Defending against the multitude of cyber security threats targeting your business requires a combination of expertise, technology and intelligence achievable only with a highly-functioning, 24/7 Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC).
With traditional signature-based defences proving insufficient as threats evolve, evade and multiply, developing or outsourcing a CSOC capable of proactively detecting and responding to attacks should be a priority for any organisation looking to achieve a superior level of cyber security.
What is a CSOC?
A Cyber Security Operations Centre is a facility that houses a specialist team of analysts, engineers and responders, responsible for maintaining and improving your organisation’s cyber security.
By monitoring and hunting for threats across your network and endpoints, a CSOC helps to ensure that threats targeting data and assets are locked down and eliminated before they cause widespread damage and disruption.
Certified security expertise
One of the major factors that sets apart a world-class CSOC is the quality of its personnel. Key skills for any member of a CSOC team includes a detailed knowledge of information security, a high level of threat awareness and a practical understanding of the latest security technologies needed to monitor for the presence of wide-ranging threat actors.
In the event of a breach, knowing how to respond quickly is vital to quickly shutdown the source of the attack and prevent escalating damage. For members of a CSOC charged with incident response, having the appropriate incident handling and digital forensic skills to investigate the source and extent of the attack as well as nullify it is vital.
Cyber security is an issue that affects a whole organisation so being able to communicate its value through regular stakeholder reporting and delivery of in-house training is also highly beneficial.
Any leading CSOC will utilise a range of security tools and technologies to help detect unknown, sophisticated and evasive cyber threats. Network monitoring and log management systems form a vital part of a CSOC’s armoury, allowing analysts to be alerted to anomalous activity requiring investigation. Threat detection technologies deployed within a SOC typically include:
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) technologies provide an holistic view of cyber security posture through the collection, aggregation and correlation of log and event information.
Intrusion Detection Systems
Intrusion detection systems (IDS) complement SIEM by combining network and host-based methods to detect suspicious behaviour on a network.
Active vulnerability scanning ensures weaknesses can be identified and addressed before they are exploited by hackers.
Endpoint detection systems analyse activity at a device level to provide greater visibility of threats, help trace the root cause of attacks and facilitate swifter incident remediation.
Honeypots are closely monitored stores of bogus data that help to divert hackers away from critical assets.
Up-to-the-minute threat intelligence
Another key factor in running a successful CSOC operation is the ability to integrate the latest threat intelligence into the threat detection process. While taking intelligence from a range of sources is important, knowing how to successfully act upon it is also imperative.
A CSOC should be able to gather the latest intelligence, such as indictors of compromise, and use this information to improve the effectiveness of detection systems and processes. Such activity could include the development and implementation of custom correlation directives that are used by SIEM systems to alert on patterns of unusual behaviour.
Threat intelligence can be obtained via a range of sources, including:
Membership of threat exchanges such as CiSP provides a platform for the secure and confidential exchange of real-time threat and vulnerability information.
Internal cyber research
Internal threat research, including reverse engineering of malware and evaluation of the latest security technologies, is often a great way for CSOC personnel to keep up to date on how to tackle the latest cyber threats.
Red team insight
Access to a team of ethical hackers can also be hugely beneficial for a CSOC, providing insight into the tactics, techniques and procedures used by genuine attackers.
The benefits of CSOC-as-a-service
The challenge and expense of setting up a successful in-house CSOC means that doing so is often not viable for all but the largest enterprises.
ThreatDetect, Redscan’s virtual SOC service, helps organisations to overcome this problem by providing continuous threat detection and incident response as part of one affordable monthly service. Outsourcing SOC functions to a team of dedicated security professionals relieves the stress on internal IT teams often burdened with the responsibility of maintaining security, enabling them to focus on remediation rather than detection of threats.
Benefits of ThreatDetect™ include:
- Support from a team of certified, experienced security personnel
- Full deployment and integration of the latest detection technologies
- Continuous system management and regular health checks
- 24/7 threat monitoring and investigation to identify genuine threats
- Rapid incident response, with actionable remediation guidance
- CyberOps, Redscan’s live threat notification and analytics platform
- Customised weekly, monthly and quarterly reports
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