Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are constantly under siege by cyberattack threats like phishing attempts and malicious documents, which will only worsen. At the same time, budgets are tight for everyone in a challenging economy. Plus, it’s hard for SMBs to get the talent they need for cybersecurity due to an ongoing cybersecurity talent shortage. That leaves businesses in a quandary; how can they protect themselves from a devastating cyberattack without hiring more cybersecurity specialists? The answer to that question is to invest in a managed SOC.
What are the benefits of a SOC?
A SOC, Security Operation Center, or a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution is a command center comprising highly skilled security personnel, processes and cybersecurity technologies that continuously monitor for malicious activity while preventing, detecting and responding to cyber incidents. Considering the constantly growing risk of cyberattacks on businesses of all sizes, even the most minor organizations need continuous, 24/7 monitoring and response service to stay out of trouble.
A business can build a SOC or outsource to a managed SOC solution, but either choice has significant benefits and drawbacks. Setting up and operating an in-house SOC is challenging and pricey. In these turbulent economic times, SMBs try to get the most out of every penny. That means most IT departments are stretched thin, without much money for new equipment or more headcount. Hiring the right cybersecurity pros is also complex and expensive – the global cybersecurity workforce gap has increased by 26.2% compared to 2021, with 3.4 million more workers needed to fulfill today’s demand. Managed SOC alleviates those burdens.
- Choosing between building a SOC or leveraging a Managed SOC:
Many SMBs envision building a SOC only to discover how complex and costly a task is. Leveraging a Managed SOC lowers the barrier to entry, making MDR easy and affordable. Keep these critical points of consideration in mind when looking at your options:
- Personnel: Most SOCs are 24/7/365 operation centers. Creating your means having a large enough team on the payroll to handle its needs.
- Availability: Many sophisticated attacks tend to start on a Friday evening, while even more occur on holiday weekends. Ensuring personnel are available at off times or during holidays can be difficult and expensive.
- Talent: Obtaining and retaining talent is a challenge. Unfortunately, the market demand for security professionals far outweighs the market availability. This drives up the cost of hiring cybersecurity professionals and makes it harder to keep trained experts on staff.
- Investment: Advanced cybersecurity tools aren’t cheap and can be costly. For example, in a SOC, you’ll need many defensive tools like threat intelligence feeds, malware analysis solutions, and experienced staffers who can utilize them to their fullest extent.
- Identifying critical capabilities of a Managed SOC Service:
The right Managed SOC service will include these key capabilities:
- 24/7/365 service: The SOC must be operational every hour of every day, all year. This is the most crucial factor to consider since many attackers try and time their attacks when companies have less staff available, especially over holiday weekends — ransomware attack rates climb by about 30% during the winter holiday season.
- Integrated threat intelligence: Threat intelligence is the lifeblood of a SOC. Ensure the SOC you choose brings multiple threat feeds to identify the latest emerging threats quickly.
- Threat hunting: To find and neutralize threats, a SOC must always have experienced cybersecurity analysts. These experts will proactively hunt for latent threats and security dangers hiding in a company’s network.
- Expert analysis: A SOC is only as good as its cybersecurity experts. Ensure the analysts and threat hunters your SOC relies on are true cybersecurity experts trained to detect suspicious behaviour and stealthy threats.
- Time to resolution: These days, it’s less of an “if’ and more of a “when” a company will face a cyberattack. Discovering a cyberattack quickly and limiting the damage that it does is critical to a company’s survival. Ask how the SOC will respond to and remediate an incident.
- SIEM-less log monitoring: Find out if you must deploy a security information and event management system (SIEM) for the SOC to function. Ideally, you want a Managed SOC solution that does not require a SIEM — technology that can be very costly and cumbersome.
- MITRE ATT&CK alignment: It’s one thing to have a CSF in place but another to leverage the MITRE ATT&CK framework in the event of an attack. Understanding how the MITRE ATT&CK framework can help prevent and mitigate cyberattacks is essential for incident response.
- Intrusion monitoring: The proper SOC will be able to detect suspicious activity in real time, including connections to terrorist nation-states and unauthorized TCP/UDP services, as well as backdoor links to command-and-control servers.
Source: ID Agent