Idea by |  15 Jan 2020 |    LEAVE A COMMENT   

How to establish a Security Operation Center?

How to establish a Security Operation Center?

First of all, we shed some light on “What is SOC and Why does an organization need SOC?” 

In the age of data-driven technologies and modernized office environment, cybersecurity threats exist beyond imagination. Data breaching and Cyber attacks may cause irredeemable losses to any small and large scale organizations. Hence building a Security Operations Center is an inviolable preventative measure that any organization can rely on. 

A Security Operations Center is a process of accommodating a team of information security specialists who is responsible for constant monitoring, analyzing and defending cybersecurity threats on networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, websites, and other systems, looking for anomalous activity that could be indicative of a security incident or compromise. Meanwhile, the response management process includes the manipulation of cyber attacks of an organization by a strategic approach to reinforce the security governance of the company. 

 

SOC structure based on 3 main factors i.e. 

 

People 

Employing a resourceful team is the foremost step in building a Security Operations Center. SOCs are staffed with a variety of individuals that play a particular role in overarching security operations. 

Process

Prior to the development of SOC, a set of rules should be defined to state the ownership and streamline all procedures. In order to build a more formal and centralized organization, it’s a good idea to evaluate current procedures as well.

Technology 

Identifying the tools you need for effective detection and response is one of the main parts of the whole framework of building SOC. You want tools that will support your strategy for visibility across your networks and incident response and that suit your budget. 

 

SOC team is accustomed to the responsibilities of monitoring, detecting, containing and remediating cyber threats across mission-critical applications, devices  IT infrastructure in both public and private cloud environments. SOC team is also responsible for throughout monitoring and threat detection. Security Operation Center roles evolve time-to-time as the intensity and frequency of incidents continue to increase.

How does SOC work? 

Security Operation Center is established to block the cyber attackers in each phase and control their attempts to gain access to a network. To understand how cyber criminals fall upon seeing the image below Cyber Kill Chain:

 

In the Cyber Kill Chain model, an attacker will attempt to:

  • Reconnoiter the network to recognize vulnerability in the security frameworks: for example an unmaintained internet-connected device. 
  • Weaponized/Prepare to attack against a virus etc
  • Deliver the response to the system by means of an email, a document transfer, a listening network connection
  • Exploit the system’s vulnerability by running the unsafe code, associating with the fragile ensured system.
  • Install and keep up a presence on the system, to analyze and evaluate the objectives 
  • Initiate Command and Control: supervise and stabilize the means of communication of the attacker’s system. 
  • Exfiltrate: Manipulate systems or steal information etc.

By using the following method, a well structured SOC will act against the attacker.

  • Recognize legitimate assets and systems
  • Guard assets: proactively increase the difficulty of attacks
  • Detect reconnaissance or attacks as they occur
  • Respond: block network traffic, shut down harmful processes
  • Remediate: restore data, restart systems.

 

The Dependencies of SOC 

An effective and well functional SOC has 3 core dependency factors that are solely responsible for the development and consolidation of the Security Operation System of an organization. All of these three factors are mutually supporting components of a strong and coherent security solution. A well-maintained network is a forerunner to establishing a SOC if the network is not in an efficient state to start with, all the expected tasks from SOC will remain unattainable. Likewise, if network access is not physically restricted in an appropriate manner, then the expected tasks will become more intricate to complete. In the last, concerning the third factor, if the SOC is not carefully resourced and trained, it will not be able to manipulate its function and assure the Information Security triad (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability).

 

SOC Models

Multiple SOC models having diversified features and functionalities that are designed for the different types of organizational models.

 

Nowadays, almost every organization either opts to establish a centralized in-house Security Operation Center, acquire a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) support or completely outsource the SOC. According to the size of the organization and network, affordable budget and time limit, the security and confidentiality requirements are considered.

As every organizational risk appetite, priorities and budget vary, a  keen consideration of which model will be compatible with your organization should be implemented. Whereas certain priorities and requirements change gradually, hence a routine analysis of the chosen SOC solution should be conducted.

AUTHOR

Mohsin Saeed

Mohsin Saeed Awan - I lead the department of IT, Networks and Security in Zigron Inc. In my role as IT/Networks/Security Lead, I superintend the IT infrastructure, security and network management of Zigron Inc. Moreover, I aim to provide avant-grade security solutions and services to our clients world-wide including i.e. DevOps, DevSecOps, Automation of Infrastructure, Private Cloud, Security Orchestration, Automation and Response and Managed SOC. Some of my core expertise include, Networking, Virtualization, Linux Administration, Windows Administration and Infrastructure and Application Deployment Automation. Prior to Zigron Inc, I supervised IT/Networks department in Protege Global and I got my professional skills tailored in SMEC Oil and Gas Pvt. Ltd as an Assistant IT Lead.

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