SOC Operations: 4 Top Challenges

The cyber threat landscape is ever-evolving, and as threats grow more sophisticated – so too must the strategies to prevent them. A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a centralized function within an organization that employs people, processes, and technology to continuously monitor and improve an organization’s security posture while preventing, detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents. With multi-vector attacks, it is no surprise that SOC is becoming an increasingly important part of organizations’ efforts to keep ahead of the latest cybersecurity threats.

In our recent “Do SOC teams have the certainty they need to do their jobs” blog post, we discussed the top three challenges of every SOC: Shortage of cybersecurity skills, too many alerts, and operational overhead. In today’s blog, we will review SOC key operational challenges, including onboarding outsourced security services, sharing enterprise sensitive data, high cost of delivering logs, and meeting security and regulations considerations.

Challenge 1: Onboarding outsourced security services

One of the main challenges of using any outsourced SOC platform-as-a-service is the onboarding process – including a full data-sharing agreement with the vendor. Delivering superior security while complying with both data and security regulations can increase operational costs. Furthermore, additional tools are needed to increase the volume of logs and audit trails and thereby increase operational efficiency. In short, additional overhead we prefer to avoid.

Check Point Infinity SOC is a cloud-based platform that enables SOC analysts to expose, investigate, and shut down attacks faster and with 99.9% precision. With its inherited integration with any Check Point security framework, Infinity SOC offers a simple, unique onboarding process. It does not require deploying additional endpoint agents or redesigning infrastructure to securely send business-critical data to a 3rd party vendor. Infinity SOC use gateway identifiers and statistics already sent to Check Point Infinity ThreatCloud to streamline the onboarding process.

To read more on what you can do to overcome SOC challenges and how Infinity SOC delivers a zero friction implementation and SOC high efficiency, download the whitepaper.

Challenge 2: Enterprise sensitive data sharing

Every SOC vendor that offers managed SOC services or SOC platform-as-a-service receives raw logs from the enterprise for monitoring and analysis. These logs are the critical source of information for analysts. This dependency creates compliance and confidentiality issues as some organizations can’t share logs that unveil sensitive information regarding their network, endpoints, and cloud for example:

  • Entire internal segmentation and layout
  • Hosts names and user names
  • Internal business-related files and sensitive repositories
  • Application usage
  • All network assets and entities (databases, servers, endpoints, and desktops)

Whenever Check Point security gateway (on-premises or cloud-based) or enforcement point (residing on endpoint or mobile device) encounters a suspicious activity, it queries Check Point’s ThreatCloud to determine whether it is malicious. ThreatCloud is a collaborative network and the industry’s largest cloud-driven knowledge base that delivers real-time dynamic security intelligence to security gateways. Check Point Infinity SOC is using data from the queries sent by Check Point security gateways to ThreatCloud. Each query includes connection-related data only, so no private data is shared.

To read more on what you can do to overcome SOC challenges and how Infinity SOC delivers a zero friction implementation and SOC high efficiency, download the whitepaper.

Challenge 3: Logs delivery cost

What seems like a controlled cost solution has hidden disadvantages when sending logs to a 3rd party vendor. The complexity of the IT infrastructure, the diversity of the environment (whether it expands to mobile and cloud), and the organization’s headcount have a material effect on the SOC analysis’ log volume. The higher the log numbers, the costlier the infrastructure, scalability, and security as cost is usually extrapolated by events per second (EPS), the number of protected assets, or type of SOC services/Package.

Check Point Infinity SOC is a cloud-based platform that delivers efficient log-less incident analysis for the security operations center (SOC). It increases security operations efficiency and ROI while avoiding costly log storage with a revolutionary event analysis that does not export or store logs.

Challenge 4: Security and Regulations considerations

Outsourcing a crucial part of security operations, like SOC, means all raw logs will be directly fed to the analyst’s systems in real-time and stored for analysis outside the enterprise perimeter. SOC analysts rely heavily on scanning raw logs. Confidential and strategic data regarding the network (both on-premises and cloud-based), endpoints, and the entire workforce must be under that 3rd party vendor’s jurisdiction.

Shared security responsibility – The 3rd party SOC vendor is responsible for all security aspects related to the enterprise data it holds (with no involvement from the enterprise). It means that enterprise data is no longer stored on-premises; thus, access is gained from the outsourcer SOC framework. The risk of unauthorized disclosure where sensitive information is exposed to unauthorized personnel is out of the enterprise’s control. Moreover, if the SOC framework is breached, the enterprise data will be compromised.

Data localization regulations – Over the past few years, many countries have made noticeable progress regarding enacting laws and set regulations concerning data localization and data sovereignty to ensure personal data regarding citizens (mainly related to Personally Identifiable Information – PII) will not leave the country. It means that all personal data will stay stored or will be processed in-country only.  It creates a logistical and legal complexity when employing the services of an international 3rd party SOC vendor that stores all data for analysis in an external location outside the permitted region.

Since Infinity SOC ingests data and meta-data from enforcement points’ queries, alignment with any data security or sovereignty laws, regulations, and corporate policies is achieved effortlessly. No business-critical data is sent off-premises, and all ThreatCloud queries are automatically saved in the region the customer is obligated to legally.

To read more on what you can do to overcome SOC challenges and how Infinity SOC delivers a zero friction implementation and SOC high efficiency, download the whitepaper.