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Security Operations Center (SOC) Explained

Airports have traffic control towers to monitor and manage the activity going in and out of the airport. The controllers have a deluge of information coming at them – from communications with pilots to weather forecasts. They’re trained to manage all of this information and use it to safely direct traffic. At the same time, they understand the signals that something isn’t right, and they’re trained in protocols that direct their response. This is similar to what happens in a Security Operations Center (SOC) only the traffic isn’t in the air, it’s digital.

A Security Operations Center is the central command center for cybersecurity. It’s a hub where all of the data that comes from your IT security layers is directed. Cybersecurity professionals in the SOC keep track of network activity as it relates to security so that they can make sure everything is working properly, make adjustments when needed, and initiate responses when a potential cyber intruder is identified.

If your Managed IT Service Provider is also a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) then they’re probably already acting as your SOC. Because they work behind the scenes, the objectives and results of what they do may not come up in conversations. If you don’t have the services of a dedicated SOC or you’re not sure if this is being provided by your IT team, consider these benefits that having a cybersecurity command center provides for your cybersecurity stature and confidence.

Related: Download 8 Things You’re Doing in Your Business That Could Lead to a Cyber Attack

Five Benefits of a Security Operations Center

1. 24/7 Always On

If you have a small IT team – whether internal or outsourced – it’s a good bet that there aren’t eyes on your security status all the time. Hackers are relentless, and your security tools trigger alerts any time of the day or night. You don’t want to delay your response because it could mean the difference between getting an intruder shut down or letting them take over your network. A SOC is staffed 24/7 so that you can have peace of mind that someone is always on cybersecurity duty.

2. Comprehensive Cybersecurity Expertise

There are many different roles that come together in a SOC to deliver all the activities that are necessary for effective cybersecurity service delivery. From monitoring the security dashboard, to leading regulatory compliance management, to data analysis and cyber forensics – a SOC is staffed with people who have extensive training and certifications, and you get access to all of them without having the costs of full time employment for every role.

3. Access to Advanced Security Tools

When you have the services of a SOC, you’re going to get access to advanced technology tools and knowledge about how to use them. The effectiveness of security tools is dependent upon how they’re setup, and in their compatibility with the components of your network. Your SOC will recommend certain software and hardware. They’ve taken the time to test out different tools and have been trained in their use. With a SOC you get a security toolbox and skilled people who know how to use them.

4. No Worries About Falling Behind

Staying up to date with security trends can be a full-time job and Security Operations Center staff are always studying, testing, and staying abreast of evolving threats and security tactics. They bring that knowledge to you as they manage your security process, making changes when necessary, and bringing you recommendations when it’s time to update or add another security layer when your risk level changes.

5. Cost Effective Security Service Delivery

It doesn’t make sense for small and medium sized businesses to staff their own Security Operations Center internally. You just don’t need a full-time person to staff every role. Outsourcing your SOC is not just a way to bring your organization a high level of security capability, it gives you consistency. You won’t need to worry about staff turnover or time off, or in providing ongoing training and payroll expenses for highly skilled professionals.

Cybersecurity Confidence

In a world where no one can guarantee that you’ll never experience a cyber attack, you can get confidence that you’re doing all you can to protect your assets and people when you enlist the services of a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). An MSSP will work with you to develop and implement a cybersecurity strategy that covers all the bases, including providing a Security Operations Center.

Up Your Security Game

If you’re not sure that you’re getting the services of a SOC, or you just don’t know if you have gaps in cybersecurity, contact us for a free security consultation.