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The Missing Link in Automated Security Solutions—Why You Can’t Dismiss the Human Element

Web Hosting Blog

Many business owners look to technology alone to protect them from cyberattacks. And, while solutions like a WAF and SIEM should be an essential component of your security strategy, cybercrime is a business issue, not an IT issue. Scripts and controls are important, but nothing can, or should, replace the human element.

Ideally, your security strategy includes a combination of people, processes and technology—with a team of highly trained people at the core. Machine learning has come a long way but there’s no substitute for human analysis by skilled experts.

Regulatory requirements, along with consolidation and centralization of information security programs, have driven the adoption of Cyber Security Operations Centers (CSOCs) to help assess and mitigate known threats as well as identify emerging risks. In fact, Gartner predicts by 2019 roughly 50 percent of security operations will be performed from a CSOC via service providers or shared security services.

What is a Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC)?

A Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC) is a dedicated team of cyber security specialists that proactively monitors your security posture around the clock. The team’s overall goal is to maintain and improve your cyber security by answering questions like where you’re vulnerable, which vulnerabilities should be taken care of first and what data is most important to analyze. Team members may be virtual with no dedicated facility, distributed with a few onsite resources in each location or all housed in one centralized facility.

Regardless of where they’re located, CSOC experts monitor and analyze activity on networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, websites and other systems, looking for anomalous activity that may indicate a security incident or compromise. Analysis may also involve forensics, cryptanalysis and malware reverse engineering. Their 24/7 focus is to accurately detect, analyze, investigate, respond to, report on and prevent cyber security incidents and threats before they cause widespread damage and disruption.

 CSOCs are Good for Business

According to Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, 68 percent of breaches took months or longer to discover. Early detection is critical to minimizing any damage. Having a CSOC to stay vigilant over your infrastructure gives you an advantage by ensuring timely detection and enabling fast response.

 Specialized Skills in Action

CSOC team members require very specialized skills across a wide range of disciplines. Obviously, they need detailed knowledge about information security, the latest threats, effective security technologies and how to integrate them into the threat intelligence and detection processes. They also need to know how to apply all this knowledge to promptly respond to an attack, perform forensics, investigate sources and prevent future threats.

CSOC experts routinely perform many skill-intensive activities, ideally with a solid base of technology and data to inform their daily tasks. Their laundry list of to-dos may include:

  • Monitoring
  • Security audits
  • Incident response
  • Threat & vulnerability management
  • Training
  • Device management
  • Compliance
  • Malware, forensic, vulnerability & threat intelligence analysis
  • Penetration testing
  • Countermeasure implementation
  • Attack path modelling
  • Security intelligence collection
  • Analysis of risk analytics

Threat detection technologies play an integral role in their ability to stay one step ahead of attacks. Tools like Web Application Firewalls (WAFs), a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system and vulnerability scanning are essential to enable monitoring and analysis across your entire infrastructure.

Putting CSOCs in Reach for SMBs

CSOCs are clearly important when it comes to protecting organizations of all sizes. But, the challenge and expense of finding and maintaining specialists with the in-depth skills required, as well as investing in effective threat monitoring and detection technologies, is way beyond the budget for most small and medium-sized businesses.

That’s why CWCS is pleased to now offer cWatch Web. This affordable, fully managed all-in-one security solution includes a CSOC as well as other essential components, such as a WAF and SIEM, as part of its multi-stack protection. Find out how you can get enterprise-grade security and a team of experts watching over your environment—all for a nominal fee any SMB can afford.