Nowadays, many organisations struggle with security threats. In particular, organisations in industries that hold vast amounts of valuable data are interesting targets for hackers and cybercriminals. They search for gaps in the organisation’s networks and systems, and they won’t hesitate for a second when they find them. Due to the valuable identifiable personal information, sensitive data, or patented technologies these businesses hold, they often become prime targets.
That’s why these organisations, in turn, use a number of security technologies to protect themselves against cybercrime. Unfortunately, these security technologies often cost quite a lot of money and are very complex to manage. They often generate overwhelming amounts of data that is hard to manage and monitor.
That’s why a growing number of organisations opt for a SIEM solution. It’s a popular technology with numerous benefits, but it also requires quite an investment from the people, processes, and technology of an organisation. That’s why many organisations opt for managed detection and response (MDR) by a managed security operations centre (SOC) service provider. But what is a managed SOC service provider? And what are the benefits to your organisation? We’ll tell you all about that.
What is a managed SOC service provider?
As we mentioned above, deploying a security incident and event management (SIEM) in your organisation requires quite an investment. That’s why organisations often find it hard to obtain the benefits of this security technology. When you choose a managed SOC service provider, a third party, or managed security service provider (MSSP), has full responsibility for the security operations. All security activities are outsourced to this service provider.
When choosing an MSSP, the SIEM lives in the cloud or on-prem, being managed by the SOC service provider. The service provider monitors all the events that come through on the SIEM. On top of that, the MSSP is responsible for patching and updating the SIEM and provides your organisation with reports and log events to ensure you still have visibility in the SIEM.
A managed SOC service provider improves the overall security of your organisation. But that’s not all, it also helps you better manage the compliance requirements and drastically improves the time necessary to detect and respond to security threats.
5 benefits of a managed SOC service provider
So, now that you know what a managed SOC service provider is, you probably want to hear more about its benefits for your organisation. We have listed 5 important benefits below.
1. Proactive threat detection
Organisations that produce a large amount of data often find it challenging to detect threats. As you can imagine, it’s a very time-consuming process to scan all this data for possible phishing, malware or other cyber-criminal activity. SIEM solutions make it easier to identify malicious activities. And a managed SOC service provider will make sure that possible threats are proactively detected.
On top of that, an MSSP gives organisations a bigger picture of all security events and incidents. Precise and easy-to-understand dashboards display security information and dramatically increase the possibility of acting on or preventing cyber attacks from happening. Security data logs from enterprise security controls, applications, host operating systems and other software components are brought together to identify threats and possible cyber attacks. And, in contrast with single-host solutions, a SIEM solution can identify malicious activity across an entire organisation.
Services provided by the managed SOC service provider will vary, from offering just threat detection and alerting services for you to act upon, to offering full detection, protection and threat hunting services. When offered as a service and a threat is detected, an MSSP is able to immediately protect your entire network from being compromised. The managed SOC service provider communicates with other security systems in your network and flags threats for those security systems in place as well. By proactively protecting the entire system, a lot of damage can be prevented.
“Do you want your talented team members to be staring at flickering alert notifications on monitors all day? Of course not. Use their talent to strengthen and mature your organisation's security strategy instead.” - Remco Hobo, Head of Cybersecurity, Nomios
2. Security experts monitor your network 24/7
Choosing a managed SOC service provider means that you give a third party full responsibility for your security operations. This has a few important benefits for your organisation. First of all, you enjoy the 24/7/365 support of security experts. This costs you a fraction of what it would cost to have around-the-clock in-house monitoring for a SIEM solution. With an MSSP, you have security experts monitoring your network 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.
And these security experts do more than just monitor your network at all times. They also log activities on your network and use their skills, knowledge, and experience to identify, analyse, and progress any security issue that may arise. These security experts are always on call, they are proactive and will take the actions required on your behalf on any equipment or security tools that you provide.
Security experts work closely with threat researchers to make sure that the SIEM solution keeps working optimally and to ensure that rule sets are correctly written. If you kept the responsibility of your SIEM solution in-house, you’d require numerous expensive experts to receive the same amount of support as you would have when you choose an MSSP.
3. A managed SOC service provider only sends threat alerts when they truly matter
To detect possible threats to your network, you need to create alert rules. If you opt for a standard SIEM solution, which you manage in-house, there will be numerous preloaded standard alerts set up in the system. The security data logs will come flowing in and thousands to hundreds of thousands of alerts will be generated. Clearly, it’s almost impossible to handle all of these alerts; your security team simply doesn't have enough people to deal with them.
What's more, not all preloaded alerts are as critical as they might seem. The threats they flag often don’t correlate with each other, thus tying seemingly separate events together to identify a threat. They also rarely perform behavioural analysis in order to discover what’s normal and what’s abnormal behaviour. As a result, alerts may be generated that aren’t that critical.
A managed SOC service provider saves your organisation valuable time and resources by only sending through threat alerts that truly matter and require your action.
4. Lack of talented resources
“Do you want your talented team members to be staring at flickering alert notifications on monitors all day? Of course not”, says Remco Hobo, Head of Cyber Security at Nomios. “Use their talent to strengthen and mature your organisation's security strategy instead.”
If you choose to manage your own SIEM solution, you need in-house experts and security personnel to manage and monitor that solution. When you only have a small security team working at your organisation, it’s pretty likely that they need their time to work on other important projects aimed at maturing your security posture for example. With an MSSP, your in-house team will have time to respond to issues when it matters most. That’s why a managed SOC service provider is a good option when you have limited resources.
On top of that, most SIEM solutions have tons of data to go through, numerous preloaded standard alerts that are being generated, and too much development needs that have to be done on a daily basis. In short, this means that to get any value from a SIEM solution, you’ll need a number of experienced security experts working on it full time. In terms of people, an MSSP reduces the need to employ a security team dedicated to the SIEM solution at your organisation.
5. Time and budget well spent
The costs of SIEM solutions vary greatly. For mid-to-large-sized organisations, price tags with six digits aren’t uncommon. If your organisation even has the budget available to spend this kind of money, there is usually little budget left to implement the SIEM solution in the organisation right away. The phrase “money well spent” therefore doesn’t apply here. A managed SOC service provider is usually offered for a monthly fee that is much more affordable and predictable. In addition, it eliminates the need to spend a part of your budget on hiring new security personnel to manage the SIEM solution and giving them the training they need.
An MSSP also saves your organisation a lot of time. After purchasing a SIEM, you want to see results as soon as possible. But your security team probably needs some time and training before they have it all figured out. A service provider gets the security operations center up and running in no time and therefore reduces your time-to-value.
The best managed SOC solution for your organisation
In a nutshell, a managed SOC service provider gives you the essential security expertise and resources your organisation needs to establish and maintain your security operations.
When evaluating what the best SIEM solution is for your organisation, Nomios can introduce you to the key elements to take into account when selecting the SIEM solution that’s right for you. The Nomios managed SOC team provides 24/7 monitoring, advice, and action to ensure you've got full visibility of your network, and the ability to quickly and decisively act on security events.
Read more about our SOC service managed detection & response.