What is a SOC as a Service?

analyst in SOC IT room

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Cyber attacks don’t stop just because you close your doors for the day. With the persistence of cyber threats, businesses are turning to a security operations center (SOC) to monitor and manage their networks for cyber threats.  

With SOC as a service (SOCAAS) businesses can have the benefits of a SOC without having to manage it themselves. 

What is a SOC?

A SOC, or security operations center, is just what it sounds like. It is a central hub for operating your security, primarily cybersecurity. A security operations center has dedicated staff and software systems that monitor your networks for suspicious activity. 

When a threat is detected, a SOC springs into action, alerting the proper administrators and preventing the intruder from accessing unauthorized systems and data. With an array of firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and human training and intuition, the SOC responds in real-time. 

In addition to incident response, a SOC takes reports from employees about increasingly common security issues such as phishing emails, browser setting changes, etc. that would not necessarily be detected through network monitoring alone.  

With a modest time investment, employees can be trained to recognize and report such activity to the security operations center before any damage is done from it.

Using a SOC: Benefits and Costs

A security operations center has many benefits for your business which come with associated costs. Relative to the costs of a data breach, such as ransom and lawsuits, the costs are minimal. 

The benefits of a SOC include: 

  • Increased uptime due to rapid security response 
  • Constant monitoring of vulnerable networks and data 
  • Decreased liability by preventing security events from costing clients and vendors money 
  • Money saved from ransoms demanded by successful cyberattackers 
  • Performance monitoring with network logging and analysis 

That’s not to say the costs of an in-house security operations center are small. You will need a SOC manager to design security strategy, as well as team members to operate the SOC from day to day as well as the tools and technologies required to monitor and remediate any cyber threats.

Between employee compensation and technology investments, many businesses choose to outsource their SOC services to an outside company. 

SOC as a Service

A security operations center can be run by the company it serves, or it may be provided by an outside company that provides SOC services to multiple clients. Each model has its own advantages and disadvantages. 

With an in-house team, you get complete control over your security response. Because your team is in-house, you reduce one potential vulnerability off the bat: having your activity monitored by an outside company. 

However, running an in-house SOC not only comes with the steep costs previously mentioned, but also some level of risk. In order to staff a SOC, you need to know something about security in the first place, which may be a big ask for many businesses. Your SOC’s security strategy will likely rely on non-experts to staff and plan. 

Investing in the know-how to run a SOC that stays abreast of emerging threats can be a big ask, especially for organizations that are not already in the business of cybersecurity. For that reason, many businesses rely on a security operations center as a service (SOCaaS) model. 

woman at computer

Managed SOC Services

SOC as a service, or managed SOC services, is provided by an outside company, usually at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining an in-house team. The SOCaaS provider will assess your networks and tap into them to monitor for threats. 

The method of monitoring can be dicey, since having a security operations center observing your data means that it can be intercepted by a third party. In such a case, your data is only as safe as your SOC’s security. This has been resolved by some companies by automating detection and response with monitoring tools and threat intelligence that can be installed locally. 

Often, companies that offer monitoring software will integrate their solution with a full service SOC that has security experts on call to individually respond to threats. Where detection and response is handled by the software itself, security information and event management is handled by the SOC analysts. 

This allows the security operations center to adapt to emerging threats, but also resolve false positives that may hamper the automated detection and response system. 

SOCaaS and Managed Security Services Providers

The problem with relying on SOC as a service is that it requires a fair degree of coordination between your in-house security staff and the SOC. A managed security service provider (MSSP) eliminates the need for in-house security staff by managing security for your business. 

With an MSSP, SOC services can be part of a holistic security strategy. This means setting you up with the best security tools, configuring your networks, etc. all designed to maximize the effectiveness of your security operations center. 

Stay up-to-date on the latest security threats and build out your IT with security concerns in mind. With an MSSP, your SOC’s security is heightened because your MSSP will set you up with security tools designed for coordination with their systems. 

Trust Foresite for Your Security Operations Center

Foresite is a holistic cybersecurity solutions provider and CSSP (cybersecurity service provider) with a full-service SOC. Our proprietary ProVision platform is our link between your networks and our security operations center to keep your data local and safe.  

Foresite is led by an experienced management team and our staff has dozens of security certifications. Contact us today for more information on our managed security solutions. 

Tristin Zeman

Tristin Zeman is the Digital Marketing Manager at Foresite. For the past 10 years, she has helped organizations of all sizes create and scale marketing programs through digital and traditional marketing channels and efficient marketing operations.

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