The rise of flexible work policies Even after the pandemic ends, most companies are extending flexible or remote work policies, and cyberhackers are shifting their methods of operation accordingly....
Network security has become a necessity for businesses and individuals alike. Increased connectivity has allowed for some immense conveniences and improved efficiency, but it also opens you up to potential vulnerabilities that can lead to severe problems, from device malfunctions to stolen information.
A security operations center is an essential component of reducing the impact of cyber attacks and maintaining your security. Read on to learn more about security operations centers and what they are meant to accomplish.
What Does SOC Mean?
A security operations center (SOC) monitors the technology, network, and infrastructure of an organization to detect and prevent cyberattacks. Think of a security operations center as a central command base that continuously keeps your business safe from any outside threats.
This is different from, say, implementing a firewall or developing a security strategy. These are effective, but they are also passive and static. With a security operations center, a SOC team is responsible for ongoing and active protection, from implementing and updating data security features to seeking ways to improve existing infrastructure.
The Functions of a Security Operations Center
Security operations centers are all-encompassing and comprehensive in how they look at and address potential cyberthreats. They are consistently growing and evolving, and they perform a wide range of functions to address the complexities of avoiding security breaches.
One of the best strategies is preventing problems from ever happening in the first place, and SOC teams implement a variety of preventative measures to ward off hackers entirely or make things extremely difficult for cybercriminals. That includes:
- Updating firewalls
- Patching applications
- Whitelisting and blacklisting sites and applications
This also means having to stay up to date on new security innovations and trends in cybercrimes. The research and analysis performed by the SOC allows the team to create a roadmap for improvements in the future, as well as a recovery plan in the event of a disaster or attack.
The SOC uses tools to monitor your network 24/7. This gives them insight into every single connection, allowing them to flag any suspicious activity or sudden abnormalities. The security operations center can then identify emerging threats before they happen or mitigate any damage should a threat make it into the system.
Taking Stock of Resources
A security operations center can’t protect devices that they do not have regulatory oversight of or are not aware of, which is why they need to take stock of all of the assets. This includes the actual devices and applications that require protection, as well as the defensive tools that they use. Understanding all of the devices, servers, and programs connected to a network gives the SOC a complete lay of the land. They can determine all of the traffic flowing through the assets and identify potential network security vulnerabilities, backdoors, and other threats.
Ideally, you will never deal with a threat, but cybercriminals are constantly finding loopholes and developing software that can work its way into a system. In that event, the security operations center is considered the first responder. They take care of all the processes to prevent the threat from getting worse, like shutting down endpoints, deleting files, or ending harmful applications. The goal is to prevent continued damage while minimizing any interruptions to daily business operations.
Following a threat or security incident, the security operations center is responsible for restoring systems and recovering important data. A SOC should already have a fairly robust backup system, but recovery may also include wiping endpoints or reconfiguring the entire system. In the event of ransomware, a security operations center can potentially avoid the ransomware altogether with the right backup.
Security operations centers maintain a detailed record of all the network activity over an entire organization. These logs can help the SOC develop a baseline and determine the average of what “normal” activity looks like. These logs may also help to identify invisible threats and determine the root cause of any threat following an incident. Logs can come from a collection of data feeds from firewalls, operating systems, applications, and endpoints.
There are plenty of security measures that you can implement on your own, but a security operations center is comprehensive in its approach. Trying to monitor your own system all day, every day is a task in itself, and your internal IT staff may not have the expertise to properly address all your security needs. A SOC provides all of that and more. If you’re interested in security support for your business, consult MRC by reaching out to one of our knowledge representatives.