SOC-as-a-service Vs cloud-based SOC platform comparison

The Pros and Cons and How to Decide Between SOC-as-a-service and SOC Platform

Staying ahead of cybercriminals today is no simple task. In fact, it can come with a great number of challenges. 

First, there is the challenge of having the expertise knowledge of what to look for. Then comes the challenge of knowing how to respond to what is found. Lastly comes the challenge of monitoring, responding, and enhancing these skills around the clock. 

Let’s tackle these ones by one. 

Then there is the challenge around complexity. Many organizations tend to have up to 20 or more different security-focused systems, which include firewalls and antiviruses. These systems generate over a million logs daily and send out hundreds of alerts that need to be reviewed and investigated in order to decide which actions need to take place. Ignoring alerts can result in dire ramifications for the business. But not every organization has the resources to handle them all.

 

Soc aas VS SOC platform

In an aim to overcome these challenges – to eliminate complexity, acquire talent, and reduce costs – many turn to the SOC-as-a-Service solution (SOCaaS) option. Others consider the option for leveraging the capabilities of a cloud-based SOC platform. The security operations center (SOC) is the centralized function in an organization that employs security professionals, design processes, and leverages technology to prevent, detect, analyze, and respond to cybersecurity incidents. Establishing and running an in-house SOC may not always be feasible, as there are many options to choose from. Namely, the systems know-how required for effectively running a SOC is great, and there is a widespread shortage of global cybersecurity talent that has it. Furthermore, there is a high rate of associated costs, as noted above. Accordingly, the combination of these (and other) factors lead many organizations to opt for outsourcing the SOC to a third-party provider of managed security services.

What does each entail? And which is best for you? Let’s take a look

 

SOC-as-a-Service

This is the standard SOCaaS model – whereby organizations use a subscription-based offering to manage cybersecurity through the service provider’s cybersecurity personnel, which includes the SOC manager, and engineers, among others. This team is typically focused on activities such as monitoring, detecting, and investigating threats, and sometimes – but not always, compliance and remediation.

SOCaaS: the pros

Among the benefits of the SOCaaS model are:

  • Costs the wage of a single employee, the right expertise can be covered
  • Leverage and access to multi-disciplinary security experts
  • Real 24/7/365 protection of company protection, rather than an hourly employee being reactive

As such, for organizations that have limited internal expertise and CapEx budgets and who want a fast onboarding to accelerate time-to-value, the SOCaaS option may be well suited for their needs.

SOCaaS: the cons

Comprehensive coverage: the SOCaaS provider does not typically cover the full scope of security needs, including incident response and compliance. The SOCaaS model helps to scale and complement existing security teams and investments.

Leveraging existing security tools: most service providers come with their own portfolio of solutions, whether developed in-house or provided through third-party partnerships, hence will most likely provide partial coverage or will have you replace your current systems infrastructure.

Actionable insights: providers often lack the technology to deliver automated, timely, and easy-to-understand recommendations with on-demand and real-time textual analysis. This often includes hidden fees and no transparency towards your real security situation.

The Cloud-Based SOC Platform

Since SOCaaS usually don’t offer the capabilities above, in reality, this solution can fall short. Think about what would happen when receiving many alerts, what will happen when (dare we say it) ransomware will spread throughout your network…

These capabilities are available with a cloud-based SOC platform option. This option is driven by a platform (vs. a service) that integrates with existing systems as well as provides the technology-driven protection capabilities that may not exist in-house. It covers the full stack of security needs.

As opposed to cyber protection that has been predesigned by the SOCaaS provider, the platform approach delivers technology-centric, automation, and AI-driven protection that enables organizations to take their security operations to a whole new level with:

  • A centralized command through the integration of every security event 
  • Access to an accurate picture of the entire security network all the time 
  • Seamless integration with incumbent security systems and data sources 

Additional pros of the cloud-based platform approach include: 

  • Contextual visibility within and across all systems 
  • Seeing which threats are real and understanding their severity 
  • Prioritized clarity to always know what’s important and what to do about it 

A comparative overview of SOCaaS and the cloud-based SOC platform

Capabilities 
SOCaaS 
Cloud-based SOC platform 
Accelerates detection & response 
Includes threat hunting 
Includes full incident response 
×
Supports compliance 
Requires security expertise in-house 
×
Reduces cost of in-house staff 
Provides full visibility of security posture 
×
Provides automated actionable insights 
×
Cost 
Requires technology investment 
×
Can leverage existing investments 
×
Threat Intelligence 
×

While the debate between Justice League and the Avengers about who is better is everlasting, one can easily identify the right choice when it comes to an external SOC decision.  

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