Security Operations Center (SOC) around the world are watching over critical infrastructure, giving us the assurance and comfort of being cyber safe. SOC teams go to battle everyday, hoping for consistency in their analysis and trusting their skill and ability to defend. It’s a high pressure environment as you could imagine and being backed up is a constant state of mind. Apart from the unknown challenges of identifying attacks SOC teams are constantly faced with issues that alter their ability to perform at their optimum best.
This guide may serve well for organizations that are designing a SOC, as most of these issues can be solved if the right process is applied.
Let’s look at the top five challenges SOC teams face every day.
1. Increasing volume of security alerts
With the number of security alerts received growing every year, significant analyst time is being spent going through a deluge of them. Plenty of time is spent completing a slew of monotonous tasks to triage and assess the credibility of the warnings, which frequently results in alerts being missed or those with more serious repercussions sliding through the cracks.
As you might expect, analysts' time would be best spent on finding ways to reduce the time between breach detection and resolution.
2. Budget constraints and ever-increasing costs
Budgets are always constrained in some way, shape, or form in most businesses, large or small. A clear positive ROI must usually be forecasted and/or shown before spending can be authorised. It's notoriously tough to evaluate, monitor, and manage security operations and incident response, so justifying spending is always a challenge.
Organisations are increasing their investment in cyber security measures in response to an increase in the number of cyber-attacks, but how much is essential and how much outweighs the benefits? Can you put a figure on the implications of a hypothetical incident like a data breach knowing that you'll almost certainly face a big fine as well as damage to your brand and reputation?
3. Managing a myriad of tools
As SOCs embrace a greater range of security suites, it becomes increasingly challenging to efficiently monitor all of the data provided by the growing number of data points and sources.
A typical Security Operations Center (SOC) may include a mix of 20 or more technologies, which can be challenging to track and manage separately.
To successfully manage, monitor, and measure security operations and incident response procedures, it is critical to have a central source and single platform to consolidate all of the information as it is created and to have a helicopter view of your complete security environment.
4. Shortage of skills and knowledge
Skills shortages are another issue. When a business is unable to hire to fill a security skills gap, existing employees are left to fill the void. They rise to the occasion, but not without difficulty.
For example, if a SOC team is unable to effectively use monitoring and management technologies to intervene in threats, slower reactions and failed responses are likely. Staff must find their way to the appropriate functions to diagnose incidents and then intervene, resulting in slower responses.
Not knowing enough hinders the ability to perceive the threat at hand. Moreover, SOC teams might receive more false positive and false negative responses, and waste time tracking them down.
5. Uncertainty about the mission
SOCs tend to be unsure about their core mission and may not have a clear idea as to which business assets are most important to protect. SOCs must have a clear understanding of what they are expected to protect and why, for increased efficiency.
SOC analysts are the first line of defence for your organisation and they can properly secure your data with proper resources, methodologies and training. You can find out more about how to set up your SOC here.
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