Keeping Your Organization Secure with Limited SOC Resources

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Organizations face a growing threat from cybercriminals while struggling to find qualified security professionals who can protect their infrastructure and sensitive data. This blog will explore the concept of a Security Operations Center (SOC) and the role of SOC analysts in securing your organization. We will also discuss how your organization can leverage automation to improve SOC effectiveness and fill in the gaps when you cannot support a full staff of security professionals.

SOC Analyst Roles and Responsibilities

SOC analysts are cybersecurity professionals whose daily tasks are focused on keeping an organization safe from threats to infrastructure and data. SOC analysts typically come from an IT background and possess an acute curiosity, a desire for continuous learning, and strong analytical abilities. While experience in software engineering or system administration is helpful, much of the training associated with this role happens in real time due to the continuous evolution of cyberattacks.

SOC analysts typically begin their careers in tier-one roles on the frontlines. They are responsible for monitoring systems and security tools, reviewing initial incidents, and resolving or escalating incidents to more experienced personnel. More experienced tier-two analysts are responsible for resolving more complicated incidents and performing in-depth analyses to determine the scope of attacks. The primary focus of analysts at both levels is responding to security threats in an appropriate and timely manner.

Tier-three analysts take a different and more proactive approach to cybersecurity. They might also be called ethical hackers, penetration testers, or threat hunters. Analysts in these roles strive to think like the enemy and find vulnerabilities and exploits before those with evil intent do.

Ideally, your organization should have a cybersecurity team or Security Operations Center staffed with professionals at each tier, providing reactive and proactive protection from external and internal threats. Unfortunately, the scarcity of qualified, competent professionals and limited budgets make this a challenging requirement. Let’s look at how your organization can utilize automation to reduce costs and  increase efficiency.

Reduce Costs and Improve Efficiency with Automation

There are two ways you can utilize your SOC team. The first approach is to rely on them to identify vulnerabilities and protect your infrastructure from attacks. However, the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t scale well, and given the scarcity of qualified SOC analysts in the marketplace, you’ll have a hard time staffing a team to support your entire business.

The second approach is to use your SOC resources to build a security culture within your organization and help them deputize all employees. You’ll dramatically improve your security effectiveness when everyone in your company shares ownership in protecting your infrastructure and sensitive data.

For the second approach to be effective, you’ll need to provide everyone with appropriate tools and reduce any friction in using those tools. You can accomplish this by incorporating security into your processes and automating it as much as possible. Automation is critical if you want to ensure that you scrutinize all code and infrastructure changes before deployment into your production environment.

Automation will help you effectively implement secure processes throughout your digital ecosystem. It also supplements and supports your SOC team’s daily tasks.

Extending SOC Resources with a Security Platform

One of the principles embraced by successful enterprises is that of core competencies. While a security team is essential, it’s unlikely that operational security is your organization’s core competency. In cases like this, partnering with a third-party platform built on the core competency of cybersecurity will improve the effectiveness of your SOC aspirations.

Platforms like Torq are built with organizations like yours in mind. They strive to reduce the barrier of entry to security while offering access to industry best practices. A comprehensive security automation platform allows you to seamlessly add vulnerability scans and checks into your development workflows so that they become part of the process. When you automate security as part of the workflow, you can ensure that all changes are checked and not skipped due to time crunches or human error.

In addition to supporting the development process, a comprehensive security platform provides your SOC team with resources to stay current with the latest threats as well as tools to protect your organization.

Let’s explore how a security platform like Torq can help you secure your infrastructure and critical data resources.

Threat Detection

A well-designed security platform can help eliminate noise generated by false positives and focus on legitimate threats. An effective platform combines this with automated workflows, reducing the time between detection and mitigation.

Easy-to-Integrate Tools

You don’t want the additional overhead of having to reconfigure your deployment pipelines. A good security platform should include templates and plug-ins that are easy to apply and that integrate seamlessly across your organization.

Compliance

Depending on your industry and the countries in which you operate, you may also face privacy and security requirements. Your security solution should be certified to support GDPR, HIPAA, and other applicable laws and standards. Using a thoroughly-tested and certified platform like Torq ensures that your security initiative enhances compliance.

Take Action Today

The best time to implement a robust and comprehensive security solution was yesterday. Still, you can get started today by reaching out to the professionals at Torq to learn more about their platform and how they’ve helped other organizations achieve their security goals.


Mike Mackrory is a Global citizen who has settled down in the Pacific Northwest - for now. By day he works as an Engineer Manager for a DevOps team, and by night he writes and tinkers with other technology projects. When he's not tapping on the keys, he can be found trail-running, hiking and exploring both the urban and the rural landscape with his kids. Always happy to help out another developer, he has a definite preference for helping those who bring gifts of gourmet donuts, craft beer and/or Single-malt Scotch.


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