Posted by Tom Burt on

You should give SIEM (Security Information & Event Management) system and SOC (Security Operation Center) the highest priority in your business setup. There are two approaches – finding a local talent or outsourcing to an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider).

In-house SIEM/SOC might be a better option in the huge fortune 500 companies that can afford a high-function team. However, in mid-markets, outsourcing is better since maintaining specialized personnel for the security events process is hard due to budgeting and resource constraints. Let’s see the benefits of using MSSP.

1. Finding and maintaining talented SIEM/SOC team is expensive

Deploying SIEM and SOC locally requires you to hire a new employee who is 100% conversant with the security industry. Mostly, you do this because your current team doesn’t have any experience. Unfortunately, finding a single talented person to address all SIEM /SOC related issues can be a complete nightmare.

Even if you opt to hire a bunch of the security experts, it will be difficult to keep them in-house due to the high costs of their salaries. Although security important, most organizations have a limited budget and outsourcing the SIEM/SOC is a good bet. However, I would advise you to go for a top-notch company.

2. Outsourcing lowers the Risk of conflict of interest between departments

Your organization’s departments can know the expectations and implications of outsourced SIEM and SOC beforehand. These include the top level management and financing departments. Therefore, it will be very easy for you to project future requirements for the new service including budgeting.

Contrary to this, locally deployed SIEM is dynamic in nature as the department concerned undergoes a “learning curve”. As your new security team masters the industry, their demands could choke the other departments and this might lead to a conflict of interests between the units.

A good example is when the security team insists to purchase high ticket item when the company is strapped for cash. Of course, this will raise eyebrows. Remember, failing to comply with the team’s requirements may lead to an incomplete SOC which can be comprised.

3. Long-term ROI (Return on Investment)

You feel better when you exactly know that you are getting the most out of what you have invested. But actually, you might argue that you could also achieve good ROI by having an internal SOC. This is actually not true.  Reputable MSSP’s are known for their greater safety to your organization.

They have mastered the security industry for so long and their experience gives them an overwhelming productivity. I talked about cost-effectiveness above and I am not going to repeat it. But actually, a good long-term ROI means you are getting everything from an MSSP only at a fraction of what you could spend internally.

4. Benefit of trends and detection on other customers

Outsourced SOC takes advantage of optimized services based on trends and detection of other customers. Designing your own personal In-house SIEM requires you to re-invent the wheel and I promise you won’t even come close to what the best MSSP’s are providing.

Why on earth would you want to duplicate a service that has already been created and optimized by geniuses and security geeks? Of course, this would be a sheer waste of time. Furthermore, since your local security center relies on a limited set of data, you can’t get the most when it comes to detecting intrusion.

5. Enhancing efficiency in order to concentrate on your primary business

Your goal in business is to get more customers and increase profitability while reducing costs at the same time. Have you ever asked yourself whether you are getting enough time to concentrate on your core business? If you haven’t, it’s time to change your investment strategies.

Engaging your local staff with SOC related tasks makes them less productive. This means they will have to dedicate a certain amount of time on security matters and leave their primary focus. This means you will be spending a lot of money to pay their salaries but your overall business efficiency will be lower.

Why not offload that burden to a reputable MSSP? This will ensure that all your employees are tasked with duties inside the scope of your business. This will improve productivity by far and your company can even harness the great talents. Remember your employees will acquire new experience when working on specific projects without distraction.

6. Scalability and flexibility

MSSP provides services based on features or levels. For instance, a SOC may have a primary, advanced and a professional package. Have you ever wondered why they do so? In simple terms, they are doing this to cater for different levels of businesses.

To put this into perspective, all business needs are not the same. For instance, your start-up company may require only a single security expert working for a few hours a day. When you outsource the service, your MSSP will pool your needs and those of others to hire a full-time team.

If you are to do this, you would end up paying for the single expert’s services even if he would work only a few hours. Therefore, MSSP has different plans to cater for different needs depending on the size of your business. If you are just starting up, you will pay a lesser amount than a full-blown company.

You can later scale up and get another plan as your business grows. This leads to flexibility as you only pay for what you require. The same analogy is used by web hosts. They offer shared hosting for start-ups, virtual private servers for middle-class companies and dedicated bare-metal servers for big companies.

7. Accessing more threat intelligence

You want great ideas and lots of capability and threat intelligence is not quite different. If there was no threat, you would definitely not require SIEM/SOC. So what does the brainpower of your MSSP has to do with you? Intelligence is very powerful if it can suit your particular business need otherwise it would be of no use.

MSSP has tons of threat data and the good news is that you can transform it into something actionable. For instance, if there is a new vulnerability or possible exploits on your servers, MSSP intelligence will recommend a way to patch your system. Sometimes, they may even suggest new ways to mitigate possible losses and this is what your business needs.

MSSP intelligence is actually more focused and leads to proper insights that are useful to address your security challenges. Also, previous intelligence data collected over time is very helpful in creating a better layer to deal with a threat surface. 

The bottom line

As you can see from my argument, the benefits of outsourcing SIEM and SOC in your organization are quite staggering. Here is a recap of what you should do to have a proper functioning SOC for your business.

  • Always outsource your SIEM and SOC to companies to cut costs and minimize the headache associated with an in-house security team.
  • Outsourcing your security needs lowers conflicts between your business departments and leads to a better ROI as your employees focus on the primary objective of your business.
  • Outsourced SOC is the last bullet that you need to benefit from security trends and intelligence that can better secure your business.
  • As always, look for a reputable MSSP that has packages to suit your needs with an option to scale up as your business grows.

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