What is the Cost of Building a Robust 24/7 SOC for Your Organization?

Blogs Post- What is the Cost of Building a Robust 24x7 SOC for your Organization

Before the digital boom that we have witnessed over the past decade, having a NOC (Network Operations Center) was the priority for businesses. Everyone wanted to keep their network up and running. However, with technological advancements and the surge in data and cyberattacks, the focus on security has increased gradually. Now, cybersecurity is the top priority for most companies. This has shifted the focus from NOC to SOC (Security Operation Center). Although NOC is still prevalent, SOC is no longer an option for organizations; it is imperative.

A SOC is a centralized unit responsible for monitoring and managing security tools and IT environments to detect, prevent, and mitigate risks and strengthen security. But what makes SOC so important in today’s digital world?

Importance of Building a 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC)

Ranging from continuous monitoring to improved business reputation, a SOC offers many benefits, making it important for businesses of all sizes to build a SOC.

  • Continuous Monitoring: Attackers don’t have specific working hours. They will usually start their work after hours, on weekends, or during holiday weekends to increase the probability of their success. In fact, hackers love holiday weekends as it becomes easy for them to penetrate your systems. Hence, you need a 24/7 SOC team to monitor everything and reduce the chances of attacks.
  • Proactive Detection: According to an IBM report, companies take about 197 days to identify and another 69 days to contain a breach, on average. It also specifies that the consequences also increase along with the number of days it takes to detect a breach. A tech-enabled SOC can continuously monitor and log all the events to proactively detect threats.
  • Incident Response: While continuous monitoring is important to detect breaches, it is equally important to respond to them before they become a major challenge. A SOC can help respond to a risk instantly to minimize the consequences. It can also help develop an incident response plan that precisely outlines all the procedures and steps to be taken after a risk is detected.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Based on the location and nature of your business, you would have to abide by certain regulatory compliances, such as GDPR, PCI-DSS, SAMA, ISO 27001, etc. Some standard laws across all the compliances are continuous monitoring, periodic vulnerability assessment, and quick incident response. Having a 24/7 SOC helps abide by all these standard regulatory requirements.
  • Improved Threat Management: Companies deploy multiple tools for maximum security. However, deploying tools is not enough; they also need to correlate events in real-time. An expert SOC team can help define correlation rules and monitor events in real-time for enhanced threat management. A standard threat management strategy should have AI capabilities and include tools such as SIEM and SOAR to unify all the resources and help enhance the overall cybersecurity cycle covering identification, protection, detection, response, and recovery.
  • Centralized Visibility: Adopting cloud computing, IoT, remote workforce, and BYOD culture has led to a lack of visibility and security across the IT ecosystem. SOC can consolidate and integrate all the devices, security tools, and personnel for centralized visibility and seamless collaboration.

The Core Pillars of Building a SOC

There are several logical factors that you need to consider to build an effective 24/7 SOC. These factors can be broadly classified into three core pillars:

People

No matter the amount of money you spend on tools, ultimately, humans are the ones who are at both ends, the attacker and the security experts. Hence, humans are also the weakest link. You need to ensure that this weak link becomes the strongest. Thus, you need experts like security analysts, threat hunters, security engineers, etc. However, sourcing, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding experts can take months, thereby increasing the skills gap and chances of attacks. Luckily, you can leverage staff augmentation services from MSSPs to quickly onboard experts in a cost-effective manner.

Processes

SOC processes consist of actions you take to prevent, detect, and respond to risks. The security team will rely on these processes and standards. They will list down the roles of individual team members to ensure that no security aspect is overlooked. Additionally, it will also describe the guidelines on how to go about threat monitoring, detection, incident logging, threat escalation, analysis, incident response, etc. To ensure your SOC is effective, you need to define clear processes, procedures, policies, and standards.

Products

Products are the security software and tools you will need for monitoring, detecting, and preventing security risks. To build an effective 24/7 SOC, you will have to invest in tools such as SIEM, EDR, MDR, XDR, SOAR, automated detection & response, alert management, etc. The core technology here is SIEM, which will help collect event triages from IT assets, firewalls, database servers, and other IT components to detect risks and vulnerabilities.

Different SOC Levels

Based on the functionalities provided by a SOC, it can be classified into five different SOC maturity levels, which are:

1.  Operational

The SOC maturity level 1, also known as the ‘Operational’ level, covers cybersecurity’s prevention and detection aspects. It can handle patch management, firewall management and define user policies to prevent attacks. On the other hand, the level 1 SOC will log only the critical servers for system changes for detection purposes.

2. Emerging

The emerging maturity level goes a step beyond the operational level to cover even response, alongside detection and prevention. This level 2 SOC will use signature-based AV and vulnerability scanning to prevent attacks. For detection, it will leverage complete logging, log search, and compliance reports. The SOC will also have basic forensic investigation capability.

3. Foundational

This is the most basic version of a standard SOC. The maturity level 3 SOC will cover the entire threat lifecycle from prevention and detection to response and prediction. This SOC utilizes advanced threat protection for prevention and SIEM, behavior analytics, and analysis reports for detection. Further, the SOC will have containment automation and actionable alert capabilities to respond to any potential vulnerabilities quickly. Level 3 is a machine-accelerated SOC that uses threat intelligence and executive dashboard analysis for predicting and mitigating risks before they become a challenge. Thus, it will have all the security tools, but they won’t be unified. Therefore, 24/7 coverage in real-time won’t be possible.

4.  Advanced

As the name gives out, the level 4 or advanced SOC maturity level is a sophisticated SOC that enhances the functionalities of level 3. It can provide a 24/7 SOC that can detect, prevent, respond to, and predict attacks in real-time. It uses security tools like deception, continual SIEM tuning, and administration, periodic vulnerability assessments, automated response, IOC collation from multiple points, etc.

5. Optimized

The optimized SOC level is the best of all. It further optimizes the capabilities of a SOC. Dedicated experts are monitoring and managing this SOC 24/7. The analysts try to detect and prevent attacks before they become an issue. To build the SOC maturity level 5, you need to implement tools that can help with application-level control on devices, host-based intrusion, and detection, network traffic analysis, SOAR, custom dashboards, and flex, etc.

Cost of Building a SOC for Your Organization

The actual cost of building a SOC for your organization completely depends on the maturity level you desire. Based on your requirements and maturity level, the cost can vary vastly. It can also vary based on the three core pillars of building a SOC. Thus, the number of people you hire, what skills they have, the processes you create, and the products you use for security can all act as vital factors in the changing costs of a SOC. Thus, it can easily range from thousands to millions of dollars. Therefore, it all depends on the capabilities you want your SOC to have and the people you hire. However, here’s a rough estimate of how much it can cost to build a SOC.

Wrapping it up

The cost of building a SOC can vary wildly as it depends on a lot of factors. Due to the high costs, not all SMBs or enterprises can afford a robust 24/7 SOC. Hence, SharkStriker’s SOC can prove to be more cost-effective than building one in-house. It saves you from the costs of people, processes, and even products. Thus, you won’t have to spend on infrastructure, resources, people, tools, or anything else. All you need to do is pay a monthly subscription fee, and SharkStriker will take care of the rest, allowing you to focus on what you are best at, running your business. Connect with our experts today to know more about how SharkStriker can deliver the services and benefits of a 24/7 SOC at minimal costs.