How To Set Up An Effective Security Operations Center

With the prevalence of cybersecurity issues in today’s world, you need to set up a practical framework to protect data in your organization from any potential threats. For this purpose, you need a security operations center (SOC). This is an entity within your organization composed of people, processes, and tools that monitor, protect, and improve the security of your IT systems.

So, how do you set up an effective SOC? Here are four critical steps for your consideration.

  1. Build A Skilled Team

You should have enough staff with the necessary skill set to detect, contain, and respond to a data breach. You’ll need:

  • Triage Specialists: They analyze the relevance and severity of incoming alerts.
  • Incident Responders: They use threat intelligence tools to identify and fix affected systems.
  • Threat Hunters: They identify and contain threats that may have crept into your network without detection.
  • SOC Managers: They supervise the team’s activities and perform general managerial duties, such as hiring, training, and assessing staff.

Despite the benefits associated with such a team in your organization, building an in-house SOC team can be expensive, especially if you’re operating a small business. You’ll have to consider their paychecks, space for setting up the operations post, the equipment, and so forth.

For this reason, you may want to outsource managed service providers (MSPs), such as Netsurit’s IT services in New York. Such consultancy companies will provide you with expert SOC services at reasonable flat monthly rates.

  1. Establish Standard Operating Procedures

This step entails the establishment of procedures required to oversee the general protection of your business’s physical and digital assets. The procedures act as a checklist for the maintenance processes. For this reason, you should establish them with much consideration to cover all security areas. They’re very important, as they offer clarity on each team member’s responsibilities, thereby ensuring the efficiency of the security department. The processes fall under the following categories:

  • Observing
  • Alerting
  • Forwarding
  • Investigating
  • Incident reporting
  • Compliance monitoring

To ensure smooth transition of the workflow, you should know the end points of your tasks, so that in the event of an attack, you know what part of the process you should focus on and to what extent. Knowing what part to play enables you to pass the results on to the next phase of operations at the appropriate time.

  1. Gather The Requisite Tools

To effectively detect and respond to cyber threats, you need to have the right tool kit in place. For this, you should establish quality and cost-effective technologies that’ll ensure transparency and information flow across your networks.

The technologies should be structured based on:

  • Your operational environment. This may be cloud, in-house, or hybrid.
  • The type of threats you face, such as phishing, malware, password cracking, and more.
  • The compliance regulations you’re expected to uphold, such as International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and so forth.

You should understand how your tools are connected so that you can find ways to optimize data flow within your system. This is important, as in the event of a data breach, you’ll be able to identify the point of data loss.

Some tools include:

  • Asset discovery tools: An automated inventory will spot any new asset in the system.
  • Vulnerability assessment tools: These tools identify the attack surfaces (vulnerabilities) and close them before they escalate.
  • Behavioral monitoring tools: A good example of this is the Forensic Toolkit (FTK), which identifies anomalies in your system.
  • Intrusion detection: Use intrusion detection systems (IDSs) to identify known attacks and known attacker activity.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) tools: These cover the entire monitoring scope by incorporating all the monitoring tools. They monitor various systems, including application and database scanners; endpoint detection and remediation (EDR); governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) systems; threat intelligence platforms (TIP); intrusion prevention systems (IPS); and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA).
  1. Review Your SOC Operations

In this step, you should review the success of your SOC operations. Also, you should identify any areas of weakness and improve them. To analyze your SOC, you should do the following:

  • Determine the extent of the review process and build a team for the process.
  • Establish a concise methodology to guide the review process.
  • Determine the review frequency. It should preferably be done every few weeks.
  • Prioritize results and action steps that implement the necessary changes.

To effectively review your SOC, you could use a framework of your company’s key performance indicators (KPIs). Poor performance on the scale is an indication of the need to review and update your SOC system.


To protect your business from cyberattacks, you should set up an effective security operations center. If you don’t have sufficient resources to do this, you may outsource IT consultancy services.

This article highlights the major steps you must follow to set up an all-encompassing and functional SOC system. You need to employ skilled staff and train them, define the processes required to run the SOC, incorporate updated technologies, and perform system updates and reviews. This way, you’ll have a powerful SOC system that’ll keep your business assets safe.