Security Operations Center (Soc): What It Is And How It Works

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While security systems can prevent some attacks, the SOC is responsible for mitigating threats by analyzing log data and figuring out how to stop them. This includes assessing risk tolerance levels for both the company and customers. Raw data is monitored by SOC teams using SIEM and XDR tools to identify potential threat activities. Alerts are immediately created if any abnormal trends or indicators of compromise are discovered.

Security Operations Center

What is SOC? A SOC is the boots on the ground for an organization, meaning that once a real threat has been identified, they resolve it and keep users safe. This can include a range of actions, from shutting down or isolating endpoints to terminating harmful processes and deleting files. The goal is to minimize user disruption and maintain business continuity as much as possible. SOC teams perform a wide range of activities to help protect the organization from cyberattacks.

They monitor the network 24/7, ensuring they catch threats in their early stages. They also research the latest security innovations and the newest trends in cybercrime. This can offer direction for cybersecurity initiatives in the future and help create disaster recovery plans to guide the organization if an incident occurs. They also devise protections for Internet-of-Things devices (IoT) such as warehouse scanners and kitchen microwaves to reduce the risk of an attack. SOC team members must sift through a massive amount of system-generated alerts.

These alerts must be vetted to avoid diverting attention from essential security incidents unnecessarily. The SOC team also analyzes log data to understand how a threat entered the system and where it originated. They are responsible for reducing the organization’s attack surface by updating and patching vulnerabilities, identifying misconfigurations, and adding new assets as they come online. They also use this information to improve security processes and adjust monitoring and alerting tools.

Threat Detection

Using the tools at their disposal, SOC teams must be able to identify potential threats by reviewing logs. They also need to be able to filter out false positives and determine how aggressive an actual threat is, what it could do, and which assets it might be targeting so they can triage emerging threats appropriately and handle the most critical ones first. Preventative maintenance involves everything the SOC team does to make it harder for cyberattacks to succeed, including updating and patching systems regularly, whitelisting and blacklisting applications, firewalls, and other security measures. They may also conduct regular vulnerability assessments and test their response plans to see how well they function.

Incident Response

In addition to detecting threats, SOC teams are responsible for responding quickly and effectively when a threat is detected. This requires complete visibility of an organization’s IT infrastructure’s hardware, software, and networks. This involves firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, and security information and event management (SIEM) tools that collect, analyze, and report on network activity to identify discrepancies or abnormal trends.

Alerts are sent to SOC team members as soon as anomalies and other indicators of compromise are spotted to stop them before they can do damage. Depending on the severity of a threat, the SOC will follow incident response (IR) processes and procedures to contain it. This may include isolating and triaging endpoints, removing compromised files, and cutting over to backup systems.

It also includes following post-attack investigation, refinement, and learning processes that help prevent a similar attack from happening again. For a SOC to perform its monitoring and response functions, it needs the right tools. This is why a comprehensive security solution can save time, automate and streamline workflows, and provide the deep visibility SOCs need to detect threats faster.

Monitoring

SOC teams use tools to monitor the network continuously, looking for any abnormal activity that may indicate a cyber threat. They analyze data from various sources, including firewalls, antivirus systems, antimalware software, endpoint detection and remediation (EDR) solutions, security information and event management (SIEM) systems, and threat intelligence platforms.

Once a threat is detected, SOC teams are responsible for addressing the incident quickly to minimize damage. This involves shutting down compromised devices, disconnecting them from the network, and securing any sensitive information that was exposed. They must also update their preventative measures and ensure their detection and response systems can stop new and emerging threats. This requires a team with extensive experience, training, and expertise.

Unfortunately, many cybersecurity jobs remain unfilled due to a global talent shortage and the challenge of retaining skilled staff. A unified SIEM solution can streamline and automate SOC processes, adapt to their skills, and provide deep visibility so they can respond confidently, intelligently, and consistently.

Reporting

Cybercriminals continually refine their attacks to stay one step ahead of defenses. The SOC team’s job is to stay up-to-date on emerging threats and develop preventative measures like applying security patches to software and firewalls, creating incident response plans, and updating policies. The SOC also accounts for all data stored in the organization’s databases, cloud services, and identity and application management solutions.

This helps to avoid blind spots that attackers can take advantage of. Finally, the SOC is responsible for monitoring and managing alerts from security tools and ensuring they are accurate. They will also keep track of logs to find abnormal activity and anomalies. As data becomes increasingly valuable to companies and criminals, third-party service providers must follow best practices when handling your information.

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