Setting up a way to manage network security is quite a daunting task for any new organization. And there's not just one way to do it. Modern technology and effective service models have made it possible for organizations to outsource their security to professional cybersecurity service providers.
While outsourcing security may be a good idea for some, a lot of companies want to explore a more complex but beneficial option for security that involves setting up a security operations center (SOC) dedicated to protecting their networks. How an organization's security should be managed will boil down to the available budget, personnel, and threats the industry faces. This article should help you assess your security priorities and choose between an in-house SOC or MSSP.
An internal SOC team within your organization involves putting together the personnel, processes, and technology to build a system that detects threats, alerts the team, and responds to security incidents.
Personnel: Personnel can be a tricky thing while building a SOC. You need to build a team of experienced employees who know how to manage and respond to security incidents. This team of analysts will have to use the security technology you've invested in to detect threats, evaluate potential damage, and run routine procedures to check if you're compliant with industry standards and if your security controls are in order.
Some SOC job titles to organize your team by:
Technology: With work that's as complex as cybersecurity, you can't just rely on personnel to get the job done. Current security solutions are advanced enough to do a lot of the heavy lifting and mundane tasks. With this, your personnel get more time to focus their efforts on planning and strategizing.
SIEM solutions are a great investment for any company choosing to build its own SOC team. SIEM solutions are comprehensive in their collection and processing of logs from your devices. They provide visual analytics to help you understand data, intensive reports on network activity, and even automation capabilities that help you respond to threats faster. Log360 is a SIEM solution that offers logging and reporting capabilities for your AD, mail servers, and cloud environments along with nifty features such as real-time correlation and behavior analytics to help detect threats and improve the compliance posture.
Of course, building your own SOC can take quite a bite out of your budget, and how big a bite that will be is determined by the SOC you're trying to build. Your SOC maturity level depends on the capabilities you want to equip your team with.
Here is a breakdown of SOC levels your team might fall under based on capabilities:
Any CISO would prefer to have an advanced SOC team with state-of-the-art tech that helps keep every network activity under check. But the issue lays with sustainability and consistency. Security tools considered state of the art today can quickly become outdated a few years down the road and begin to overwhelm your SOC team with useless alerts.
Building your SOC depends not just on the experience of the personnel but also on the kind of security capabilities you want to incorporate into your program. The NIST framework is a five-function model that can help you choose what capabilities to prioritize. Ideally, you would implement all five, but your budget may not permit this. Using the NIST framework, you can determine what functions or capabilities are the highest priority for your organization. From there, you can calculate budgets to introduce these capabilities and look for the kind of SIEM solution that can help you easily manage your security.
However, if when looking at the budget you find you won't be able to fund a fully functional SOC team, you should consider opting for security service providers.
Managed security service providers (MSSPs) are a good alternative to SOC teams. For a new company, its SOC team might be understaffed and might be struggling to handle monitoring and prioritizing alerts. This is where an MSSP can make life easy. Organizations requiring 24/7 monitoring should consider outsourcing their SOC to an MSSP.
The most common reason to outsource is budget, or rather a lack thereof. The effort and expenses involved in hiring capable personnel, investing in their training, and ensuring scalability of your cybersecurity process can be too much for some organizations to handle. Opting to outsource to an MSSP can eliminate much of the costs and effort, since these service provides deliver SOC capabilities to several customers at once. Not all organizations require cutting-edge security for their organization and may just need critical capabilities that a 24/7 SOC can provide; for these organizations, MSSPs are a far more lucrative option.
Your MSSP can manage your security infrastructure; they'll be able to tune your environment's security controls, manage log information, and set up firewalls and other security hardware.
Cutting costs is the primary benefit MSSPs offer over building your own SOC. But if you're organization operates in a sensitive domain such as finance or healthcare, which are relatively more vulnerable, you may need to consider building a SOC. It is an investment that offers good returns in the long term.
While cost is a major factor, there are plenty of other reasons to opt for an MSSP. An MSSP gives you access to its experienced SOC analysts and threat intelligence. Incorporating these capabilities yourself would require significant investments into technology and personnel which can be quite pricey. The high demand for experienced cybersecurity professionals and the fact that these tech-savvy individuals often prefer to work at established SOCs will be an impediment to small and medium-sized enterprises trying to establish their own SOCs.
Let's weigh these options against each other:
You will receive regular updates on the latest news on cybersecurity.
© 2021 Zoho Corporation Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved.