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What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

security operations center soc a complete guide

What is a Security Operations Center (SOC)?

Experts in the field of information security work together in a SOC (pronounced “sock”) to provide situational awareness and manage the overall security posture of a company.

Data from an organization’s infrastructure, networks, cloud services, and devices is correlated by a SOC.

As a result of the information collected, SOC actions are geared toward identifying, tracking, monitoring, analyzing, presenting, and responding to current and potential threats to the business.

Today, a SOC is defined more as a key security function than a physical facility because of advances in cloud-based security and the ability to conduct work remotely.

An information security operations center (ISOC), network security operations center (NSOC), a security intelligence and operations center (SIOC), a global security operations center (GSOC), or a cybersecurity center are other names for a security operations center.

What is the Security Operations Center Process?

The most important tool they have is the simplest one when it comes to airline pilots. This is a list.

Everything that needs to be done to keep everyone safe, avoid risk and protect valued lives is listed on the checklist. As a result, you won’t have to worry about dropping any peanuts along the way.

To ensure that your organization’s assets are safeguarded, and high-priority threats are recognized swiftly and with the least damage, the SOC team has a large to-do list of tasks to do.

Here, you’ll learn how to identify and respond to emerging threats, determine their scale and impact, and establish best practices for your SOC team.

Our goal is to show you how to leverage AlienVault® Unified Security Management (USM) and AlienVault Open Threat Exchange (OTXTM) to fuel your SOC process at every stage.

What Does a Security Operations Center do?

A security operations center (SOC) team is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of an organization’s network and infrastructure security.

Even while security operations team (SOC) members may contribute to the development of security strategy or the design of security architecture.

The primary objective of the SOC team is to detect and analyze security incidents and threats and then respond to them. Typical SOC functions include the following:

  • Management and maintenance—Security tools, including updates and patches, are monitored and administered.
  • Surveillance—Network, system, device, and infrastructure event logs are monitored for unusual or suspicious activities.
  • Detection and prevention of potential threats and attacks, including intelligence gathering.
  • Incident analysis and investigation—Detection of the source of the event or threat and the extent to which it has penetrated and harmed company systems.
  • Threat or attack response—Approach coordination to successfully manage and contain the threat or incident.
  • Recovery and remediation—Examine what assets have been hacked; recover lost or stolen data; address vulnerabilities; update alerting tools, and reassess procedures.
  • Compliance and risk management—the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the data security standards for the payment card sector are all under federal regulation, or industry best practices (PCI DSS).

What are The Security Operations Center’s Best Practices?

It takes a lot of work to set up and run a top-notch security operations center. Four security operations center best practices are outlined below, and they should be the goal of every organization.

1. Start With Strategy

Defining an organization’s strategy is the first stage in building an organization’s Security Operations Center.

During this process, the team should conduct an enterprise-wide inventory to identify existing assets and resources and any gaps or potential vulnerabilities that adversaries could exploit within the organization.

2. Enable organization-wide visibility

Only assets that are already known to the SOC can be safeguarded. However, the security of a network can be jeopardized by any device.

Because of this, it is critical that the SOC recognizes all digital assets and integrates their unique data logs into a unified monitoring and analysis function.

These assets include all networks and databases and all devices and endpoints. Third-party services and traffic between assets should be mapped to identify possible vulnerabilities.

3. Establish the technology stack

Rather than a single asset, the SOC comprises a group of people, procedures, and technologies that work together to safeguard and defend the company.

The security center’s digital backbone includes several key components.

  • Notably combines IA (intelligent automation) and HR (human resources) for responding to the threats

The most advanced SOCs use threat intelligence automation and human oversight to handle security.

In most cases, threat monitoring and detection tools provide the initial defense line of defense. More complex attacks necessitate human involvement, whereas low-level threats can be automated.

With the help of AI-enabled technologies and highly qualified security personnel, enterprises can protect the safety of their network and assets while also doing it in the most efficient manner possible.

What is a Security Operations Center Framework?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) framework is a structured approach that defines the architecture, systems, and services necessary for a SOC to effectively carry out its functions in monitoring, detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity threats.

AI and machine learning algorithms can be used to detect assaults and security incidents in a system that is either manual or automated via AI and machine learning algorithms.

It is possible to link Security Operations Center frameworks with continuous threat intelligence services to give enterprises complete information.

Several key frameworks are widely recognized in the field:

NIST Cybersecurity Framework

The NIST Cybersecurity Framework includes standards, best practices, and guidelines for managing the lifecycle of cybersecurity threats. It provides a comprehensive approach for organizations to enhance their cybersecurity posture.

Incident Response and Remediation Components

SOC frameworks encompass incident response and remediation components, facilitating systematic and often fully automated responses to security incidents.

After the initial response, SOC technologies and experts work towards restoring operations and analyzing the cause and scope of breaches.

Hub-and-Spoke Architecture

SOCs are often built around a hub-and-spoke architecture, where spokes can incorporate various systems such as vulnerability assessment solutions, governance, risk and compliance (GRC) systems, application and database scanners, intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and more.

Security Tools Integration

SOCs include a variety of security tools such as firewalls, SIEMs (Security Information and Event Management), vulnerability scanners, endpoint protection solutions, intrusion prevention and detection (IPS/IDS) systems, mobile device management (MDM) systems, and cloud security tools.

Integration of these tools enables comprehensive monitoring, control, and security of the IT environment.

OWASP Security Operations Centre (SOC) Framework Project

The OWASP Security Operations Centre (SOC) Framework Project focuses on a systematic approach for SOC activities, including the detection, analysis, and response to cybersecurity threats.

It emphasizes actions like isolating incidents to prevent further damage and disconnecting affected devices from the network.

What is the primary goal of the Security Operations Center SOC?

The SOC’s main job is to keep an eye on things and send out alerts if anything suspicious happens.

This entails gathering and analyzing data to spot suspicious activities and enhance the company’s safety.

Security information and event management (SIEM) systems and threat intelligence gather data from firewalls, intrusion detection systems, intrusion prevention systems, and other security-related devices.

Any time anomalies, odd trends, or other signs of compromise are detected and reported to the SOC; an alert is sent to the team’s members.

What is designing and building a security operations center?

Author David Nathans can design and build a security operations center. As a result of a well-functioning SOC, security incidents can be resolved more quickly.

A DDoS assault or malware that can propagate over a corporate network in minutes and potentially shut it down is a threat that must be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Having a Security Operations Center that responds quickly to these threats can make a difference in how a company handles them.

It is described in the book as an enterprise nervous system that can gather and normalize huge volumes of logs and other data.

This can enable continuous prevention, protection, and detection by providing response capabilities against threats, remotely exploitable vulnerabilities, and real-time occurrences on the network monitored.

You can either do it yourself (DIY) or hire a managed security service provider (MSSP) to set up a security operations center.

A brief discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using a Managed Service Provider (MSSP) may be found in Chapter 10.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to each method in the book.

Some companies have a hybrid approach to SOC management, in which they outsource some functions and undertake others in-house. There is no mention of this strategy in the text.

Security Operations Center Implementation Stages?

You can build your SOC in seven steps:

  1. Develop a strategy for your security operations center.
  2. Your SOC solution should be tailored to your needs.
  3. Create protocols, training, and processes.
  4. Make sure you’re prepared.
  5. Then put it into action.
  6. End-to-end use cases should be implemented.
  7. Stay on top of your solution.

Costs associated with SOC implementations may be difficult to justify. Security automation architecture is the only viable approach to stay one step ahead of cybersecurity threats.

The solution to your security issue can be achieved even with low resources by setting up a SOC.

What are Security Operations Center Services?

Organizations are now confronted with new security issues due to the rise of cloud computing.

We offer security as part of their service through strategic agreements with datacenters, making a high degree of security accessible to every firm.

It’s ideal for enterprises that want to know exactly what’s going on in their network, both on-premise and in the cloud, so they can respond quickly to any potential threats that may arise.

The data center is normally relatively secure in the cloud, but cloud providers often have little to say about what is going on in the cloud.

Cloud computing presents a unique set of cybersecurity challenges that organizations often fail to recognize. We believe we can provide a special service that is essential to a holistic cybersecurity strategy with the data center.

Security Operations Services of CISA

  • Security Posture Dashboard Report (SPDR) and Risk Scoring
  • Anti-Phishing Training Program Support
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) Optimization Advisory Service
  • Cybersecurity Policy Support
  • Information Protection Processes and Procedures
  • Custom Solutions / Security Software Development Service
  • Risk Assessment
  • Security Continuous Monitoring
  • Supply Chain Risk Management

What are the Advantages of the Security Operations Center?

  1. Simpler budgeting and expense management
  2. Access to cybersecurity professionals right away
  3. It has the notable ability to grow as well as adapt to new situations.

Security Operations Center Analyst Certification Courses

To join a security operations center, one must pass the Certified SOC Analyst course (SOC).

Candidates can learn from some of the industry’s most experienced teachers while keeping up with the latest trends and in-demand technical skills.

It begins with the fundamentals of SOC operations and then teaches advanced event detection, SIEM setup, and incident response.

As a result, the candidate will learn how to manage various SOC processes and interact with the CSIRT when necessary.

Security operations center Analyst

A SOC analyst is a cybersecurity specialist who works as part of a team to monitor and combat threats to an organization’s IT infrastructure and examine security systems and procedures for vulnerabilities and possible enhancements.

As a security operations center analyst, you’ll work with a group of analysts and other security professionals in a single location responsible for monitoring and responding to threats.

In-house or outsourced, a security operations center can protect one or more organizations.

Security Operations Center analyst is a job title held by both novice and seasoned information security professionals.

It is an excellent starting point for those who want to work in cybersecurity, but it’s also a difficult and repetitive job that can lead to burnout. Take a closer look at what the job includes and the abilities you will need to succeed.

What are SOC Analyst roles and responsibilities?

The Security Operation Center Analyst is the primary point of contact for all SOC activities. Situational awareness is provided by detecting, encapsulating, and repairing IT risks carried out by analysts at the Security Operations Center.

Businesses are becoming increasingly vulnerable to cyberattacks and hacks as the number of threats grows.

A SOC Analyst’s role has been elevated greatly due to this. Those who work in cybersecurity may find themselves in an ever-changing position.

Security Operations Center Analysts work with other team members to identify threats, develop and follow security events such as alerts, and carry out security investigations in tandem to detect and respond to information security issues.

In addition, SOC analysts look for and respond to vulnerabilities in hardware and software that have not yet been publicly publicized. As security advisors,’ they also look over reports on security vulnerabilities.

Salary of Security Operations Center Analyst

In the United States, the annual income for a Security Operations Center Analyst is $74,333 per year but but the salary range typically falls between $67,783 and $81,673. (source:

Furthermore, the average hourly pay for a Security Operations Analyst in the United States is $44.14 as of January 25, 2024.

The SOC Analyst salary can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the employer.

Kevin James

Kevin James

I'm Kevin James, and I'm passionate about writing on Security and cybersecurity topics. Here, I'd like to share a bit more about myself. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity from Utica College, New York, which has been the foundation of my career in cybersecurity. As a writer, I have the privilege of sharing my insights and knowledge on a wide range of cybersecurity topics. You'll find my articles here at, covering the latest trends, threats, and solutions in the field.