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What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Posted by Ben Harrison on May 15, 2020

SOC as a Service provides resource constrained companies a way to increase their team with people, improve their cybersecurity processes and implement best of breed, tried and tested technology. By finding a security operations center (SOC) partner, you can ensure your business is protected.

Here we answer some questions about a SOC as a Service. 


What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

SOCs are teams of cybersecurity professionals whose task it is to monitor networks for cyberattacks and suspicious behavior, as well as improve internal security controls and procedures.


Who runs a Security Operations Center?

Some large enterprises will have their own SOC, but for many SMEs that’s simply out of the question. At minimum, to gain the 24x7 security a SOC provides, you need to employ five full time SOC professionals. In most cases, we find that SMEs simply do not have the resource to do this and seek help from managed SOC services.


When do you need a SOC?

This varies for many companies. You should be constantly evaluating your cybersecurity processes and technology against new threats. If your people cannot keep up or you are uncertain if your technology (like SIEM or log management) is being used effectively, you should consider a SOC security company.


Where do I need my SOC?

Threats come from anywhere – your SOC can be anywhere. Look for a security operations center that is located in a hub of cybersecurity excellence. Also, find a provider that gives you the SOC team you need, but also combines dedicated company resources – like your own cybersecurity advisor – that knows your business and account.


How does a Security Operations Center work?

A SOC team is your eyes on your systems, monitoring your systems for threats, vulnerabilities and patches. They provide expertise and a repeatable SOC process for effective and scalable operations. Every workflow follows these rules and is documented and recorded for SOC2 compliance.


If a threat or vulnerability is identified, your SOC analysts will investigate and triage to determine the threat level. You want a SOC that can triage effectively to only call you in the middle of the night if an urgent action is required.


A SOC should provide detailed reviews of triggered events across your entire attack surface to identify suspicious activity, make security observations, highlight policy violations and suggest improvements. They should also advise on security threats with in-depth knowledge about your environment, instead of treating each alert in isolation as good or bad.


Who should be on your managed SOC services team?

When you choose a SOC as a service provider, you want to know you can trust the team. At Cygilant, we run a global SOC team that offers four tiers of humans from level 1s to 4s. Many of our SOC team members hold masters degrees and PhD’s in cybersecurity and come from Security Operation Centers, Network Operations Centers (NOCs), software engineering and IT backgrounds. This diversity and experience in real world environments allows us to deliver value to all of our customers whether they use Linux in AWS, Windows in Azure, or a hybrid cloud mixture of network hardware and software in on- premises solutions.


Cygilant has a team hierarchy for each SOC as a Service customer that includes a SOC associate, SOC monitor, SOC analyst, SOC service deliver manager or Cybersecurity Advisor, and the SOC administrator.


Can a Security Operations Center help with compliance?

Absolutely! A SOC must always be logging and reporting on security vulnerabilities, patches and monitoring for compliance. You should consider a SOC that has compliance experts in house. For example, Cygilant has people experienced in a variety of certifications frameworks, from ISO, to SOC2, NIST, and FFIEC.


What are the three things a SOC-as-a-Service must focus on to be successful?

  1. Service – what service is the SOC providing? Make sure both you and the SOC as a Service provider has this clearly defined. This includes:
  • Coverage hours – 24x7 or just daytime business hours – what do you need?
  • Is the managed SOC service covering all your assets? Desktops, phones, laptops or just high value servers?
  • What does security monitoring look like? Reviewing events and alerts, or active threat hunting?
  • What response time is needed? What’s the SLA?
  • What service level matches your risk profile? Do you have compliance requirements?


  1. Technology – Your managed SOC services should help you navigate the messy cybersecurity market by advising on best-of-breed tools that you need. They should also offer a centralized dashboard so you and the provider can see all SOC incident response and compliance activities.


  1. People – We have talked about the importance of the right people. SOC as a service company should provide you with a team of experts. You add 24x7 coverage, expertise to your team.


What’s the benefit of a SOC-as-a-Service?

When you work with a SOC-as-a-Service, you benefit from a cost-effective solution that doesn’t require hiring a minimum of five in-house employees. You get better security coverage with 24x7 eyes on your site so when an incident occurs, you have faster resolutions. It also helps you improve trust. If breached, you’ll be able to respond immediately, close the breach, and demonstrate that you have remediated the impact on your data/network. This all comes with SOC experience and preparedness.


Who is Cygilant?

Cygilant is the most affordable cybersecurity-as-a-service for all sized organizations. We help you hunt, detect and manage threats. When you work with Cygilant, you get a partner in cybersecurity. We combine security experts with best of breed technology and a cybersecurity dashboard in a repeatable process driven service, which puts Customer Security Value at the center where it belongs.


Read the datasheet Cygilant SOC as a Service

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