In a recent article, CNBC identified the core functions that cybersecurity professionals perform:
- Security operations
- Threat detection
- Incident investigations and forensics
- Cyberrisk and threat intelligence
- Data loss and fraud prevention
- IT security architecture
- Identity and access management
- Program management
- Investigations and forensics
All of these are important for the ongoing protection of the people, processes and technologies involved in business operations. That said, the most crucial to understand is security operations, and particularly threat detection and incident response.
Security Operations: The Core Enabler of Strong Infosec
The purpose of security operations is to aggregate, sort and analyze real-time threat data generated by antivirus tools, firewalls, networking devices, endpoints, SaaS application logs and other sources. Each event on a network (there may be billions in a single day) undergoes analysis to decipher if it’s innocuous, a threat or a potential threat. Events or alerts given the latter designations must be triaged, and responded to, if necessary.
In this sense, security operations enable every other aspect of infosec—from governance, to rating cyber risks, to improving security architecture and more. More importantly, they enable real-time detection of potentially damaging cyberthreats and instantaneous incident response to cyberattacks as they occur. Information gleaned during the detection and response processes can then be used post-remediation to strengthen overall security posture and prevent recurring incidents.
All businesses then, regardless of size, should have continuous threat monitoring and real-time incident response as parts of their security operations.
The problem is that many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) lack the security expertise and technology needed to facilitate log aggregation, to weed out true threats from false positives, and then respond real threats in a timely manner. Security information and event management (SIEM) systems are extraordinarily costly, complex and time consuming to manage and configure. Meanwhile, there exists a stark shortage of security expertise, which makes it difficult for SMEs to attract and retain the specialized talent they need for continuous threat detection and response functions. See Dark Reading’s report on the state of IT and cybersecurity for more.
Bridging the Security Gap with SOC-as-a-Service
SOC-as-a-service helps unravel this dilemma by offering a fully-managed SOC for a predictable subscription fee. This means that SMEs can leverage the same caliber of threat detection and response expertise typically only available to large enterprises at a fraction of the cost.
To learn more about how SOC-as-a-service improves threat detection and response capabilities for SMEs, download our white paper “Combating the Top Five Cyberattacks with Managed Detection and Response,” available for free here.