What is a (SOC) Security Operation Center?

Posted on September 16, 2021 How-To Guides

A Security Operation Center, or SOC, is a facility responsible for monitoring an organization’s IT infrastructure and network.

This role aims to detect cyber threats to minimize the risk to sensitive data and company operations.

Depending on what industry you’re in, there are many different responsibilities within a SOC and different types of SOCs. Read more about what a security operation center does and who they help protect with this article!

So whenever you’re ready to learn more about the importance of SOC, get your notes and keep reading.

(SOC) Security Operation Center: The Basics

A Security Operation Center, or SOC, is a facility that monitors an organization’s IT infrastructure and network. They are responsible for detecting cyber threats to minimize risk to sensitive data and company operations.

There are many different responsibilities within a SOC depending on what industry you’re in. There are multiple types of SOCs if your business has more than one location.

What Is Monitored?

The most basic responsibility of any security operation center is monitoring their networks. They do this for intrusions that can harm the system’s integrity.

This may include malicious software such as malware, unauthorized users gaining access into systems otherwise not accessible by them, phishing scams – anything where someone could gain information illegally from a company.

SOCs may be located at one location for a single organization with multiple departments. Still, they also have many responsibilities that involve keeping different clients secure. Therefore, they need protection on both fronts to stay efficient and continue doing their job effectively.

For this reason, it is common practice for these professionals to work under heavy guard. They do this within heavily secured facilities (i.e., data centers) or for clients to hire their own SOC personnel.

Key Functions Performed By SOCs

To stay efficient and continue doing their job effectively, SOCs need protection on both fronts.

For this reason, it is common practice for these professionals to work under heavy guard within heavily secured facilities (i.e., data centers) or for clients to hire their own SOC personnel to do the following:

  • Monitor networks/systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week – 365 days per year
  • Monitor systems from multiple locations simultaneously via centralized monitoring technology such as IDS/IPS devices
  • Detect intrusions that can be harmful using malicious software like malware, denial of service attacks
  • The person in charge is then responsible for determining the appropriate corrective measures.
  • Keep an eye on all internet traffic, including browsing habits and downloads, to detect irregular data transmission or misuse of company resources.

These are just some examples of the functions performed by SOCs. It is not meant to be an exhaustive list.

Which Industries Use SOC?

A (SOC) security operation center is used for many different purposes depending on what industry you’re in.

One type of SOC is most commonly associated with IT infrastructure protection and network monitoring. It also covers network intrusion, this includes firewalls. Another may focus more heavily on cyber security risks such as those from other types of malware attacking storage devices (i.e., hard drives).

There’s also a distinction between these two:

  1. One that focuses primarily on detection instead of a response
  2. Others where both aspects are equally important

If your company has more than one location, for instance, a corporate office and manufacturing plant, you may need to divide up responsibilities accordingly.

The Roles Within A SOC

There are many different roles within a SOC, each one important to the overall success of an organization. The SOC is very much-so dependent on the people that compile it.

SOC Analyst

The most basic responsibility is detecting intrusions that could harm company data or network systems. They usually have high-level programming and security analysis skills. This gives them the ability to analyze potential threats before they become too serious.

Security Architect

This role has more than just architectural duties. They also oversee all cybersecurity concerns for their respective companies or clients. They do so by analyzing current systems infrastructure and design new ones based on those needs.

This includes physical site locations where one will store computers. It also covers digital networks that communicate securely with other sites.

Hacker/Pen Tester

This is a job that’s often misunderstood by the general public – as such. They are typically isolated from other staff to prevent any accidental exposure to their work.

A hacker or pentester works with existing systems looking for vulnerabilities to fix them. This is before malicious parties find and exploit these issues.

SOC Manager

This person’s role includes all managerial duties:

  • Managing team members
  • Handling budgets allocated for operations
  • Overseeing technical security needs from vendors

It can be stressful at times, but it’s also one of the most rewarding roles within a SOC. This is because you’re responsible not only for your own people but those who hire you.

There are many different types of Security Operation Centers depending on what industry you’re in.

Whether you’re a law enforcement agency with a SWAT team. What about an international bank that needs to keep customer data safe? How about something else entirely?

The most important thing is understanding what makes your environment unique. It’s as important as hiring the right professionals for those specific roles!

SOC Best Practices

There are many different best practices for SOCs to follow to stay safe from intrusions. Without these, you are left to your own devices and miscoordination.

Physical Security

This includes protecting your perimeter using appropriate materials. For instance, surveillance cameras, and security guards.

It also means making sure that the people who have access to these areas are vetted appropriately. You don’t want just anyone walking into a data center where one could store all of your company’s passwords.

In addition, it is always important not only within this industry but any other computer-related task desktops should be locked when unattended and sensitive information should never be left out in the open or unencrypted on devices like laptops or smartphones.

Network Security

Monitoring internal networks can help protect them against unauthorized access or malicious attacks.

One of the best ways to do this is by using a system called Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). This monitor and analyze network traffic for any signs that something may be wrong. For instance, intrusion attempts, virus infections, worms.

Software Security

This includes analyzing software applications like browsers, operating systems, and other programs. This should be done before releasing them into production environments.

Thus, it can be made sure there are no vulnerabilities in them – if you don’t have these protections, then all your company data could end up exposed! It’s also important to buy new security products and ensure those already installed with current threats are always updated.

SOC Misconceptions

The existence of a Security Operation Center means your company is safe from cyber threats.

This isn’t always true. If you want to be sure that the data on your computer or servers are secure, it’s important to monitor and take proactive measures.

For instance, blocking malware and spam and encrypting sensitive information.

Security Operations Centers might have a SOC suite that includes all equipment needed. Equipment that will help monitor incoming threats, such as IDS systems and incident response plans.

But they cannot do this alone. For them to be effective, they need cooperation with other departments. They must provide network security needs and software developers. These will help create more efficient tools that protect against new types of attacks.

>>A SOC can protect against every type of cyber threat.

It’s also important to monitor and take proactive measures. For example, blocking malware and spam, encrypting sensitive information.

An example of this is using Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). This will analyze networks for any signs that something may be wrong such as intrusion attempts, virus infections, or worms.

This helps ensure that it can quickly be reported if a new threat arises. Thus, protection mechanisms are put in place before data gets stolen or compromised!

What Is Needed for Home Cybersecurity?

Ensure that you have all the appropriate anti-virus and internet security software installed on your home PC. These are antivirus programs and firewalls.

You should also invest in a good VPN service that will encrypt data sent over public networks. In addition to this, it is important to install and update these applications regularly. If they are outdated with current threats, they may be less effective!

Working from home requires a great deal of security. It’s also an excellent idea for people who work from their homes or remotely outside the office to use something called Two Factor Authentication (TFA) whenever possible.

This is when you need two different pieces of information before accessing any sensitive material. For example, passwords for accounts, banking info. A good example of this is when you have to answer a security question or input a code sent to your phone.

SOC Elaborated

The article went over the different types of (SOC) Security Operation Centers and covered best practices to ensure they are safe from intrusions.

Use these ideas in your own SOC or share them with others who may need them.

If you’re interested in full-scale security services for your cyber networks, get in touch with us, and we will happily accommodate your needs.

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