Security Operation Centres (SOC) are popping up in organisations around the globe, and across just about every industry due to the ever-increasing wave of cyber-attacks. What the future of SOCs will look like is mainly determined by the following trends:

Trend #1: complexity as a result of expanding attack surfaces

The worldwide outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has sky-rocketed security vulnerabilities, with more and more people working remotely and accessing their organisation’s network from their own devices. With it, malicious cyber-attacks increased. Now, more than ever, enterprises have to deal with a highly complex technology landscape with a wide range of cyber security attack surfaces.

The attack surface of organisations will inevitably continue to expand as businesses shift their business models to compete in the digital transformation era. In essence, organisations are working to secure the past (e.g. mainframes), the present (e.g. servers, laptops and mobile devices) and the future (e.g. container and IoT).

Trend #2: security talent shortage

The widespread security talent gap is sparing no company. So what’s creating the talent gap? The demand side of cyber talent scarcity is driven mainly by the expanding attack surface, incentives for cybercrime and the rising cost of an incident.

On the supply side, we’ve seen more and more vendors respond to the security talent gap by saturating the market with more security tools. However, with more security tools, more alerts need to be triaged, which has compounded the labour scarcity challenge. In addition, the growing specialisation of these tools drives a corresponding need for more specialised cyber security roles in SOCs, including Level 2 and 3 analysts - and these roles are harder to hire and retain.

Within the SOC, a more obvious challenge is seen in the onboarding and long training period for Level 1 analysts, which can sometimes last up to 2 years. The associated training costs increase overall SOC and talent retention costs.

Trend #3: enterprises tackle fatigue from too many false positives

Too many alerts from too many tools make working in a SOC challenging and draining.

To separate the wheat from the chaff can be a Sisyphean task. Especially considering the shortage of qualified security talent and existing staff to maintain system updates. As a result, teams can quickly feel overwhelmed, frustrated, or, in the worst case, burnt out with the sheer number of alerts to manage and mitigate every day. On top of that, they have to tick off long to-do lists of other critical tasks.

As a result, SOC teams are now facing the mammoth task to prevent malicious attacks for IT infrastructure that has grown well beyond the confines of traditional security approaches.

Automation and collaboration are critical

Automation is quickly becoming the missing piece of the puzzle to combat these trends.

The need to streamline and ease internal operations is growing, and for many organisations outsourcing their SOC has become a necessity. Automation is helping SOCs, both internal and external, make threat detection more effective to address and resolve cyber-attacks quicker. 

The sooner a malicious attack can be identified and controlled, the quicker the organisation will reduce the damage. Automation can help decrease MTTD and MTTR by streamlining tedious and repetitive tasks and freeing up scarce human resources (e.g. routine phishing investigations, user de-provisioning and creditable containment).

Optimising and automating routine tasks as well as some remediating actions backed by human decisions, can help elevate the security talent gap. The goal of automation is to bring together people, tools, and processes to drive efficiency and get more done with minimal errors. Finally, by adding automation to the equation, human time can be refocused on more high-value tasks, providing an immediate ROI.

The rise of automation at The Missing Link has helped our SOC produce measurable improvements across key customer service metrics, including MTTD and MTTR, vulnerability management progress, and network disruption times. If you'd like to learn more about our Managed Security and Incident Response solution, contact us today and start a conversation. 




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