A Network Operations Center (NOC) and a Security Operations Center (SOC) are similar in that they are both instrumental in maintaining a safe and healthy network environment. However, key differences between the two make each unique in the roles they play in achieving a shared goal.
Simply put, a NOC focuses on network and systems performance. The NOC IT team manages, monitors, and maintains the systems within a network, keeping them patched, up to date, and working properly and securely. Whereas a SOC focuses on network security and effective threat detection. The SOC cyber experts provide 24/7 real-time monitoring, policy creation and implementation, and provide both proactive security measures and assist in the event of a cyber incident.
What is SOC in Cybersecurity?
A Security Operation Center (SOC) is a group of expertly trained, certified cyber analysts, and certified ethical hackers who work as a team to monitor, avoid, identify, inspect, and respond to cyber threats. The SOC team here at SecuLore solutions is comprised of 15 members and they all work together to run a 24-hour cyber monitoring operation. The SOC team is an essential resource to the cyber security force because it helps organizations identify cyber threats more efficiently, therefore helping to minimize the possible damage from these cyber threats. SecuLore Solutions SOC team is unique compared to competitors because SecuLore makes its own product known as the Paladin, which is used to monitor network traffic which team members look at to detect possible malicious activity. SecuLore does all of its work in-house which makes it different than any other cyber security organization. The SOC team works around the clock to protect an organization’s assets such as private information, personal data, and business systems from malicious actors.
What is NOC in Cybersecurity?
A Network Operation Center (NOC) is a group of IT professionals who work to maintain the best possible network performance. NOC does not have anything to do with cybersecurity, rather it directs its focus on the well-being of networks and keeping them functioning regularly, scheduling pre-planned maintenance updates and monitoring performance. NOC teams monitor large networks 24/7/365 to make sure they are running smoothly. When network related problems occur, the NOC reports these problems to various support levels and third-party vendors for resolution in order to keep network damage from happening. This makes sure that network downtime does not occur in order to keep organizations up and running.
Differences Between NOC and SOC
The Network Operations Center works with keeping the Network strong and operable while the Security Operations Center identifies outside threats from malicious actors looking to gain entry to an organization’s information. When both parties understand their obligations, they can work together effectively and create an unstoppable cybersecurity team. The Network Operating Center’s job is to handle performance and meet Service Level Agreements (SLA). The focus is on availability and performance.
The main role of the Security Operating Center is to handle threats from the outside, protecting sensitive data and other valuable assets.
An ethical hacker is someone who has completed a certification in the field of hacking, however they are “good guys”. There are two types of hackers, white hat hackers, and black hat hackers. White hat hackers know the ins and outs of hacking; however, they use this skill ethically to do good. Ethical hackers use the skill to understand the techniques that hackers use so they can be able to detect malicious activity. Black hat hackers on the other hand are bad guys. They use their hacking skills to interfere with people, or organizations. They do this to access information, sabotage systems, or disrupt systems. Typically, black hat hackers will do this for their own profit, or just to be outright evil. It is important for members of the SOC team to have certifications in ethical hacking so they can have the ability to stop unethical hackers.
SOC I vs SOC II vs SOC III
SecuLore Solutions has three levels of SOC analysts. SOC I is the entry level for security operation center analysts. They perform the basic functions of the security operations center and monitor network traffic 24/7/365. Depending on the nature of the threat, SOC II will be utilized. SOC II is a team of certified ethical hackers who are dedicated analysts assigned to customers and work directly with them. SOC II analysts watch customer network traffic, and then generate weekly reports. SOC III is a group of advanced analysts who hunt for cyber threats by using advanced threat intelligence techniques to identify cyber threats that could have gained access into the network. SecuLore Solutions institutes CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) training and all members of the SecuLore Solutions’ SOC team are CJIS certified.
SOC Team Roles
A SOC team consists of many different roles, that all play an important part for the team to run effectively. One role is a security analyst, who is responsible for identifying possible cyber threats and managing them appropriately. Security engineers are responsible for keeping tools and systems updated and guaranteeing that they are running securely. The SOC manager is the director of operations for the department and makes sure everything is running smoothly within the SOC team. The Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) comes up with strategies regarding security as well as regulations. The CISO also reports issues regarding security to higher tier personnel in the company. The Director of Incident Response has the responsibility of taking care of cyber-attack incidents for big companies in real time and communicating the plan for solving the security breach.
Cyber Attack Defense
The responsibilities of the Security Operation Center keep your organization safe from malicious cyber-attacks.
• Monitoring Threats 24/7/365
• 24/7/365 Human Monitoring
• Behavior-based Monitoring
• Thorough Investigations: Understanding how breaches occur to prevent future attacks
• Threat Detection and Tracking
• Risk Reduction
• Protects Sensitive Information
Keeping Networks Secure
The responsibilities of the Network Operations Center are vital in keeping your network secure.
• Network monitoring
• Analyze events
• Provides supervision
• Perform troubleshooting and incident response on the systems
• Report Cyber Incidents
• Track issues
• Network infrastructure
• Data centers
NOC and SOC Integration
While NOC and SOC have different responsibilities, and focus on different roles, things are much more efficient when they are not siloed. Aligning the two can help to integrate things like network and security flows. The SOC can recommend fixes and security issues for the NOC and the NOC can make fixes, analyze and test.
When NOC and SOC teams’ efforts are integrated, the benefits can include better security that allows for shared alerts and investigations on issues, improved network performance and accelerated time to implement fixes, improved response times to issues, and better cost efficiency.