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Security operations center

Security operations center

(also SOC)

Security operations center definition

A Security operations center is a centralized facility or team within an organization responsible for monitoring, detecting, and responding to security incidents and threats. Its primary function is to continuously monitor an organization’s information systems, network infrastructure, and digital assets to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.

A security operations center usually employs security analysts, incident responders, and other cybersecurity professionals. It is equipped with advanced security technology, like security information and event management systems, intrusion detection systems, and threat intelligence platforms. All of these are used to collect, correlate, and analyze security event logs and data from various sources in case of a security incident.

See also: security event management

Key responsibilities

  1. Constantly monitoring the organization’s networks, systems, and applications for security events and threat indicators. The SOC constantly receives alerts and notifications from security tools and investigates any potential security incidents.
  2. Quickly responding to security incidents by investigating, containing, and mitigating the impact of threats. This involves analyzing the nature and severity of an incident, determining its scope, and taking appropriate actions to minimize damage.
  3. Gathering and analyzing information about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and attack techniques to proactively identify potential risks and improve the organization’s defenses. This includes monitoring threat intelligence feeds, collaborating with external sources, and conducting threat-hunting exercises.
  4. Carrying out regular vulnerability assessments and managing the removal of identified vulnerabilities within the organization. The SOC tracks vulnerabilities, prioritizes them based on risk, and coordinates with relevant teams to apply patches or implement control mechanisms.
  5. Performing detailed analysis and forensic investigations to understand the root cause of security incidents, determine the extent of damage, and gather evidence for legal or compliance purposes.
  6. Providing regular reports and updates to stakeholders to communicate the status of security incidents, ongoing threats, and the effectiveness of security measures.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security