The Security Operations Center (SOC) Team is responsible for monitoring, analyzing, and managing security information from internal and external sources. The SOC team’s responsibilities include incident prevention, response, reporting, tracking. And providing recommendations to improve the overall security of an organization. The SOC team consists of 4 distinct roles that all play an important part in the overall success of the SOC unit. The four roles include Security Analysts, Technical Analysts, Business Analysts and Information Security Managers/Specialists. Each role plays an integral part in the operation of the team and are integral to the success of security operations center teams worldwide.
What is a SOC team?
A SOC team is a group of cyber security experts whose job it is to detect, prevent, and respond to computer crimes. A typical SOC has various teams whose members are typically analysts who study different areas of computer security. A SOC team can also be referred to as an IR team or CIRT. But they all mean roughly the same thing. Additionally, A cyber security operations center can refer to a physical facility that is staffed with professionals 24/7. Or it can simply refer to a group of individuals who work in shifts around-the-clock.
Responsibilities of the SOC
SOC teams are in charge of analyzing traffic across a network, identifying potentially malicious activity. Monitoring security solutions to ensure they’re working properly. Protecting systems against malware and other risks, managing network policies and more. As you can see, SOCs are complex departments that require a lot of technical skill. These departments are also becoming increasingly common as companies realize just how crucial it is to have 24/7/365 access to expert analysts.
Investigating Potential Incidents:
An SOC is only as good as its employees. Just like in any organization, when you have a problem, you call in an expert. The problem is that your network contains priceless information so it’s imperative to hire people with serious security chops to work in your SOC. These employees should be ready at a moment’s notice to investigate potential incidents: malware infection, unauthorized logins or other red flags.
Triaging and Prioritizing Detected Incidents:
When a security incident is detected, SOC personnel collect information regarding it. Incident triage is a process that takes place at first contact with an incident to determine its severity level, or potential impact on your organization. The goal of triaging incidents is to ensure that serious incidents receive appropriate attention while lower-level ones are addressed through more efficient means. To effectively prioritize incidents. You must be able to differentiate between malicious activity and non-malicious activity that may be in violation of corporate policy.
Coordinating an Incident Response:
The SOC is responsible for coordinating incident response, which means ensuring that incidents are investigated in a timely manner. SOC staff members monitor incoming alerts from IDS/IPS, vulnerability scanners, etc. So they can recognize when an incident has occurred. From there, they communicate with appropriate personnel to either prepare to respond or begin investigation immediately. It’s important to note that communication between these teams often occurs over a private network using custom tools built for each organization’s needs not over public networks like email or Slack.
When new security technologies emerge, having a diverse team who can stay on top of all things security is critical. Members of an SOC team are responsible for working with internal stakeholders and customers to understand their concerns around vulnerabilities, threats, best practices and more. Collaboration is essential in any role within an SOC, so make sure to check out these 15 great collaboration tools for businesses.
Patching Vulnerable Systems:
It’s common for security teams to overlook or forget to patch vulnerable systems. We recommend incorporating a check into your SOC monitoring tooling that alerts you when a vulnerable service has been detected. Along with instructions on how to patch it. By taking proactive measures like these, you can quickly address vulnerable systems before attackers use them in their campaigns. How to find out if a system is vulnerable Removing unneeded services Maintaining vendor support. In addition, make sure all of your operating systems are up-to-date by using tools such as Secunia PSI.
The SOC Infrastructure Management team is responsible for maintaining. Updating, and supporting all security tools, applications, appliances, communication devices, software and hardware. A SOC administrator is required to have a firm understanding of at least one common operating system such as Windows 7/Server 2008R2. Or Linux on at least one server-grade virtualization platform.
They must also understand networking concepts including subnets, VLANs, firewalls, and network topologies. In addition they must be able to configure routers with proper access lists and routing protocols in order to allow traffic flow between multiple locations. Lastly they must have knowledge of general security practices including. But not limited to physical security controls like locks and CCTV cameras as well as logical controls like firewalls and IDS/IPS systems.
Addressing Support Tickets:
Working in a SOC, you’ll be expected to work on tickets assigned to you by either Level 1 or Level 2 support personnel.
Your job is to provide hands-on technical support as well as analyze what may have caused an issue in order to assist with future ticket creation. For example, if your customer reported that they were unable to login. Your first response might be asking them for their username and password.
As cybersecurity threats continue to rise across industries, it’s more important than ever to have a great security operations center team in place. No matter how well-crafted your network security is, no matter how many security experts you have on your staff. If someone isn’t monitoring systems 24/7, looking for new risks and trends. You won’t be able to keep up with evolving attacks. Security professionals need to communicate with each other efficiently so that risk is minimized.
This team has to work well together in order to be effective. And keeping everyone aware of what everyone else is doing makes that communication simpler. Understanding who does what can make managing a SOC easier for everyone involved. Especially if there are expectations from above about what exactly needs monitoring when.