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What are the Benefits of SOC as a Service?

Security operations center as an service (SOCaaS) is an online subscription model for monitored threat detection and reaction that includes best-in-class SOC solutions and tools to help fill in gaps on current security departments.

Which Cyber Threats are Monitored by SOCaaS?

Like a traditional, on-premises SOC, SOCaaS includes 24/7 monitoring for threat detection, prevention as well as analysis of the attack surface, which includes internet traffic and corporate networks, desktops, servers, endpoint devices, databases, applications, cloud infrastructure firewalls, threat intelligence, intrusion prevention and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems.

Cyberthreats include ransomware, denial of service (DoS) distributed denial of services (DDoS) malware such as smishing, phishing, insider threats, credential theft Zero days, and many more.

Why do Organizations need Managed Services for Security Operations?

In their study report, SOC Modernization and The Role of XDR, Enterprise Strategy Group found that more than half (55%) need security services so they can focus security personnel on more strategic security initiatives. Other people believe that managed service providers are able to accomplish tasks that their company simply can’t believe in, with 52% believing that service providers are able to deliver more efficient security operations than their company can. 49% believe that a managed services provider can augment their SOC team while 42% admitting that their business doesn’t have adequate skills for security operations.

What are the advantages of SOC as an Service (SOCaaS)?

Outsourcing security operations and information security management provides a handful of benefits, such as the following:

Cost reductions
More efficient detection and faster remediation to help streamline security incidents
Access to the best security products
Reducing the burden on internal SecOps teams
Continuous monitoring
Speeding up detection/response to deliver high-confidence alerts and decrease fatigue from alerts.
Minimizing turnover and reducing security analyst burnout; removing the monotonous tasks
Reduced complexity
Lower cyber risk
Enhanced business scalability and agility

In contrast, issues arising from the legacy SOC environments can be:

A lack of clarity and lack of context
The complexity of investigations is increasing.
Systems that aren’t interoperable
Insufficient automation and lack of orchestration
Incapacity to collect and process threat intelligence data.
Alert fatigue/noise coming from the low-fidelity, high-volume alerts of security controls

Further key advantages of SOCaaS are as follows:

Continuous Protection

Security analysts are able to monitor for warnings, events, as well as indicators of compromise (IoCs). Combine high-fidelity threat intelligence with actionable threat and impact reports. Analyze the results of threats and analytics across all data sources to generate high-quality leads for threat hunting.

Faster response time

Quicker response times assist in reduce dwell times and improve both mean time to investigate (MTTI) and mean time to remedy (MTTR).

Risk Prevention as well as Threat Hunting

SOC as a Service enables teams to continuously check their environments for a variety of attacker tactics techniques, methods and procedures (TTPs) to help identify new vulnerabilities that could be present in your infrastructure.

Security Expertise and coverage

Although SOCs have many different forms, they can consist of the responsibilities and roles of an SOC leader, incident responder and a Tier 1-3 security analyst(s). Other specialized roles could include security engineers and vulnerability managers, criminal investigators, threat hunters and compliance auditors.

Adherence to Compliance and Regulation Mandates

Important SOC monitoring capabilities are essential to enterprise compliance, especially complying with the regulations that require specific security monitoring functions and procedures like GDPR and CCPA.

The healthcare sector and financial services have their own set of compliance to proactively take care of risk and stay on top of regulatory changes. They include HIPAA, FINRA and PCI to ensure the security of personal data and information from compromise.

Optimize Security Teams

In addition to investing in security solutions and equipment, the primary element in any successful SOC will remain the human factor.

While automation and machine learning will undoubtedly improve overall outcomes such as response time, accuracy and remediation, particularly for tasks that are repetitive and low-level including attracting, training and retaining security employees, including engineers, security analysts and architects, needs to be incorporated into any SOC transformation strategy.

Things to Consider when deciding on an SOC

There are numerous methods of developing and operating a SOC. In their paper, Security Operations Center: A Systematic Study and Open Challenges Manfred Vielberth, Fabian Boh Ines Fichtinger, and Gunther Pernul outline some factors that impact SOC operating models and the different elements that be considered when deciding to implement one.

Company strategy: The overall business and IT strategy must be consulted to determine which operating mode fits best. A SOC strategy should be established before deciding on the operating mode.

Industry sector: The industrial sector in which a company mainly operates largely influences the scope of the SOC required.

Size: The size of the company also has an impact on the selection process since a small company may not be able to create and manage an SOC by itself or may not even need a rigorously defined SOC.

Cost: The expense of implementing and managing the SOC should be compared to the expense of outsourcing operations related to security. At first, the decision to implement an internal SOC could be more costly however, it could prove to be more economical in the long time. Costs of finding, hiring and training SOC personnel are a major aspect, particularly since they could increase due to the increasing shortage of skilled workers and demand from the market.

Time: It takes a considerable amount of time to create an SOC. Therefore, alignment with timelines and organizational plans is vital. Also, the time needed to create a SOC is to be compared with the time required for outsourcing it.

Regulations Dependent on the sector, a variety of regulations need to be considered. Some may mandate the operation of an operational SOC while others may prohibit outsourcing SOC operations entirely, or at least to specific providers who don’t meet the respective regulations.

Privacy: Privacy is also under the law and must be observed when dealing with personal data.

It is important to consider the availability requirements that should be considered. In the majority of cases the aim is to have an SOC operational 24/7, year-round.

Support for management: The support of management is vital when setting up a specific SOC. If management isn’t fully in agreement, and the benefits of a SOC aren’t conveyed to upper management, the team may not have the resources they require.

Integration: the capabilities and functions of an inside SOC should be integrated into other departments of IT, and in the case of an external SOC the provider will need to be integrated to get all the data needed.

Data loss is a concern: The SOC is often the central location where large amounts of sensitive data is processed. Internal SOCs require to be extremely secure, while any external SOC requires a trusted service to ensure that your data is secure from intellectual property theft and accidental loss.

Expertise: It takes time and money to build up proficiency. The necessary skills required to run an SOC are not easy to find. Recruitment and retention of personnel is an essential aspect for internal SOCs. But, the required skills are already present for outside SOC providers. Especially in the context of SOCs, gaining insight into other companies could give SOC suppliers a benefit in terms of knowledge. But, businesses must be aware that outsourcing can reduce knowledge within the company.

Why you should have Managed SOC is important

Similar to hybrid and on-premises SOCs Managed SOCs come in different forms. As with their counterparts, they are able to monitor an organization’s threats, including their IT network, devices, applications as well as endspoints (attack surface) and their data for known and emerging vulnerabilities risk, threats and vulnerabilities.

Managed SOC services typically are available in two types:

Managed Security Services Providers (MSSPs) which run SOCs in the cloud and employ automated procedures.
The Managed Detection and Respond (MDR) that relies more on human involvement that goes beyond basic prevention to enable proactive and advanced activities like the hunting of threats.

A managed SOC option can reduce the complexity of maintaining and governing an internal SOC especially for small to midsize companies.

Similar to hiring professional security personnel to build and run a SOC that can meet the constantly changing IT security standards and requirements. Engaging outside security experts allows companies to instantly increase their security coverage and improve their security capabilities by having access to the threat monitoring and research databases that can lead to an increase in return upon investment (ROI) as compared to a local SOC.

With threats embracing their own versions of digital transformation and taking advantage of automation, businesses require security processes that keep up with. Managed security providers provide an uninterrupted service and unbeatable coverage via SLAs (SLAs) that define the extent and quality of services, such as software updates and patches when they become available or countermeasures against a new threat are prepared to implement.

Challenges of a Managed SOC

While outsourcing security operations has many benefits, there are also challenges and limitations may exist that’s the reason it’s essential to conduct your due diligence while comparing the various solutions, SLAs and services.


Managed SOC providers usually rely upon their security infrastructure. Therefore, their solutions need to be set up and implemented within a customer’s environment before the service provider can commence providing services. The transition during the onboarding process could be lengthy and can result in risks during this risky period.

Sharing of vital Data

An organization’s SOC-as-a-service provider needs access to analyze the network of the organization in order to spot and combat potential threats. In order to achieve this, the organization needs to send large amounts of sensitive information and intelligence to its service provider. Yet, releasing control of potentially sensitive data can increase the risk of security for enterprise data and risk management more challenging which can expose weaknesses during this phase.

Data storage outside the Organization

Storing sensitive threat information and analysis externally can lead to data leaks as well as data loss in the event that the SOC’s cyber defenses are compromised or if you decide to leave an external service company. While you’re able to keep track of alerts to threats internally, the vast majority of data is processed outside of the security perimeter, which restricts the capacity to store and analyse long-term past data regarding detected threats and possible data breaches.

Cost of Log Delivery

SOC-as-a service providers typically operate their cybersecurity solutions on-site through data feeds and taps from their clients’ networks. Log files, along with other alert data are created and stored on the provider’s system and network. The ability to access all log information through a managed SOC provider can be costly for an organization.

No Dedicated IT Security Team

The tasks, responsibilities, and roles could differ across organizations which can cause a disconnection when applying a one-size-fits-all approach vs. having a team that is knowledgeable about the specific different environments and the infrastructure of every client. An external SOC team may not provide customization of services as they may share services with multiple customers, which can negatively impact efficiencies.

Limited Knowledge of the Organization’s specific business

In the course of serving multiple customer accounts and sharing SOC resources Managed SOC providers might miss gaps in an environment in not understanding the organisation’s processes and procedures to ensure their security.

The Regulatory and Compliance Concerns

Regulations are growing more complex and organizations must put into place security controls as well as policies to demonstrate compliance. Although a managed SOC provider can provide assistance to comply with regulations However, using a third-party provider may complicate compliance requirements, requiring faith in the service provider to carry out their compliance obligations.

Limited Options to Customize Services

External SOC rarely offers complete customized services because they are shared by multiple clients. The sluggish customization options may lead to a lower efficiency across departments of the organization as well as the inability to adequately safeguard certain endpoints, networks and other components in the security framework.

Overall, a dedicated SOC can provide organizations with many benefits, such as constant network monitoring, centralized visibility of cybersecurity, lower costs for cybersecurity, and improved collaboration, you cannot go wrong. Cybercriminals don’t rest, and neither should you.