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Hardly a week goes by without another high-profile data security breach hitting the headlines. Just this week, Marriott announced that they discovered an unauthorized data mega-breach that could potentially affect 500 million of its customers. As if that weren’t bad enough, the hotel chain also revealed that the breach may have gone undetected for up to four years.

Organizations are under attack, and those that haven’t yet been targeted by cybercriminals need to take action now to protect their assets, reputation and bottom line because it may only be a matter of time before they find themselves in the crosshairs.

What is SOCaaS?

Shoring up defenses and investing in technology requires the right approach. Not only do security solutions need to offer robust protection, but they also need to provide protection in real time around the clock and alert the people that need to know the moment a security breach happens. Even better, they should offer automated processes that take proactive action immediately.

Security Operations Center as a Service (SOCaaS) is a cloud-based monitoring and analysis solution that detects security events in real-time and provides incident management in compliance with regulations. This unique approach offers organizations the ability to outsource data and network security operations and attain transparent, efficient and dependable privacy and security.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the characteristics you should look for when selecting an outsourced SOC partner.

1. Services tailored to your business
No two organizations are exactly the same and so it makes sense that their security requirements are different, too. Ensure any prospective partner has a good grasp of your business, including the following elements:
• your key business objectives
• your organization’s incident reporting thresholds and appetite for risk
• your operational environment
• the length of time you need your data to be retained

2. Continuous improvement
SOC providers should be capable of adapting their offering to meet the changing needs of their customers and the evolving threat landscape. This requires striking the right balance between security, cost of operations and customer fatigue. Look for a partner that works closely with you to understand security threats and resolutions, that constantly improves its toolsets and strategies and that learns from past experiences.

3. Regulatory compliance
Regulatory compliance is a critical consideration for many organizations. It is not only good practice, but heavy fines could also hit you where it hurts if you fail to comply. When selecting a SOCaaS partner, ensure the solution they provide offers compliance reporting and log retention for the regulations that affect your industry, such as PCI, HIPAA, NERC, and so on. Address data privacy, log collection and retention, forensic capability, firewall zoning, network mapping and encryption signatures are just some of the features you should be looking for. Your SOCaaS provider should also be able to help you to carry out regular assessments of vulnerabilities and reduce the cost and time of preparing an audit.

4. Uninterrupted network and cloud monitoring
Cybercriminals don’t work 9-5 hours, so neither should your SOC. It means you need a solution that will continuously monitor your network and scan for vulnerabilities and malicious activity 24/7. Uninterrupted monitoring by a SOC will immediately detect abnormal activity and any threats to which your network or cloud environment are exposed.

5. Manual and automated containment
Once identified, a cyberthreat needs to be contained quickly to prevent it from causing damage and being spread throughout the environment. In many cases, IT staff will need to manually contain the threat, but there are also times when SOCaaS can automatically execute threat containment according to a predefined set of rules and responses. Automation reduces the burden on IT teams and also ensures fast and efficient containment outside of normal business hours.

6. Scalable Infrastructure
Being able to scale storage and computing resources on demand will ensure your organization has a SOC solution that grows in alignment with the business and is able to achieve deep visibility into advanced cybersecurity threats.

The Power of SOCaaS

As cybercriminals attempt to outpace security capabilities of organizations of all sizes and in all industries, a new approach to data security is required. Attackers understand how to bypass traditional perimeter controls and can sit on a network undetected as long as it remains financially beneficial for them to do so.

As cyberattackers continue to evolve their tactics, it’s time for organizations to do the same. SOCaaS provides the strategies, the tools and the automation that will help you to stay one step ahead and no longer an easy target.

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