Considering Building a SOC? Here Are 3 Must-Haves

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As cyberthreats grow more complex, businesses need increasingly sophisticated cybersecurity measures to defend against cybercriminals. Often, this means building a security operations center (SOC). SOCs provide 24/7 security monitoring and ongoing analysis of the organization’s security and can be essential for improving an organization’s security posture.

If you’re considering building a SOC, you may wonder where to get started. Today, we’ll cover three essential elements you will need to consider when building out a SOC.

1. Humans

Many SOC tools come with some level of automation, but you still need humans heavily involved in the process. Whether it’s analyzing data, triaging issues, or performing incident analysis and response, you will need experts involved at each phase of the process.

That said, there are a few key roles you should look for:

  • Security analyst/engineer: These employees are the foot soldiers in the organization. They focus on reading data and logs, detecting potential threats, and triaging them. Some may even be involved in the incident response process.
  • SOC manager: The SOC manager is in charge of running the organization, managing resources, and ensuring smooth collaboration among employees across roles.
  • Security architect: These employees become experts on your security programs and full security infrastructure of your MSP. They’re often in charge of standing up the SOC and making changes to the technology to ensure its continued effectiveness.

2. Technology

Once you’ve planned to staff your SOC, you’ll need to choose the right technology. This typically involves shopping for a security information and event management (SIEM) solution, which helps you analyze logs and alerts across environments.

If you already have a security architect on staff, they can often help you evaluate solutions. However, when looking for a SIEM, consider the following:

  • Are your customers’ environments primarily on-premises, cloud, or hybrid?
  • Do your clients fall under any compliance regulations? If so, make sure to evaluate those requirements before you drop money on a SIEM.
  • What features do both you and your customers need? For example, how important is integrated threat intelligence? Is incident response feed a factor? If so, you may want something that can automate responses.

Don’t forget—you want someone on staff who has enough know-how to be able to configure and maintain the SIEM. This is especially important for configuring the alarm engine and any automated responses you program into the SIEM.

3. Processes

Finally, a SOC must focus on building solid, repeatable processes and standard operating procedures (SOPs). For example, you should consider coming up with a playbook for when engineers should escalate issues and for specific responses to individual attacks. This can help the team respond to issues faster, making your customers happy.

Additionally, your SOC manager helps you shape your processes. They have to make sure they know the processes inside and out so that no single team member gets overloaded or underused. It’s worthwhile revisiting your processes on a fairly regular basis to see where you can make further improvements or gain efficiencies.

One thing to note here is that your technology can also help support your process. As mentioned earlier, some SIEMs include features that can allow the software solution to automatically take action after specific alarms. Also, your SIEM should make it easy for your team to analyze data without having to collect and sift through logs.

Choosing a SIEM

As mentioned earlier, choosing the right SIEM is essential to run a successful SOC. SolarWinds® Threat Monitor is a cloud-based SIEM tool designed to simplify the process of detecting, responding to, and reporting on threats across managed networks. The solution includes threat intelligence from multiple sources, log correlation and analysis, network and host intrusion detection, and even the ability to automate responses to common incidents. On top of that, the system can be white-labeled to fit your company’s brand.

Learn more about Threat Monitor by visiting SolarWinds MSP today.

Guest blog courtesy of SolarWinds MSP. Read more SolarWinds MSP blogs here.