What is a SOC?

Security Operations Centre

SOC is the abbreviation for Security Operations Centre. As the word ‘centre’ implies, it is the physical location of an information security team. The people who work in the SOC are constantly monitoring and improving the security posture of an organisation or enterprise and at the same time preventing, detecting, analysing and responding to cyber security incidents.

In a SOC, the security team uses a combination of technology solutions and a strong set of processes. This skilled team usually consists of security analysts, engineers, and managers who oversee the security operations. The team works closely with the incident response team, who ensure that security issues are acted upon quickly after discovery.

Not all organisations are able to set up a Security Operations Centre. This has several reasons but is often related to a lack of resources, lack of in-house expertise, time and funding to set it up, etc. For this reason, many organisations choose to outsource SOC services to an external trusted IT-partner. In that case, we speak of a Managed SOC service.

The technology used in a SOC

To set up effective security operations you'll need the right tools. Without it, you'll be overwhelmed with a large number of security events. Below we selected the most important security solutions that will help you to automate many processes and deal with these events and make sure you find the significant threats.

SIEM - Security Information and Event Management

A SIEM can offer full visibility into activities within your network by collecting, parsing and categorising machine data from a wide range of sources. It analyses this data as well to make sure that you can act on possible threats in time.

The key to a successful SIEM deployment is its usability and the reports and events that it generates. In short, this comes down to correctly defining use cases – that is to say, situations or conditions that are considered abnormal or bad. Without these definitions the SIEM will either “over-report” on issues that are not relevant or potentially miss serious issues.

EDR - Endpoint Detection and Response

All devices that are connected to your network are vulnerable to a cyber attack. An EDR focuses on the detection of malicious activities and software that is installed on endpoints. It will investigate the entire life-cycle of the threat, providing insights into what happened, how it got in, where it has been, what it's doing now, and how to stop it. By containing the threat at the endpoint, EDR solutions help eliminate the threat and prevent it from spreading.

NGFW - Next-Generation Firewall

A firewall will monitor incoming and outgoing network traffic and automatically block traffic based on established security rules. With an NGFW you will have complete visibility, control and prevention at your network edge.

Automated application security

With application security, you automate the testing process across all software and provide the SOC security team with real-time feedback about vulnerabilities. Unprotected applications are vulnerable to a number of cyber attacks such as the OWASP Top 10, sophisticated SQL injections, malicious sources and DDoS attacks. This makes them an easy entry point for hackers.

Security assessments

Your security analysts are searching for vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your network 24/7. But it is always smart to have a second pair of eyes to go through your network looking for vulnerabilities and weaknesses. The key to successful security assessments and data breach prevention is achieving and maintaining the right security level.

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