More than one employee of a Security Operations Center has said the job could be equal parts terror and boredom. To be fair, the same description has been used for everything from serving in the military to playing left field.
This is particularly true for the typical SOC analyst, who serves a vital role in protecting their company from cyberattacks. Being on the frontline means being the first to detect and respond to attacks. To gain enough knowledge to be aware of minor problems before they become more significant. It also can mean days of digging deep into analytics, chasing what may or may not be a false positive. Not to mention worrying you will miss something while looking elsewhere or trying to stay awake on slow nights.
Luckily, there are modern solutions to keep the boredom away while ensuring your response level and security posture remain on high alert without burning you out.
Before we get there, though, it helps to learn more about the modern SOC position.
SO YOU WANTED TO BE A SOC ANALYST
If you’ve always wanted to be a SOC analyst, terrific! You’ve put in the time to learn the correct processes, the proper defensive programs, the certifications, and strategies. Others, however, may have come from more general IT backgrounds, whether or not proper security training was actually provided.
Pros of the position include plenty of responsibility and knowing you’re an important part of the company, fighting cybercrime. You also may be on the cutting edge of a field with lots of job security. Cybercriminals keep evolving their techniques, so those who combat them also need to stay current in their knowledge and preparations.
There are downsides, however. You always need to be on your guard. Just because last night was calm doesn’t mean tonight will be equally smooth. People in this position also suffer from alert fatigue. They can get tired of endless repetitive tasks and may not see everything or get sloppy. In many cases, the reason is the proliferation of security tools that introduces high volume of alerts. Additional reasons may be misconfigurations and poor security hygiene, like neglecting essential but easy-to-put-off tasks (such as regular firmware or software updates and patches).
automate security to reduce Alert fatigue
The best way to avoid alert fatigue is to reduce the high number of alerts SOC analysts need to investigate. This approach involves automation of certain tasks that leave humans as the final deciders, whether an event is a threat.
An intelligent security automation process can start by identifying some of the manual tasks and automating them. Winnowing out false positive events from true security events and analyzing the root cause of ongoing security investigations is the place to start.
In addition, continuous, preventative analysis is crucial to make sure all security controls are appropriately configured to current security standards. This can include verifying that the correct patches and software updates are enforced and defining the specific parameters of a true threat event vs. a false positive one.
Improving the ability of a system to identify and prioritize true positive alerts can help SOC analysts focus on critical items. Reducing false positives, which is under the jurisdiction of infrastructure and engineering teams, is a key factor to optimize SOC capabilities. It has a direct effect on reducing the number of alerts analysts must process to identify critical events.
UNIFIED SECURITY MANAGEMENT PLATFORM IS THE ANSWER
To scale this effort, consider upgrading to a unified platform that integrates with your entire security stack and automatically analyzes all configurations, logs, and telemetry. This is a step in the right direction to make sure the right problems are searched for, and the “right” threats remain blocked.
Veriti’s solution provides automation for cyber-hygiene and helps anticipate potential risks. It continuously monitors configurations, usage, and impact, and proactively provides actionable insights for optimizing your security posture while minimizing negative impacts on applications and user experience