A security operations center (SOC) is a group of cybersecurity experts that protect their assigned organization from IT security threats. They do this through monitoring, identifying, and analyzing online threats.
The SOC cybersecurity team is responsible for keeping track of assets and ensuring their safety and protection. These assets can include employee information, intellectual property, business applications, and brand integrity. The security operations center will act as the focal point of the organization in collaborating against cyberattacks.
At CloudZen Partners, we provide IT security solutions that are designed to bridge cybersecurity gaps and thwart digital threats before they become a significant problem. We work together with security product suppliers to counteract threats introduced internally or externally.
How Does a Security Operations Center (SOC) Work?
The main purpose of the security operations center is to monitor and alert the organization in case of security threats. Teams that are assigned to SOC providers will have responsibilities like gathering and analyzing data concerning suspicious activities. They also improve the organization’s cybersecurity capabilities overall.
SOC personnel will collect threat data from their intrusion detection/prevention systems, firewalls, security information and event management (SIEM) apps, and more. In case there are abnormal patterns or discrepancies observed, these SOC solutions will inform their respective team members of potential issues.
These are the main responsibilities of SOC providers:
- Activity log maintenance: SOC teams will keep track of all activity and communications that go on in the organization. With the help of activity logs, cybersecurity specialists can identify any suspicious activity that could have caused a security breach.
- Asset discovery: An SOC team will assess all the tools and technologies an organization uses to make sure that all assets are covered in case of security incidents.
- Alert ranking: Another responsibility of SOC personnel is to prioritize alerts based on severity. Given that not all security incidents are the same, focusing on incidents that pose a higher risk is crucial.
- Behavioral monitoring: SOC teams are responsible for assessing technologies for any issues that could cause a data breach. They monitor these systems around the clock and employ a range of measures to detect and address problems immediately.
- Compliance management: Besides providing cybersecurity measures, the SOC team must also operate according to the policies of the organization while remaining compliant with industry standards.
- Incident response: Responding to incidents as soon as they occur is one of the main responsibilities of SOC teams. Team members employ both reactive and proactive actions to address these issues as quickly as possible.
- Root cause investigation: The SOC team can also be charged for investigating the root cause of an incident. This investigation will help the organization by giving everyone information about the issue and how they can prevent it from happening again in the future.
What Activities Occur in a Security Operations Center?
One of the fundamental activities of every SOC team member is to obtain information from a variety of resources to identify and understand potential threats. The data they need can come from CTI threat feeds and log files from organizational systems.
Monitoring incidents is crucial, which is why SOC teams need to keep track of all endpoints, perimeter devices, and servers to pinpoint these issues as soon as they are detected.
Once the information has been obtained, SOC specialists will then work to interpret the data to bring out actionable insights. During interpretation, they will identify what caused the problems while getting rid of duplicate data.
Besides all these, SOC team members also spend much of their time analyzing conditions that could cause attackers to exploit weaknesses in their organization’s network. These are the main conditions they look out for:
- Any servers and endpoints that are yet unpatched: SOC team members will help identify unpatched systems that could be used by hackers to get into their organization’s systems.
- Risky endpoints: Such endpoints include those that have no antivirus capabilities included or have poorly updated virus databases.
- Neglected perimeter and edge devices: Routers, switches, and network devices that have been neglected for some time could be a gap that cybercriminals can exploit to break into a network.
Common Challenges of Security Operations Centers
- Talent gap: The continuously growing demand for cybersecurity professionals has led to a lack of skilled professionals to fill their roles.
- Attacks are becoming more complex: Cybercriminals are constantly updating their techniques and tools to exploit organizational networks for various purposes.
- Huge amounts of data and network traffic: Big data is the norm nowadays, and SOC teams will have to constantly deal with the significant growth in its volume.
- Alert fatigue: SOC teams can be easily overwhelmed with the number of notifications and alerts they receive concerning their assigned networks.
- Security system overload: Many organizations today try to use numerous IT security tools in the hopes of catching possible threats. However, these tools are usually disconnected from one another, which leads to difficulty in synchronizing efforts to identify complex issues.
- Rising number of unknown threats: Attackers know that the conventional approach of deploying their malware is no longer effective, resulting in many of them constantly changing their tactics. Many traditional endpoint detections and parameter systems are unable to detect and identify these unknown threats.
How CloudZen Partners Can Help With Your IT Security Needs
CloudZen Partners is a leading security operations center provider with many years of experience handling modern and sophisticated cybersecurity threats. Our team of SOC specialists is skilled in performing a wide range of IT security routines such as:
- Managing firewall solutions that includes cloud, premise, and virtualized security services
- Detecting and preventing network intrusions within the network
- Analyzing real-time log flow to constantly monitor and pinpoint suspicious activities
- Mitigating DDoS through IP filtering, rate limiting, and network routing protocols
At the same time, we collaborate with many reputable security entities to provide our SOC as a service