A cyber security operations centre (CSOC), is the nerve centre for your organisation’s security.
Managed by accredited security professionals, a CSOC combines multi-layered technologies with real-time threat intelligence feeds from across the globe.
The centre continuously monitors your IT environments to detect and respond to security incidents.
Some organisations have in-house CSOCs, but for economy of scale, most outsource to a specialist provider.
If you haven’t yet considered the benefits of a cyber security operations centre here are six reasons why you should.
Reason 1 – no organisation is immune from the threat of cyber crime
All sizes of business across all sectors are potential targets for cyber criminals. Some business leaders assume their company is too small to be at risk. But one UK-based small business is hacked every 19 seconds.
Why hackers hack
While financial gain and data theft data drive the actions of cyber criminals, other motivations exist:
- Socially or politically motivated reasons – known as hacktivism
- Espionage – spying on competitors for an unfair advantage
- The intellectual challenge
- Malicious intent – business disruption
Risks do not come exclusively from external sources. Actions from people within your business can also pose a significant threat to security.
Data shows that globally, insider threat incidents almost doubled in two years, from 3,200 in 2018 to 4,716 in 2020.
Reason 2 – the commoditisation of cyber crime
Due to the commoditisation of effective attack techniques, the threat landscape is rapidly expanding. Today, any would-be cyber criminal with limited knowledge or sophistication can purchase the tools to infiltrate your systems.
From simple downloads to as-a-service packages, someone could well be scanning your network or phishing your staff as you read this.
Professional tools used by ethical hackers for penetration testing can also be deployed by fraudsters for nefarious means. These tools include password crackers, vulnerability scanners and network mapping, which searches for open ports and vulnerabilities to exploit.
Reasons 3 – the evolution and growth of cybercrime
According to a study conducted by the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), cyber attacks have evolved and are becoming more frequent. In 2020:
- The nature of cyber crime continued to change. Since 2017, phishing attacks have increased from 72% to 86%
- 46% of UK businesses and 26% of charities reported a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months
- Among the 46% of businesses that identified a breach or attack, 32% experience cyber crime at least once a week
The DCMS also found that while there is greater board engagement in cyber security, organisations can identify more opportunities to safeguard their assets.
A cyber security operations centre keeps pace with cyber crime trends. It will adopt both proactive and reactive approaches to your organisation’s security. And a CSOC will apply the intelligence and lessons learned from other clients’ experiences for your benefit.
Reason 4 – protecting your reputation
Conversations around data breaches often revolve around fines and penalties and operational downtime. But your reputation can suffer too – an erosion of trust and goodwill can impact customer turnover.
The reputational cost of high-profile data breaches can endure in the long-term. With the power of social media and customer reviews, breaches that don’t make the mainstream press can still garner unwelcome publicity for your business.
Reason 5 – the talent deficit
A cyber security talent shortage is approaching concerning levels with cyber security roles taking 21% longer to fill than other IT jobs.
If you’re a small-to-medium-sized business, attracting and retaining talent can be a significant drain and cost. Cyber security pros thrive on challenge and are trained to work across a variety of clients and industries in cyber security operation centres.
Reason 6 – prevention is not the cure
This means that statistically, you will be breached, regardless of what controls and defences you have in place. The consequences of a breach grow exponentially with the time it lies undiscovered. It also has serious implications when it comes to compliance with data regulations, such as the GDPR.
A cyber security operations centre has a wealth of resources at its disposal. The costs of which are likely to be prohibitively expensive were you to deliver them in-house. When a breach occurs, a CSOC will work rapidly to contain it, mitigating the potential damage.
Some CSOCs can also manage any necessary remediation, while others will pass the intelligence to your IT team or provider to remediate.
Take the next step to improving your organisation’s cybersecurity
The core features of our CSOC include:
- 24 x 7 x 365 coverage
- Scales with your organisation’s needs
- Integrates custom data sources and develops custom detections
- Operates under ISO 27001 certified ISMS
- Includes fully auditable privileged access and identity tooling
- Integrates with your ITSM tools or utilise our ServiceNow platform
- Your visibility of the platform and underlying data
As well as the reasons listed here, a CSOC can bring your business greater peace of mind, increase the confidence of your stakeholders and avoid the disruption and downtime caused by cyber attacks.
Cyber security operations centre – quick Q&A
What is the difference between a cyber security operations centre and a network operations centre?
A CSOC’s purpose is to protect and defend your organisation from cyber threats. A network operations centre is dedicated to keeping your business fully operational.
What technologies does a cyber security operations centre deploy?
A CSOC uses several technologies to monitor, detect, analyse and respond to security incidents, including SIEM and SOAR tools. It reduces your attack surface through proactive identification of vulnerabilities before they are exploited and proactive identification, through threat hunting, of any threats before they can cause an impact.
What are the different types of cyber security operations centres?
Models include dedicated, managed, co-managed, command (typically global), virtual and multifunction SOC/NOC.
What jobs are in a cyber security operations centre?
Roles span chief information security officer, CSOC manager, security analysts and security engineers and architects.