Security Operations Centers are often the first line of defense between large companies and cybercrime. Or, to put it another way, between protecting an organization’s corporate cybersecurity and succumbing to a cyberattack that could cause serious losses, both economically speaking, and in terms of reputation and image.

But the fact remains that, despite their being vital, SOCs have before them four challenges they need to tackle in order to continue being the flood barrier between a company and possible vulnerabilities. To begin with, there is the issue of budgets. According to the report Economic Impact of Cybercrime – No Slowing Down, in the case of organizations, the economic impact of cybercrime reaches nearly $600 billion annually. This is due, primarily to the sophistication of cybercriminals, the increased number of users online (and the personal data that goes along with them), and the proliferation of organized groups who are becoming increasingly specialized in trying to exploit security breaches in companies.

But this isn’t the only problem. Security Operations Centers are also facing an extraordinary increase in the volume of security alerts that plague IT systems. This increase requires a greater prevention and response capacity. But it can also cause problems when it comes to prioritization: with the constant bombardment of alerts that may be of lesser importance, the alerts that pose the greatest risk may end up being neglected, since a large swathe of resources will be earmarked for lesser threats, or even false positives.

On the other hand, SOCs also face another issue that is becoming more and more common in technological industries, and is especially worrying in the IT security sector: a shortage of qualified staff specialized in cybersecurity. According to the analysis carried out by Cybersecurity Ventures, by 2021, there will be around 3.5 million cybersecurity related jobs that will be unfilled due to a lack of experienced professionals. In fact, fewer that 1 in 4 candidates fulfill all the needs required by the job, and many companies end up recruiting students.

This is not a small problem. Even if professionals work with automated cybersecurity solutions, background knowledge is essential, since they will have to analyze different breaches and alerts, classify them, and prioritize them so that the software they use knows how to act in each case. Besides this, in case of possible intrusions, the professional will need to make certain decisions very quickly, which means that experience will always be of extra value. However, the lack of qualified talent makes it harder to have the right profiles in SOCs, something that seriously worries 62% of companies.

Finally, automating processes also goes hand in hand with a certain challenge: managing and analyzing all that data. If no cybersecurity can be exhaustive without using big data, machine learning or artificial intelligence, managing all these tools becomes essential in any SOC. According to the Security Operations Survey for 2018 carried out by SANS, the professionals who work in these centers can be overwhelmed by all the technologies that they need to manage. This often ends up leading to a suboptimal cohesion of all the data being received and processed. This can in turn lead to worse consequences: cybersecurity analysts may not be able to examine many alerts if they alone are monitoring them. Or, they may at times decide to carry out manual analyses in order to correlate data and be able to examine each possible vulnerability. This task could be avoided if they had appropriate technologies.

Likewise, the results of a recent survey reveal that IT directors are overwhelmed by the growing number of attacks and their increasing complexity. 26% of IT teams’ time is spent managing security. However, 86% agree that there is room for improvement where security is concerned, and 80% need a stronger team to detect, investigate and respond to security incidents. One solution is to have tools that increase the level of maturity in the organization’s hunting process, as well as to allow them to standardize their workflow.

Resources optimized to fight cybercrime_

If companies and large organizations really want to protect their corporate cybersecurity and avoid cybercriminal activity with an effective SOC, they need to opt for an advanced cybersecurity model that involves making efficient use of all their resources and exposing them to technologies that allow them to do so.

Cytomic Orion is our Threat Hunting and Incident Response solution. As well as standardizing data models, it allows you to import and export indicators such as IoAs and IoCs.

By using the technology necessary to improve the process of identifying, investigating, containing and remediating possible cybersecurity threats that are taking place in a company’s IT system, it speeds up detection and response times.

Through the use of threat hunting and data evaluation, Cytomic Orion is able to analyze active processes to search for possible anomalies or conspicuous behavior. If any of these indicators are detected, it will investigate them, and, if the threat is real, it will respond and mitigate it.

With this process, the solution is able to stop cyberattacks even before they have a chance to take effect and achieve their targets. This is even true of cyberattacks caused by employees or cybercriminals who use legitimate tools and applications to get around the organization’s security controls.

The fact is that, as we said at the start, Security Operations Centers are the best barrier between an organization and its possible cyberattackers. This means that the trustworthiness of the SOC also depends on how well and how efficiently it can work to protect the organization’s cybersecurity. Indeed, Cytomic was created to be the best ally of SOCs, providing them with a team of experts and the best tools to deal with the enormous challenges that they have to face.