Security Operations Center (SOC) Roles and Responsibilities

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is responsible for enterprise cybersecurity. This includes everything from threat prevention to security infrastructure design to incident detection and response. In many cases, however, SOC teams struggle to overcome the challenges of fulfilling their wide range of roles and responsibilities, leaving the enterprise vulnerable to attack.

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Responsibilities of the SOC

The primary duty of the SOC is to protect the organization against cyberattacks. SOC teams must fulfill a number of responsibilities to effectively manage security incidents, including:

  • Investigating Potential Incidents: SOC teams receive a large number of alerts, but not all alerts point to real attacks. SOC analysts are responsible for digging into a potential incident to determine if it is a real attack or a false positive.
  • Triaging and Prioritizing Detected Incidents: Not all security incidents are created equal, and an organization has limited incident response resources. Once an incident has been identified, it needs to be triaged and prioritized to optimize resource utilization and minimize enterprise risk.
  • Coordinating an Incident Response: Responding to an incident requires engagement with multiple stakeholders and the use of a variety of different tools. SOC analysts must orchestrate this process to ensure that oversights do not result in a delayed or incomplete remediation.

However, the role of the SOC is not limited to incident response. Other SOC roles and responsibilities include:

  • Maintaining Relevance: The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and SOC teams need to be able to manage the latest threats to the organization. This includes keeping up with new and trending attacks and ensuring that security systems have an updated set of rules to help detect such attacks.
  • Patching Vulnerable Systems: Exploitation of vulnerabilities is a common attack vector for cybercriminals. SOC teams are responsible for identifying, applying, and testing patches for vulnerable enterprise systems and software.
  • Infrastructure Management: As the cyber threat landscape changes and the enterprise network evolves, new security solutions are required. SOC teams are responsible for identifying, deploying, configuring, and managing their security infrastructure.
  • Addressing Support Tickets: Many SOC teams are part of the IT department. This means that SOC analysts may be called upon to address support tickets from an organizations’ employees.
  • Reporting to Management: Security is part of the business, and SOC teams need to report to management like any other department. This requires the ability to effectively communicate security costs and return on investment to a business audience.

Obviously, SOC teams have a wide range of roles and responsibilities. And If these teams are understaffed or lack sufficient resources, some of these responsibilities may fall by the wayside.

Common SOC Challenges

Often, the SOC’s responsibilities exceed their capacity. Some of the most common challenges that SOC teams face in fulfilling their roles include:

  • Staffing Critical Roles: The cybersecurity industry is experiencing a significant skills gap. This makes it difficult for organizations to attract and retain the talent required to protect themselves against cyber threats.
  • Weeding Out False Positives: The average SOC receives tens of thousands of alerts each day, but only a small fraction are from real threats. SOC analysts must identify the needles in a large haystack of logs and alerts, which consumes valuable time and resources.
  • Minimizing Operational Impacts: Not everything suspicious within an organization’s network is malicious and part of a real attack. SOCs must expose and shut down only real attacks, while allowing legitimate business to continue.
  • Rapidly Responding to Attacks: The longer an attacker has access to an organization’s network, the greater the cost and damage to the organization. SOC teams must rapidly identify and remediate attacks to minimize the impact on the company.
  • Collecting and Aggregating Data: Many organizations have an array of point security solutions. The resulting incomplete and disconnected network visibility impairs effective incident detection and response.

Many organizations lack the resources to overcome these challenges. Security innovation – such as leveraging SOC as a Service offerings – is essential to protecting the enterprise against cyber threats.

Empowering the Modern SOC

For countless SOC teams, identifying malicious activity within their network is extremely difficult. They are often compelled to piece together information from multiple monitoring solutions and make their way through an absurd amount of daily alerts. The result? serious attacks are overlooked until it’s too late.

Some of the challenges faced by SOCs – like limited access to cybersecurity talent – are unlikely to be solved any time soon. To effectively protect the enterprise, SOC teams need tools that enable them to maximize the effectiveness of their limited teams and resources.

Check Point Horizon enables SOC teams to more rapidly identify, investigate, and remediate cybersecurity incidents. It offers 99.9% precision across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure, including network, cloud, endpoint, mobile and IoT devices. Detection is driven by threat intelligence generated and curated by Check Point Research.

To learn more about Check Point Horizon, check out this demo video. You’re also welcome to sign up for a free trial to try it out for yourself.

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