What is Security Operations Center (SOC)?
Security Operations Center (SOC) includes an information security team that monitors and examines an organization’s security status around the clock. The objective of setting up SOC is to identify, prevent and respond to cybersecurity threats using the best suitable technological solutions in order to avoid a data breach. The team is responsible for safeguarding the organization’s data including personnel data, brand integrity, intellectual property, and business systems.
A security operations center (SOC) continuously evaluates the activities going on the servers, database, websites, networks, application, domain controller, email, firewall, active directory, DNS, and other connected systems to detect malicious activities which could result in data breach or compromise. In case of identification of such security incidents, a SOC identifies, prevents, investigates, responds, and reports the incident.
For efficient conduct of SOC, the team generally consists of a SOC manager, security, threat hunter, security analysts, and engineers who coordinate with the incident response team simultaneously. The role of the whole organization is to ensure that security issues are addressed and responded to as quickly as possible.
Working of a SOC
Contrary to the security strategy development team which develops security architecture, a SOC team monitors the ongoing operational components to ensure security checks. The security analysts and engineers are responsible for detecting, analyzing, and responding to security incidents on the existing network and systems. An advanced SOC team has added proficiencies like malware reverse engineering, forensic analysis, and cryptanalysis.
The setting up of a SOC begins with the establishment of working strategies for various departments working in close coordination. These business-specific goals further help in defining the infrastructure needed to support the strategy.
An ideal SOC infrastructure consists of firewalls, breach detection solutions, security information and event management (SIEM), IPS/IDS, probes. Relevant technology for data collection and analysis should be in place. SOC is also responsible for detecting vulnerabilities in the network and endpoints while complying with government regulations.
Roles and responsibilities of SOC
The organizational structure and team size of SOC depends on the type and size of the industry. However, the goal is common – to monitor and enhance the security structure of the company. A SOC team uses the latest threat intelligence to detect if there are any occurring threats, their scope and impact, and the remediation approaches. The roles and responsibilities of a SOC team may evolve as per the severity and frequency of the security incidents.
Safeguard the available resources:
SOC is responsible for safeguarding the existing network system and the SOC defensive tools. The primary goal is to gain access to a complete business networking system including the servers, endpoints, applications, and third-party services concerned with the devices and cloud. A complete understanding of network traffic flow and cybersecurity tools helps SOC to prevent potential security incidents.
The best way to avoid a cyberattack is to prepare and employ preventive measures beforehand. A SOC team should be updated with the latest security technology, potential threats, and latest cybercrime trends to create a preventive roadmap. This will help in safeguarding the company’s assets from upcoming cyber threats. SOC is responsible for continuously refining and enhancing security measures to stay ahead of cybercriminals. One of the ways of achieving such refinements is a hands-on practice like red-teaming and blue-teaming.
The other preventive step is the maintenance and update of existing networking systems. It generally includes identification and patching of vulnerabilities, whitelisting and blacklisting of resources, and application security.
The SOC tools are equipped to monitor the network activities around the clock and detect malicious activities if any. The real-time assessment enables the SOC to be informed at all times and respond to cyber threats immediately. SIEM and EDR are some of the best monitoring tools which make the whole process efficient.
It is important for SOC to analyze the severity of threats and their target. It enables the team to triage threats and prioritize their operations accordingly. In case of a security incidence, SOC comes into play by shutting down the endpoints and stopping malicious processes. The objective is to terminate the process at an early stage to minimize data loss and impact on the business. SOC also ensures that no such attack takes place in the future.
Remediation and recovery:
After the incident has occurred, SOC is responsible for recovering and restoring the lost data. Although, the steps of remediation will different on the type of attack and its severity. This step generally adopted by the SOC team are – Reimage systems, Patch or update systems, Re-configure system access, Re-configure network access, Review monitoring capabilities on servers and other assets and validate patching procedures.
Log assessment and management:
SOC maintains and reviews the network activity logs of the company. It helps in keeping track and identifying any abnormal activities. The collected data serves as an important asset at the time of remediation and forensics. SIEM is a powerful SOC tool that can collect data from the firewalls, applications, endpoints, operating systems, etc
After a security incident happens, SOC carries out an investigation to determine the cause sources of the incident. Using the log data and other relevant data, SOC is able to figure out the source and apply corresponding solutions to avoid its occurrence in the future.
A security operations center can be a huge asset to the company when it comes to safeguarding the assets. A combination of highly competent security analysts and advanced security automation can help a company in achieving effective security measures, preventing data breaches and cyberattacks. Contact Cyberops for more details.