Best Practices For Setting Up An Effective Security Operations Center (SOC)

by | Dec 11, 2022

Security is purely more than instruments and processes. The people are the ones who build and operate security systems. Creating systems where security professionals are able to work with current technology efficiently and effectively is essential to keep the data and networks secure. Many businesses recognize this need and seek to meet it with the development of their own Security Operations Centers (SOC).

SOCs can enhance an organization’s security dramatically but they are not ideal solutions and can be difficult to implement. According to a recent survey, the lack of skilled personnel and the lack of effective orchestration and automation are the biggest hurdles. Despite these obstacles, there are more organizations looking to follow in the company’s footsteps and build SOCs. Read on to learn exactly what a security operations center is, and how an effective one can be developed.

What is a Security Operations Center?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a central location used by an IT security department to track and assess the security status and activities of an organization. The SOC is responsible for the organization’s information security’s ongoing operational aspect. The goal of the SOC team is to use a variety of technologies and processes to identify, evaluate, and respond to anomalies and potential cybersecurity incidents. The staff works closely with teams, who respond to organizational incidents to ensure that security problems are dealt with immediately upon discovery. Risk analysis, planning, and communication are essential functions to ensure reliable knowledge about current risk status and is accessible to the supporting groups.

Therefore, a SOC provides the infrastructure that handles security operations. It offers continuous prevention and protection, threat identification, and response capabilities to resolve any possible security issues. A SOC has the advantages of:

  1. Fast response times to malware threats which can spread in minutes;
  2. The ability to quickly recover from a malicious attack, like DDoS;
  3. Real-time monitoring;
  4. Log aggregation;
  5. Centralized reporting;
  6. Security status visualization;
  7. Post-incident investigation and analysis.

How to set up an effective SOC?

Creating an effective SOC requires a comprehension of the organization’s needs and limitations. When you grasp the requirements and weaknesses, you will start applying the following best practices.

Set up the right team –

A strong SOC needs a formidable squad. You need people with different skill sets, including specialists for:

  1. Monitoring the system and managing alerts;
  2. Incident management to evaluate and recommend measures for each incident;
  3. A threat hunter to identify possible incidents internally.

All of these skills require a lot of training and experience in things such as intrusion detection, reverse engineering, malware anatomy, etc. Make sure you have a budget not only to recruit this team but also to ensure that they are well-educated.

Since we’re talking about recruiting a Security Operation Center team, don’t forget you’re going to need a dedicated SOC Manager. Often SOCs can be very chaotic and require continuous contact between multiple teams. Crisis management is an ability that is important for someone who will be leading this team.

Raising Visibility –

Visibility is crucial to the effective safeguarding of a network. To secure the data and infrastructure, the SOC team needs to be aware of where they are. They need to know the data and systems priorities, and who should be given access.

The ability to prioritize your assets efficiently helps your SOC to effectively manage the limited time and resources. Getting good visibility makes it easy for your SOC to spot attackers and restrict places where the attackers can hide. Your SOC must be able to track your network and conduct 24/7 vulnerability scans to be maximally successful.

Use Devices Wisely –

Inefficient or insufficient devices will seriously hinder the effectiveness of your SOC. To prevent this, pick the devices that match your application needs and infrastructure carefully. The more complicated the world becomes, the greater the need for centralized devices. The team does not need to evaluate piecemeal details or use various tools to handle each system.

The more discrete devices the SOC uses, the more likely it is to overlook or ignore the details. If security members need to view multiple dashboards or pull logs from multiple sources, it is more difficult to sort and correlate information.

When choosing devices, ensure that each device is evaluated and researched prior to selection. Security systems can be incredibly costly and hard to configure. Spending time or money on a product or service that doesn’t integrate well with your system doesn’t make any sense.

You need to consider endpoint defense, firewalls, automated application security, and monitoring solutions when determining which tools to implement. Many SOCs use Solutions for System Information and Event Management (SIEM). Such tools can provide log management and improve visibility of the security. SIEM can also help to correlate the data between events and to automate alerts.

Create an Incident Response System –

An incident response team is extremely necessary to create an effective Security Operations Center. A good incident response team within the SOC will decide the best way to delegate and handle the identified incidents and execute a specified plan of action. We can also assist in developing a repeatable workflow based on observed incidents. These often constitute an integral element of coordination between the company, legal and PR teams in the event of an accident that needs org-wide redress.

The incident response must be as proactive as possible. We need to obey a predefined rulebook to answer strictly or help construct the same on an experience basis.

Consider introducing Managed Service Providers (MSPs) –

As part of their SOC policy, many companies use managed service providers (MSPs). Managed services will provide the experience that the team would otherwise lack. These services can also ensure continuous monitoring of your systems, and that all events have an immediate response. Unless you have multiple shifts covering your SOC, continuous coverage is something you’re impossible to do on your own.

Managed SOC systems are the most widely used for penetration testing or threat analysis. Those are time-consuming activities that can require significant skills and expensive equipment. Instead of devoting minimal time and money to performing these activities, the SOC will benefit from outsourcing or cooperation with teams from outside parties.

Secure your organization with Bitsys Technology

A SOC is far more complex to design than hiring a team and buying some tools. It has a great deal to do with investing in the right things at the right time, looking forward to identifying potential threats in the near future, and aligning security strategy with business needs.

Your Security Operations Center (SOC) is the business organization’s first line of defense. The better they are equipped, the better they are able to protect the organization.

Our UK-based Security Operations Center provides highly qualified information security personnel with 24/7 reporting and monitoring. Real-time tracking of various sources of events and logs, the application of information on threats, and guidance on remediation. A standardized incident management approach ensures that processes are back up and running as soon as possible.

The only way to protect what you’ve worked hard to build is to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity. If you’d like to know more about how your business can benefit from managed services, just give us a call, we are here to help.


The goal is to capture common and best practices and provide defendable metrics that can be used to justify SOC resources to management.

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