What Are Managed SOC Services? [Definition & Description]

The need for cybersecurity protection and monitoring only increases as technology evolves.

Your cybersecurity solutions identify threats from across your network, but they don’t give you a comprehensive picture. That’s where a managed SOC comes in.

Most businesses have acknowledged the need to invest in cybersecurity measures, such as antivirus, anti-spam, firewalls, DNS security, multi-factor authentication, etc.

These do a great job of identifying threats within your environment. However, most businesses don’t have the resources to actively monitor all the logs from across all security platforms.

Here at The KR Group, we now offer managed security operations center (SOC) services to help bridge this security gap and complement our customers’ existing security solutions.

What are managed SOC services?

Managed SOC services monitor and manage suspicious behavior in your IT infrastructure.

This service is a centralized way to collect all of the cybersecurity events logged at a host level (desktop, laptops, tablets, smartphones) and network-level (edge and core switches, routers, firewalls).

It analyzes traffic across all of those devices to get an overall picture of what threats may exist in your environment.

If you were to compare managed SOC services to physical security, it would be like the security guard who can see what traffic is coming into a building while monitoring security cameras for how that traffic behaves once in the environment.

Common questions about managed SOC services

Some of the most common questions we hear about managed SOC services include:  

  1. How do managed SOC services work?
  2. How do managed SOC services improve security posture?
  3. Who benefits from managed SOC services?
  4. Why should businesses consider managed SOC services?

By answering these questions, we hope to give you a better idea of what you can expect with managed SOC services and how it can work with your IT environment.

How do managed SOC services work?

If you have the proper endpoint security measures in place – like the ones we mentioned earlier – your business will be generating lots of data about network traffic.

Whether you have an on-premises cybersecurity engineer or outsource IT needs to a managed service provider, someone is monitoring all of this information, which can quickly add up to tens of thousands of logs per day.

Not only does this person have to review these logs, but they also have to make sense of them.

This is tedious, time-consuming work, and doing it this way leaves room for human error.

A managed SOC uses security information and event management (SIEM) software, a tool that analyzes all of your logged network traffic and makes sense of it. This tool – especially modern ones with integrated AI and machine learning — can look at what is happening across your IT environment and translate it into meaningful information.

For example, if the SIEM software is picking up account lockouts or failed login attempts and privilege escalation, it will send an alert of a suspected breach. 

Based on how aggressive the threat is and what accounts it is trying to breach, the SIEM software will also let you know if it is a low, medium, or high/critical threat.

Managed SOC services are more than SIEM, though. They take this information a step further and put a highly skilled engineer in charge of monitoring identified threats or analogous activity and helping you remediate these issues.

How do managed SOC services improve security?

Managed SOC services improve your security posture by complementing the security measures you already have.

It is not a replacement for your existing security measures but is designed to give you the most value out of the other security measures you have in place.

Extensive security coverage does a great job of protecting your environment, but one of its problems is how it alerts you.

Many security applications require you to manually check for alerts, which means you could miss a threat that exists within your environment.

First, many solutions don’t natively alert you of suspicious activity; you have to check for these alerts manually.

Second, even with reporting configured, most of them will send out daily reports even when nothing suspicious is occurring.

Over time, it becomes easy to ignore these notifications, even when they’re trying to make you aware of a suspected security threat.

Managed SOC services do this work for you by always analyzing reports from all of your security measures to give you meaningful information and direction.

This strengthens your security posture because time is of the essence when it comes to security threats.

Timely identification and recovery from an attack is paramount to the security of your IT environment, and managed SOC services provide this benefit.

Who benefits from managed SOC services?

Managed SOC is for anyone who doesn’t have the resources to have their own IT engineer dedicated to cybersecurity.

A few categories are worth pointing out:

  1. Manufacturing businesses that hold trade secrets, such as patents and design information
  2. Organizations that have sensitive customer or employee information
  3. Organizations that must meet external regulations, such as HIPAA, NIST SP 800-171, GLBA, and PCI-DSS
  4. Organizations with in-house and outsourced IT support

With managed SOC, cybersecurity is streamlined, which means a faster response time if a threat were to emerge. This is something that should interest every business owner.

Why should businesses consider managed SOC services?

Managed SOC services give you a comprehensive and centralized view of suspicious traffic within your IT environment.

This gives you multiple benefits:

1.   Comprehensive overview

Properly deployed managed SOC services not only monitor ongoing data but also can go back and replay and review different types of network traffic and events that occur on the hosts within your environment.

This means you can see what endpoint protection points are and aren’t catching threats.

2.   Faster isolations and removal

With the assistance of your managed SOC team, having a comprehensive overview allows you to respond to a threat easier.

You’re getting alerted sooner and have better insight, so you can respond to any threats faster and minimize their effect within your environment.

3.   Compliancy

More and more regulatory compliance boards (HIPAA, SP 800-171, GLBA, PCI-DSS) are pushing toward audit log reduction.

This means having centralized security logging with someone reviewing them instead of collecting mass amounts of logs with limited ability to make sense of the information.

Signing up for managed SOC services

The possibilities and responses are limitless with a managed SOC. Having someone reviewing your security logs and providing response and remediation 24 hours a day, seven days a week makes the most of your existing security solutions.

By using SIEM software, your managed SOC can succinctly review logs from across your IT environment. This works with the security measures you already have in place to help strengthen your security posture.

For this reason, anyone who has information they want to protect should consider managed SOC.

If you’re still wondering if this includes your business, download and take our free quiz to see how well managed SOC services would fit into your cybersecurity strategy.

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