Technology and IT infrastructure are essential assets for businesses today. Without them, daily operations can grind to a halt.

Consequently, assessing the risks to, and mitigating the vulnerabilities in, those assets has become a basic organizational need. Those capabilities are crucial for businesses to optimize efficiency without increasing risks for their stakeholders.

And how can a business develop and use those capabilities? With a cybersecurity operations team.

These teams (also known as security operations centers) are departments created to monitor and analyze the organization’s security posture on an ongoing basis. SOCs exist to detect, analyze, and respond to cyber threats, using monitoring tools, threat intelligence, and other security methods.

SOC teams analyze the operation of databases, servers, endpoints, networks, and other systems for security risk indicators. The SOC then works with incident response teams to assure risk mitigation in real-time and to protect your business from risk.

Should I Assemble a Security Operations Team or Center?

Estimates are that by the end of 2021, cyber attacks will have caused more than $6 trillion in losses — a sum set to double by 2025.

Moreover, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to select more vulnerable targets: those with a greater need to keep their operations undisturbed, such as healthcare or other critical infrastructure.

For example, healthcare companies have suffered an alarming number of cyberattacks in recent months, as described in a joint report by the HHS, CISA, and the FBI.

One of the most effective solutions to combat this steep increase in the number and severity of cybersecurity incidents, beyond implementing employee cybersecurity training, is creating SOCs.

An important point to consider when creating a security operations team is the type of business you conduct. For example, some companies may face lower cybersecurity risk, while others may have inherently high risks and strict security regulatory compliance obligations.

In the latter case, cyber security operation teams can facilitate the arduous vulnerability management tasks within financial institutions, healthcare, and technology companies.

Another element to consider is the type of information your organization handles. Several data protection regulations require companies to maintain a robust security architecture and overall security policy to reduce the risk of data breaches. Demanding compliance requirements like that can benefit from a SOC.

The size of the company and its operations can be a crucial factor in determining deploying a cybersecurity operations team. Small companies with low levels of risk may delegate risk monitoring functions to other related departments; large companies may have volumes of risk that require a dedicated SOC.

The Benefits of Having a Dedicated Cybersecurity Operations Center

The most significant benefit of a cybersecurity operations team within your organization is that the team can perform constant threat hunts.

SOCs can also provide a unique perspective of the organization’s security through vulnerability assessments of the enterprise IT infrastructure (endpoints, firewalls, network, storage systems, and others).

Having a team dedicated to the assessment and remediation of vulnerabilities provides an advantage against intrusions, regardless of the type or time of the attack. SOCs typically can identify an attack more quickly, which means less time that your organization is actually under attack.

How to Create a Dedicated Security Operations Center

To develop a dedicated SOC within your organization, consider several key elements to assure its effectiveness.

First, develop a strategy for your organization. Evaluate the organization’s current capabilities in the face of risks. Specifically examine your organization’s monitoring, detection, response, and recovery processes.

Next, design a solution for the deficiencies found. Based on practical cases, you should define base solutions that can meet the company’s future needs according to its objectives.

After developing the functional requirements, choose a SOC model that addresses those issues and then design a technical architecture: threat lifecycles, information systems, workflows, and automation areas.

It is essential to use security monitoring tools to collect as much relevant information as possible for security operations, even within cloud environments. Automation will allow the SOC to leverage large volumes of data and identify suspicious or malicious activity, and then triage those indicators based on their severity and area of impact.

Then, prepare the security operations center’s environment, assuring that the team members’ devices are free of malware and that robust authentication methods are in place.

Finally, implement the program, periodically evaluate it, and improve elements within the SOC regarding the model, the roles of the members, or the tools in place.

ZenGRC Is Integral to Cybersecurity Operations

When you can’t see the broad picture, you struggle to control your IT systems’ weaknesses. To comprehend your entire risk environment, you must analyze your company as a whole rather than just the sum of its parts.

ZenGRC is an integrated platform that monitors your organization’s risk management activities in real-time and regularly.

Through automation and integration, ZenGRC provides a comprehensive picture of your vulnerabilities, resulting in visibility and scalability throughout your whole organization.

Schedule a demo now to discover more about how ZenGRC can assist you in eliminating vulnerabilities and keeping your business safe.