Faced with cybersecurity concerns for their clients, MSPs are maturing beyond a base offering of a network operations center and a help desk. But few have realized a centralized security operations center (SOC) with a formal charter and full-time staff. Whether you are looking to outsource your existing security operations or evaluating how to stand up a SOC for the first time, these insights can shape your decision.
NOC vs. SOC – What’s the Difference
A network operations center (NOC) is focused on IT performance, infrastructure performance, and ensuring uptime and bandwidth availability. A security operations center (SOC) is the command center focused on security and data protection. The NOC and SOC frequently collaborate on real-time visibility and maintaining uptime and incident remediation. The importance of a NOC is foundational in the work MSPs do, but we now see tremendous value in a SOC as well. While NOC and SOC processes and technology differ, they both focus on risk management and reliance on technical expertise. Neither a NOC nor SOC is more important than the other; they provide complementary capabilities that ensure day-to-day operational success for business growth and transformation.
Challenges to Standing Up a SOC
The average data breach costs almost $4 million per organization, and cyber criminals consider every organization large and small to be a target. That’s why Managed Service Providers (MSPs) must continuously monitor, investigate, and respond to cyber threats. There are two primary avenues to stand up a SOC:
- Option 1: Develop your own SOC (DIY)
- Option 2: Leverage SOC-as-a-Service to scale capabilities and skills
If you are considering building your own SOC, the people, processes, and technology for a 24/7 coverage easily surpasses $700,000/year and takes 6+ months to setup. You’ll need to hire, train, and retain a minimum of seven cybersecurity analysts for around the clock coverage. Use this TCO Calculator to see how SOC-as-a-Service offers faster time-to-value that avoids reinventing the wheel.
A 24/7 SOC Extends Your Staff and Expertise
Whether you’re already an MSSP or making a move from MSP to MSSP, a SOC is a crucial capability to manage security analytics, threat expertise, and 24/7 visibility and detection. Developing a SOC function can be expensive and complicated, diluting focus from other areas of your business. SOC-as-a-Service provides a cost-effective way for you to scale up for advanced threat detection. Some MSSPs start with a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach, only to find that there are too many complex tasks and hidden expenses. Assess the current threat landscape and how a cloud-based SOC-as-a-Service covers threat prediction, prevention, detection, and remediation (PPDR). SOC-as-a-Service can also augment your in-house skills, provide additional cybersecurity expertise and boost the effectiveness of newer security professionals.
Advantage of SOC-as-a-Service
Your security strategy needs to match your risk tolerance, customer focus, and current staffing and expertise. There are numerous benefits of SOCaaS to MSPs and end-customers alike:
Attackers are evolving and improving their threat tradecraft, and so should you.
Factors to Consider with SOC-as-a-Service
Your team should seek comprehensive SOC-as-a-Service capabilities to protect your customers around the clock while providing SOC functions more effectively and at a lower cost than with a DIY approach. Tailor assessment of SOC-as-a-Service options and providers to your unique requirements and customer goals.
In our experience, business leaders and technical executives weigh the following capabilities in evaluating SOC services:
- Established track record over many years
- Depth and breadth of portfolio to address needs now and in the future
- Cloud-based architecture that simplifies operations
- People, process, and technology that enhances efficiency
Finally, remember you cannot fully outsource cybersecurity responsibilities, so ensure you trust the people, process, and technology your partner brings to the table. A trusted working relationship and proven outcomes ensure that new services do not overwhelm your existing team and well-earned results. Refer to the Top 250 MSSP list for proven SOC-as-a-Service providers.
Optimize your NOC and SOC functions to stay ahead of today’s cybercriminals. You may find yourself pivoting across dozens of individual tools and standalone software. Advanced threats are also rising faster than the available talent pool. SOC-as-a-Service ensures comprehensive visibility and seamless integration with your existing infrastructure and team and that of your customers. Augment your MSSP team with hard-to-find cybersecurity analysts that enable you to rapidly expand your portfolio and customer base. With SOC-as-a-Service from Netsurion, you’re backed by a 24/7 SOC that is an extension of your team. Learn how to rapidly respond to customer threats with our SOC-driven managed threat protection platform.