Security Operation Center (SOC) Framework

The cyber threat landscape is rapidly evolving, and companies are facing growing numbers of highly sophisticated threats. Ransomware, data breaches, and other security incidents are significant risks and can carry high costs for the organization.

The Security Operations Center (SOC) is the heart of an organization’s cybersecurity program, and is responsible for identifying, preventing, and remediating attacks against an organization’s IT systems. A strong, effective SOC is essential to reducing an organization’s risk of becoming the victim of a data breach or other security incident, which can carry a price tag in the millions.

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What is a Security Operation Center (SOC) Framework?

The role of the SOC is to protect an organization against cyber threats. This includes identifying potential security threats and taking action to prevent or remediate them. A SOC framework defines an architecture for the systems and services that a SOC needs to do its job. For example, a SOC framework includes the ability to perform 24×7 security monitoring, analyze data, identify potential threats, and respond to identified attacks.

Principles of a SOC Framework

A SOC framework should cover all of the core capabilities of an organization’s SOC, and should include the following:

  • Monitoring: SOCs are responsible for performing round-the-clock security monitoring to identify potential threats to the organization. Analysts require tools to perform this monitoring at scale, such as security information and event monitoring (SIEM) solutions, extended detection and response (XDR), and similar solutions that automatically collect and aggregate security data from multiple sources.
  • Analysis: Collecting security data provides analysts with a pool of alerts, logs, and other data that they must parse through to identify credible threats to the organization. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help with this process, weeding out false positives and drawing attention to true threats.
  • Incident Response: If a SOC identifies a threat to the organization, it is responsible for taking action to remediate that threat. Some security solutions, such as XDR, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions, provide built-in support for incident remediation and can even automatically respond to certain types of security incidents.
  • Auditing and Logging: Logs and records are essential to regulatory compliance and documenting responses to identified security incidents. SOAR solutions and security platforms provide built-in logging capabilities and may be capable of automatically generating reports for various purposes, such as regulatory compliance or internal reporting.
  • Threat Hunting: Not all threats are identified and managed via threat detection and response, leaving intrusions undetected within an organization’s systems. Threat hunting is a proactive activity in which SOC analysts search for these unknown threats and requires tools that support the collection and analysis of security data from multiple sources.

Corporate SOCs have a wide range of responsibilities. A SOC framework helps to ensure that they have the tools required to fulfill their roles and that these solutions work together as part of an integrated security architecture.

Types of SOC Services

SOCs can come in a few different forms. The right SOC for an organization can depend on its size, security maturity, and various other factors.

In-House SOC

Some large enterprises maintain their own in-house SOC. For organizations with the resources required to support a mature SOC, this provides a great deal of control over their cybersecurity and how their data is managed. However, maintaining an effective in-house SOC can be difficult and expensive. Cyberattacks can occur at any time, making round-the-clock security monitoring and incident response essential. With an ongoing cybersecurity skills shortage, attracting and retaining the security expertise required for 24×7 coverage can be difficult.

Managed SOC

For organizations without the scale, resources, or desire to maintain an in-house SOC, numerous managed SOC options are available, including managed detection and response (MDR) or SOC as a Service (SOCaaS). These organizations can partner with a third-party organization that provides 24x7x365 security monitoring and incident response support. Additionally, a partnership with a managed security provider gives access to specialized security expertise when it is needed.

The main disadvantage of a managed security offering is that it decreases the control that an organization has over its SOC. Managed security providers have their own tools, policies, and procedures and may not be able to accommodate special requests by their customers.

SOC Security with Check Point Horizon

A SOC, whether in-house or managed, is only effective if it has the right tools for the job. Check Point offers solutions for organizations looking to implement any type of SOC. For enterprises operating an in-house SOC, Check Point Horizon XDR/XPR provides integrated security visibility and automated responses across an organization’s entire IT stack. For more information on enhancing and streamlining your SOC processes, reach out to learn more about the Horizon XDR/XPR Early Availability Program.

For companies looking to outsource their SOC operations, Check Point also offers managed detection and response (MDR) services based on our enterprise-grade security technology. Feel free to sign up for a free demo today.

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