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Extend Your Cybersecurity Team with a SOC-as-a-Service Model

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Within the current threat landscape, it has become industry best practice to have a 24/7 security operations center (SOC) to protect your business. The trouble is, building a SOC from scratch is costly and difficult to do well. Traditional outsourcing is an option, but has turned out to be a less than ideal solution for many reasons. Traditional MSSPs lack the specialized SOC technologies necessary to provide the modern threat detection and response services and lack the expertise required. They often do not integrate or collaborate closely with internal cybersecurity teams, or provide access or visibility your internal team needs.

In light of these challenges and common frustrations with MSSPs, Cysiv developed our SOC-as-a-Service model. Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service is not just a managed technology installation, but a full-fledged SOC with an expert staff. It is truly co-managed, designed from the ground up for transparency and equal access for your internal team and Cysiv’s. As a result, SOC-as-a-Service gives you the full range of advantages of a 24/7 SOC in a transparent way that integrates seamlessly with your existing cybersecurity team.

Here’s why you should consider SOCaaS to provide the security team roles and responsibilities you need for an effective SOC team structure.

The Challenge of Staffing a SOC

A SOC team working together

A full-featured SOC is about more than just advanced technology. It cannot effectively secure your business without proper expertise in all disciplines and all levels within the SOC. These critical SOC team roles, and the tasks they perform, include:

  • Security Analysts: monitor the environment, investigate suspicious activity, perform triage, resolve incidents, recommend containment actions, ensure SLAs are followed
  • Security Engineers: deploy and integrate security products, review configurations, investigate false positives, make recommendations, manage changes, determine whether best practices are in place
  • Threat Hunters: use threat intelligence and advanced analysis to detect previously undetected attacks, strengthen detection capabilities, support incident response
  • Threat Researchers: collect threat intelligence data, perform reverse engineering, malware analysis, and root cause analysis, and track threat campaigns
  • Data Scientists: assist with data acquisition and enrichment, create and improve use cases, fine-tune rules to minimize false positives
  • Data Engineers: implement pipelines to ingest data, deploy infrastructure for collecting, transforming, and forwarding data
  • Incident Responders: triage investigations, respond to threats, provide information to the threat intelligence team, help with root cause analysis and damage assessment
  • Security Managers: provide higher-level guidance and oversight to ensure that the SOC is operating properly

Each of these cybersecurity team roles is crucial to a well-functioning SOC, but hiring the staff to perform all of these roles 24/7 is difficult. They all require very specific, in-demand skills that are difficult to find and recruit. Only 38% of businesses think they will be able to hire the right talent to staff their SOC, and the market justifies that trepidation.

There are already 4.07 million unfilled cybersecurity positions in the world, and with the industry expected to keep expanding rapidly, filling SOC positions with qualified candidates is only going to get more difficult. Recruiting, hiring, and training are all difficult and expensive for a SOC. For example, an experienced security analyst earns about $100,000 per year, and if they leave, it often takes eight months to find a replacement and another four months to train them. Meanwhile, cyber threats don’t go on pause while you try to staff your SOC.

The Limits of Traditional Outsourcing

In light of the difficulty of building and staffing a SOC, many companies are choosing to outsource their SOC capabilities. Outsourcing is attractive, since it helps a company get around the challenges of designing, building, and staffing a SOC. The hope with outsourcing is that your company will have access to strong, mature SOC capabilities once the onboarding process happens. However, this does not always happen with a traditional Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP).

A legacy MSSP does not typically have the same depth of expertise required to address the modern threat detection and response challenge. MSSPs typically offer managed security services such as firewall monitoring, endpoint detection and response, intrusion detection, and basic alerting. These are important parts of a security program, but they do not reflect the critical role a SOC plays in addressing today’s IT and threat environment. 

Outsourcing SIEM technology is also a struggle. SIEMs are too-often just a tool for log collection and storage. However, SIEMs have an integral role to play in the modern SOC when they are integrated and incorporated correctly.

Many companies who outsource their SOC to an MSSP also struggle with this collaboration. MSSPs are often a black box: they offer limited transparency into their investigations or their reasoning around their escalation decisions. This leads to a lack of trust, as well as difficulty in making decisions, especially if there are in-house security staff who are responsible for assisting with incident response or determining security priorities.

SOC-as-a-Service: A True Collaborative Model

SOC-as-a-Service offers highly specialized threat detection and response capabilities that complement the basic move-add-change-delete functions provided by a traditional MSSP, through a model that is both highly collaborative and effective. Instead of individual, basic services, SOC-as-a-Service provides the full technical capabilities of a SOC. Furthermore, SOC-as-a-Service also offers flexible access to the security expertise that marks a mature SOC.

Your business needs the best of both worlds: the ability to build SOC maturity in a reasonable amount of time, while still knowing what is going on under the hood.

Your business needs the best of both worlds: the ability to build SOC maturity in a reasonable amount of time, while still knowing what is going on under the hood, and making security tasks and processes accessible to the security staff that you do have. Being able to involve your own team in SOC operations is important, because they have expertise in both security and your business, something that can only help strengthen your security posture. You have invested in them, and brought them on for a reason. Even if you don’t have an on-premises SOC, your SOC solution should be a natural extension of your security team, and there should be a way to collaborate.

Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service is more transparent than a typical MSSP. We built our cloud-native platform with four core tenets in mind: simplicity, transparency, convergence, and correct data science. We specifically rejected the “black box” experience that characterizes the typical MSSP. Instead, when clients log in, they can see the exact same data as our analysts, and perform the exact same tasks as our analysts. It goes beyond visibility, to making SOC-as-a-Service a true extension of your security team.  It is more than just technology, as well. Our SOC staff are highly-trained security analysts and experts who have deep security expertise and work as an extension of your cybersecurity team.

SOC-as-a-Service also incorporates automation, making your security operations and your security team more productive. Automation, backed by deep data science expertise, improves security detection and response. Our SOC platform incorporates modern data science to reduce false positives and alert fatigue, identify real threats, and get your security team from detection to response more quickly. Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service improves your efficiency while reducing the costs of operating a 24/7 SOC.

We specifically rejected the “black box” experience that characterizes the typical MSSP. Instead, when clients log in, they can see the exact same data as our analysts, and perform the exact same tasks as our analysts.


Build Security Maturity with SOC-as-a-Service

SOC-as-a-Service helps you rapidly expand your SOC maturity while making the most of your on-staff security experts. SOC-as-a-Service is a full SOC: including a full staff to back up the next-gen SIEM, including analysts, engineers, threat hunters, and data scientists. The transparency of the Cysiv platform makes it easy for our team and yours to work together. And, automation and data science make security detection more efficient than ever.

Find out how a fast-growing leader in the global payments industry has continued to expand operations while increasing both their security and their levels of client and partner trust, by adopting Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service. Then, talk to us to see Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service for yourself, and find out how it can help you secure your business and make the most of your own security staff as well.