security Vulnerabilities: In order to determine the cause of a security breach, further investigation is required.
  • Creating Detailed Reports: In order for the company to further strengthen its security and thwart similar attacks, they must produce a report that is detailed.
  • Threat and Vulnerability Analysis: By using threat and vulnerability analysis, the SOC analysts find these kinds of assaults.
  • Employing Network Scanners: To identify any risks, they make use of network scanners.
  • Attack Prevention: They try to stop attacks by strengthening their defences with intrusion detection systems and firewalls.

Path of a SOC Analyst’s Career

Because they can be allocated to a particular level inside the security operations centre, SOC analysts have a defined career path. Among these levels are:

Tier 1 Security Analyst: Charged with looking into any security alarms received during monitoring and determining if they are important enough to escalate.
Tier 2 Security Analyst: Charged with receiving alerts that have been escalated from Tier 1 analysts and taking appropriate action. They assess the extent of the incident’s impact and make security updates. Tier 3 Security Analysts handle more serious problems.
Tier 3 Security Analysts: They can do penetration testing to improve the security of the company in addition to reviewing and responding to these threats.
Experience determines the security analyst’s tier assignment. The security analyst has greater experience the higher the tier. The work of the security analysts is also overseen by an incident response manager, who has the authority to rank situations according to their assessment.

SOC Analyst Certifications

SOC analysts can pursue a number of certifications to acquire the requisite knowledge, including:

For Tier 1 and Tier 2 SOC Analysts, the EC-Council Certified SOC Analyst (CSA) exam, which covers basic and intermediate responsibilities, is advised.

The Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) exam from EC-Council: teaches increasingly complex tools and tasks.
The Security+ test from CompTIA covers the fundamentals and skills required to become a SOC analyst.
Materials and Equipment SOC analysts use this
SOC analysts use a variety of instruments and resources to assist them in doing their tasks:

Network scanners and security monitoring tools: find and examine the alerts that have been received.
Vulnerability and Threat Scanners: Help in notifying authorities of any events or weaknesses in the security protocols.

Threats are detected and information is logged into the system by intrusion prevention systems (IPS) and intrusion detection systems (IDS).

Firewalls: To improve the security of the company, manage network traffic and impose rules.
Obstacles SOC Teams Face
Aside from critical occurrences, a SOC team may encounter the following difficulties:

Shift Work: Some SOC Analysts will be allocated to night shifts because the SOC team guarantees round-the-clock surveillance and alarm response.
Increased Workload: The SOC Analysts’ workload will rise if the organisation receives more alerts and cases.
Communication Issues: When working with disparate tools and resources, the SOC team’s tiers may encounter communication issues when attempting to convey security alerts or replies to higher or lower levels.
When distinct resources and assessments are used for each level, the SOC team may find it difficult and time-consuming to resolve events.

Overcoming Obstacles

The following actions can be taken by organisations to resolve these issues:

Give every staff comprehensive training that emphasises cybersecurity awareness.
Use more effective technologies, such as SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) systems.
Clearly design incident response policies and procedures to improve the accuracy and efficiency of SOC analysts in handling problems.

In summary

In summary, there are a lot of duties associated with being a SOC analyst. Strong technical abilities, the capacity for teamwork and communication, and the capacity for timely and effective task management are among the requisite skill sets. The SOC team works together to bolster internal defence mechanisms and keep an eye on the organization’s security. While carrying out their responsibilities for the security operations centre team, SOC analysts will be able to make use of the resources, broaden their knowledge, deepen their expertise, and advance their career path at their company.