7 Steps to Building A Security Operations Center (SOC)

Most Organizations are Not Equipped to Staff a 24X7 SOC

Unfortunately, cyberattacks such as WannaCry and Petya/NotPetya are increasingly becoming the norm. Keeping up with the growing rate of cybersecurity threats may seem impossible when your business is lacking in-house security resources and staff — so, building an automated Security Operations Center is often the ideal solution.

While most companies aren’t completely lacking in the development of a cybersecurity framework, many organizations report that they are not equipped and/or cannot afford to staff a 24×7 in-house security operations center (SOC).

What does this mean? If you are without a functioning SOC, your organization could be at risk for major delays in detecting and responding to incidents. Threatening or anomalous events could go unmonitored and your business is at a far greater risk of falling victim to a cyberattack. Other consequences of not having a SOC include:

  • Your enterprise is not consistently monitored around the clock.
  • There are major delays in responding to incidents.
  • Potentially damaging security incidents may go completely unnoticed.
  • Job satisfaction is low due to the overwhelming workload and a high amount of manual work.

Do any of these pain points sound familiar? While these are common challenges, they are not sustainable. For organizations caught between the prohibitive cost of designing a formal SOC and the wholly inadequate protection from an informal SOC, there is a solution: Build a security operations center that automates as much work as possible so your skilled staff can focus on what is most important.

What is a Security Operations Center?

A security operations center is the central “hub” in which internal IT and cybersecurity teams within an organization participate in threat detection, analysis, and response. An intelligent SOC enables security teams to:

  • Build an adaptive SIEM architecture
  • Leverage advanced security analytics
  • Explore integrated threat intelligence
  • Automate incident responses
  • Investigate and visualize threats and solutions

How to Build a SOC to Detect and Respond to Threats Fast Without In-House Staff

With the help of James Carder, LogRhythm CISO and VP of LogRhythm Labs, we’ve outlined how to build a SOC designed to fit your business’ unique needs. In just seven steps, Mr. Carder draws on his 20+ years of security and SOC implementation experience to compile and share what he’s learned when it comes to building a right-sized SOC.

The SlideShare below provides an in-depth guide to building the right SOC for your business, as well as considerations along the way. However, we’ve summarized our seven steps to designing and building a Security Operations Center below:

Seven Steps to Building Your SOC

As you explore the process of how to build a SOC, you’ll learn to:

  1. Develop your security operations center strategy
  2. Design your SOC solution
  3. Create processes, procedures, and training
  4. Prepare your environment
  5. Implement your solution
  6. Deploy end-to-end use cases
  7. Maintain and evolve your solution

Explore the full SlideShare here.

SOC implementations can be expensive and their costs might be difficult to justify. However, the only effective way you need to be able to stay one step ahead of cybersecurity threats is with strong security automation architecture. Building a SOC, even with limited resources, is the answer to your security problem.

Why Building and Implementing a SOC is so Important

Aside from general increased vulnerability to cybersecurity attacks and their consequences, not having an efficient Security Operations Center workflow can make it near impossible to mitigate risks and implement solutions effectively.

How to Build a Security Operations Center with Limited Resources

Building a SOC is a huge endeavor that often causes management to balk at the price of implementation. The best way to ensure that any SOC investment is money well spent is to engage with a SIEM partner like LogRhythm. To provide additional guidance on how to build and budget for a SOC, check out our free white paper download, How to Build a SOC with Limited Resources

In this SOC Whitepaper we outline additional aspects to building a SOC on a budget. You’ll learn:

  • How to fuse people, process, and technology to create a highly effective and efficient SOC—even with limited resources
  • What makes a SOC effective
  • Estimating SOC costs and savings
  • Cost comparisons of various SOC staffing models
  • Steps for building a SOC with limited resources

If you’re ready to get started with a SOC implementation today, give us a call at 1-866-384-0713 or contact us online.

Post originally published August 30, 2017 and updated June 2020.