The Guide to Choose SOC: In-House SOC vs. SOC-as-a-Service

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Darshana Patil
Darshana Patil
Darshana Patil is a content specialist on cloud technology, security and emerging areas of technology at ESDS Software Solutions.

Security is the thing of prime importance for any organization as data is the new oil, and losing even a bit of data can result in a significant loss. For gaining the trust of your customers, you need to protect your business from various types of cyber-attacks and keep your system updated with the latest versions of the software. Any organization should make SECURITY, a priority, not an afterthought. It is crucial to hire an expert security service provider which has a full-fledged (SOC) and can provide you with a complete array of security services.

The Need for Security Operations Center (SOC)

A security operations centre (SOC) is bound to analyze and correlate the data of an organization and scrutinizing it intensely to timely detect threats to prevent and cure them as soon as possible.

What many organizations think and do is, they purchase a SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) technology due to compliance-related reasons and try to set it up in-house with the current IT team. This step only works out if you set aside a significant amount of budget for your in-house security operations centre.

Although it seems pretty standard, creating your own SOC is not as easy as setting up a website. Creating SOC means that you should have highly qualified dedicated teams, distinguished and high-end technology of software and hardware infrastructure, all of this working 24x7x365. You have to hire and train the people with expertise of experienced ones and also the cost of software and hardware comes along.

Regulatory compliance is one of the most common reasons for a company for using a security operations centre. Majorly all compliance regulations need 24 X 7 security monitoring. When the audits take place, you can create a report using the logs of the monitoring tool.

The usability of SOC is not just for compliance; it is essential for much more factors of your organization.

Check out these top 5 reasons you must get security operations centre (SOC):

  1. Threat Cognizance
  2. Proactive Recognition
  3. Hardware and Software Responsiveness
  4. Vulnerability Control
  5. Log Administration

Review of the Situation

Over the years, data centre businesses have focused just on building the perfect state-of-the-art type of infrastructures and cyber-security plans. Prospective costs consist of obtaining various security and network solutions to curtail the risk of getting breached. The sad fact is, even the highest-funded businesses get attacked although they invest a significant chunk of budget in cyber-security. The situation gets more robust for the small and medium businesses/enterprises as they too need security solutions, but their budget doesn’t allow them to invest in high-paid services. Besides, they also face a considerable scarcity of cyber-security experts.

So, before you ask what the way out of it is, I believe it is essential to know and analyze the difference between having an in-house SOC and outsourcing it.

In-house SOC vs. Outsourced SOC

1. Creating an In-House SOC is Pricey

Many perceptible and imperceptible expenses involved in constructing an in-house security operations centre. Some of the costly expenses in building an in-house SOC are as follows:

Construction costs, hiring, and training the staff requires a considerable investment. Creating and arranging several security solutions necessary for building an in-house SOC can ruin the security plan.

Moreover, there would, of course, be the recurring operational expenses like training people, maintenance, salaries, and utilities.

SOC needs to run 24 X 7, and that contributes to the ever-increasing cost.

The SOC needs to be updated with the current trends of security changes to protect the customers from new threats. Also, the staff sometimes needs to be trained for some particular sorts of updates in the technology. Such costs can quickly skyrocket the budget for an in-house SOC.

2. Maintenance of an In-house SOC is Challenging

To function the SOC effectively, you need an efficient and highly qualified staff distributed in various departments of information security disciplines and network.

The challenges in this domain are as follows:

Providing great security solutions means that you need to hire some impeccable talent. It is well known that the security job is complicated and requires precision and in-depth knowledge with quick grasping and decision making power. The security professionals have to collect, synthesize, and analyze millions of data like fingerprints. The professionals who are sharp enough to find needles in the hay of data are difficult to find and maintain further.

Organizations face pretty much difficulty in finding skilled people. And, sadly there is a significant amount of shortage of qualified people in the cyber-security domain all over the world.

The gap in skill supply and demand in this field needs to be bridged sooner because this gap is creating several challenges for recruitment and human resource maintenance.

Any technological and technical field changes constantly, and the companies need to have a well-trained team. Either they have to train them or hire experts. And, before training the company should already have some knowledgeable professionals.

3. is the Solution

The challenges mentioned above can be solved by having a managed SOC-as-a-Service, which can be beneficial in meeting the specific array of SOC requirements. To bridge the gap of skills and urgent demands in various segments like technology, staff recruitment and maintenance, and operational processes. Every organization needs assistance on security issues and what can be better than an entity that is entirely dedicated to providing security solutions.

4. Although, Not All SOC-as-a-Service Solutions are Identical

One of the most noteworthy benefits of SOC-as-a-Service is getting all-in-one security solutions package at a cost that is significantly less than the on-premise/in-house SOC. If a business outsources SOC, i.e., gets SOC-as-a-Service, then they get a team of fully qualified professionals who have expertise in various security-related domains and a plethora of security solutions. All of these utilities at a meagre cost than an on-premise SOC.

When choosing SOC-as-a-Service, it is mandatory to consider that the security service provider should not be just a monitor of managed security services.

A lot of providers can monitor the systems round-the-clock but are not able to take care of issues on the broader spectrum like vulnerability management, timely incident response, compliance management and reporting, and security patch updates.

The present model of Security-as-a-Service provides much more than just an essential security monitoring service provider. Added services must include cyber-security advisory services and administration of different vital security aspects like mentioned-above.

Align the Cyber-Security Benefits with Your Business Needs

1. Inclusive Competencies to Secure Data

A well-developed security operations centre must ensure the monitoring of security goes on 24 X 7 X 365 with the help of a professional and highly qualified team.

The SOC provider shall reduce the risk of sensitive data getting breached like PII (Personally Identifiable Information), IP (Intellectual Property), PHI Protected Health Information), and many more.

2. Checking on the Compliance Necessities

A reputed SOC will provide a comprehensive report which meets the needs of all the cyber-security related rules and standards.

The SOC should check for compliance reporting of the regulations such as PCI DSS, GLBA, SOX, HIPAA, FFIEC, NIST, and many more like that.

3. Optimizing the Security Solutions

A proper SOC will take care of the crucial security measures and check that they are operating on the highest levels efficiently so that any threats can be detected.

Sometimes, the existing tools and solutions can be leveraged to detect the issues, and additional sources can be used to rectify those.

4. Responding to Cyber Threats

For providing an effective response to the threats, the SOC must have well-trained security experts who can analyze and focus on solving the problems quickly. They should also be able to protect the IT assets of the organization.

The SOC service is meant to be active 24 X 7 X 365 because the online world never sleeps and so the security provider should follow. The experts must solve a problem coming at any time.

Be Choosy While Outsourcing SOC

Yes! You have every right to be selective while choosing a perfect SOC-as-a-Service provider for your business. What happens in the industry is, people aren’t aware of the complete process and what to expect from a SOC-as-a-Service provider, so they can’t figure out what is best for them. Further, they don’t even know what the exact requirement for their businesses are, and hence, it becomes more difficult to plot a plan with the SOC.

A significant concern in this industry is that a lot of SOC-as-a-Service providers assert that they “monitor SIEM” but, in reality, they email the alerts that they receive on their system when a threat is detected. So, it comes upon you, what action to take. Then, why have you hired SOC?

It is also possible that even those alerts aren’t timely and have a difference of 12 hours or more from the first alert. By so much of time in between and the time you take to figure out what to do after you receive the signal, an attacker has enough time to happen and destroy your system.

You need a SOC which not only alerts you but also helps you to eradicate the issues by the security plan that both the parties have already well-discussed and developed for your organization, and is always ready to help.

The author is a content specialist on cloud technology, security and emerging areas of technology at ESDS Software Solutions.

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