A SOC is an entire business unit that is entirely dedicated to
cybersecurity. The group monitors traffic flow and watches for threats
and attacks, and are an essential team for companies of all sizes—all
companies are susceptible to data breaches and cyberattacks.
A SOC focuses entirely on a company’s security, helping to ensure
less downtime and faster incident responses. There are also monitoring
tools and SOC solutions that build redundancies into their models to
prevent any downtime.
Building customer trust
One data breach can be enough to turn customers away from an
organization. Customers want to work with an organization that takes
security seriously. Avoiding breaches and putting a strong emphasis on
security can help customers keep a peace of mind as they do business
with a company.
The most recent SOC models offer software as a service (SaaS) programs that are subscription based. The SOC’s team of experts build a cybersecurity strategy, ideally operation 24/7, while consistently monitoring networks and endpoints. In the event that a threat or vulnerability is discovered, the SOC will work with onsite IT teams to create a response and investigate the source.
Dedicated or internal SOC
A company hosts their own cybersecurity team.
A security team that works remotely.
Global or command SOC
Larger, more high-level groups that oversee smaller SOCs.
A company’s IT department teams up with an external SOC vendor to manage security together.
SOC manager or director
SOC managers lead their respective organization at the top-level,
which includes workforce management, budgeting, and setting priorities.
They usually work one step below a chief information security officer
They react to and analyze security alerts the moment they occur. They
typically use a range of monitoring tools to analyze the severity of
alerts, and they engage once an alert has been labeled an actionable
Threat hunters proactively search for threats and weaknesses across a
network. Ideally, they identify threats and vulnerabilities before they
can impact the business.
The analyst who investigates and gathers information after an attack,
then preserves the digital evidence for future preventative measures.
SOC analyst/cybersecurity analyst
They are responsible for escalating potential threats after analyzing all threats and determining the levels of severity.
Take stock of available resources
SOC is responsible for devices, applications, and processes, as well as defensive tools to ensure continued protection.
What the SOC protects
It is the SOC’s function to have a complete view of a business’s
critical data, including software, servers, endpoints, and third-party
services, along with all of the traffic being exchanged between the
How the SOC protects
A SOC uses agility to protect a company. They develop a strong level
of expertise of all possible tools in cybersecurity and workflows that
the SOC uses.
Preparation and preventative maintenance
Responses can be quickly executed, but a well-equipped team still
needs to prepare and take preventative measures to ensure cyber
SOC professionals stay informed on the latest in cybersecurity
innovations and the latest threats. Staying constantly updated can help
with the continuous evolution of their security roadmap, which can act
as a guide for the company’s security efforts moving forward.
Prevention means taking all necessary steps to make attacks more
difficult to succeed, like regularly updating software systems, securing
applications, updating policies, applying patches, whitelisting, and
Continuous proactive monitoring
Monitoring should run 24/7, as abnormalities or suspicious activity
can occur any time of the day. A SOC monitoring around the clock can be
immediately notified, which gives them the opportunity to respond
immediately to incidents. Some organizations deploy monitoring tools
such as an EDR and most include a SIEM, both of which have the
capabilities to help analyze the difference between normal operations
and threat-like behavior.
Alert ranking and management
The SOC is responsible for looking closely at each alert that comes
from the monitoring tools. This gives them the opportunity to properly
Reduces network downtime and ensures business continuity
A company needs the least amount of network downtime to maintain
operations. The SOC notifies the company of any security breach that
could affect the network.
The SOC acts as a first-responder when there has been a security
incident. They can perform actions like isolating endpoints, terminate
harmful processes, preventing processes from executing, and deleting
files. Ideally, the SOC ensures that the security incident causes the
least amount of downtime possible.
Recovery and remediation
The SOC will work to restore systems and recover anything that has
been lost. Part of this process may include restarting endpoints, wiping
endpoints, deploying backups, or reconfiguring systems.
The SOC collects and reviews logs of all network activity for the
entirety of an organization. The logs contain data that can indicate a
baseline for normal network activity, and what could be indicative of a
threat and such data also assists in forensics during the aftermath of
Root cause investigation
Post-incident, it is the responsibility of the SOC to research the
root cause of a security incident. They can use log data to find a
possible source or identify an anomaly, at which point preventative
measures can be applied.
Security refinement and improvement
Proper security measures require constant vigilance, which includes
refinement and improvement of security measures. Plans that are outlined
in a security road map are applied, and refinements are constantly
added to the road map to improve measures against cyber criminals, who
are also always refining their methods.
SOCs are necessary for fighting against cyber attacks, which can significantly damage a company.
Centralized approach to threat detection and response
A SOC team leverages a centralized system for monitoring a company’s
security, which means that all software and processes are stored in one
place for smoother operations.
Maintain client and employee confidence
Customers expect organizations to take security seriously and protect
their data. One incident can be enough to lose a customer, which is why
a SOC team helps monitor and prevent attacks before they can infiltrate
Ensure minimum impact to business from cyber attacks
Security breaches may lead to significant losses in business
reputation and revenue, which can dramatically alter an ROI and
company’s bottom line. Firms save money that they would otherwise lose
in recoveries and lost revenue from network downtime.
SOC’s presence for several years has yielded a series of best practices.
Accelerated incident response
A SOC monitors network activity 24/7, which allows for rapid incident
response. The moment a threat is detected, the SOC team should respond
at an accelerated rate to ensure that the threat is neutralized before
it can contribute to any downtime or result in the loss of data or
Machine Learning systems have the capabilities to monitor logs and
watch traffic flows—they function on a trained algorithm that is meant
to detect anomalies and immediately report suspicious activity. This can
save time and allow security practitioners to focus on patterns and
anomalies and work more efficiently.
The cloud has made cybersecurity more tricky, as a series of
interconnected devices have created a wider surface area for
cyberattackers to penetrate a firewall. All connections of the cloud
infrastructure should be analyzed to identify where threats and
vulnerabilities could be located.
Staying ahead of cyber criminals
Cybercriminals are becoming more and more innovative in their attack
methods. Cybersecurity teams need to also take an innovative and
creative approach to preventative plans in anticipation of ever-evolving
There are many tools available to SOC practitioners. There are basic
tools like firewalls and intrusion detection systems and foundational
tools such as SIEMs. But more advanced tools are beginning to emerge,
which will increase efficiency and accuracy. For example, tools that can
analyze activity over the entire perimeter and reveals multiple points
of entry that a hacker can target.
Why do you need a security operation center?
It is essential for an organization to safeguard its data and assets.
A SOC can protect a network and ensure that an organization is less
vulnerable to attacks, which provides a peace of mind for customers and
What should a SOC monitor?
All network traffic from both internal and external sources, including servers, databases, and routers.
What is the difference between NOC and SOC?
A network operations center (NOC) focuses on monitoring the uptime of a network rather than cybersecurity threats.
What is the difference between SOC and SIEM?
Security information and event management (SIEM) is a network
monitoring solution, providing alerts and network usage benchmarks for
SOC teams to leverage.
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