How to Improve Your Enterprise’s SOC Efficiency

How to Improve Your Enterprise's SOC Efficiency

How can your enterprise improve your enterprise’s SOC efficiency? Why should your business invest in a SOC? What cybersecurity solutions should your SOC work most closely? 

With an efficient and optimized security operations center (SOC), your enterprise benefits from even greater cybersecurity monitoring. Also, you can enjoy improved incident response, threat intelligence, and its application, and reduced cybersecurity costs. 

However, optimizing your security operations center can prove incredibly challenging. After all, you still rely on human intelligence and InfoSec technology in your SOC, which opens yourself to vulnerabilities. 

So how can you improve your SOC efficiency? First, let’s break down the reasons SOCs break down. 

What Can Reduce SOC Efficiency? 

The most glaring issue facing SOC efficiency in modern cybersecurity is the cybersecurity staffing crisis. 

Of course, cybersecurity experts around the world long noted the dangers the cybersecurity staffing crisis brings. Millions of cybersecurity positions go unfilled every year, and many more look to go unfilled in the coming years. Without proper cybersecurity talent, your enterprise may struggle to properly maintain your solutions and to process security data. 

Moreover, understaffed IT security teams, by their nature, place a heavier burden on each member of the team. Therefore each team member faces a higher possibility of burnout as they try to keep up with your enterprise’s demands. Burnout can lead to delays in investigations, patches, and other maintenance—it can in fact lead to abandoned cybersecurity processes.  

Relatedly, without the right investment in your SOC, any effort to improve your SOC efficiency is doomed to failure. Indeed, you cannot and should not choose to rely on legacy solutions in your SOC. Legacy solutions won’t provide your IT team with the right threat intelligence to perform their duties. Simultaneously, they won’t have the capabilities necessary to facilitate your teams’ efforts. 

Finally, you need to consider the dangers posed by the very tool your SOC teams rely on: your security alerts. Recent studies found SOCs spent a quarter of their time chasing down false positives in their security alerts. Worse, the average enterprise faces thousands upon thousands of security alerts every week. 

With these downsides firmly established… 

How to Improve Your Enterprise’s SOC Efficiency

SIEM Can Improve Your SOC Efficiency

Every SOC needs a strong, next-generation SIEM solution to function optimally. If you plant to improve your enterprise’s SOC efficiency, you need to select a cybersecurity solution befitting your use case.

Why? SIEM provides your enterprise with the power to collect and process logs and data from multiple network sources. Additionally, you need the threat detection, security correlation, and analysis so your team can initiate prompt remediation. 

But how can SIEM truly improve your SOC efficiency? First, through SIEM, you can utilize capabilities like UEBA and contextualization. The former helps identify users’ baseline behaviors and detect abnormalities. The latter provides preliminary investigations to detail the users, databases, and activities involved in an alert. These enable your team to identify false positives far more easily and thus reduce the workload facing your team.     

Above all, SIEM can increase your SOC’s productivity and facilitate your existing cybersecurity mandates.

Work to Reduce Burnout

Overwhelming expectations and burdens abound in cybersecurity. Unfortunately, your SOC operates in a high-pressure field with numerous stressors. 

In fact, being a part of your security operations center actually contributes to your team’s burnout rates. After all, they face the sophisticated threats, continuous alerts, and the weight of missing cybersecurity.

Moreover, many members of your team may feel a dangerous fear of failure. Hackers only need to succeed once for your enterprise to suffer a data breach. That would inflict burnout on even the most determined InfoSec professional. 

So how can your enterprise reduce burnout? 

  • First, you need to define the processes, procedures, and roles within your SOC. Make sure all of your team members possess a clearly defined position so they don’t become overwhelmed with responsibilities. Who handles what processes and who evaluates them should be clear to all involved. 
  • Second, prioritize your responsibilities. Threat hunting and investigations should take precedence over other tasks, and you should use solutions which help prioritize security alerts. SIEM can help your team with this.  
  • Third, encourage a work-life balance among the members of your SOC. If you run a 24/7 SOC, consider hiring a managed security services provider (MSSP) to fill in the gaps. Even if you can’t afford one, make sure every member regular receives time to unplug and have a regular life.
  • Fourth, where possible automate your threat remediation and detection. While you can’t completely remove human intelligence from your cybersecurity, you can supplement it.      

Have an Incident Response Plan

Surprisingly, the best way to improve your enterprise SOC efficiency is to prepare to work alongside it during a cybersecurity incident. Obviously, your SOC should take the lead in hunting the vulnerabilities and threats detected during a security incident. However, your whole enterprise needs to participate in your cybersecurity for optimal protection and performance. 

An incident response plan can help your users and employees recognize the warning signs of a security event. Therefore you can speed your threat detection by increasing the number of eyes monitoring your network. Further, with a plan in place, you can facilitate and streamline communications during an incident so your SOC stays up-to-date. 

Of course, an incident response plan doesn’t work in a vacuum. To improve your enterprise’s SOC efficiency, you need to practice your incident response plan. Conduct these regularly, as you would a fire drill, and look for inefficiencies or potential pitfalls. Cybersecurity is all about preparation. You should never need to scramble during a digital cyber attack. You SOC and employees should feel prepared for anything. The difference could help save your business from the aftermath of a breach. 

How to Get Started

You can learn more about how to improve your enterprise’s SOC efficiency in our 2019 SIEM Buyer’s Guide. We cover the top solution providers and their key capabilities, as well as provide a Bottom Line for each. Many vendors specialize in SOC and many vendors focus on specific use cases. Only by research can you find the right solution for your business!

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner