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Choosing the Right Type of SOC Model for Your High-Growth Company

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As a high-velocity company, you have ambitious growth goals. Cybersecurity is integral to achieving those goals. Although it’s essential that you deploy standard security controls (firewalls, IPS, anti-virus, etc.), they’re not 100% effective. Motivated and well-armed cyber-criminals, along with insiders, are able to evade these controls. That’s why it’s important that you monitor your complete IT environment for indicators of compromise or signs of an attack. 

A 24/7 security operations center (SOC) does this. It combines experts and technology with standardized processes and is a crucial element of an effective cybersecurity strategy since it detects and responds to threats around the clock. A SOC can help ensure compliance with key regulations and standards, prevent expensive and damaging service disruptions, and build trust with your customers, partners and investors by demonstrating a commitment to security: all things you need to do in order to stay focused on innovation and growth.

You know why a SOC is important. But, which SOC model is right for you? 

What Are the Different Types of SOC Models?

There are three main models for operating a SOC. Large organizations typically build their own internal SOC, with the staff and technology needed to operate it contained in-house. The second option is a completely outsourced SOC, where an organization partners with an external security vendor to provide SOC capabilities. The third option is a hybrid model, where SOC operations are co-managed between an organization’s in-house security team and security vendors.

A recent Gartner Report digs into these three models in more depth, and defines them as an insourced, outsourced, and hybrid SOC. The full report is available for download here.

Let’s get to know these three models.

In-House SOC

An in-house SOC is a traditional SOC completely controlled by your company. It is on-premises, in space controlled by your business, staffed by people who work for your company. Your business must acquire space and technologies, develop processes, hire staff, and continue to grow and modernize the SOC in tandem with both your business and the threat landscape.

The advantage of an in-house SOC is that you can tailor it to any of your requirements. However, for a high-velocity company, the disadvantages of an in-house SOC are critical. This model requires major capital allocations and often takes years to develop and build. It detracts time, money, and hiring options away from other growth initiatives. And, it is almost impossible to build an insourced SOC that scales as quickly and nimbly as a high-velocity company. 

Outsourced SOC

In an outsourced SOC model, your business engages with a partner to monitor the network, identify threats, and respond to security incidents. There are several forms of outsourced SOC, and businesses considering this route should do their homework. Some outsourced SOC providers have managed security solution providers (MSSP) and managed detection and response (MDR) providers, both of which provide some of the abilities of a full-featured SOC. There is also the SOC-as-a-Service model, which gives you access to a full-featured SIEM backed by experts in analysis, threat hunting, data science, and incident response.

For a high-growth company, SOC-as-a-Service has many advantages. It allows you to incorporate mature threat detection and response capabilities in weeks. Modern SOC-as-a-Service providers offer a full range of security expertise that fast-growing companies need but may not yet have on staff, including analysts, incident responders, and threat hunters. From a budget perspective, it can be accounted as an operating expense, with no need for capital allocations or hiring. And, SOC-as-a-Service grows with you: it is billed by usage, and flexible enough to expand with your business.

The biggest questions that most companies have about SOC-as-a-Service have to do with their ability to tailor operations to specific needs, including regulatory requirements. However, modern SOC-as-a-Service providers work with you to make sure your services fit your business needs.

Hybrid SOC Model

Rather than use a fully in-house or outsourced SOC, some companies choose a hybrid model, which combines internal technical and personnel resources with those of an outside provider. A hybrid model offers some advantages. Security services expand more quickly than with a purely in-house model, since an outside expert can complement and develop your capabilities. 

Because a good SOC-as-a-service provider will operate as an extension to an existing-house IT/security team, it supports a hybrid SOC model.  The SOC-as-a-service provider has the technology, expertise, processes, and around-the-clock monitoring that high-growth companies need. And because they specialize in threat detection and response, they isolate true threats and investigate them on your behalf, escalating only those that warrant your attention. This significantly frees up the time of your limited resources to focus on other security priorities, with the confidence of knowing you’ve taken due care. 

Choosing the Right SOC Model

Your choice of SOC model is based on your security needs and goals as well as your resources. As a high-velocity company, you need security in order to protect your most precious resources. Those include the time to come up with disruptive ideas, the money to develop them into offerings on the market, and a strong reputation so clients, customers, and partners will work with you as you grow. When trying to be the next unicorn, speed is the name of the game. 

For a fast-growing company that does not have a SOC yet, outsourcing, with SOC-as-a-Service, is often the right place to start. According to a recent Gartner report, organizations without well-developed security operations should focus on requirements for speed, and “start by getting an outsourced provider to create baseline visibility and actionable operational outcomes. You can then progress to a hybrid or fully insourced approach if desired.”

A fully outsourced SOC gets security operations functional as quickly as possible. With SOC-as-a-Service, you gain swift access to a dedicated SOC with experienced security professionals, including analysts, threat hunters, and incident responders. You pay based on your usage of resources, and the provider has the capacity to take on more telemetry and monitoring as you grow. Then, as you grow to a point where you choose to allocate resources to strengthen the internal security team, your SOC-as-a-Service provider can collaborate with that team.

Accelerate Your Security

As a high-velocity company, speed is a priority. To achieve your growth goals, you need to remain secure. You need a SOC that can provide comprehensive, expert cybersecurity at the speed of your business.

Cysiv’s cloud-native, next-gen SOC-as-a-Service will help you achieve those goals now and as you grow. Learn more about making the business case for SOC-as-a-Service, including a chart that helps you calculate the cost of building your own SOC versus adopting SOC-as-a-Service.