Security Operations has dramatically risen to the forefront of all companies, large and small. An increase in the amount of threats to each company has affected the standard behavior and practices of all companies, executives, and information technology staff. As threats have increased, many companies have established Security Operations Centers (SOCs) that are solely focused on protecting the company, their infrastructure, and their customers’ information.
The SOC is a 24/7 organization tasked with identifying, detecting, mitigating, and stopping or remediating any threats to the enterprise. As security breaches, threats, and malware continue to evolve, it is even more important for SOCs to be effective, efficient, precise, and have SIEM tools that allow the organization and department to be successful.
Here are four characteristics and capabilities of an effective SOC:
- Culture of enterprise security as its highest priority
Developing security-focused ideals, goals, and culture are essential to protecting a company, its customers, and its infrastructure. Each individual within the SOC should understand that maintaining a healthy cybersecurity environment helps all areas of the company. No company wants to be a victim of a security breach. No company wants to lose trust from its customers. No company wants to have its reputation hampered by security concerns. Every department within the company from executive management to sales and marketing to product management relies on a secure environment to effectively do their job, grow the company, and increase revenues. By understanding that security is at the core of operations for a company, the culture of the SOC will be to provide a secure environment and all team members will have the same mission and vision.
- Ability to ingest data from multiple sources
Companies are expanding. Systems and infrastructure are scaling. Devices are growing exponentially. The ability to collect data from all of these sources is becoming increasingly difficult for SecOps personnel. Every day, more systems are coming online. Every day, data is being collected from the systems. Every day, the systems need to export the data to an environment to be reviewed and analyzed. Every day, any of these sources could be a target of a security attack with subsequent events. With data coming from many sources, a SOC has to have tools that accept data from multiple sources and in several different formats. A SIEM or central system that can ingest data from several sources through connectors or APIs is mandatory for security operations centers. Data is the key to capturing security events, threats, and allowing security personnel to investigate attacks or breaches.
- Real-time correlation of security events threatening the enterprise
A core challenge of security operations personnel is the inability to match security events to other security events to identify attack trends or detect threatening security breaches. SOCs are falling behind in the protection of their infrastructure, systems, and networks. Companies need to utilize SIEM systems that perform real-time event correlation of their systems and move away from the log analysis and review process, which can extend 7 to 10 to 14 days. During this period of event and log collection, several threats or breaches could have affected a network or enterprise. Real-time correlation allows for the collection of data and scanning of events as they occur. This is a great benefit to SecOps personnel to allow them to protect their systems and to quickly identify and mitigate threats.
- Investment into researching emerging threats
The threat landscape is changing day to day and minute to minute. Threats continue to evolve and SecOps personnel have an opportunity to get in front of threats with research. Effective SOC organizations have an investment into research, information, and being proactive to capture emerging threats. Security personnel and analysts enjoy detecting new threats or uncovering new trends. Finding something new is always fun! By allowing analysts to find trends, research threats, and build counteractive measures or packages to capture these threats fosters an environment of learning and security development. SecOps management can benefit greatly from engaging its Tier 1 and 2 analysts to embrace challenges and to become threat hunters.