Blog > Best Practices A Beginner’s Guide to SOCaaS

Tuesday, Apr 5, 2022

BY: Team Nuspire

A security operations center (SOC) serves specific and important functions in strengthening the cybersecurity defenses of any organization. This dedicated unit of cybersecurity experts provides a core set of security capabilities, including risk management, incident management, compliance assessments, in-depth behavior and threat analysis, and situational security awareness. SOC as a Service (SOCaaS) uses a different model to provide businesses with SOC capabilities without the need for finding the right talent or investing extensively in other setup costs.

The problem faced by many businesses today is that building a formal, centralized unit responsible for dealing with security issues at a technical and organizational level is not exactly easy. Talent shortages continue to plague the cybersecurity industry, so finding and retaining the right people while managing costs is an unending struggle.

But what exactly is SOC as a Service and what can you expect from it in terms of benefits to your cybersecurity program? Keep reading to find out.

What is SOC as a Service?

SOC as a Service draws inspiration from the cloud service delivery model to provide a managed, subscription-based SOC to businesses. In other words, you get essentially the same capabilities as an in-house SOC team, but without the costs and complexity of doing it yourself. Analysts and engineers use a slew of sophisticated tools to oversee your security operations.

The combination of people, processes and technology necessary for an effective SOC is beyond the reach of many businesses. Furthermore, even for companies that invested in trying to build out a dedicated SOC, alert fatigue wreaks havoc with their security operations. In today’s high-volume threat landscape, 44% of alerts go uninvestigated by stretched in-house SOCs struggling to cope with the patchwork of point solutions often layered on top of their SIEM tools.

In a survey from 2020, just 50% of respondents rated their SOC as highly effective. An effective SOC is key to your cybersecurity strategy, but the statistics clearly show that the prevailing in-house implementation isn’t bearing fruit in the way it should. SOC as a Service offerings typically either provide full-scope SOC capabilities to small businesses or they supplement security capabilities for internal teams.

SOC as a Service Benefits

In the context of a challenging threat landscape and dynamic IT environment, the SOCaaS model is a compelling option. Here are some of the main benefits businesses see when opting for SOCaaS:

  • Accelerated detection and response times⁠—you get a ready-made team of security experts with the necessary tools and processes in place to minimize alert fatigue and accelerate the time to detect and respond to security incidents.
  • Reduced data breach risks⁠—with faster detection of security events, your SOCaaS vendor can help you contain those events before they escalate into breaches, which saves tons of legal, reputational and recovery headaches.
  • Improved compliance⁠—SOCaaS vendors bring detailed knowledge and experience of different data privacy regulations, which can help improve compliance with the likes of HIPAA and PCI DSS within your IT environment.
  • Flexible consumption⁠—as with other IT services inspired by a cloud delivery model, SOCaaS has a flexible consumption model where you can quickly scale up or down capabilities based on security gaps and priorities.
  • Cost reduction⁠—an obvious but important benefit is the cost reductions from paying for a SOC on a monthly fee basis versus the high capital and operating expenses for an in-house unit.
  • Faster time to value—even if you have the budget to go in-house, it might take years before you see value from your SOC investment. With SOCaaS, you start to see value with improved security defenses far quicker.

What to Look for in a SOCaaS Provider

A SOCaaS vendor plays a critical role in protecting your environment by monitoring and managing EDR solutions, intrusion detection systems, firewalls and SIEMs, among many others. Not every SOCaaS offering needs to cover all of these disparate systems; you may well have the capability to meet security needs in certain areas. Whatever the case, given the responsibility you delegate to a SOCaaS provider, it’s important to know what to look out for when selecting the right partner.

Adaptability

The threat landscape changes all the time. A SOCaaS vendor focusing on outdated threats does not position your business to monitor, detect, analyze and mitigate security threats, no matter how good their tools and processes are. Adaptability should also reflect the growing needs of clients so that the available resources for your business can be adjusted without much hassle.

Customization

Every business has its own unique security requirements, and it’s important that service providers work with this to tailor their solutions. Furthermore, the degree of customization should extend to business goals so that SOCaaS providers don’t interfere with or alter your processes in a way that hampers achieving those wider goals.

Framework and standards alignment

Ideally, you should seek out a SOCaaS vendor that closely aligns its operations and processes with well-established cybersecurity frameworks. When outsourcing the beating heart of your security operations, you need to trust that the service provider operates the highest standards of security and data privacy. Examples to look for include the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, ISO 27001 and CIS Critical Security Controls.

Strengthen your security posture with SOCaaS

By consolidating security tools and systems into a single point of control, SOCaaS helps you better deal with threats and overcome alert fatigue without the resource burden of going in-house. The experience of security experts and a data-driven approach bring an edge to your security defenses with greater visibility, insight and proactivity.

Contact Nuspire today to learn more about how 24x7x365 SOC support can help your business.