The many interconnected digital and operational elements of business need to function seamlessly. In most cases, 24/7, 365 days a year. There’s no room for error. Your website simply cannot go down. You can’t fall victim to a single ransomware attack. Your systems can’t suddenly stop speaking to one another.
A cyberattack affects your uptime, productivity, and cash flow – but it also affects the trust that customers have in you. IT availability and security is, at its heart, an issue that affects people.
And that’s why the people element of cybersecurity is so important. That’s why organisations need a SOC – a Security Operations Centre combining products, processes, and people.
- What role do people play in a SOC?
- Why is a SOC so important in business?
- What exactly does a SOC team do?
- Who Has Responsibilities in a Security Operations Centre?
People are the driving force in a SOC and are ultimately responsible for shielding your business against disaster. SOC personnel monitor and manage security alerts, triage, and respond to threats, investigate and analyse events, upkeep and maintain IT systems and think strategically about IT resources.
A SOC is your organisation’s first line of defence against the immediate and ongoing cyberthreats every business faces. Today’s commercial world demands that businesses can access data in real-time with seamless processes that create zero operational disruption.
However, there is a downside to such advanced capabilities. Namely, whilst almost all devices are equipped with firewalls and security protocols to protect corporate data, these security functions simply aren’t a match for sophisticated and determined cybercriminals.
The bottom line: as any shrewd business will tell you, employing a SOC team will provide the surest security possible. Whether you outsource, develop a SOC in-house or combine two approaches, your SOC will share the same roles and responsibilities.
Monitor and manage security equipment
A SOC team uses their expertise to select the best equipment and software for a business. They know how to leverage specific products and tools to deliver tailored cybersecurity that fends off an organisation’s biggest and most persistent risks.
Undertake investigation and analysis
Analysts actively monitor network performance, detecting and reporting any suspicious activities which could indicate a threat. Once any alerts of suspicious activity are received, the SOC team assesses the threat and responds accordingly.
This stage-by-stage approach allows security analysts to neutralise the threat and mitigate any risk of losing productivity, data and cash flow. Following a near-miss or direct hit, SOC incident responders advise all necessary stakeholders of action to be taken.
Strategically use IT resources
A SOC inevitability produces more security alerts – if you look, you will find! However, whether serious or not, more alarms mean more resources. Why? They each must be addressed individually and can direct resources from more pressing issues or initiatives.
A SOC triages alerts and automates certain responses. This means that technical teams only address threats that need human intervention and can be more efficient and strategic when they do so – focusing on business-critical issues while ensuring that background alerts are streamlined with automation.
Safeguard uptime and business continuity
SOC teams work continually to reinforce security posture and mitigate threats from reaching mission-critical infrastructure. While incident triaging allows for rapid response, that’s not to say that proactive work gets forgotten. In fact, cybercriminals often target those background vulnerabilities such as unpatched operating systems and outdated applications and lay in wait.
A SOC takes care of maintenance required for seamless system performance, 24/7, 365 days a year. From patching and provisioning to updates and directory management, a SOC safeguards your digital assets promptly and protects them from unplanned downtime.
Regulatory compliance support
Regulatory compliance plays a big role in IT and security operations. Meeting ever-changing standards and preparing audits can be time-consuming and complex. But although security breaches can land us in hot (and expensive!) water with regulators, regulations are ultimately there as a framework for robust security and data protection.
A SOC – often working with a Chief Information Security Officer – will help organisations implement and keep on top of myriad regulatory obligations. Their work includes data aggregation and reporting, in addition to keeping abreast of IT practices and threat intelligence data that could destabilise compliance position.
When all’s said and done, a SOC team is responsible for a business’s IT and in today’s commercial environment, that’s pretty much your entire business operations!
A SOC is broken up into functions and individual roles and responsibilities. This ownership and accountability are where a SOC differs from more dispersed methods of security delivery or entirely hands-free, automated solutions.
There are five main roles in a SOC:
- SOC Manager
- Security Engineer
- Security Analyst
- Incident Responder
- Security Investigator
There will be one Manager, but potential role duplication further down the hierarchy.
Security Operations Centre Manager Overview
A SOC manager is responsible for directing security operations and ensuring that analysts and engineers know their roles and can perform each task proficiently, detecting and resolving threats.
Security Operations Centre Engineer Overview
Security Engineers are responsible for maintaining and updating tools and systems to maximise performance and supplying and gathering any security documentation once completed, such as reports.
Security Operations Centre Analyst Overview
Security Analysts dig deep – finding unknown, day-zero or never-before-seen threats. They also review previous threats and mitigation techniques throughout the IT chain and advise steps for improving continued posture.
Security Operations Centre Incident Responder Overview
Incident Responders identify threats and decide how they are triaged, prioritised and dealt with. They can implement changes to protect businesses if a cyber threat happens.
Security Operations Centre Security Investigator Overview
Security Investigators think strategically. They develop risk management and reduction strategies alongside threat analyses. Following attacks, they work with Incident Responders to identify damaged or infected IT infrastructure.
Everyone needs to be clear about their roles and responsibilities in SOC. A SOC team must be a well-oiled machine, clear of ambiguity and strong on accountability. Only this will safeguard your business and ensure you get the full benefits of a SOC.
To learn more about how Sentis Managed Solutions can help you design, develop and deploy a robust, cost-efficient SOC, get in touch with us today.