In-House or Outsourced: What a Security Operations Center (SOC) Means to Your Organization

Companies of all sizes are transitioning into the cloud at an increasingly fast rate with service providers, such as Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. With new technology, however, comes a new set of risks that businesses need to be aware of, and perhaps the most pressing need is to effectively manage their security operations around the clock.

Effectively protecting your cloud environment involves more than just purchasing the security tools and deploying them, such as a Network Intrusion Detection System (IDS) or Web Application Firewall (WAF). The key is being able to digest all of the data and make sense of it, continuously feed new cyber security content into the tools, identify both simple and multivector attacks, and lastly, staff your IT security team to ensure you have 24x7 continuous monitoring. Unfortunately, securing your environment is not a “set it and forget it” task, but rather an on-going journey for greater security competence, improved quality of protection, and improved accuracy in decision-making. You may be asking yourself, “How do I do that?” Well, the answer is that there are two paths you can take – build your own in-house security operations center (SOC) or partner with a security-as-a-service company that augments your existing IT or cyber security team. 

What is a SOC and What Does it Mean to Your Organization?

A SOC is a dedicated team of security analysts that monitor your IT environment, assess threats, provide threat intelligence against potential breaches or system weaknesses, and conducts deep incident analyses. It maintains a unified and efficient front against malicious attacks, detect unauthorized activity and provide 24x7 monitoring for your environment.

In-House Vs. Outsourced SOC

Organizations find themselves stuck between two choices: building their own internal SOC or outsourcing to a security-as-a-service company that offers an SOC solution. Each of these options has its own benefits:

  • In-House SOC solutions offer a number of advantages to organizations willing to invest in developing one. You are ultimately responsible for your security environment, which you get to know and understand intimately, and you have greater control over which security and compliance solutions to implement.

    However, building your own in-house SOC tends to be expensive, not only in the resources it takes to build and operate such a facility, but also maintaining talent and keeping up-to-date with the latest security and compliance guidelines. It’s important to note that an often unforeseen expense is the time necessary to create an internal SOC solution: A typical business environment can take between 18 and 24 months to fully build-out a functioning security operations center.

  • Outsourced SOC offers you access to a robust security solution that’s running at full speed with a dedicated team of security experts, incident analysis and response processes, technology to aggregate, correlate and analyze data, and threat research and intelligence on an on-going basis, all streamlined and optimized for the highest level of efficiency and effectiveness for your organization 24x7. Not only that, an outsourced SOC solution will help your organization meet certain compliance mandates, if you have any specific compliance requirements. Partnering with an outsourced SOC means you can be up and running within in days to a few of weeks, depending on the size of your environment, and that includes implementation, integration, project management and tuning. Lastly, a cost-benefit analysis will reveal that an outsourced SOC offers significant cost advantages due to economies of scale.

Regardless of which SOC option your organization adopts, it’s impertative to have one in place to protect your environment, as threats continue to increase in sophistication and in frequency. Gone are the days when identifying simple incidents on a reactive basis were sufficient. The risks and impact of a breach are greater now, and therefore, more important than ever to guard your data.

 

Learn more about Security Operations Centers (SOC) in the cloud in our Forrester study.

About the Author

Monica Yoo - Product Marketing Manager

Monica Yoo

Monica Yoo is a Global Campaigns Manager at Alert Logic. She has over 9 years of experience in technology marketing for start ups and the energy industry, and is passionate about cloud security.

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