The SOC Modernization Journey

Famed physicist Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (note: There’s no evidence that he said this, but bear with me). Whether Einstein said this or not, the adage holds true regarding security operations. Sadly, too many security operations center (SOC) managers bang their proverbial heads against the wall as cyber-risk increases and it takes ever longer to detect and respond to cyber-threats.

Why is this the case and can anything be done to rectify this unacceptable situation? This white paper concludes:

  • Chronic security operations challenges make improvement nearly impossible. SOCs grew organically over the past 15 years as organizations added tools for security monitoring and detection of the latest threat du jour (i.e., malware, web threats, DDoS, command-and-control [C2] traffic, etc.). Unfortunately, this haphazard growth led to the deployment of an army of disconnected point tools, each needing its own care and feeding. If that wasn’t bad enough, many SOCs still depend on time-consuming manual processes that can’t scale to keep up with the growing hybrid IT infrastructure or an increase in pernicious threats. Finally, SOCs require specialized skills that can be difficult to find— especially considering the global cybersecurity skills shortage. There’s a cumulative effect here: Overwhelmed SOC personnel operate in perpetual firefighting mode when their jobs require working through security technology silos using manual processes. What a mess!

  • SOCs need a transformation, not an adjustment. CISOs have spent the last 10 years trying to fine-tune their way out of their security operations woes, hiring an analyst here or adding some new tool there, largely to no avail. To truly address historic SOC limitations, it’s time for a concerted effort toward SOC modernization. SOC modernization encompasses people, process, and technology, adding scale, intelligence, integration, and automation to existing security technologies. SOC modernization is also intended to break down silos (within and outside of the security department) while aligning security with business goals like risk management and business operations resilience. Want more details? Read on.

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