Managed SOC

DJ Hoeksema | October 21st, 2022

 

The Information Technology world is saturated with daily operational challenges: patches that crash applications, newly discovered vulnerabilities (like this month’s Microsoft Exchange “ProxyNotShell”) requiring immediate resources to assure your organization is not at risk, and end users contacting the understaffed helpdesk for their 3rd password reset this week. In addition to these daily challenges, staffing is a much bigger long-term problem.

Benefits of a Managed SOC

Staffing most helpdesk, system administrator, and network engineering roles is becoming more complicated by the day and, in some areas within the United States, is almost impossible. Staffing shortages are even greater when it comes to security roles. Industry research concludes there are approximately 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity-related jobs globally, over 20% of which are in the United States. Moreover, long-term projections indicate that this gap is not expected to shrink and that the situation might become even worse.

For most organizations, the labor shortage makes it difficult to hire the right people for the security needs of their teams. SpearTip is often asked about why potential partners should choose our managed Security Operations Center (SOC) over creating their own. There are several reasons: the median salary of security staff, the skills gap with tools to be used by the organizations’ new hires, the quick turnover given the high demand for qualified security personnel, avoiding security issues related to understaffing, and the tremendous expense of training new hires. Constructing your own 24/7 managed SOC is genuinely burdensome and expensive, particularly for small and mid-sized businesses (SMB).

Fortunately, there is a market solution that will supply entities of all sizes, industries, and budgets with the cybersecurity protection they need to successfully navigate the current threat landscape and staffing shortages.

The surest way for non-profits, SMBs, MSPs, and enterprise organizations to defend themselves is by aligning with a cybersecurity company like SpearTip, which offers a fully managed SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) staffed with experienced engineers and analysts utilizing a standardized toolset with which they are experienced to fight any threat.

Outsourcing cybersecurity to SpearTip through our SOCaaS model offers all the benefits of an in-house managed SOC at a fraction of the cost: 24/7/365 active monitoring of your infrastructure, a team of experts with numerous industry certifications, vast knowledge of security toolsets, and experience in using those tools to counter large scale cyberattacks.

Because a managed SOC utilizes the industry-best toolsets in its operations, the robust cybersecurity delivered is the premier solution. For one, IT teams do not have to be awake throughout the night or on weekends—when 75% of all cyber attacks occur—monitoring alerts or responding to observed threats as full-service SOCs, like threat actors, operate non-stop.

The team at SpearTip’s SOC recently handled a security incident involving a partner school district that provides a case in point regarding the superior benefits of aligning with a managed SOCaaS.

The education sector has recently been under assault from threat actors targeting critical data related to students and internal operations. This information is valuable and seen as high leverage in ransom negotiations. Just a few weeks back, over the long Labor Day weekend, the Los Angeles Unified School District, which serves approximately 600,000 students and boasts a $20 billion dollar budget saw 500GB of sensitive information (some of which is regulated under FERPA) leak online following a ransomware attack. A managed SOCaaS alliance could have prevented the attack.

A school district to which we provide our managed SOCaaS recently experienced a business email compromise (BEC) in which threat actors stole credentials through an advanced phishing campaign. Before joining our team, this school district, like most, lacked 24/7 security monitoring. While schools and school districts tend to have IT professionals on staff for technology maintenance or software issues, they are severely understaffed and don’t allocate much money to cybersecurity: approximately .013% of the Federal education budget is directed at cybersecurity.

Given all these factors, when our partner school was phished during the weekend in the middle of the night, no school IT employee noted the intrusion and, as a result, they did not remediate when the first indicators of compromise (IoC) became known.

Fortunately, they had our team at SpearTip actively monitoring their networks. With the ability to immediately respond to and remediate the threat on behalf of our partner once the IoC is identified, SpearTip prevented the threat actor from gaining access to sensitive data, thus assuring the environment remained safe.

While this is just one example of the benefits received when aligning with our managed SOCaaS, it is emblematic of how small, mid-sized, and enterprise entities alike can overcome the current worker shortage and financial constraints of building out their own 24/7 Security Operations Center. SpearTip already has the team, knowledge, availability, and experience to immediately harden the cybersecurity of any environment, but only if you reach out and initiate a partnership before the inevitable breach occurs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specific steps involved in implementing a managed SOC solution?

Implementing a managed SOC solution typically involves several steps. First, an assessment of the organization's security needs and requirements is conducted. This includes identifying the systems, applications, and data that need protection. Then, the managed SOC provider will design and implement the necessary infrastructure, such as deploying security sensors, setting up network monitoring tools, and configuring security incident and event management systems. Additionally, the provider will establish processes for threat detection, incident response, and ongoing monitoring. Training and knowledge transfer may also be provided to ensure that the organization's internal teams are well-equipped to collaborate with the managed SOC.

How does a managed SOC differ from traditional in-house security operations centers?

A managed SOC differs from traditional in-house security operations centers in several ways. Firstly, with a managed SOC, the organization outsources the responsibility of monitoring, detecting, and responding to security incidents to a third-party provider. This allows the organization to benefit from the expertise and resources of the managed SOC provider, reducing the need for internal staffing and training. Secondly, a managed SOC often leverages advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to enhance threat detection capabilities. This can provide more proactive and effective security monitoring compared to traditional approaches. Lastly, a managed SOC typically operates on a 24/7 basis, ensuring continuous monitoring and response to security events, even during weekends and holidays.

What are the potential limitations or drawbacks of relying on a managed SOC for cybersecurity needs?

While a managed SOC offers several advantages, there are potential limitations or drawbacks to consider. One limitation is the loss of direct control over security operations. Since the organization relies on a third-party provider, there may be less visibility and control over the specific processes and tools used in the managed SOC. Additionally, the organization may face challenges in integrating the managed SOC with existing security infrastructure, such as integrating with internal incident response teams or other security tools. Another potential drawback is the reliance on external expertise. If the managed SOC provider experiences a shortage of skilled analysts or faces resource constraints, it could impact the effectiveness and responsiveness of the service. Therefore, organizations should carefully evaluate the provider's reputation, track record, and capacity before committing to a managed SOC solution.

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