A security operations centre houses an information security team. The team is made up of both security engineers and analysts and oversee the security operation for an entire organisation.
With responsibility for monitoring a company’s security stance, the team manages this on an ongoing basis. Detection and response to cybersecurity incidents are a vital part of the work. A security operations centre works closely and in conjunction with incident response teams. A combined approach, such as this allows cybersecurity incidents to be quickly and effectively addressed.
A security operations centre will protect many assets, including intellectual property, business systems, and personnel data, as well as brand integrity.
Security operations centres are common in industries such as finance, education, healthcare, military operations, government, e-commerce, and advanced technology. Any business that relies on significant amounts of sensitive data should consider using a security operations centre.
The remit of the team encompasses the whole of the business infrastructure across all locations. The team is responsible for the business:
Security operation team members monitor and scan for suspicious activity across all of these systems. They will search for and identify anything that might indicate a security breach or a compromise in the system.
A security operations centre is responsible for ensuring that possible security incidents are promptly and correctly identified. Swift action is essential to avoid compromising company data or interrupting business activities. The team members focus on the analysis, investigation, reporting, and defending against possible security breaches.
The steps a security operations centre will take include defining a strategy that works with specific business goals. For a broad company view, the team will consult and takes into account goals from different departments within the company.
Input from company executives ensures that any strategies implemented will fall in line with business objectives. When all of these things have been taken into consideration, the security operations centre will put the strategy in place.
Some of the strategies that the security operations centre will choose to apply can include:
Information and data are collected and tracked by the security operations centre in several different ways. Methods include using technology and telemetry, data flows, Syslog (Syslog server and Syslog protocol), and packet capture.
The key activities of a security operations centre include:
A security operations centre will use techniques such as forensic analysis, malware reverse engineering, cryptanalysis, and network telemetry.
The benefits of using a security operations centre are many. First of all, the SOC is a central point of collaboration, coordinating efforts to assess, monitor, and defend against cyber vulnerabilities. Crucially, the operations centre continuously monitors security, which results in improved security incident detection. Data activity is analysed 24/7 to ensure that monitoring is effective and complete.
Round the clock monitoring puts organisations in a better position to protect against cyber threats. This is so, regardless of the time, the source, or the attack type. A security operations centre reduces the amount of time between attack and detection, and this helps companies stay on top of threats.
Security operations centres are shifting their focus onto the human element of security and detection. This evolving approach intends to rely less on script and code, to be more active and intuitive.
Human analysts can monitor for existing threats as well as watch out for emerging threats. Most significantly, human input is essential for responding to major cybersecurity incidents. The SOC team will stay current with the latest intelligence and threats. They can then use this information to improve defences and internal detection.
By continually feeding in intelligence into the SOC monitoring tools, security is more responsive. Intelligence elements include external information such as threat briefs, news reports, vulnerability alerts, and signature updates. Today, security operations centres use a blend of highly-experienced security analysts combined with automated security tools.
Security operations centres are a vital component for organisations across the globe. A SOC will strengthen security, protect against cybercriminal activity, and enable businesses to respond quickly and effectively if a security incident occurs.