An organization’s Security Operations Center (SOC) is the group responsible for securing the company against cyber threats. The term SOC covers every aspect of this group, including the SOC analysts, the tools that they use, and the processes and procedures employed to detect and respond to potential cybersecurity incidents.
Implementing a SOC is an important first step toward cybersecurity maturity. However, a SOC that only is operational from 9 to 5 is not enough. To provide adequate protection against cyber threats, a SOC needs to be working 24/7.
Benefits of a 24/7 SOC
Implementing a 24/7 SOC provides many crucial benefits to an organization. A team of analysts can provide continuous network monitoring and protection and respond more rapidly to potential security incidents.
An organization’s vulnerability to cyberattacks is not limited to standard business hours; a cybercriminal could be in a different time zone or be a hobbyist that can only attack on nights or weekends. Some cybercrime groups deliberately attack outside of business hours to minimize their probability of detection, while automated attackers, such as ransomware and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) botnets, operate 24/7.
Our partners at Security on Demand weighed in on the importance of 24/7 monitoring.
“24-hour monitoring is especially important, because most of the major cyber threat actors exist in time-zones outside of what would be considered the normal US work hours,” says cyber analyst and threat intelligence expert, Jordan Kalm. “They attack when you are at your weakest, and we see this all the time as we monitor companies’ data.”
If an organization’s SOC only operates during standard business hours, security incidents that occur outside of these hours will be not be addressed until the following business day—thus granting an attacker more than two days to exploit an organization’s network without interference. A 24/7 SOC ensures that an organization’s network is constantly being monitored for potential threats and that any potential incidents are responded to rapidly. This decreases an attacker’s opportunity and the damage and cost of the attack to the organization.
Rapid Incident Response
Moving laterally within an organization’s network is a common step within a cyberattack. An attacker that gains initial access via a compromised user account or phishing email will want to access other machines to steal data from or plant ransomware or other malware on more critical systems.
In many cases, the time until “breakout” is extremely short. For Russian APTs, it takes an average of eighteen minutes for them to move laterally from the initial compromised system to others within an organization’s network. With the average data breach costing $3.86 million, the price of failing to detect and respond to an incident in time can be significant.
These statistics further suggest that a 24/7 SOC and incident response team is crucial to an organization’s security. The longer that an attacker has access to an organization’s network, the more time they have to compromise new machines and embed persistence mechanisms that make them difficult to extricate. Waiting until the next business day to address an overnight attack increases the cost to the organization and the probability that an incident will result in the breach of sensitive information.
How MorganFranklin Can Help
Every organization should have a 24/7 SOC; however, implementing one in-house can be difficult and expensive. The cybersecurity skills gap makes it difficult to attract and retain skilled SOC analysts and the specialists required for an incident response team (forensics experts, malware analysts, etc.). Additionally, acquiring, maintaining, and licensing cybersecurity tools can be expensive and requires skilled personnel.
Partnering with a managed services provider can be a more cost-effective method of deploying the security that an organization requires. MorganFranklin offers a variety of managed security solutions, providing options for organizations with any level of cybersecurity maturity.