Enterprise Risk & Security Management

An Effective Approach for Building Your Security Operations Center and Taking it to the Next Level

In the wake of rising complexity and sophistication of security breaches, many organizations have built Security Operations Centers (SOCs). However, factors such as incomplete threat coverage, siloed processes, technology-focused response strategies, and paucity of talent hamper the effectiveness of an SOC. To ensure robust information security, enterprises need to adopt a holistic approach across the SOC lifecycle.

Security threats are morphing and evolving in tandem with a rapidly advancing digital landscape. The evasive and persistent nature of threats makes it challenging for organizations to detect and prevent them. Adopting a comprehensive approach to building and operating an SOC can help organizations significantly enhance security outcomes.

To build a world-class SOC, enterprises need to consider four key building blocks: people, processes, technology, and intelligence. The wider the coverage of SOC across these four aspects, the more robust the security management.

Building an SOC is a long-term process. It is therefore imperative to adopt the right approach across the lifecycle of an SOC. Essentially, there are three critical steps involved in building a robust SOC. These include:

  • Defining the strategy and implementation plan: As security requirements vary across organizations, it is important to analyze and understand these requirements and drivers for an SOC and develop an implementation plan that takes these into account.
  • Defining the key components: Enterprises need to define the technologies to be used and integrated in the SOC. They also need to identify information and event sources, develop use cases, and outline the reporting structure.
  • Implementing the SOC: This phase includes the deployment of the selected SOC tools and technologies, configuration of processes, and creation of an SOC team. Since each technology has a different topology, as defined by the vendor, it is critical for enterprises to ensure deployment of a powerful security analytics layer that acts as the foundation for a robust SOC.

SOC service operations encompass three key aspects – research and intelligence, technology and engineering, and operations and response. The intelligence unit continuously researches the latest threats and vulnerabilities, and defines the indicators of new threats. The role of the engineering unit is to implement the use cases in production. The operations and response unit takes control of the detection, containment, and eradication phases for efficient threat detection and faster incident response.

Enhancing the maturity in coverage, detection, and response capabilities is a major goal of the SOC. To achieve this, enterprises need to implement continuous improvement initiatives. A next-gen SOC should eventually be able to support Big Data analytics and workflow-based response capabilities. This will help improve detection capabilities, facilitate auto alerts from security devices and tools, and correlate the information to gain more contextual insights into threats and reduce false positives.

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape with growing sophistication of cyber threats, technologies used in SOCs should be scalable and interoperable to ensure effective and efficient operations. Dynamic orchestration, enabling faster decisions and automated responses, will further drive maturity to proactively detect, prevent, and respond to security threats and incidents.

Read this paper to learn how to attain the highest level of maturity in SOC operations.


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