Hunting for an Intelligent SOC?

Safalya Mitra   

Almost every company today has at least some defensive cybersecurity equipment like a firewall, intrusion protection, URL filtering, email filtering, and antivirus. These are the right basics to secure your employees against the Wild West that is the internet, but is this equipment enough to keep your company truly safe?

Attackers today are becoming more & more sophisticated and coming up with new loopholes to attack you and your business. On top of it, external factors, of Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions, and the cybersecurity talent shortage, are presenting challenges for security operations centers (SOCs). It has become imperative for SOCs to become more efficient and effective to address not only these rising factors but to also become more “intelligent” to be the preventive measure against a threat.


Intelligent Soc

An intelligent SOC aggregates all security tools and activities, making an organization attack proof against the most sophisticated of threats. An intelligent SOC also makes your organization better at perceiving and managing threats, in the least response time, while driving maximum value from all your security investments in people, process, and technology.

Even today, in spite of the fact that the need for an intelligent SOC has been there for over a decade, the basic outlining principles of an intelligent SOC remain aspirational for most CISOs & SOC managers. Three types of threat intelligence—tactical, strategic, and operational—offer context, attribution, and action and enable a solid foundation for building a SOC and accomplish its essential goals that is to assist the SOC team with making the right decisions when it comes to preventing an attack as well as decreasing the time it takes to discover one in action. The CISOs need to understand the differences among and the specific ways these are used when building a SOC.

Let us now help you evaluate your journey towards an intelligent SOC? Let's take a look at the some of the must-haves that as a CISO or a SOC manager you should look at:


Using multisource threat intelligence to gain visibility. Establishing an intelligent SOC begins with reevaluating how we collate and manage the millions of threat-focused data-points that we are barraged with. Having visibility is of utmost importance so that you can see activities that are otherwise unavailable to you and correlating disparate indicators. An intelligent and responsive SOC will help you collate all this data together from multisource points and then help you translate it into a uniform format for you to make sense of it tactically & strategically.

Advanced Analytics

A smart SOC fails if it cannot prioritize all the alerts it collects & decipher meaningful patterns from it. With new, advanced techniques in machine learning, user and entity behavior analysis (UEBA), and real-time threat intelligence, an evolved SIEM can turn data into insight – this is the shift that industry leaders keep referring to from the term ‘threat intelligence’ to ‘security intelligence’. This allows you to operationalize security intelligence, and you gaining context for analyzing and understanding the relevance to your environment.

As a CISO, you must review how effective and efficient your SOC's analytics capabilities are. In particular, consider how scalable your SIEM platform is, and whether it's evolved sufficiently to handle disparate data sources and types.

Automate whenever feasible

To automate or to not automate! And what precisely to automate - a predicament that many CISOs have lost sleep over. However, in the intelligent SOC, human intervention is a must but certain time-intensive and repetitive manual tasks can surely be automated. An intelligent SOC must feature security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) capabilities that dramatically increase its effectiveness and its peoples. This capability helps reduce noise, so one can focus on what really matters to the organization rather than wasting time and resources chasing meaningless or false alarms. A full SOAR solution will automate the common activities, while orchestration improves your team's process of working through the investigations.

Therefore a CISO should examine how his tools and processes aid in the very important process of dealing with threats once you detect them.

Proactive hunting

Be on top of the latest updates and news about the latest threats and attacks. As soon as you hear of something that’s shaken the security industry, go on a proactive hunt. Look out for patterns, alerts, signals for something that could have been missed. With the Smart SOC platform acting as your virtual war room, work collaboratively with your team sharing threat data, forensics, and evidence

This kind of collaborative effort; updates your SOC platform continuously with new data and learnings, intelligence is reexamined and realigned to support proactive threat hunting breaking down the silos between the security and risk management groups. As a CISO you must educate your Security specialists of such events and gets hands-on with your team to proactively look for threats.

Your journey could entail each and more of these or perhaps only a few of these pointers to be put into place, as components of an intelligent SOC also includes things you already may have in place. As you evolve your SOC to an intelligent SOC, evaluate where are the loopholes of visibility, analytics, automation, and risk for your organization. Having that knowledge is key to building your SOC roadmap that delivers maximum impact and cost-effectiveness for your organization.