A Security Operations Center is sometimes abbreviated as SOC and pronounced as “sock.” It is a centralized unit that deals with security issues on an organization and technical level. SOC comprises three main components, including people, processes, and technology. Its primary purpose is to ensure that an organization is protected against any threats.
There are a few differing things that a SOC can be responsible for (such as physical building security and alarm systems), but for the purposes of this article, a SOC is designed to offer a centralized area for monitoring and countering any cybersecurity threats. Sometimes this is referred to as an Information Security Operations Center, or ISOC. This sort of SOC can be located in a remote location and is generally one of the most critical areas of any organization’s security.
The Key Functions of a SOC
Below are some of the functions of a modern Security Operations Center.
Continuous Proactive Monitoring
The SOC features state-of-the-art tools that monitors your network on a 24-hour basis. This ensures that your security system or teams can detect any unusual behaviors and flag them down. Once a security threat is detected, the SOC will quickly send a notification and allow your security team to quickly act to mitigate or forestall the risk.
Examples of monitoring tools include Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) or Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). These tools are able to monitor daily activity from a multitude of sources and devices and flag down anything out of the ordinary. In that way, they help keep your data safe at all times.
Preparation and Preventative Maintenance
Regardless of how secure a system may be, there is no way to stop new problems from occurring. That is why SOC utilizes preparation and preventative maintenance measures to keep everything running smoothly.
The first is preparation. SOC often has tools that allow security teams to stay up to date with the latest security measures and cybercrime trends. This makes it possible for such teams to come up with sound strategies to prevent any risks from occurring.
On the other hand, preventive maintenance refers to any activity that is taken to make cyber attacks more difficult. For example, upgrading software/firmware or running frequent repair updates to your systems and devices are a few of the things that can help forestall any threats.
Takes Stock of Assets and Offers Protection
The SOC is designed in such a way that it has control over all the assets available in a network. This may include endpoint servers, installed software, and third-party services, plus the traffic that flows between them. Because the SOC is able to monitor these assets and processes, it is easy for it to deploy a defensive mechanism in case a threat is detected.
Recovery and Remediation
It is worth pointing out that no matter how impenetrable your security system may seem, some threats end up getting through. In such events, the SOC is designed to recover any lost data and repair anything that can be salvaged.
Some of the activities that may take place in such events include wiping and restarting endpoints and reconfiguring systems. In case of a ransomware attack, the SOC deploys backups to bypass the ransomware. Your systems should be back to normal at the end of the recovery and remediation process.
Another important function of SOC is that it acts as the first responder when threats are detected. For instance, when a threat is detected, SOC can go ahead and shut down systems, isolate endpoints, delete files, and terminate processes that may end up compromising the overall security system. In this case, the main aim is to minimize damage or prevent any eventual data loss.
Once an event has occurred, it is essential for the management of any organization to carry out investigations and determine the root cause. Without knowing the root cause of a problem, it may be quite difficult to prevent future occurrences. The SOC is responsible for figuring out exactly what happened and why it did.
The SOC uses various resources available, including log data, to determine the exact problem and its source. A successful investigation is likely to ensure the future prevention of similar problems.
There are a number of SOC processes that are guided by industry best practices. However, there are also those processes that are laid down by the governing authorities in each region. In such a case, a SOC can help to meet these compliance requirements.
Some examples of the regulations that must be adhered to include HIPAA, CMMC, PCI and NIST. These regulations are in place to ensure that information and other sensitive data regarding companies or individuals remain confidential and safe.
Cybercriminals are constantly coming up with new ways to hack systems, retrieve data, and even corrupt files through viruses. The Security Operations Center is responsible for staying ahead of the would-be cybercriminals. Upgrading software and systems continuously is one of the ways to stay ahead of criminals. Implementing new practices to tighten security can also be among SOC’s activities.
Taking security to the next level
As noted above, a SOC is one of the most important departments of any organization. It is the wall that secures all information and ensures that your company remains compliant with set regulations. But the truth is that not all organizations are able to develop their own SOC.
That is where we come in. At a COUPLE of GURUS, we offer SOC and SIEM services with our Managed Cybersecurity services.
Additionally, we offer IT solutions to ensure advanced security and help regulated organizations stay compliant. So instead of leaving your organization vulnerable to security threats, why not go ahead and give us a call?