We got you covered.

The Role That a Security Operations Center Plays

Must Read

A security operations center plays a huge role in almost every security organization. It’s the central location where all issues are resolved, threats are monitored, and data is analyzed. But what does that all mean? What goes on in a center exactly?

Well, today, we’re going to answer all of your questions about the security operations center, and so much more. So stay tuned.

What Is a Security Operations Center?

A security operations center (SOC) is basically the central nervous system of any cybersecurity organization. If it’s well-run and efficient, it can deter any threat and squish it before it even comes up. However, when a SOC fails, there’ll probably end up being a huge cyberattack, which can cost an organization millions.

The people who are part of the SOC are usually the brains behind any and all cyber operations, and they’re made up of analysts, engineers, and managers. They work closely with response teams to ensure that all issues are resolved as they come up.

Nowadays, most organizations and companies are finding it too difficult to avoid attacks because they tend to be understaffed and overwhelmed. Not only that, but very few have a centralized system that would take care of these issues. That’s exactly where a SOC comes in.

How a SOC Works

Let’s clear something up right away; The team at the SOC aren’t the ones who’ll be designing security policy and writing extensive guidelines. That’s usually the job of the CSO.

The SOC team is responsible for dealing with the current and ongoing components of the security team. They will detect, report on, and analyze everything in order to prevent cyberattacks. Some of the center’s basic responsibilities include:

  • Forensic analysis
  • Cryptoanalysis
  • Reverse engineering malware

Usually, the first order of business that all centers have to start with is creating a good strategy. With that strategy, the team should include all the important goals and input from other departments, as well as the higher-ups.

Now that there’s a strategy in place, the next step is to build the infrastructure that’ll go along with it. Some of the most basic infrastructures that you’ll see in most centers are:

  • Firewalls
  • Probes
  • Event management systems
  • Breach detection solutions
  • IPS/IDS

The Center’s Key Functions

So far, we’ve established that a SOC does a lot of analysis and data collecting; But what does all of that mean?

Well, in simple terms, if they have the right data, and they’ve done their due diligence, they can know exactly where the next threat is coming from. They can also come up with the best strategies for handling that threat.

The SOC does non-stop monitoring around the clock, 24/7. They use a ton of different technology and equipment so that they can detect and report on any and all incidents.

With that said, if you’re looking to become part of a SOC, here are some of the things that you might be doing:

  • Protecting devices and data
  • Preventative maintenance
  • Proactive monitoring
  • Ranking alerts
  • Responding to threats
  • Managing logs
  • Recovering data and restoring systems
  • Root cause investigations
  • Compliance management

security operations center

Being Part of a SOC

While we’re on the topic of working at a security operations center, we wanted to talk about all the positions available there. With the right skills and education, you could easily find yourself working there one day.

First up, there’s the SOC manager, who is usually the leader of the entire team. The manager has to wear a lot of different hats, and while their job is mainly overseeing others, they can do any of the things that we’ve listed above.

Then, there’s the analyst, who will collect and (obviously) analyze all data that goes through the SOC. The analysis might be an ongoing thing or it could be after a breach.

Next up in the team is the investigator, who’s real work starts once a breach has happened. They need to answer the what, why, and when of the situation, as well as work closely with the responder.

Speaking of the responder, their main job is to directly address the breach. They’re the person who’s on the ground floor, trying to neutralize the threat.

Finally, most SOCs also have an auditor who ensures that the center is in compliance with all new laws and regulations.

The last thing you need to know about a SOC structure is that it can take many forms. Depending on the size and budget of the organization, one person can perform a lot of the roles that we’ve mentioned.

The Challenges of a SOC

The entire SOC team often deals with high-pressure situations, and their work never stops. That’s why they face a unique group of challenges that you might not find somewhere else in the EP industry.

For one, a lot of people can suffer from what’s known as alert fatigue. A single team can see dozens, if not hundreds of potential threats every single day.

Shuffling through all of those alerts, and trying to figure out which ones actually require attention is a difficult job, which is when alert fatigue comes in. That’s why it’s important to have specific guidelines and automize the process as much as possible, so the SOC can only deal with serious threats.

Another really big issue is sticking to the same strategy time and time again. Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean that it’ll have the same success now. Cyberattacks are always evolving, and so should the technology and skills to deal with them.

Bottom Line

As you can see, a security operations center plays a vital role in fending off attacks and keeping an organization safe. They are constantly at work, analyzing, and disrupting threats that could tear down a company. So if you want to be a part of a SOC, you need to keep evolving and learning something new every day, or you’ll soon fall behind.

One way you can do that is by reading up on some cyber trends for 2021. If you enjoy those, you can sign up for our newsletter, and get alerts on the latest things happening in the industry.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and articles from EP Wired.

Latest News

The Key Role of Private Security Officers

Over the course of their assignments, private security officers are not averse to coming across multiple types of employees,...

More Articles Like This

Download Advance Work: Route Survey

    Download Advance Work: Restaurant

      Download Helicopter Extration: Landing Zone

        EP Career

        Your registry of the best opportunities in executive protection.

        EP Directory
        The right place to explore EP companies.