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Insource or Outsource the SOC | @CloudExpo #AI #SOC #Security #Analytics

To best detect threats and respond to incidents quickly, many organizations decide they need a security operations center

These days attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more common. Mobile devices, cloud computing and the Internet of Things have increased the number of access points that must be secured. To complicate matters, CISOs are been directed to secure system without compromising the seamless experience that customers expect across channels, and if the organization is in a regulated industry, compliance issues likely increase the team's workload.

To best detect threats and respond to incidents quickly, many organizations decide they need a security operations center to provide proper protection and continuous prevention. Then they must decide whether to build an internal Security Operations Center (SOC) or outsource.

Advantages and Disadvantages of an Internal SOC
The advantages of building an internal SOC include:

  • A dedicated staff that knows the particular environment and will be more likely to recognize patterns and trends between internal groups.
  • Typically, it will be easier to customize solutions.
  • Logs are stored locally and available for quick access.
  • Potentially, internal SOCs can be the most efficient.

However, there are some disadvantages to building an internal SOC that should be considered.

  • An internal SOC will require an initial investment that is substantially more than it would cost to outsource. This can increase the pressure to show an acceptable return on the investment.
  • Employees are not as likely to recognize subtle, large-scale patterns that affect multiple groups within the organization.
  • There is a greater potential for collusion between an employee and an attacker.
  • Finding and retaining qualified cybersecurity talent can be a challenge, and the challenge is unlikely to disappear soon.

Questions to Ask - Internal SOC
Before committing to an internal SOC, the following questions should be asked:

  • Do current staff members have the knowledge and skills to handle an internal SOC?
  • What is your plan for assessing the knowledge and skills of your staff?
  • Will the organization be able to hire and retain qualified employees to maintain an adequate level of staffing?
  • Who will document all of the procedures, policies and processes for your SOC?
  • Who will write your incident response plan?
  • Who will be responsible for your training program?
  • Who will develop the specifications for hardware and software?
  • Who will be responsible for designing the physical site?
  • Is there a sufficient budget to ensure that the SOC will have everything that is needed?

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Your SOC
If an organization does not have the time or money to build an internal SOC, outsourcing may be the best solution to ensure that systems are protected properly. However, organizations should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this option before making a decision.

The advantages of outsourcing your SOC include:

  • Since the outsourcer will supply the capital assets, initial investment will be less.
  • Ongoing expenses are typically less than would be incurred for an internal SOC.
  • Outsourced SOCs tend to be more flexible and highly scalable.
  • Outsourcers often work with multiple accounts that are in the same industry, which can give the outsourcer more experience in the types of attacks that will be the most common.
  • There is less potential for an attacker to collude with a member of the monitoring team.
  • Outsourcing frees internal staff from the task of recruiting and retaining qualified employees, which can be important if current staffing levels need to be expanded significantly to operate an internal SOC.
  • The outsourcer's employees typically have more experience in monitoring and using available tools, and they are more likely to keep their skills updated.

Outsourcing, however, is not without certain disadvantages that must be weighed.

  • Outsourcing can lower the morale of your employees.
  • The outsourcer's team will probably have to divide its efforts among multiple clients.
  • Outsourcers will not have the intimate knowledge of the organization that internal staff members possess.
  • Logs will not be stored locally, and data may not be archived.
  • There is always a risk that external data could be mishandled.
  • Customization may be difficult or impossible.
  • From an accounting perspective, outsourcing requires an ongoing expense and does not return a capital asset to place on the balance sheet.

Questions to Ask - Outsourced SOC
When interviewing potential outsourcers, there are a series of questions to ask to be sure that the outsourcer is a reputable company.

  • Are staff members employees or contractors?
  • What is the experience level of the staff members who will be handling the account and what are their certifications?
  • Are employees subjected to background checks and required to execute confidentiality agreements?
  • What is the company's employee turnover rate?
  • Is the company willing to show its operations manual and its internal policies and procedures that are relevant to security?
  • How does the company secure its SOC digitally and physically?
  • How well-defined is the service level agreement?

In the final analysis, the decision to build an internal SOC or outsource it depends on the organization's specific needs and assets. Neither option is ideal for every organization at every stage in its life. However, this information can help determine which solution will provide the greatest security at the appropriate cost.

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  • Showcase exhibition during our new extended dedicated expo hours
  • Breakout Session Priority scheduling for Sponsors that have been guaranteed a 35 minute technical session
  • Online targeted advertising in SYS-CON's i-Technology Publications
  • Capitalize on our Comprehensive Marketing efforts leading up to the show with print mailings, e-newsletters and extensive online media coverage
  • Unprecedented Marketing Coverage: Editorial Coverage on ITweetup to over 100,000 plus followers, press releases sent on major wire services to over 500 industry analysts

For more information on sponsorship, exhibit, and keynote opportunities, contact Carmen Gonzalez (@GonzalezCarmen) today by email at events (at) sys-con.com, or by phone 201 802-3021.

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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo@ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.

Track 1. FinTech
Track 2. Enterprise Cloud | Digital Transformation
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@CloudExpo is accepting submissions for this new track, so please visit www.CloudComputingExpo.com for the latest information.

Speaking Opportunities

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About SYS-CON Media & Events
SYS-CON Media (www.sys-con.com) has since 1994 been connecting technology companies and customers through a comprehensive content stream - featuring over forty focused subject areas, from Cloud Computing to Web Security - interwoven with market-leading full-scale conferences produced by SYS-CON Events. The company's internationally recognized brands include among others Cloud Expo® (@CloudExpo), Big Data Expo® (@BigDataExpo), DevOps Summit (@DevOpsSummit), @ThingsExpo® (@ThingsExpo), Containers Expo (@ContainersExpo) and Microservices Expo (@MicroservicesE).

Cloud Expo®, Big Data Expo® and @ThingsExpo® are registered trademarks of Cloud Expo, Inc., a SYS-CON Events company.

More Stories By Rishi Bhargava

Rishi Bhargava is Co-founder and VP, Marketing for Demisto, a cyber security startup with the mission to make security operations - “faster, leaner and smarter.” Prior to founding Demisto, he was Vice President and General Manager of the Software Defined Datacenter Group at Intel Security. A visionary and technology enthusiast, he was responsible for delivering Intel integrated Security Solutions for datacenters.

Before Intel, he was Vice President of Product Management for Datacenter and Server security products at McAfee, now part of Intel Security. As an intrapreneur at McAfee, he launched multiple products to establish McAfee leadership in risk & compliance, virtualization, and cloud security. He joined McAfee by way of acquisition in 2009 (Solidcore, Enterprise Security Startup). At Solidcore, he was responsible for Product Management and Strategy. As one of the early employees and member of the leadership team, he was instrumental in defining the company's product strategy and growing the business.

Rishi has over a dozen patents in the area of Computer Security. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and a Masters in Computer Science from University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is passionate about new technologies and industry trends and serves as an active advisor to multiple startups in silicon valley and India.

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