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A Complete Guide- Security Operation Center (SOC)

Parveen Bhandari | 20 August 2022

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Introduction to Security Operations Center

The cyber threat landscape is growing and rapidly changing, and preventing possible cyberattacks necessitates constant monitoring and response. The longer a cybersecurity incident goes unresolved, the greater the risk of damage and expense to the organization. The Security Operations Center of an organization is responsible for dealing with these risks (SOC). The SOC should be able to monitor cyber threats 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and respond to incidents quickly.

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

A security operations center (SOC) is a structure that contains an information security team that is in charge of continuously monitoring and assessing an organization's security posture.
The SOC team uses a combination of a set of processes to detect, evaluate, and respond to cybersecurity problems. The SOC team collaborates with organizational incident response teams to ensure that security vulnerabilities are addressed as soon as they are discovered. The security operations center monitors and analyzes networks, servers, endpoints, databases, apps, websites, and other systems, which check for unusual behaviour that could indicate a security incident or compromise. The SOC is responsible for properly identifying, analyzing, defending, investigating, and reporting potential security threats.

Responsibilities Of Security Operations Center (SOC)

The SOC leads organization incident response and pushes continuing security enhancements to defend the organization from cyber threats. A well-functioning SOC will give the following benefits by using a complicated combination of the proper technologies and the right people to monitor and manage the entire network.

Identify Assets

The activities of a SOC team begin with having a comprehensive understanding of the tools and technology available to them.
The team gains knowledge of the systems' hardware and software. Their extensive knowledge aids in the early detection of cyber threats and existing weaknesses.

Proactive Monitoring

A Security Operations Center's primary goal is to detect malicious network activity before it causes significant damage.


Rank Alerts as per their Severity

When a SOC analyst finds a threat or irregularity, they must provide a severity rating for the occurrence. This information aids in prioritizing the event's reaction.

Continuous behavioural monitoring entails reviewing all systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As a result, SOCs can provide equal weight to reactive and proactive efforts because any anomaly inactivity is identified immediately. Behavioural models can be used to train data gathering systems on what activities are suspect and to alter data that may register as false positives.

Incidence Recovery

An organization's data can be recovered through incident recovery. This covers system reconfiguration, updates, and backups.

Compliance Management

It is essential for ensuring that members of the SOC team and the company adhere to regulatory and organizational requirements when executing business goals. Typically, one team member is in charge of compliance education and enforcement.

The SOC collects data from across the network, and various devices watch for irregularities and inform employees of potential dangers using various methods. The SOC, on the other hand, does more than dealing with problems when they arise.

Different Types of SOC

The following are numerous SOC models that a business can employ and determine which job responsibilities are included on the team.

Dedicated or Self-Managed

This approach includes an on-site facility with in-house personnel.

Distributed SOC

A semi-dedicated full-time or part-time team member is hired in-house to operate with a third-party managed security service provider in a co-managed SOC, also known as a co-managed SOC (MSSP).

Managed SOC

MSSPs provide all SOC services to a company in this approach.
Another type of managed SOC is managed detection and response (MDR) partners.

Command SOC

This strategy delivers threat intelligence and security expertise to other security operations centers, which usually are devoted. A command SOC is only involved in the intelligence side of security operations and processes.

Fusion Center

This model is in charge of any security-related facility or program, including various forms of SOCs and IT departments. Fusion centers are advanced security operations centers that collaborate with various enterprise teams like IT operations, DevOps, and product development.

Multifunction SOC

Although this model has its own facilities and employees, its responsibilities and roles extend to other essential areas of IT management, such as network operations centers (NOCs).

Virtual SOC

The acronym FTK stands for "forensic toolkit." It's data research and imaging tool that's used to forensically capture data while also producing copies of the data without changing the original evidence file. Producing forensic photos of local hard discs, examining the content of images saved on the local workstation, and exporting files and directories from forensic files are all functionalities of the FTK Imager. The FTK imager also has an inbuilt validation feature that generates a hash report that can be used to validate the hash of the Evidence both before and after it is imaged. There is no dedicated on-premises facility in this concept. A virtual SOC can be self-managed or administered by a business. In-house personnel or a mix of in-house, on-demand, and cloud-provided employees often staff an enterprise-run SOC. There are no in-house workers in a fully managed virtual SOC, often known as an outsourced SOC or SOC as a service (SOCaaS).

SOCaaS

Some SOC operations are outsourced to a cloud provider in this subscription-based or software-based paradigm.

Benefits of a Security Operations Center

Following are the benefits of Security Operations Center

  • Improved incident response times and practices.
  • Decreased gaps between the time of compromise and mean time to detect (MTTD).
  • Continuous monitoring and analysis for suspicious activities Effective communication and collaboration.
  • Consolidated software and hardware assets for a more holistic security strategy.
    Customers and workers feel more comfortable sharing sensitive information.
  • Increased transparency and control over security activities.
  • A data chain of control, which is required if a company is anticipated to prosecute those attributed to a cybercrime.

Security Operations Center Best Practices

Following are the best practices of the Security Operations Center

Risk Assessment

Formal risk assessment procedures are used by SOC leaders to identify gaps in detection and response coverage and to influence future investments.

Data Collection and Aggregation

SOCs that are best in class use cutting-edge technologies to effectively consolidate and analyze data from across the enterprise.

Prioritize

Even the largest SOC teams might be overwhelmed by the volume of security data and alarms. To avoid ignoring critical threats, defined mechanisms for prioritizing and triaging incident response are necessary.

Using Playbooks

SOC playbooks are operational procedures that provide structure and step-by-step instructions for common attack scenarios to analysts. They improve response time and investigative quality.

Automation

To enhance response time and provide analysts more time to complete work that requires human intervention, SOCs automate data collection, processing, and key incident response stages. Everything should be measured and reported on. SOCs aren't simply for responding to security issues; they're also for monitoring cybersecurity effectiveness and demonstrating compliance.

Cloud Security
Observe and Secure your Software Supply Chain by Automating Compliance and Security at Scale.                  Cloud Security Services

Essential tools for a Security Operation Center

Here are the important tools that can help in setting up Security Operation Center in an Organisation

Snort

snort is an open-source tool. It is a network Intrusion detection tool. It is a packet sniffer tool used for monitoring network traffic, carefully inspecting each packet for malicious payloads or suspicious anomalies. Users may compile Snort on most Linux operating systems (OSes) or Unix, making it a long-time leader among enterprise intrusion prevention and detection software. A Windows version is also available.

Vulnerability Scanner

It's crucial to have a vulnerability scanner to assess and check if any asset is running with serious flaws that could lead to a breach of security assault if you want to be proactive about security. The Vulnerability Scanner is a program that includes various updated scripts for detecting system and application vulnerabilities. Scans and patches systems on a regular basis, especially those that are external or connected to the Internet.

FTK

The acronym FTK stands for "forensic toolkit." It's a data research and imaging tool that's used to forensically capture data while also producing copies of the data without changing the original evidence file. Producing forensic photos of local hard discs, examining the content of images saved on the local workstation, and exporting files and directories from forensic files are all functionalities of the FTK Imager. The FTK imager also has an inbuilt validation feature that generates a hash report that can be used to validate the hash of the Evidence both before and after it is imaged.

Wireshark

Wireshark is a network packet analysis tool. It catches packets as they go via the network and converts them to a readable format. Color coding, filters, and other capabilities of Wireshark allow us to go deep into the packets and inspect them individually. It's an open-source tool for developing and learning protocols. The main goal is to raise awareness of how network packets are extracted and processed from the machine's runtime state, as well as the difficulties and complexities involved. It's a terrific way to learn about and explore the analysis.

Maltego

Maltego is a crucial instrument for large-scale data collection.
Maltego can extract a lot of data from a single target or a group of targets, whether it's a domain, IP address, server, or something else entirely. It automates the procedure and helps you to present the data in a clear and understandable manner. Maltego is built on publicly available data, however, you must make sure that your data collection stays within the parameters you've specified. On Kali-Linux, Maltego is pre-installed and can be found in the information gathering section.

Conclusion

Ultimately every firm attempts to protect its infrastructure from modern threats and reduce the likelihood of data breaches—but security structures, tactics, and entities are not 'one size fits all. Security operations centers are one of the most effective threat detection and prevention tools available to businesses. SOCs with a hybrid design, which supports small and medium-sized businesses, was previously regarded to be solely appropriate for giant corporations. The effectiveness of SOCs with a hybrid design, which supports small and medium-sized businesses, has debunked this assumption time and time again. Which choice is suitable for you will be determined by your security requirements and organizational structure.

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