What is Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS)?

| By:
Drew Sanford

SOC-as-a-service (SOCaas) allows every business to experience top-tier cybersecurity protection. Businesses of all sizes can enlist expert threat response, system monitoring, and other vital cybersecurity operations on a subscription basis.

As a byproduct of the software-as-a-service (SaaS) trend in recent years, many specialized services across many business verticals have been offered on pay-as-you-go plans. Leveraging this delivery model allows businesses to increase their revenue and customers to establish, protect, and scale their businesses at a fraction of the cost. The cybersecurity/IT industry is no different.

But what is SOCaaS exactly? Let’s take a closer look at the basics of SOCaas, its benefits, and why you should consider it as an MSP.

The basics of SOC-as-a-service

100% of today’s businesses need a digital presence. Plain and simple. If your business doesn’t have a digital presence, chances are your customer base won’t be able to find you. Nowadays, having a digital presence means leveraging the internet, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, and more.

All this time spent in cyberspace leaves businesses vulnerable to an onslaught of countless hacking and system infiltration attempts. Unfortunately, most businesses consider cybersecurity an expense, not an investment. These organizations would rather put money to use elsewhere than protect their most important asset – their data.

Still, other businesses simply don’t have the revenue to afford adequate cybersecurity protection. Up until recently, these business owners were out of luck. But that all changed with the advent of SOC-as-a-service (SOCaaS).

SOC-as-a-service providers offer businesses complete cybersecurity protection at a reasonable price. For a monthly subscription fee, companies can rest at ease knowing skilled cybersecurity experts are handling every aspect of their digital infrastructure’s protection.

SOCaaS providers help MSPs handle the following:

We all know modern-day cyber threats don’t follow a 9-5 schedule. If that were the case, a single person might be able to handle cybersecurity in addition to all the other aspects of their MSP business. But what happens when a hacker successfully infiltrates a client’s system at 3 a.m.?

This is where SOC-as-a-service can be an indispensable tool. Not only do businesses benefit from the robust list of cybersecurity services listed above, but SOCaaS providers offer these features 24/7 – giving business owners peace of mind and allowing them to focus on the business vision that got them here in the first place.

These basic features are integral to your client’s overall cybersecurity picture. Visit our cybersecurity glossary for an in-depth definition of each and how they integrate to provide top-tier cyber threat protection.

Benefits of using SOC-as-a-service

Some of the most impactful benefits of using SOC-as-a-service are:

  • Lower breach risk – Since SOCaaS gives businesses security around the clock, threat detection and resolution happen quickly. SOC-as-a-service also reduces critical cybersecurity metrics like dwell time and breakout time which minimizes the risk and impact of data breaches.
  • Simplify scaling – Similar to other “as-a-service” platforms, SOCaaS offers the flexibility to grow alongside your business. You can pay for as much or as little protection as you need and grow your subscription plan as your MSP team expands.
  • Lower cost – In most cases, opting for a SOCaaS subscription is much more budget-friendly than operating an on-premise security operations center. Staffing, hardware, and software licenses drive up the cost of managing your own SOC. It’s more beneficial to enlist the help of a SOCaaS provider where you only pay for what you use.
  • Increase resource efficiency – More companies are turning to SOCaaS due to the global IT skills gap. Companies worldwide are struggling to find and retain top-tier IT talent. SOC-as-a-service makes MSP businesses less reliant on internal IT staff. It can also free current internal staff to focus on higher-priority IT challenges. For more on this topic, check out our latest report on the IT skills gap.
  • Improve maturity – Companies who leverage SOC-as-a-service essentially “jump the learning curve.” They instantly gain access to the latest and greatest in cybersecurity protection protocols and tools rather than learning as they go through access to security systems and analysts that have a history of high performance. 
  • Faster threat response and remediation – SOCaaS providers leverage modern cybersecurity technology and automation, improving threat detection and response times. Relying on a mature, skilled SOCaaS team reduces time, energy, and resources wasted on false positive alerts.

SOCaaS vs. creating your own SOC

One question we often hear is, “What’s better – SOCaaS or creating your own SOC?” And, while there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for cybersecurity, the evidence is pretty clear. SOCaaS is typically a much better option for most businesses.

With SOCaaS, your clients receive a more than respectable layer of cybersecurity protection at a very budget-friendly price. Users are billed on a consumption basis with  SOCaas, meaning clients only pay for the services they use. This is a significant upside of the subscription-based delivery model.

On the other hand, creating your own SOC is a “big ticket” endeavor. You will need to invest in staffing, software licenses, hardware, and more. Additionally, having your own internal SOC on-premises makes scaling your MSP business challenging. 

Accommodating more customers means training more staff, buying more licenses, investing in more hardware and other benefits. By definition, SOCaaS allows for easy changes to your SOC services. Scaling up or down is simply a matter of a few clicks and a change in pricing.

Certain industries also have strict compliance regulations around cybersecurity. The healthcare and finance industries are two great examples. Hiring a SOCaaS provider with experience in these areas is much easier than dealing with them yourself.

Even the slightest mismanagement of client data or cybersecurity could result in legal implications or heavy fines/sanctions for you and your client. It’s better to leave it to the pros.

For an in-depth understanding of the components of a complete SOC and why it may be best to leverage SOCaaS, check out ConnectWise’s cybersecurity center resources or contact us with any questions.

What to look for in a SOCaaS provider

The right SOC-as-a-service provider needs to be a perfect fit for your business. It’s important to clarify what type of protection is most important to your clients. If you work with a lot of clients in strictly regulated industries, a provider that’s well-versed in compliance would be the best fit. 

Your provider should also use the best technology and tools available for quick threat response and system monitoring. It’s also critical that they use remote desktop telemetry so they can quickly troubleshoot client endpoint computers.

ConnectWise offers managed SOCaaS services as part of our suite of MSP tools. Identify and respond to even the most sophisticated threats without wasting time, energy, or budget to build an internal SOC. Bring us on as a trusted partner with your team and let us manage your security monitoring needs 24/7/365.


SOC-as-a-service (SOCaaS) stands for security operations center as a service. It’s a software platform that gives IT businesses access to expert cybersecurity teams on a subscription basis.

SOC-as-a-service has many advantages over building an internal security operations center (SOC). MSPs can provide top-tier cybersecurity protection for a fraction of the price. SOCaaS also allows IT businesses to scale more quickly and easily. Leveraging a SOCaaS provider allows MSP teams to offer their clients skilled cybersecurity experts 24/7/365.

Think of a security operations center (SOC) as a part while managed detection and response (MDR) is the whole. An easy way to remember this is that EDR+SOC=MDR. SOCs, in conjunction with an EDR (endpoint direction and response) system, are necessary components of overall MDR systems. They are the team that monitors, identifies, and analyzes data to confirm incoming cyber threats. Once the SOC detects and identifies a threat, the rest of the MDR launches into action for threat response.