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text 2018-10-19 08:27
Importance of SOC (Security Operations Center) for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

With an increasing number of threats in the world, small and mid-sized businesses are facing numerous issues. They are keen to find security services which fit their budgets and yet provide proper security services. An important problem that SMBs (small and mid-sized businesses) face is lack of personnel to build and function their own SOC (Security Operation Center). Due to this, the Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) process is out of reach. Eventually, many such organizations are turning towards the way of outsourcing SOC as a Service which can suit their organization's needs and improve the security posture. Several small to mid-sized companies face the "trio of the cyber security troubles" as follows:

  • Recent ransomware like Petya and WannaCry caught the world in their evil grip but in a more modern way.

  • With the increasing number of cyber threats, there is an increase in the security expertise scarcity creating over 3.5 million cyber security openings by 2021.

  • As per the Verizon’s DBIR report, hackers are targeting on small and mid-sized businesses and creating a havoc in them as they lack proper SOC (Security Operations Center) services.

As a consequence, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are finding ways on how they can deal with so many upcoming challenges. Therefore, they are going to the reputed security service providers who can implement SOC as a Service. Although, this is a right decision, yet exploring and choosing the correct SOC service provider is not that easy. If your vendor lacks proper and mandatory amenities for the effective SOC with a plain focus on managed detection, then this can turn to a bigger loophole in your security posture.

 

If you too are stuck on how to choose a smart security provider, then you can follow the below checklist. It guides you to search for a comprehensive SOC service. The checklist includes:

 

Complexity level

 

A recent Gartner study identified that MDR (managed detection and response) is a fast-growing market. The detection is obviously used to recognize the threats, but the SOC should also provide prevention and IR (incident response) in case of a disaster.

A comprehensive security package like decisive and effective IR, protection from DDoS attack, ransomware, data breach, and disaster recovery is all you need when you consider a SOC. If the vendor doesn't provide 24/7 SOC and IR services, then it should not be termed as SOC

.

Real-Time Threat Analysis

 

Monitoring the threats in real-time with the use of detection services and forensics is a crucial task for SOC. It should be for all the security incidents on the basis of 24/7. The scanty staff in the security team can't handle the noisy and complex SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tools. They can't strain out the false alarms and hence the performance level doesn't stay up to the mark for vital security matters.

You have to make sure that the SOC provider has the abilities of smart detection of the threats round the clock so that you can sleep peacefully.

 

Armed Threat Hunting

 

With the burgeoning techniques of hacking and hackers getting smart, it is very tedious to detect every single type of attack. Staying armed means, the network has to stay prepared in advance and search for the threats proactively. This would result in auto-adjustment of the network as per the latest cyber-attacks which could be just a few hours ago. This is a huge responsibility of the security specialists. It calls for learning the different and unique requirements of the client's network and hunt down the threats which can still pass on through the detection process. For this method to work, we need relevant and efficient threat-intelligent sources, machine learning techniques, and choosing everything which can help in one or the other way to find valid security incidents impacting the consumers.

 

Compliance Control

 

Compliances are a vital factor while implementing the SOC. Every SOC should compulsorily have some compliances like PCI DSS, HITECH, HIPAA, GLBA, FFIEC, and some other standards that high-quality industries must bind to. The compliance organizations must provide templates for recommended security checks and vulnerability assessments and see whether the businesses are abiding by the given regulatory measures.

 

Not just hackers can cost you big bucks, but not having required compliances can lead you to pay penalties as well! You must make sure that all these things are handled by your SOC service provider.

 

Strategic Advising

 

After monitoring the network and hunting for the upcoming threats, the security engineers will get an in-depth understanding of your company's network. This knowledge of network topology, places of the vital assets will help them to protect those with a proper defense strategy. You should demand this from the outsourced SOC provider as this contributes to designing and improving the security posture.

Instead of having a just scalable cloud-based technology, an outlined IR (Incident Response) process and a team of well-trained security specialists shall persuade the clients to get insights into their organization's security posture. Further, this helps in improving and running the business processes more effectively.

 

Defined Pricing

 

Pricing is the issue which everyone faces. Make sure that your prices don't fluctuate every single time because this would deteriorate the trust of your consumers. The SOC service provider should make fixed pricing plans. The rates shall vary on the number of sensors and users instead of log data's volume and servers monitored. Such predictable and defined pricing models are essential for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs). These organizations struggle with the fluctuating costs and can't afford highly expensive managed services. Therefore, the SOC providers should not have unpredictable costs.

 

To summarize

 

All these factors are important to consider while choosing the SOC provider. This checklist will guide you to know which things you should not compromise when you want to outsource the SOC provider. You can further read why SOC is important here.

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text 2018-09-21 06:38
Know About SOC (Security Operations Center) and the Rise of SIS (Security Insight Services)

What is SOC?

SOC i.e., Security Operations Center is that army which protects you from the terrorists named as cyber-attacks and online threats. Having said that, it resembles the 24/7 hardworking forces dedicated to preventing, detecting, assessing, and responding to the cyber threats and vulnerabilities. The team is highly skilled and organized with the mission of continuously monitoring and improving the security posture of an organization.

 

The Strategy of SOC

 

The SOC strategy has to be business-specific and clearly outlined. It strictly depends upon the support and sponsorship of executive levels otherwise it’s not possible for SOC to work properly. The SOC must be an asset to the rest of the organization. The aim of SOC should be catering to the company’s needs and a strong sponsorship from the executives is mandatory to make it successful.

 

The Infrastructure

 

Careful planning is the key to make any model successful. Same is the case with the SOC environment design. The aspects like physical security, layout, and electrical arrangements for the equipment, lighting, and acoustics must be considered properly. The SOC needs to have specific areas like a war room, an operational room, and the offices for supervisors. There must be proper visibility, comfort, control, and efficiency in every single area and therefore the design should be in consideration with these aspects.

 

The Technological Environment

 

After the mission and scope of the SOC, designing the underlying infrastructure is important. As several components are mandatory to build a comprehensive technological environment like firewalls, breach detection solutions, IPSs/IDSs, probes, and SIEM of course, to name a few. Efficient and effective data collection is primarily essential for a perfect SOC. Packet captures, telemetry, data flows, Syslog, and many such events are vital to collect, correlate, and analyze from the perspective of security. It is also essential to monitor the information and data about the vulnerabilities which can affect the complete ecosystem.

The Team and Processes

 

Although, technical aspects are highly important, still the huge and high-tech control room would be worthless if it doesn’t have people and proper functions/processes.

 

Just like a fully equipped car is useless without a driver, an organization is empty without human resources and policies. Technology, processes, and people are the pillars of SOC.

As we know, SOC is a Team and every winning team shall follow some rules. Apart from engineers, analysts, and dev-ops people, there will be leaders and the leadership skills are necessary for everyone. There will be several tiers assigned to different team members. The analysis based on the real event monitoring, security incident/data breach detection,

response to the incidents, and finally the remediation of those happenings. The paramount of the organization is coordination, collaboration, efficiency, and timing. Every member has to be aware of the strategy and mission of the SOC and hence, leadership plays a key role in this scenario. The SOC manager must be the one who inspires and motivates other team members so that they can contribute to the organization’s vision and mission. After all, providing 24/7 service while handling the stress isn’t easy at all.

 

Selecting such team members who can add value, is really a challenging task as the required skill-set is quite big and the enthusiasm should also be there. Again the exact amount of the workers must be hired, neither less nor more.

 

Considering this scenario, adopting a hybrid vision model could prove viable as it envisions the cooperation between the internal teams and managed service providers which are outsourced.

 

The Types of SOC models

 

Are you aware that there are several kinds of SOC models? Yes, check out below-

 

Virtual SOC

 

• It has no dedicated solution/facility

• Members are part-time

• The team is active only when critical incidents occur

 

Dedicated SOC

 

• Facility is dedicated

• The team is also dedicated

• Totally in-house team

 

Co-managed / Distributed SOC

 

• Both semi-dedicated and dedicated teams

• Usually, 5 X 8 operations are handled

• It becomes co-managed when paired with MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider)

 

Command SOC

 

• Coordination with other SOCs

• Offers situational awareness, threat intelligence, and additional expertise

• Not always directly involved in day-to-day operations but rarely

 

NOC (Network Operations Center) / Multifunction SOC

 

• Dedicated facility and team

• Performs all critical IT and security operations 24/7 with common facilities

• Helps in reducing the costs of the organization

Fusion SOC

 

One SOC facility consists of new and traditional SOC functions like CIRT (Computer Incident Response Team), threat intelligence, and OT (Operational Technology) functions which are combined.

 

Fully Outsourced SOC

 

Apart from the above six models, the service provider of ‘fully outsourced model’ operates and builds the SOC with minimum but supervisory involvement from the customer’s enterprise.

 

The Intelligence and Approach

 

To enhance the organization’s security posture, the SOC has to be both –active and proactive as it needs to carry out the process of Vulnerability Management. The priority for SOC is a robust approach to handling vulnerability and risk assessment skill. Other than that the OWASP model approach can be taken into the consideration too. Also, a threat intelligence approach (context aware) shall be implemented to become more effective in diagnosing/preventing the threats and adding more value.

 

The Essentials

 

Creating and Operating a SOC demands high quality, infrastructure, enthusiasm, teamwork, and skills. It should have best practices, compliances, and frameworks like COBIT, ITIL, and other are vital to abide by the PCI DSS and ISO/IEC 27001: 2013 standards.

ITIL is a potentially unmatched source of guidance in case of service design and strategy, service level management, and coordinating between the SOC related purposes and incident management processes.

 

Also, COBIT and especially its Maturity Model, COBIT- MM shall be considered as a premium guideline for checking how mature is SOC?

 

The performance of the SOC has to be measured correctly and appropriately in all aspects. Therefore, the KPIs must be well-defined to check the application of ITIL, i.e., continual improvement of service. These steps will help in generating the best results from the SOC and add value to the organization.

 

So, these were the things you need to know about SOC.

 

Now, let’s understand what are Managed Security Services or Security Insight Services.

SIS (Security Insight Services)

 

We all know the hell number of online threats and cyber-attacks going on in the world. These things happen due to lack of essential security tools, equipment, and services. Many of the businesses are so concerned about the security of their data and loss of business but they don’t get proper solutions. They are often worried about how prepared their organization is to handle the online crisis situations.

 

To these problems, ‘Security Insight Services’ is the solution. It is a one-stop-shop solution for all the current and possible online threats/attacks.

 

The offerings by SIS

 

• Project driven approach

• Security Incident & Threat Analysis

• Project Driven Approach

• Security posturing assessment

• Security Incident & Threat Analysis

• Gap Analysis

• Network Security Assessment

• Malware Threat Modeling

• Database Activity monitoring & Vulnerability Scanning

• SIEM effectiveness modeling Configuration Auditing

• Process Auditing

• Application Vulnerability Assessment Email System Assessment

• Wireless System Assessment

• DDOS Attack Preparedness Testing DLP Analysis

 

The Need for SOC and SIS

 

If you aren’t aware already then let me tell you that if an attack happens, it takes 99 days on an average for that to get identified. Now that’s a big amount of time! So, you get the need for data protection and privacy for providing security. Hence, it clearly indicates the dire need for newness in the technology of cyber-security. Many people forget that just having the correct tools and processes isn’t enough. You can be still vulnerable to threats and attacks if you don’t monitor systems, detect upcoming threats, and don’t make any changes in the systems/operations whenever an attack or threat is identified.

 

Many organizations are now getting aware and want to build their SOC as they want more control over the safety of their data, monitoring, and the response. A SOC built project creates a strategic business impact and hence it’s a critical and vital initiative for those organizations.

 

Conclusion

 

Looking at all the above key pointers, we get to know about the ideal SOC, the necessities for it in all aspects, the rise of SIS (Security Insight Services), and the vitality of SOC and SIS. To run ta SOC, the comprehensive range of cyber security aspects, high skills, and important competencies have to be considered. Building SOC is a combination of business strategies and high level of security armors as a service.

 

Teamwork, great leadership skill, and motivation are vital for every member of the team, especially for the manager. A fully functional SOC is a complex project because it has to deal with wide and endless range or problems related to the data security. As the time gets ahead, there are going to be more challenges, and therefore a SOC has to be prepared for the same.

 

There is going to be the constant need for high-end online security services, and everyone has to brace for it! SOC team has a lot of work to do and that too tirelessly.

Many businesses will have to choose one of the best online security services or the SOCs, and we are certainly going to get a number of them in the near future.



So, the whole point is that every single business should find a great SOC to cater to their needs of business security and improve the complete security structure of the organization.

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review 2018-09-10 16:48
Cartoony science fiction/fantasy comic collection - reasonably fun but..
Complete Multiple Warheads TP - Brandon S Graham

.

 

This collection deals with two main female protagonists in parallel stories: they both are involved with powered organs, smuggling or capturing. There’s a huge amount of strange creatures and few humanoid beings. The artwork is simple, colourful, detailed and a little weird. The stories are reasonably interesting and packed with puns, some of which I skipped or didn’t spot, many of which require a wide knowledge. Plenty of sex and bloodless violence. Enjoyable enough but I didn’t like it enough to bother with Volume 2.

 

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review 2018-09-09 21:20
Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

This is a book of funny and cute poems for children. It is a great introduction to poems. 

In my classroom I would use this to get students interested in poems. As part of a lesson I would let students write poems using this book as an example. 

Lexile Level: NA

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review 2018-08-24 16:01
Booster Pack: Book Edition
Comics Squad: Recess! - Jennifer Holm,Matthew Holm,Jarrett J. Krosoczka,Dan Santat

Last year around this same time I fell into a bit of a reading slump (yes, it happens to everyone) and I picked up a little comics selection called Comics Squad: Detention hoping that it would revive me. I'm happy to say that it did the trick. Thinking lightning might strike twice, I delved into Comics Squad: Recess! by Jennifer L. Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Dan Santat, & Raina Telgemeier which is another book from this collection. This book explores the theme of recess with the authors/illustrators charged with coming up with stories which somehow incorporated this theme. (Some accomplished this feat more successfully than others as a few barely mentioned recess at all.) I especially enjoyed the last 2 stories both visually and from a narrative standpoint. (If you're curious, the two stories are "300 Words" by Dan Santat which was a love story and "The Rainy Day Monitor" by Raina Telgemeier & Dave Roman which was about a RPG kickball game.) I like recommending this series to burgeoning graphic novel/comics fans since it contains a variety of storytelling and art styles to give them a better idea of what they might like. This is a great idea for anyone, regardless of age, who might be interested in sampling different writers and illustrators. 8/10 overall and certainly wouldn't say no to reading more from this series (or from the two artists mentioned).

 

From Dan Santat's "300 Words" [Source: Santat's Twitter]

 

From "The Rainy Day Monitor" [Source: Graphic Novel Resources]

 

 

What's Up Next: CatStronauts: Space Station Situation CatStronauts: Robot Rescue by Drew Brockington

 

What I'm Currently Reading: El Deafo by Cece Bell

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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