With so many headlines talking about the rise of cyber threats, it’s no surprise that organizations are looking to create Cybersecurity Operations Centers within their organization. A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a centralized team of professional experts within an organization who monitor and analyze an organization’s security. The team is appointed to detect, investigate, and manage all security tasks while responding to cybersecurity incidents around the clock.
The cybersecurity operations team is specifically meant to execute strategies to secure the organization’s data, intellectual property, and brand integrity. These SOC teams protect the organization’s sensitive data from insider and outsider threats.
Main Elements of Cybersecurity Operations
1. Cloud-based analytics and operations are essential
Technology has taken on half the workload from our shoulders, and the cloud is one such innovation. Many organizations have moved all their files and important documents to the cloud, which aids in accurate management.
With increasing cybersecurity threats, organizations are replacing their analytics tools with cloud-based tools to meet their security requirements. These tools enhance the cybersecurity operationsperformance with accurate threat intelligence.
2. Managed services can take the pressure off staff
A completely managed SOC framework results in better performance, networks, incident detection and response, and finally improved compliance reporting. More than 50% of organizations have reported that they find it challenging to find and appoint well-trained SOC specialists as per an ESG survey.
3. Automation and orchestration are key
SOCs must enhance their incident response capabilities and the technical skills of its cyber experts. Organizations that have automated their cybersecurity processes have seen enhanced SOC workflow performance. SOC management techniques include enabling the best collaboration between the organization’s cybersecurity team and operations team.
The SOC Environment
The role of a SOC varies continuously in this technological world. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed SOCs to go remote, with many creating a virtual SOC environment for long-term management.
A cybersecurity operation must use cloud-based software as many employees work from outside office premises these days. However, creating a virtual SOC environment and handling it all remotely is a big decision, and there are multiple things to take care of, including:
- In the first stage, the organization should think about the virtual environment’s compatibility with the organization’s current system. The organization must analyze the workflow, process existing SOC tools, and monitor the current and expected network behavior.
- Secondly, the organization needs to analyze its usage when buying the appropriate cloud-based apps. The organization should analyze risk-based access and think about all the changes that are associated with it when implementing it on digital platforms.
- The next essential step is to analyze the organization’s needs and whether an expert SOC vendor is required. Keep in mind, this virtual SOC network will come with some unusual security threats. What if the organization doesn’t have enough tools for handling such threats? What if the organization lacks the particular network requirements for a virtual SOC environment or work from home option?
- Last but not least, the organization should decide whether it will adopt this cloud-based SOC management on a temporary basis or keep it permanently, considering all the associated costs and new recruits that have to be hired for managing it.
Common Challenges a SOC Analyst Faces
Staying one step ahead of attackers is the SOC team’s main aim and challenge as well. With advanced technology, this has become increasingly daunting. We have listed the most difficult challenges for the team below:
1. Lack of technical skills
It has become more challenging to hire skillful and experienced SOC experts as per Dimensional Research. This study clearly indicates the lack of modern technical skills in SOC teams. Organizations are lacking professional SOC analysts to detect and respond to cybersecurity threats. Worldwide studies have concluded that professionals must enhance their skills to form better defending SOC teams.
2. Countless alerts
Organizations add multiple threat detection alerts, which increases the total alert count for a particular organization. Among all these alerts, many of them provide false information and have no context to inspect the cybersecurity threat. Still, such a large number of notifications can lead to threat fatigue and will make the SOC team’s performance stagnant. These wrong alerts will not only make the team’s efforts in vain but will also distract employees from real threats.
3. Operational overhead
Numerous companies give appropriate SOC training to their analysts to sort their data based on different parameters. This indicates that the security professional must translate the cybersecurity threats according to their complexity, cost, the appropriate environment, and the security operations’ efficiency.
Get Trained to Handle These Challenges and More
EC-Council’s Certified SOC Analyst program is the first step to joining a Security Operations Center or creating one within an organization through in-house training. It is engineered for current and aspiring Tier I and Tier II SOC analysts. Under this program, you will learn how to manage various SOC processes and how to collaborate with different departments, gaining the vital SOC skills you need to kick-start your career as a SOC Analyst.