Your business’s cybersecurity is not something to take lightly.
And if you’re like many businesses who are focused on a strong cybersecurity posture, you’ve invested in security solutions to ensure threats stay out of your environment.
By partnering with a managed security operations center (SOC), you’re getting the most information from those solutions. A managed SOC analyzes the data you’ve already been collecting. This allows them to see the big picture of what suspicious or malicious activity is happening within your IT environment.
The KR Group has a dedicated security team with combined decades of experience in cybersecurity prevention and response.
We know what’s on the line when you’re looking for a security solution.
While we offer managed SOC services, our goal in this article isn’t to persuade you to partner with us – although we certainly would welcome that opportunity.
Instead, we want to provide information to help you find the best managed SOC for your business.
Some things we want you to consider when picking a managed SOC:
- How comprehensive are their services?
- What is their incident response time?
- When are they monitoring and responding?
- What does your managed SOC include in their contract?
While these are all things we strive for in our managed SOC services, we hope you feel comfortable analyzing our services with the above lenses.
Managed SOC comprehensiveness
Your primary concern should be that your managed SOC will provide a thorough review of the logs they process.
This is how the managed SOC provides security protection. The combination of multiple security platforms gives the provider a big-picture overview of what is going on in your environment, resulting in faster threat identification and remediation.
Along with giving attention to security logs, a managed SOC should analyze logs from various sources.
This includes cloud-based security applications, as well. Even though these solutions aren’t located on-premises, there are still security risks associated with cloud hosting.
Managed SOC services are only as good as the data their sensors process. A managed SOC that doesn’t accept all of your security logs is simply less comprehensive (and thus less desirable) than one that does.
Managed SOC response time
With managed SOC services, you should also look at the response time, or service level agreement, to ensure the provider will alert you of detected malicious traffic promptly.
However, where it becomes a personal preference is what a timely manner means for your business.
No threat should be dismissed for a day or even half a day, but managed SOCs offer various options.
For example, The KR Group’s managed SOC services offer two SLA options.
1. 2-hour SLA
As the name suggests, a 2-hour SLA means your managed SOC notifies you within two hours of detecting an incident. (Keep in mind this does not mean the threat is resolved at this point.)
They have up to two hours to send you a notification, which means it’s common to get an alert before two hours have passed.
This option is generally adequate for the majority of businesses. It ensures a timely alert without paying a premium for the fastest option.
2. 30-minute SLA
On the other hand, this SLA guarantees your managed SOC will alert you within a half-hour of an incident.
This is a good option for businesses concerned about removing threats as soon as possible and need to be notified very quickly. Note, this option does cost more.
Generally, businesses with compliance regulations choose this option to protect the data they store that is regulated. However, at this time, no regulatory committees require a 30-minute SLA.
Of course, these SLA options are just two examples of what we offer, and different providers will have different options.
When it comes to thinking of your managed SOC SLA when choosing a provider, the important thing to remember is to make sure their options work for you now and in the future.
Managed SOC availability
Regardless of what hours your employees work, your IT environment is always running.
This means an attack isn’t restricted to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so you need a managed SOC watching your environment beyond regular business hours.
Additionally, if a threat were to appear, your managed SOC needs to help you respond to it.
Along with being available, you’ll also want to check who will help you respond to a threat. Is the provider a standalone SOC or a co-managed solution?
A dedicated SOC has in-house resources to monitor and secure its customers’ networks. With a co-managed SOC solution, the provider relies on monitoring solutions while supplementing with its own resources.
Managed SOC monitoring plan
Once you make sure your managed SOC will monitor your environment and respond at any time of the day, you need to know how they’ll do it.
Your managed SOC should have a comprehensive strategy for handling threats of any kind.
When it comes to monitoring your IT environment, your managed SOC will need to install a sensor to gather and process the security logs from various devices throughout your environment. The sensor then forwards this information to your managed SOC.
Not all sensors are created equally, though.
Virtual sensors are installed onto your existing virtual servers. They’re the best option for small businesses with space on their virtual server.
On the other hand, hardware sensors are a piece of equipment that you’ll need to install on a physical server. This alternative is a good option for businesses of all sizes who don’t have the virtual space for a sensor.
Managed SOC contract scope
With the above points, you should be able to find a managed SOC that meets your needs. Before you formally partner with them, you’ll want to check that their contract covers everything you need it to.
- Is defense hardware included?
- Do they monitor your environment as a whole or only your endpoints?
- Do the services cover cloud-based applications?
Ultimately, you want the scope of your managed SOC’s services to be broader and incorporate all the elements of your IT environment.
This means they include defense hardware and monitor your entire environment, including cloud-based applications.
For more detailed information about what to look for in a managed SOC contract, read our article, “7 Questions Your Managed SOC Should Answer before You Sign a Contract.”
When you’re looking for a provider you can trust, it’s important to look at the services offered.
To find a managed SOC that will meet your security needs, look at how comprehensive their contracts are.
The best managed SOCs offer a timely response and high availability. They also have a solid incident response plan in place if they detect a threat in your environment.
Overall, the contract’s scope should cover as much of your IT environment as you want to be monitored.
For more information about finding the right managed SOC provider and contract for your business, check out the following articles: