Managing security involves more than just tools and gadgets. When deciding to establish a Security Operations Center, it’s crucial that you, the company’s security leader, take a number of additional things into account. Understanding the business plan and requirements, the capacity and skill set of those who will work in the Security Operations Center (SOC), individual and team duties, the budget, etc., are just a few of the topics on the list.
A Security Operations Center Is Required
You can’t block every hack or attack, which is a sad fact. Even the best and most sophisticated security mechanisms installed on every endpoint will occasionally fail you.
The only thing that matters in such a case is protecting your enterprise’s data and eliminating the threat. Additionally, you want to guarantee that the danger stays in your servers and systems for the shortest amount of time possible. Only if you have a system in place with continuous monitoring is this possible. You should also be aware of what to watch.
So it should come as no surprise that many businesses have set up Security Operations Centers to specifically address this issue and better prepare for the worst-case situation. The cybersecurity team that assesses, sets, and enforces security policies inside your company should include a Security Operations Center. In the event of an incident, they will also be the ones to respond.
Security Operations Center’s Problems
- A skills gap
The success of SOCs is determined by the human capacity to promptly recognize, assess, prioritize, and respond to security crises. Although there are many solutions on the market that enable businesses to collect and handle enormous volumes of data safely, human experience is often required to address the threats.
The lack of skilled workers is causing SOCs real problems, and many of them are claiming that their employees are being stolen by competitors. Two important areas that suffer due to the growing skill scarcity are fine-tuning the correlation criteria for threat identification and triaging the security alerts.
- Financial limitations
Despite the growing importance of SOCs, businesses are finding it difficult to secure the funding necessary to hire and maintain enough capacity. One of their biggest obstacles is a lack of money and reluctance to invest.
- Poorly recorded procedures
Many SOCs have issues because they either don’t have defined processes in place or are allowing those that do to become stale. Solutions for responding to incidents require ongoing documentation and clearly defined response protocols. The objective is to have flexible, portable, and fully integrated procedure management systems.
Creating a Security Operations Center (SOC): Best Practices
A successful Security Operations Center can be intimidating and challenging to set up. The CIOs who have been successful in this area have taught us the following recommended practices.
- Recognize the functions of a security operations center.
Although it may seem very simple, many of us still fail to comprehend what a SOC is intended to accomplish. All of your company endpoints and the network are monitored by a good security operations center, which also detects possible security problems and incidents and, of course, responds quickly and effectively to them.
They are not the same as the IT help desk. As a general rule, the Security Operations Center is primarily for the entire organization as a whole whereas the help desk is for employee-related IT concerns.
- Install the appropriate infrastructure
The selection of the right equipment and supplies is a key component of a successful security operations center. In the event of a breach, your team will be ineffective without these. They might not even be aware that there was a breach. Make sure to assess and buy the appropriate tools and goods based on the exposure and infrastructure of your firm. Among the frequently utilized items are:
- Endpoint Security Programs
- Security for automated applications
Tools for Security Information and Event Management
Systems for Asset Discovery
Tools for data monitoring, among others.
- Assemble the ideal squad.
A fantastic team is required for a good SOC. You require people with a variety of skill sets, including experts in:
- Keeping an eye on the system and handling alerts
- An incident manager who reviews each incident and makes recommendations
- A threat hunter to look for potential internal occurrences
All of these abilities need extensive training and experience in areas like malware anatomy, intrusion detection, and reverse engineering. Make sure you have a budget, both for the team’s initial hiring and for ongoing training.
Oh, and considering that we are talking about hiring a staff for a Security Operation Center, keep in mind that the SOC will require a dedicated manager. SOCs can demand a great deal of chaos and continual coordination between several teams. The ability to manage crises is a must for the person who will lead this team.
- Establish an incident response program.
A successful Security Operations Center must have an incident response team. A competent incident response team inside the SOC can choose the optimum method for allocating and managing incidents discovered and put a specified action plan into effect. They can also assist in creating a repeating workflow based on observed incidents. In the event of an incident requiring organizational-wide restitution, they are also a crucial component of communication between the business, legal, and PR teams.
The incident response team must take every feasible preventative measure. They must closely adhere to a predetermined response guideline or assist in creating one based on experience.
- Always be on the defense
Last but certainly not least, protecting the perimeter is one of the main goals of a security operations center. Teams that concentrate on detection and teams that concentrate on prevention are required. To help improve at this, the SOC team has to collect as much data as they can.
The SOC must manage more events per second and flows per interval as more data and context are gathered. While this is true, it is evident that false positives should be kept to a minimum in order to maximize the use of analysts’ time.
SOC teams’ use of security tools
In order to ensure smooth operation, a modern SOC must be up to date on all the newest security tools. Traditional SOC resources include:
Systems for governance, risk, and compliance
Information and event management for security (SIEM)
Tools for advanced penetration testing and vulnerability scanning
Systems for detecting intrusions (IDS)
Prevention of Wireless Infiltration
Systems for preventing intrusions (IPS)
Next-generation firewalls (NGFW) and firewalls
logging management programs
intelligence feed system for cyberthreats
The next-generation technologies, in particular SIEMs, which offer sophisticated behavioural analytics, machine learning, and threat hunting capabilities together with integrated automated incident response, have advanced SOCs in their work. The SOC teams are able to quickly and effectively identify and counteract cyber threats thanks to modern security tools and technologies.
Process of the Security Operation Center (SOC)
Step 1: Recognize and Classify Events
Utilizing the top security technology on the SOC market to bolster SIEM capabilities is the first step. Businesses can reduce risks to normalize and enrich their data by using technology that secure the network from outside interference.
Threat identification and damage management are made easier if the team creates a strong SOC and uses SIEM to augment and standardize data.
Prioritize and analyze in Step 2
A robust approach is required to prioritize, plan, and address the problem right away if the enterprise’s Security Operations Center discovers the underlying threats. Security professionals must assess and prioritize any triggered alarms before properly organizing the response. Prioritizing alarms enables analysts to concentrate on the cyberthreats that appear to be most dangerous and require the most attention.
Resolve the Risk, the third step
The damage control would be more effective the faster the team could respond to a cyberthreat or security issue thanks to the SOC protocols. Reduce the time to detect (MTTD) and minimize the time to respond (MTTR) to the threat for every cyber incident or attack that companies experience. As time passes, keep in mind that the risks only increase.
Each security issue is different, thus teams should have a variety of remediation techniques to address such a wide range of situations. Remediation entails a variety of security operations responsibilities, such as patching or upgrading systems, conducting routine vulnerability checks, limiting or updating network access, and many more.
Run a routine system review in step four.
Running routine vulnerability scans is required, regardless of whether the company encounters a false alert or a genuine threat. This enables the security teams to recognize any technical flaws and problems that the company has to prioritize and address right away.
In order to provide pre-configured compliance modules that automatically handle all common legislation and frameworks to help accomplish cybersecurity standards, security operations centers should have all cutting-edge solutions at their disposal.
A SOC’s design is much more complicated than simply hiring a team and purchasing some equipment. It has a lot to do with making the proper investments at the right times, anticipating potential risks, and coordinating security strategy with operational requirements.
The first line of defense for any corporate organization is your security operations center. The more prepared they are, the better they can defend the company.