definition soc

Definition of SOC (Security Operation Center)

A true anti-piracy division, the SOC’s mission is to ensure the security of a company or organization. Its role is to anticipate external threats, but also to monitor and analyze digital exchanges. It’s an entire technological device in the hands of a manager who spends his days improving the digital protection system already in place. This article demystifies the Security Operation Center (SOC).

An analysis tool to anticipate cyberattacks

Often managed by cybersecurity engineers or converted hackers, the SOC constitutes a real department of its own in large companies. Smaller-sized companies also have their Security Operation Center, even with much less material and human resources. In both cases, the role of the SOC is to put in place all the necessary measures to protect against intrusions or sabotage.

Most of the time, the Operations Security Center ensures that all processes inherent to the operation of the company do not contain any flaws. Analysts work closely with the different departments in order to manage, but above all to control, incidents. Not to be confused with network technicians and IT professionals, SOC managers design and coordinate a battery of defenses against a cyberattack. These specialists work on the servers, the intranet, the Data Center and the official website. They also ensure that the mobile application is secure, if the company has one.

The operation of a SOC changes from one company to another

Each company has its own particularity, depending on its activities. The same goes for its SOC, which adapts accordingly. That said, the technicians attached to the Security Operation Center mainly do prevention. They design digital architectures invulnerable to external intrusions. Analysts often work in teams to detect vulnerabilities that become entry points for hackers.

The most successful companies equip themselves with cutting-edge cybersecurity centers. Supposed to stay one step ahead of hackers, the SOC performs specific tasks such as the analysis of encrypted data. He also sometimes simulates computer attacks to react effectively when the time comes. Sometimes, white hat hacking experts are invited to take part in setting up digital protections. Against all odds, hacking aces manage to break the passwords of major CAC40 companies in just a few minutes.

Operational security requires a real strategy

The establishment of a SOC includes several levels. The company has an interest in developing a whole strategy to stay safe from incidents.

  • The company must start by defining its cyber security objectives. In some cases, a good antivirus and a firewall are enough to filter email exchanges.
  • It is important to identify the real threats. The web portal of a popular brand arouses the desire of hackers more than the site of a non-profit association.
  • The departments or flows to be protected must be listed in order to provide appropriate solutions. Often, it is especially online payments and private data that must be protected from interceptions.
  • The deployment of technological means or even the recruitment of IT security managers depends on the real needs of the company.
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A multitude of settings to ensure security

The technological resources within an Operational Security Center are conditioned by the budget.

  • The infrastructure is based on a firewall system.
  • Security is ensured by IPS/IDS which detects intrusions.
  • Automated solutions for identifying IT vulnerabilities are essential.
  • Probe-type technologies for testing digital security (SIEM) would be welcome.
  • A telemetry-focused data flow manager and analyzer is required.
  • Protection also comes from better control of exchange packets with the outside world, in particular thanks to the optimization of the syslog protocol.

A system taking into account the human factor

The SOC does more than just monitor the vulnerability of networks and sites. It ensures that sensitive data is protected in accordance with quality standards and current regulations. In other words, analysts do not rule out the possibility of having a “mole” in the company. Until proven otherwise, they consider staff members to be a potential source of computer threat. In some cases, simply inserting a USB drive infested with spyware is enough to open the way to a hacker. There are also email attachments.

Those responsible for cyber security within a company must educate employees. It is up to them to remember actions that could possibly be fatal. They will not have to play the role of moralizer. These are more filtering, scanning or real-time analysis systems that they put in place. Employees and managers are made aware of the possibility of being attacked in multiple ways. Moreover, it is up to those responsible for the SOC to establish a concrete security system. They establish the restriction of access to certain computers or confidential digital files.

Data flows constantly monitored by a third party

Like many other players in the digital field, the InfoSec Institute has made SOC its specialty. This entity collects data on possible digital threats. It highlights the vulnerability of a company or organization with IT equipment. This cybersecurity pioneer reiterates the need to have external analysts who constantly monitor the occurrence of incidents. The system deployed by a service provider becomes beneficial for a society which does not necessarily have the human and technological means to defend itself.

SOC experts are finding great success with automation. They implement programs that monitor the cyber security of their customers 24/7. These are analyst algorithms capable of recognizing and blocking possible dangers. It is a truly lucrative business that employs hundreds of experts. Some of these digital security professionals are former hackers. Fortunately, contracts and strict specifications govern their new profession.

Good reasons to invest in a Security Operating Center

SOC and cybersecurity remain secondary for many business leaders. Often, they focus on their core business until the day an incident occurs. When the hypothetical threat turns into a real attack, the consequences are usually catastrophic. These are ransom demands, the leak of confidential customer files or the loss of exclusivity on a prototype. Many brands prefer reaction to anticipation.

Although setting up an operational digital security center costs its money, it brings its share of advantages. This is a way of perpetuating the investment and the long years of hard work against industrial espionage. It is also a way to better control exchanges with the outside world. Indeed, incidents and intrusion attempts are detected in real time. They are the subject of detailed reports with a view to improving the protection system already in place without provoking paranoia.