What Makes SOC Effective? People, Process, and Technology

04.06.2018 Read
What Makes SOC Effective? People, Process, and Technology

In the evolving world of technology, cybersecurity threats are growing exponentially and, therefore, enterprises are seeking for standardized and automated Security Operation Centers (SOCs) to address these threats effectively. Though SOC standardization and Automation is of paramount importance, yet there are some other critical factors that must be considered when building an effective and reliable SOC. These factors include People, Process, and Technology. The following sections elaborate these factors in greater details.

How Are People Essential for SOC?

There are two critical SOC roles that include Incident Responder and Security Analyst. An incident responder undertakes the responsibility to conduct a detailed analysis of malicious events by using search analytics, threat intelligence, malware analysis tools, and forensic techniques. Whereas a security analyst collects security event data, log and machine data, search machine analytics and assess threats to determine a risk. Enterprises can use various options to hire SOC roles. Below, you will delve into few examples of SOC staffing models in this regard.

  1. Fully Outsourced: In this model, the organizations take the assistance of Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) or any outsourcer to fill the SOC roles.
  2. Hybrid Model: As the name suggests, this model involves both employees and outsourcer such as MSSP. Employees cover key business hours whereas MSSP handles the rest. Roles for SOC which are not available in the organization can be outsourced from the outsourcer. The success of this model depends on the effectiveness of outsourcer.
  3. Fully In-house: In this model, outsourcing is minimized at maximum level. All staffing should consist of several Full-Time Equivalents (FTEs) incident responders and security analysts whose responsibility will be to provide 24/7 SOC coverage.

How Processes Make SOC Effective?

To make SOC effective, it is vital to define and document processes so that the execution can be ensured in accordance with the documented plan. The process ensures synchronization and timely execution of different events and activities that are performed by the SOC. For instance, when a major incident occurs, process make sure that it is reported to the required recipient in the organization. In addition, the process delegates clear responsibilities to SOC roles such as security analysts and incident responders so that repetition of work or tasks can be avoided and the necessary outcome can be achieved efficiently. However, mutual cooperation for SOC operation might be needed in few circumstances where few or all SOC roles are required to participate.

What is the Role of Technology for SOC?

Threat Lifecycle Management (TLM) platform is the critical one in order to build an effective SOC. In fact, TLM platform integrates all necessary forms of incident response orchestration and security automation into the single display. Below are some potential capabilities of the TLM platform:

  • Centralized mechanism: TML Platform should store all forensic data centrally to support reliable machine analytics and allow swift investigation. Moreover, with this centralized mechanism, TML would be able to monitor raw security events 24x7 and can identify security events which may require further analysis.
  • Context: TML Platform offers context for incidents and security events by integrating essential vulnerability data and essential threat intelligence sources. This allows security analysts and TLM to better understand what the intentions of the attacker was to lunch the attack.
  • Workflow Capability: Workflow capability helps different roles of the SOC in performing their particular duties when an incident occurs. For example, once an incident identifies, the incident responder has the responsibility to flag it as a high risk.
  • Automation: TML should be able to respond automatically to certain specific alarms. For example, TML should raise the notification when an incident takes place such as malware detection.


As a result, it is evident that people, process, and technology are critical factors when building an effective and reliable SOC. These factors have a greater contribution to make a SOC more effective. Therefore, the enterprises must consider them to enhance their capabilities in the face of notorious cyber security threats such as Ransomware.

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