At its core, a Security Operations Center (SOC) is a centralized unit dedicated to continuously monitoring, detecting, investigating, and responding to security incidents across your digital infrastructure. You can kind of think about a SOC as akin to the cybersecurity nerve center of your organization. However, building a traditional SOC is not straightforward—outsourcing this vital cybersecurity function to a service-based model is an increasingly popular option for companies. This blog takes a look at the benefits of SOC-as-a-service (SOCaaS).
Challenges with Traditional SOCs
To understand the appeal of SOCaaS, it’s important to be aware of the challenges of just building your own security operations center in-house.
Establishing and maintaining a traditional SOC requires significant capital. Hardware, server infrastructure, data storage, and the myriad security tools necessary can pose a hefty initial investment. Moreover, the ongoing costs of software updates, hardware replacements, and infrastructure scaling can strain the budgets of many organizations. One estimate says it costs around $2.86 million each year to run an in-house SOC.
The cybersecurity industry continues to grapple with a severe shortage of skilled professionals. This shortage means that attracting, recruiting, and retaining qualified SOC analysts and experts becomes a major challenge. This scarcity also drives up salaries and can make it hard for smaller organizations to compete with larger corporations in securing top talent. The more advanced skills needed for a functioning SOC makes it harder to fill positions. In the UK, for example, 33 percent of companies report a shortage of advanced cyber skills.
Keeping Pace with Rapid Technological Change
The tech industry advances at a breakneck pace. This constant evolution means SOCs have to be nimble and frequently update their technology stack to address new threat vectors. Unfortunately, traditional SOCs can sometimes be slow to adapt due to bureaucracy, budgetary constraints, or just the sheer magnitude of the task.
Traditional SOCs often become burdened with too many security tools and platforms that address different issues. This “tool sprawl” leads to integration challenges, inefficiencies, and blind spots in security coverage. Tool sprawl also adds complexity to training and operations.
Compounding matters is that many security tools generate a high number of false positives. This constant flow of alerts leads to “alert fatigue” among analysts, where they become desensitized due to the constant barrage of alerts. At its worst, alert fatigue causes SOC analysts to overlook genuine threats.
As businesses grow and their digital infrastructure expands, traditional SOCs might find it hard to scale operations quickly. Whether it’s integrating new hires or expanding to new geographical areas, the inherent rigidity of some SOCs can pose challenges.
Furthermore, with ever-evolving global data protection regulations, SOCs must constantly update their practices to remain compliant. Achieving and maintaining this compliance can be challenging, especially when dealing with cross-border operations and multiple regulatory environments.
SOCaaS is a subscription or cloud-based service that provides you with advanced threat detection, incident response, and continuous security monitoring capabilities, all without the need to build and maintain a physical on-premises SOC. Here are some of the benefits of opting for SOCaaS at your business.
- Cost-Effective—SOCaaS, being a service model, dramatically reduces the initial capital expenditure for getting SOC functionality. This turns SOC into a predictable operational expense rather than a hefty investment.
- Access to Technical Security Experts—With SOCaaS, businesses instantly gain access to a team of experts who specialize in threat intelligence, monitoring, and incident response. These are the in-demand security skills that so many companies lack.
- Easy Scalability—As a business grows, its security needs evolve. SOCaaS provides the flexibility to scale services up or down based on your company’s unique requirements.
- 24/7 Monitoring—Cyber threats don’t operate on a 9-to-5 schedule. Many SOCaaS providers offer round-the-clock surveillance to identify and deal with threats at the pace required.
- The Latest Tech—SOCaaS providers continually update their tools and technologies to ensure their clients get protection via cutting-edge security solutions. Advanced technologies that leverage AI and machine learning help in fine-tuning alerts and reducing false positives to ensure that teams respond only to genuine threats.
- Threat Intel—Many SOCaaS providers have a geographically widespread footprint, with clients in many different areas of the world. This means they possess intelligence on threats from multiple areas. A wide-ranging perspective protects against not just local but global threats.
- Reduced Operational Overhead—With SOCaaS handling the heavy lifting of security monitoring and management, internal IT teams can focus on strategic tasks, drive innovation, and support other core business functions. This operational efficiency leads to improved resource allocation.
Choosing a SOCaaS Provider
It’s not just about deciding to use SOCaaS because of the many benefits on offer, but also about choosing the right service provider for your needs. Look for providers with a proven track record, ideally with testimonials available from current or past clients. Ensure the provider uses a modern, regularly updated toolkit that integrates well with your current systems. Thoroughly vet any service level agreements to understand a provider’s response times and make sure they align with your business requirements.
SOCs: From Luxury to Necessity
With a surge in the volume, sophistication, and variety of cyber-attacks, SOCs have transitioned from being a luxury exclusive to large enterprises to a security necessity for businesses of all sizes. Cyber threats no longer discriminate based on size or stature. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often find themselves as attractive targets as their larger counterparts (sometimes even more so) due to perceived vulnerabilities.
But of course, the challenges of an in-house SOC don’t magically disappear when you recognize the necessity of a SOC. That’s why SOCaaS is an increasingly useful option to bridge this gap and arm your business with the crucial capabilities that SOCs deliver, in a cost-effective way.
At DIESEC, our SOCaaS gives your company faster detection and remediation, effortless flexibility based on your needs, and 24/7 coverage.