What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

We have written a lot about the need for information security, and there are good reasons for that fact. This is one of the biggest and most rapidly evolving threats in the world today, and it menaces people in more ways than one. Criminal hackers can potentially use personal information gleaned online to attack you in the physical world, or they might simply be content to rob you blind from afar. Regardless of the danger, people must rise to meet the challenge of 21st-century cybersecurity.

Of course, security is a many-faceted stone and requires attention to many areas at once. To that end, some organizations are now choosing to consolidate all of their security apparatuses in one central location. That central location is usually known as a Security Operations Center, or S.O.C. for short.

What Is A Security Operations Center?

When you are extremely serious about cybersecurity, it makes sense to consolidate all your security operations in one location. The S.O.C. is responsible for monitoring the network at all times and ensuring that everything is running as it should. Their duties also include responding in the event of a problem. With everyone in one place, it should be easier to communicate with team members.

What Does An S.O.C Do?

On a day-to-day basis, the majority of the work done by the S.O.C. involves monitoring. Whether it’s monitoring the flow of network packets or analyzing all the inbound and outbound connections, a security operations center is mainly focused on keeping you safe through constant vigilance.

It isn’t surprising that these things have become commonplace, as they have arisen in response to a real need. Network monitoring can be automated to a certain extent, but there are definite limits. In the end, there is no substitute for the discretion of a qualified and intelligent human. As such, automatic network monitoring and response tools will never be as good as the real thing.

Why Use A Security Operations Center?

We should mention that not everyone needs an S.O.C. If your organization and its needs are small, it wouldn’t be very cost-effective to have a dedicated facility just for security monitoring. However, those who handle a lot of sensitive data can gain quite a few advantages by implementing a plan that involves a new S.O.C.

Decreased Response Time

If a cyber-incident of some kind should occur, a team of dedicated people can probably respond a lot faster than an in-house I.T. team. After all, an in-house I.T. team has a lot on their plate apart from security. The staff at any S.O.C., on the other hand, can focus on one thing only. Also, the kinds of people who work in the S.O.C. are probably going to be dedicated experts in the field of cyber-protection. As such, they will be ready to spring into action at the first sign of a breach.
Less Downtime

Not all threats come from hackers or criminals. Some network threats actually come from the network itself. It is normal for businesses to suffer a little bit of downtime, but too much of it can get really expensive. Depending on how much business you do on a daily basis, you can end up losing thousands of dollars or more. Many network downtime issues are caused by simple incompatibility issues, and these can usually be corrected quickly…but only if the right people are there!

Better Compliance

Chances are, your particular industry has a whole slew of regulations to follow. Of course, some businesses are far more regulated than others, but all of them have rules that they must follow. If these regulations and laws are not followed, the result can be expensive fines, the loss of one’s public image, or even the shutdown of one’s entire business. Because the people working inside of a security operations center are already spending a lot of time monitoring things, you might as well have them monitor the various departments for regulatory compliance. It’s a lot easier to find these things on your own, and a lot cheaper as well!

Constant Situational Awareness

It is no exaggeration to say that cybersecurity professionals are in a never-ending war with cyber-criminals. That might be a somewhat dramatic way of putting it, but that fact is nonetheless true. So, how can you win that battle? Well, as with any conflict, situational awareness is key to victory. Instead of having to call four or five different offices/departments, the S.O.C. allows you to get all of your answers from one place. It also allows your I.T. workers to maintain constant and interconnected vigilance.

Far Less Chance Of Data Theft

Although the use of a security operations center will not completely remove the threat of data theft, it will certainly make it far less likely. Let’s be honest here: The people working in your S.O.C. are aware of the fact that security is their responsibility. As such, they know that they stand to be held liable in the event of a data breach. That gives them a powerful motivation to catch these incidents and deal with them effectively. It is very, very hard for a hacker to penetrate a closed network without leaving some sign of their passing. It might be a little thing, but there will always be some indication. For instance, those who are affected by botnet malware will often experience a large decrease in the speed of their device. For a dedicated professional, that small discrepancy is more than enough.

Conclusion

Although it isn’t necessarily the right way for everyone, the use of a security operations center can definitely help one to obtain a higher level of preparedness. Naturally, it only works if you have a good crew of knowledgeable people, but that is obvious. We hope that you have learned everything you need to know about this subject and that you will come back again soon. If you have questions about security operations centers or managed IT support services, you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.