WatchGuard Blog

Three reasons why Security Operations Centers (SOCs) are adopted

Company IT and security teams are facing cybersecurity challenges that increasingly test their defensive capabilities. Organizations have to protect themselves from a growing number of incidents (one attack every 39 seconds, according to the University of Maryland) and sophisticated threats, many of which have serious consequences. Despite the boost to organizations' security budgets, the cost of cyberattacks continues to grow year after year (more than $6 billion in 2019, according to a CSIS study).  

For instance, working from home and user mobility have extended the corporate security perimeter and we take this border "with us" wherever we work. Criminal groups have also changed tactics, targeting companies that have moved their infrastructure to the Cloud to hide among legitimate services, plus mass attackers have developed new ways to trawl and sneak into the network without being seen.  

Although not enough attention is paid to these dangers, they can have direct impacts on security operations teams, hamper their effectiveness and put organizations at risk.  WatchGuard's new eBook Advanced Endpoint Security for SOCs: Your Weapon to Hunt the Unknown addresses three major challenges in this area: 

  • Lack of cybersecurity experts: 2.9 million cybersecurity jobs were not filled across the world last year. As a result of this shortage many organizations do not have teams equipped with sufficient cybersecurity training to deal with threats, making them much more vulnerable and therefore more susceptible to more negative consequences. 
  •  "Alert Fatigue" effect creates inefficiencies: faced with the proliferation of threats and the variety of attack vectors that cybercriminals can use to gain access to systems, many SOCs resort to a range of cybersecurity solutions. This means they tend to split their time and attention between different platforms and tools, leading to inefficiency and increasing risk for the organization, as they may leave potential threats and alerts unfiltered and unprioritized. 
  • Insufficient detection and response time: according to The Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 published by the Ponemon Institute, in these circumstances the average time for threat detection (212 days) and containment measures (75 days) in organizations is excessively long. This often means that hackers have enough time to move laterally in systems and achieve their objectives, such as exfiltrating data or executing malware without being detected by a security solution.  

This is why it is essential to reinforce the security operations teams of organizations with services managed by experts in proactive security operations, known in the industry as Modern SOCs. Modern SOCs automate the proactive search for potential attackers lurking within the organization and its endpoints and expedite an effective response to prevent a security incident as soon as possible, thus minimizing the impact and therefore its cost to the organization.  

Some of the key measures behind the efficiency of Modern SOCs are as follows: 

  1. Adopt a Zero-Trust approach. Grant as few privileges as possible to users, never trust (but always validate) the legitimacy of identities, users, and applications, and finally always supervise and monitor any activity to detect behavioral anomalies as soon as possible. 

  1. Don’t be reactive about alerts, be proactive in looking for suspicious behavior or sophisticated attack techniques using a living-off-the-land mechanism, which do not require hackers to deploy their own devices and go undetected. 

  1. Apply scaled and automated security analytics to detect, analyze and respond to the attacker as quickly as possible – providing a detailed analysis of the impacted systems, vulnerabilities exploited, and the root cause of the incident.  

  1. Adopt threat hunting services in your continuous processes, as they improve automated detection mechanisms and thus cope with the constant flow of threats. 

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