Does your Financial Institution Need a SOC?

By Krystal Rennie / Adlumin, Inc.

Can you remember a time this year when your IT department was under pressure to keep up with new industry demands and emerging cybersecurity threats? If this sounds more like your current reality than a distant memory, and your IT department is still at risk of burning out, continue reading. Within the financial industry, risk management solutions are in high demand as the need for continuous network monitoring has only grown. A security operation center (SOC) could be the ideal cybersecurity solution that your financial institution needs.

In an article by MSSP Alert, a study found that “73 percent said their SOCs are essential” to their overall business and cybersecurity strategy in organizations. While it is clear that these operation centers are growing in popularity within the cybersecurity industry, the question remains – what makes them so essential? Below, we explore what a SOC is, various capabilities, how it benefits your financial institution, and more.

What is a SOC?

Gartner defines a security operations center as both as a team, often operating in shifts around the clock, and a facility dedicated to and organized to prevent, detect, assess and respond to cybersecurity threats and incidents, and to fulfill and assess regulatory compliance.”

In general, SOCs are responsible for monitoring and analyzing all activity on networks, servers and more. The service center is consistently looking for anomalous activity, which could indicate a potential breach, security incident, or malicious activity in your network. Also, a SOC detects harmful attempts to compromise your network and assists with the Incident Response Lifecycle, allowing you to respond more efficiently and work towards preventing security threats altogether. In the end, a SOC service is a key component of any organization looking to work smarter, not harder. The goal is simple: get the job done quickly and accurately.

Account Privilege

Privilege analysis of every account, system, and group provides financial institution staff knowledge of exactly who can access their most sensitive data.

Incident Response

The Incident Response Lifecycle starts with the initial detection and containment and continues to the eradication phase then returns to normal business operations.

Network Monitoring

The service should continuously monitor network traffic and detect potential intrusions. You should also receive real-time alerts for any anomalous or malicious activity.

Compliance Reporting

Built-in reporting options should be available for compliance standards including PCI DSS, NIST, HIPAA, ISO 270001, GLBA, and more. The FFIEC’s CAT and NCUA’s ACET should be directly integrated into the service as well.

360° View of Network

The SOC service should have the capability to continuously monitor and defend networks on-premise, in the cloud, and across the globe.

According to an Information Security Buzz article, the key to maximizing features like the ones listed above is to “integrate the data flowing among all the tools. This gives your entire security operations team a filtered view into what the information means.” The more perspectives that analytics can produce from data flow, the higher the value of that analysis.  Whether you’re starting or continuing your search, a key thing to remember is that while SOCs are different, they have essential components that will make or break the success of your organization’s cybersecurity team.

How will you benefit from a SOC?

A SOC service’s main goal is to provide 24/7 capability and ease capacity, or security, concerns that exist within your IT department. Specifically, the service can help define business objectives, streamline workflows and provide financial institutions with an extra layer of protection across the entire network.

As stated in a Digital Guardian article, a significant perk of investing in a security operations center is the improvement of security incident detection through continuous monitoring and analysis of data activity. By analyzing this activity across an organizations networks, endpoints, servers, and databases around the clock, SOC teams are critical to ensure timely detection and response of security incidents.” Trying to monitor your network every minute of the day, searching for every possible threat, is unrealistic. There has never been a better time than now to shift the burden from your IT team to a SOC service, which is built specifically for that purpose.

Why prioritize your network?

One thing we know for sure is that cybercriminals exist. They are becoming more creative and methodical with their attacks—especially now that remote work is the new normal. Security Ventures projects cybercrime levels at close to $6 Trillion by 2021. With that being said, the occurrences and threat potentials of data breaches and cyberattacks are at an all-time high and keeping your network safe must remain your financial institution’s primary goal.

Looking at the bigger picture, it is clear that investing in a security and compliance platform with a built-in security operations center can be a massive benefit to your organization. It is unrealistic to expect your IT department to quickly and efficiently monitor and solve every problem as demand increases. Instead, your team should feel like they can do their job without continually worrying about capacity concerns. By implementing a SOC service into your cybersecurity roadmap, your organization can expand its security capabilities – without breaking the bank – for years to come.

Learn more about Adlumin’s 24/7 SOC service, which quickly enhances threat detection and response times by continuously scanning your network and host for vulnerabilities.