Cybersecurity has never really been simple, but recent years have seen it become even more complex. New threats are constantly emerging and mutating in order to avoid detection, and it’s very hard to keep up with all those changes. In light of this fact, companies are looking for new solutions that can optimize their security apparatus. In this article, we will discuss one of the many options that are available to you, and that is the security operation center.
What Is A Security Operation Center?
As the name implies, this is a central location from which IT employees and cybersecurity professionals can monitor the entire network on a 24-hour basis. A SOC might consist of multiple rooms or just one and might have anywhere from 1-50 employees. In most cases, it is a room full of monitors, computers, and servers, although this does not necessarily have to be the case. As you can see, a SOC is a very simple idea that can be implemented in many different ways. Now let’s look at the benefits that come from using a SOC.
Quicker Incident Response
In spite of your IT team’s best efforts, it is virtually impossible to make a system or network 100% secure. As such, there is always a chance that a data breach or a cyberattack can get through your defenses. If you’re dealing with an insider threat, the chances of disaster become much greater because that insider will know the best ways to infiltrate the system.
When something like that happens, quick response is essential. This allows your cybersecurity people to stop the attack before any further damage is done and may even allow them to trace the culprit and find out who they are. However, both of these require a rapid response. When you have a human monitoring every aspect of the network (as opposed to a computer), they can immediately deploy solutions. In many cases, they can solve these problems without ever leaving the room.
Constant Network Monitoring
There are so many ways in which cybercriminals can gain illicit access to a given network. Scripts, phishing, and all sorts of other tricks are routinely used. However, even after gaining the credentials to log in, the attacker can still be caught in the act. When they connect to the victim network, that connection can be detected by a network monitoring program like Nmap or Wireshark.
Although network monitoring can be automated to some extent, it still requires a critical eye and a basic knowledge of how the internet works. Without this, the raw data that is constantly being exchanged will make no sense. When you have a SOC, it is easier to make sure that someone is monitoring that network at all times. With all the tools and monitors right in front of them, they can even multitask to a certain extent.
Much Better Information-Gathering
There are many cases in which a network goes down for no apparent reason. At that point, the IT people will have to investigate and determine the source of the problem. However, when they are operating from a SOC, that investigation will probably be a lot quicker. A SOC is constantly monitoring all aspects of the network and keeping detailed logs for future reference. Thus, you don’t have to take any special steps when investigating a problem. You can just consult the data that has already been gathered.
Apart from this, it is nice to have all of your logs and data in the same place. That will also make it easier for your SIEM tools to function accurately. A SOC will almost certainly include a database into which all relevant information is placed. When it’s time to analyze that information, you don’t have to worry about gathering it from multiple places. You can just turn on one machine and view everything easily.
IT types tend to be the kind of people that prefer to work alone. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, everyone needs a little advice from time to time. After all, cybersecurity is a big subject, and you can’t reasonably expect one person to know everything. However, a room full of IT experts is another story. Between all of them, they should have the skill sets to deal with any problem.
A SOC aids this collaboration because it keeps all your best IT people in the same area for most of the day. Thus, if someone has a question or if they need help with a difficult situation, help is right there to be had.
More Efficient Use Of Space
Depending on the size of your company’s network and premises, it might be very important to save space. When this is the case, a SOC is definitely a good idea. Instead of giving every tech a separate office, you can just have them use the SOC as their primary workspace. Not only that, but you can also keep the majority of your network assets in one room. You may even want to incorporate your server racks into the SOC, as they are frequent targets for insider threats.
In case you aren’t noticing the theme here, a SOC provides better visibility and better situational awareness. The centralization of all your logs, SIEM data, and databases will make it far easier to find anomalies and problems, and that leads to better compliance with laws and regulations. There isn’t much to say about this aspect, except for the fact that it can save you a lot of money on fines and lawsuits.
Some would say that a Security Operation Center is essential for those who want maximum security. We would mostly agree with this statement, even though you can certainly achieve good security without one. However, why pass up a useful tool that can make your life easier? A SOC offers many benefits, and you might even be able to find a few that we missed. PCH Technologies has a lot of experience and expertise when it comes to the design of SOCs, and we would be happy to put that knowledge to work for you. If you would like to know more, please call (856)754-7500.