A Security Operations Centre (SOC) is a centralised unit where people, systems and processes work together to monitor the security posture and deal with cybersecurity issues and operations within an organisation. The SOC is responsible for managing all the security software, solutions and implementation. This includes detection, prevention, analysis and response of IT security threats.
SOC teams are typically made up of a mix of IT security experts – such as security managers, engineers, incident responders, compliance auditors, forensic investigators, threat hunters and analysts – each carrying out a specific role or function for the cybersecurity of the company. SOCs regularly monitor and maintain the cybersecurity of an organisation by updating firewall policies, patching vulnerabilities and securing applications or other components it is responsible for.
They make use of a variety of techniques, strategies and technologies, including:
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), which provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware
Endpoint Detection and Remediation (EDR) for continuous endpoint monitoring and analytics, which enable fast evaluation and response to cyber threats
User and Entity Behaviour Analytics (UEBA) that detects any anomalies, unusual instances or incidents within a network.
And lots more.
However, for businesses that face certain barriers or restrictions around building and maintaining their own SOC, they can opt for a managed SOC.
A managed SOC, which is also known as SOC-as-a-Service, allows companies to outsource their cybersecurity operations, management and response to an external party through a cloud- or subscription-based service.
Managed SOC provides organisations with access to a team of external cybersecurity experts who will monitor activity across your networks and systems, servers, applications, databases and endpoints and detect unusual or suspicious activities that could lead to a security incident or compromise. The managed SOC is also responsible for ensuring that potential incidents are correctly identified, investigated, dealt with and reported.
There are a number of reasons why organisations employ the services of a managed SOC. For example, issues such as shortage of staff or cybersecurity experts and the expensive expenditures required for running their own SOC teams.
Managed SOC provides instantaneous access to a broader expertise with the data, intelligence and experience for dealing with cyber threats, without going to the trouble of obtaining infrastructure, licenses and workforce to do so effectively. As such, for some companies, managed SOCs may prove to be a more viable and cost-effective option for comprehensive and round-the-clock security.