Cybersecurity SOC, SIEM & SecOps: How they work together

| By: Wayne R. Selk, CDPSE

Cybersecurity teams are responsible for safeguarding companies from new threats each day. As cybercriminals present more advanced tactics, and your organization’s storage and security needs grow, you must stay prepared to protect networks and endpoints from a growing number of threats in real time.  Coupled with a lack of experienced resources and your organization is exposed to greater risk.

This scenario calls for a security operations center (SOC.) A SOC can serve as the backbone of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy by proactively hunting out and reacting to threats around the clock, regardless of your current resource situation.

With virtual SOCs increasing in feasibility and prevalence, SOC-as-a-Service offerings are also growing in popularity. Keep reading to understand how MSPs that offer SOC-as-a-Service can support Security Operations (SecOps)teams and SIEM systems through virtual, real-time threat detection and incident response. 

What is SOC-as-a-Service?

Choosing to leverage SOC-as-a-Service allows organizations to benefit from the comprehensive cybersecurity protection of this operations-based approach without scaling an in-house team. Instead, this managed service is cloud-based and offered by an MSP typically with the ability to white label the offering.

Our research found that creating an internal SOC team costs $2.3 million on average. Most MSPs cannot afford this scale of investment, but they also can’t afford to leave their networks and their clients’ networks vulnerable to cyber attacks.

Within the SOC-as-a-Service offering, an organization will typically gain access to a team of experts dedicated to identifying and resolving security alerts. This team should also provide proactive support, determining areas of compromise and reporting on new security strategies and policies.

Under this umbrella, the SOC can provide internal security operations (SecOps) teams and security information and event management (SIEM) systems with progressive cybersecurity expertise.

What is SecOps?

SecOps refers to the interdisciplinary team of security and IT operations staff. This team is focused on assessing cybersecurity risk and protecting the organization’s assets. Many organizations place their SecOps teams within, or adjacent to, their SOC.

How SIEM is used within the cybersecurity SOC

SIEM software helps SecOps teams detect compromise faster, resulting in less time to containment and eradication.  By centralizing security-related information, the outsourced SOC-as-a-Service team are able to prevent and resolve cybersecurity incidents across an entire network much more quickly than the in-house IT team. .

For service providers adopting the SOC-as-a-service model, a co-managed SIEM system can be a cost-effective and efficient solution, allowing MSP personnel to stay actively engaged without the burden of hiring additional resources Automated solutions with the SIEM can help address staffing challenges on the SecOps teams, presenting affordable methods that require minimal setup and less time to implement.

Dedicating the SOC-as-a-Service operator to the management of the SIEM software can ensure that both solutions are operating at their highest efficiency. The SIEM will increase visibility into modern cybersecurity threats like ransomware, malicious insiders, and more.

Using the SIEM to meet compliance and regulatory requirements

Clients that work under compliance and regulatory requirements have additional concerns beyond securing their network. Their SOC needs to ensure that they are meeting guidelines outlined by HIPAA, FINRA, CMMC or other regulatory standards. 

The SOC can use the SIEM software to customize the organization’s log capture, retention and review features to ensure their compliance.

Easing the SecOps team’s alert fatigue with a SIEM solution

Alert fatigue caused by false positives and negatives can lead teams to misclassify authentic incidents or vulnerabilities. Arming the SOC with automated tools within the SIEM software can help ensure that the most substantial risks are triaged appropriately.

Increase cybersecurity visibility by aligning your cybersecurity SOC and SecOps resources

Organizations that utilize a SOC — whether it’s an in-house team or a SOC-as-a-Service resource — to centralize their cybersecurity practice benefit from 24/7 threat monitoring and support from a team of dedicated experts. For MSPs, this provides huge efficiencies when scaling the business.

But even with the support of a SOC, modern SecOps teams remain challenged by data overload and a growing talent shortage. Many organizations are building their defenses against these shortcomings by opting for SIEM solutions that deploy AI, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and user behavior analysis tools. 

A recent Ponemon Institute survey found that 70% of SOCs cite “lack of visibility into the environment they are supposed to protect” as a struggle. Aligning your SOC and SecOps teams can help alleviate any turf issues, avoid duplication of efforts, and clearly define the teams’ missions.

Ensuring that both teams are comfortable within the SIEM solution can also help mitigate these challenges. The defining feature of a high-quality SIEM solution is its ability to collate incident data from every element of the IT infrastructure, presenting it in a single, intuitive user interface.

Cutting out the noise with a SIEM solution

In the ideal situation, both the SecOps and SOC teams can rely on a SIEM solution to cut through noisy alerts so they can focus on essential cybersecurity operations. The right SIEM software enhances SecOps’ and SOCs’ ability to do their jobs efficiently and painlessly. These tools can lighten the load for analysts and IT managers, collecting and prioritizing information across the infrastructure to prioritize the incident data that requires their immediate attention.

Getting the best of all worlds

SecOps teams that combine a co-managed SIEM system and a SOC-as-a-Service provider benefit from a more comprehensive, efficient cybersecurity approach without compromising on quality.

The Connectwise StratoZen solution was made with this synergy in mind. MSPs choose StratoZen to achieve unmatched flexibility while maintaining high levels of accuracy.

Uniting the SIEM and SOC principles can help SecOps teams overcome alert fatigue, eliminate staffing challenges and benefit from a seamless cybersecurity approach.