What is a SOC?
A security operations centre (SOC) is a ‘facility’ ( i.e. physical office, virtually connected staff, external MSSP) that provides an information security team who are responsible for the ongoing monitoring of an organisation’s network and infrastructure. Team members, consisting of security consultants, analysts and engineers, use a set of process and security tools/solutions to monitor, detect, investigate and defend against cyber security threats, and to quickly respond in the event of cyber security incidents. Many organisations are looking to outsource their SOC, in this post we take a look at the benefits of doing so.
What does a SOC do?
Put simply, a SOC strengthens your security posture by monitoring your network and reacting to any threats.
Their key service offerings can be succinctly described as:
- Vulnerability scanning: Using advanced tools and solutions, the team scans the entire infrastructure looking for weaknesses and vulnerabilities, aiming to find and fix them before a cyber criminal does. As systems, processes and devices can change daily within an organisation, scanning is a continuous and constant process.
- Threat monitoring: building on vulnerability scanning, the team scans the network to detect and analyse any suspicious activity and potential threats and to take immediate action should they discover an intrusion.
- Incident response: working to a robust incident response plan, a SOC team will work to mitigate threats as quickly as possible to minimise disruption and damage.
Inhouse vs Outsourced SOC
Cyber security is a core responsibility of every organisation. How your organisation manages its SOC activities is a business critical decision, as ultimately your profitability and reputation depends on the strength of your cyber security posture.
Some organisations prefer to run their SOC inhouse, in our experience this is only a viable option for larger organisations. From recruiting sought after talented and certified cyber analysts (in a competitive industry with a chronic skills shortage), to the cost of latest tech tools and solutions, the building and maintaining of an inhouse SOC requires a significant investment of both time and money.
Smaller and mid sized organisations may not be able to justify the cost of an inhouse SOC, and in fact may not need a fully dedicated in-house team.
Those organisations who don’t have the need, or the in-house resources to undertake SOC activities, typically outsource to a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).
What is an MSSP?
An MSSP works with you to protect, detect and react to any security incidents across your systems, staff, data and critical assets. A good MSSP will provide a full spectrum of support – a mix of cyber-consultancy and managed cyber-security services. They will analyse your risks to advise you what your business needs, and then work with you to implement and, if required, manage your cyber security strategies.
Benefits of outsourcing your SOC requirements to an MSSP
Looking to outsource your SOC? Wondering what the benefits may be?
Ultimately an outsourced managed SOC will give you greater security protection for less cost:
- They can advise on what you need, so work with you from assessing risks, defining strategies and then delivering those strategies
- Quick and easy to set up compared to building an internal team
- Benefit from highly skilled and continually trained SOC personnel in a competitive labour market
- Provide continuous 24/7 monitoring, 365 days a year
- Monitor your entire infrastructure – endpoints, cloud apps, servers, databases
- Are always on the look out for advanced threats
- Utilise the latest technology to identify and counter emerging threats, such as SIEM and EDR
- Leverage partnerships with leading solution providers to utilise the latest tech solutions
- Correlate your data with information and analytics from external cyber industry sources, delivering deeper insight into threats and vulnerabilities.
- Sharing learnings and lessons from other clients regarding the latest threat intelligence and leverage this to improve your detection and defence strategies
- Improved MTTD (mean time to detect)
- Reduced MTTR (mean time to recovery)
- Greater scalability and flexibility as your business grows and changes
- Guaranteed service levels defined by contractual agreements
- Customisable support available, for example can compliment your in house resources or can be your 100% primary outsource partner
- Lower cost than building, recruiting, training and maintaining an inhouse team
- Quicker return on investment
- Leaves your organisation free to focus on its core business
Can you afford not to outsource your SOC to an MSSP?
In our experience, just the staff cost savings alone make outsourcing to an MSSP worthwhile. And when you consider how much an MSSP can save your organisation in the event of a breach, it’s definitely money well spent.
Infosec Partners are a highly regarded MSSP, we work with organisations of all sizes across many industry sectors to protect their business assets from cyber security threats.
If you are looking to improve your security, to minimise costs and maximise efficiency, now would be a good time to chat about your cyber security arrangements.
Please get in touch with the Infosec Partners team for an informal chat about your cyber security needs.