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SOC-as-a-Service: Creating a Modern SOC, Today

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Growth and modernization are exciting from a business perspective, but these forces are putting unprecedented strain on security operation centers (SOC). As companies modernize their infrastructure and applications, the old SOC paradigm is falling short. There arises a clear need to move to a modern SOC paradigm.

I’ve seen this play out in many ways. One of our current Cysiv clients was under intense pressure to modernize their apps at the same time that they were moving rapidly to the cloud. Their SOC was under enormous strain and the security team had to sign off on every new data source or app that was brought online. 

It took weeks to onboard any new data source, since it took so much time to implement a monitoring strategy. This issue was compounded by the fact that the company was not only growing, but also acquiring other companies that were using heterogeneous technologies that the security team had to support and monitor. The team did not have enough resources to onboard everything in the demanded time frame, and every new app or infrastructure component was straining a team that was already stretched so far past their limit that they were suffering churn.

This client is not alone.

The Challenges of a Modern SOC

Even though many enterprises do have access to modern security solutions, they are still facing more challenges than ever. Many companies are keeping track with cybersecurity innovation by relying on “best-of-breed” solutions, including firewall, AV, EDR, IDS/IPS, vulnerability management, SOAR, SIEM, and threat intel. As companies buy these technologies, they are investing in not only the products themselves but also the knowledge, training, and resources around them. But, they don’t necessarily bring the enterprise to a place that is sustainable and secure in the long term. 

Pressure to Change Solutions

The first major challenge is being able to make the most of the investments a company has already made in security. As companies grow, evolve, and work with their partners in services such as MSSP, MDR, and XDR, they feel pressure to adopt newer solutions as quickly as they emerge. Though there is value in continuing to modernize, the choice to adopt new security technologies should not be made without a well-thought-out roadmap. 

The journey to modernization is a balancing act. Companies need to thoughtfully adopt an infrastructure that makes the most of the solutions they have already spent so much time and money building out. But, they should also make it as easy as possible to embrace new technologies as they continue to invest in new cybersecurity products.

Infrastructure Changes Hamper Threat Detection

The second challenge is that changes in infrastructure are making threat detection and response more difficult. The number of threats is increasing, and the kinds of threats are changing. The importance of identifying attacks is higher than ever, but with the complexity and scale of modern infrastructure, actually identifying those attacks in a traditional SOC has never been so difficult.

Reasons that infrastructure changes are affecting threat detection include:

  • Composable Infrastructure: Applications are no longer tied to specific infrastructure components. This undermines the old cybersecurity model, in which cybersecurity components are expected to secure an entire stack that runs on those components.
  • More Connected Things: Smart devices connected to enterprise networks mean more exposure. They also create more data that needs to be monitored, analyzed, and understood in order to monitor threats.
  • Rapidly Evolving Threat Landscape: As infrastructure changes, threat actors adapt. Ransomware actors are as persistent as ever, and new threat groups and TTPs are arising. In addition to the financial implications of a successful attack, there are also reputational ones. With more breaches in the news every day, companies are under immense pressure to keep up with the evolving threat landscape.

The Cyber Skills Shortage

In addition to technical issues, the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals also affects the ability for SOCs to detect threats. SOCs are under-staffed, and the skills shortage makes it difficult for them to hire the new analysts they need. A report from Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs globally by 2021. Attracting, training, and retaining the right people is tough and getting tougher, and being short staffed makes it more difficult for individual companies to meet their cyber security and compliance, and maturity goals.

The New Model: SOC-as-a-Service

Digital transformation has reached many aspects of IT infrastructure and information security. As enterprises handle growth and ac quisition, they need a SOC solution that can help keep them secure while being as flexible as necessary. Fortunately, there is a new, cloud-native model that makes your SOC adaptable and scalable: SOC-as-a-Service.

SOC-as-a-Service delivers all of the benefits of having a dedicated, effective 24/7 SOC: increased security visibility, faster response time, minimizes breach impact, improved risk management, staying ahead of attackers, and helping ensure compliance. But it does this without the high costs, complexity, burden and frustrations that come with building, operating, staffing and managing one. It combines essential SOC technology, people and processes and delivers them as-a-service, from the cloud. And it can be the SOC for organizations that don’t have one, or it can augment an existing SOC, for those that have one but want to improve it’s reach, efficiency or scalability.

Security Maturity with SOC-as-a-Service

Modern SOCs are focusing on achieving more SOC maturity. The levels of SOC maturity include:

  • Level 1: Basic detection and prevention
  • Level 2: Context, Control, and Coverage
  • Level 3: Basic Hunting and APT
  • Level 4: Remediation
  • Level 5: Deep Hunting

An enterprise could be at any one of these levels, but the goal is to keep moving forward, or up, and adding capabilities to your SOC, so you’re better able to identify, confront, and defend against the ever-changing threat landscape.

Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service brings maturity within reach of businesses of any size. With flexible subscription options, you can scale your SOC without the infrastructure or hiring strains that usually accompany growth. And, Cysiv SOC-as-a-Service brings your business the elements of a mature SOC including best-in-class technical capabilities and security analyst expertise. From broad threat detection to remediation to deep threat hunting capabilities, Cysiv can help your business build security maturity.

Bringing Data Science to the Modern SOC

Under the old model, the SOC often ends up in a state of alert fatigue. Consider the setup. An enterprise has its own SIEM that collects logs from many data sources. Analysts at all levels, from Level 1 Triage, to Level 2 Incident Investigation and Response, to Level 3 Threat Hunting, are spending too much time chasing noise. SOC analysts spend 90% of their time dealing with noise and false positives. That takes time away from finding key threats, investigating them, and responding to them. Real attacks get missed because people are busy chasing false positives.

Cysiv, a next-gen SOC-as-a-Service platform backed by 24/7 security experts at every level, dramatically reduces the load on a SOC by bringing automation and data science into the equation. Security maturity in a SOC-as-a-Service model requires ingesting the right telemetry, focusing on data analytics, and determining the security value of each piece of data. And, Cysiv uses data science to bring your business from a sea of alerts to real, actionable security visibility.

Cysiv makes data ingestion and data analytics easy. It starts by ingesting a wide range of data: security data and logs, infrastructure data and logs, and whatever else is needed to ensure those hidden threats can be found. Then, the automation and data science-backed platform makes sense of that data and finds the hidden threats that could easily get lost in a SOC that didn’t have such capabilities to make sense of so much data.

Once it finds evidence of those threats, Cysiv goes through a multi-tier process to weed out false positives. Instead of incessant noise, your security team sees more signal, and can spend its time responding to real incidents.

Step Into the Future of the SOC

Now is the time to bring in a SOC that will help you stay secure now and in the future. Cysiv offers a cloud-native, co-managed, next-gen SIEM backed by data science and security expertise. Instead of using and managing a complex SOC infrastructure, we bring you a SaaS solution that gives you predictable and flexible subscription options, while giving you the real benefits of a SOC.

Contact us today to learn more and schedule a demo.