A Security Operations Centre (SOC) is a centralised facility of security professionals armed with the technologies and intelligence needed to protect an organisation against cyber threats.
For many years, SOCs were the preserve of large enterprises but, due to escalating security risks, having a dedicated breach detection and incident response capability is now important for all businesses.
For small and mid-sized organisations, knowing when to make a business case for a SOC is essential. This blog identifies six key signs that could suggest now is the right time to seek the investment you require to keep your business secure.
1. A lack of threat visibility
With cyber-attacks increasing in both frequency and sophistication, having wide visibility of threats both inside and outside your IT environment is essential. Business growth and digital trends like cloud computing, remote working and IoT, is only making this harder to achieve, however.
If your business is experiencing a high rate of growth and investing in new infrastructure, a SOC will help to protect its growing attack surface, ensure that anomalous activity is promptly identified, and avoid suffering undetected and potentially damaging cyber breaches.
2. An inability to respond to incidents 24/7
Identifying cyber threats is important but equally so is the ability to respond to them. In the absence of a silver bullet to prevent all attacks, minimising business damage and disruption relies heavily on the ability to respond swiftly and effectively – whatever time of day.
If your organisation lacks the ability to respond to threats out of regular office hours and has no formal incident response procedures, a 24/7 SOC with the expertise and response playbooks needed to shut down attacks will help to significantly strengthen its security posture.
3. Overrun by alerts
Cyber security alert fatigue is a major problem for many businesses. Stretched IT and security teams simply don’t have the time to investigate, triage and respond to every alert generated by every security technology in operation.
If this is a situation you recognise, then a dedicated team of SOC analysts to conduct around-the-clock security monitoring will help to ensure that important security notifications aren’t missed or overlooked. A SOC team will configure and tune all underlying systems to reduce false positives and continually apply the latest security intelligence to ensure that defences remain as effective as possible.
4. Growing reputation
As organisations become more successful, they also become more attractive to cybercriminals. If your business is expanding globally, then it’s likely to have an increasing number of sites and supply chain partners, be storing more intellectual property, and processing and/or sharing greater volumes of sensitive personal and financial information. All of these things create new security challenges.
By protecting and monitoring key data and assets, a SOC will help to ensure that you can better protect the things that your business values the most, including its reputation.
5. No unified security function
Many businesses, particularly those with offices around the world, lack a central facility for information security governance and intelligence sharing. This means that key security and operational decisions, such as those concerning technology and personnel, are often taken at regional level and there is no joined up strategy. Use of disparate security systems creates additional security and operational challenges.
If your business’ security operations are spread over multiple sites, then a SOC will help to ensure that threat management and monitoring is much more effective and efficient.
6. Increased compliance demands
Since its enactment in May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation requires all organisations that operate within the EU to have appropriate measures in place to protect personal data, as well as detect, investigate and report breaches within 72 hours of discovery.
Should you be concerned about your organisation’s ability to thoroughly meet the demands of the GDPR and other compliance requirements, such the NIS Directive and PCI DSS, then now could be the time to consider how a SOC could help to support your organisation’s cyber resilience.
The options for building your own SOC
If you identify with some or all of the points outlined above, then now is the time to convince your business’ stakeholders to invest in a Security Operations Centre.
Knowing that your business needs its own SOC and actually procuring all the elements needed to run one successfully are two very different things, however. SOCs are expensive and time consuming to set up. Not only will you need to ensure that appropriate security technologies are in place, you’ll require the right mix of people to conduct continuous security monitoring as well as configure and manage systems. Given the current cybersecurity skills gap, you’ll also need to consider whether you can attract the talent you need.
If setting up your own in-house SOC is a daunting prospect, you might want to consider an outsourced SOC service to augment the capability of your current in-house team. SOC services are typically much more affordable compared to the cost of running one in-house. SOC services are often marketed in a few different forms however, including SOC-as-a-service, Virtual SOC, VSOC-as-a-service and Managed SOC. With many of these names synonymous with each-other, it can be difficult for buyers to differentiate between services and find the right provider.
Before reaching out to a vendor, it’s advisable to do your homework. Business that procure traditional managed SOC services are often left disappointed, so make sure that you have a firm idea of the support you need, such as cloud monitoring and incident response assistance.
Why Managed Detection and Response?
Managed Detection & Response (MDR) is an advanced breed of security service that far exceeds that service offered by a traditional SOC monitoring services, adopting a more proactive rather than reactive approach to threat prevention, detection and response.
ThreatDetect™, Redscan’s award-winning and cost-effective MDR service, includes all the latest security technologies you need to protect your business and the cybersecurity experts to quickly deploy, manage and monitor them 24/7. Unlike traditional SOC services, ThreatDetect adopts a more proactive and outcome-focused approach to security, integrating offensive security intelligence and expertise plus security automation and orchestration to hunt for threats and provide clear, actionable outputs.