Security operations centers (SOCs) today are inundated with the myriad threats that have proliferated since the shift to remote work, the move to the cloud, and the decentralization of networks. The task of finding, sorting, and combating them all (with limited resources) can be daunting. That’s why many look to technology to help them bear the increasing cybersecurity load. A security operations platform is a centralized cybersecurity technology that ingests security data and enables automation so your team can easily monitor your ecosystem, detect threats, and respond to them.
However, not all solutions for security operations are equally useful. In this post, we’ll narrow down the field by suggesting a few key characteristics to look for in an effective security operations platform.
Key Features of Security Operations Tools
You can’t protect what you can’t see. According to research by Ponemon Institute, 69% of security leaders say they have less than 50% visibility into their ecosystem. That means they can only secure half their enterprise, leaving the other half vulnerable to sophisticated malware threats, ransomware attacks, and general cybercrime.
Providing full, enterprise-wide visibility should be the first requirement of a security operations platform, before even automation. You can’t automate what you can’t see, either, so find a solution that leaves no blind spots, whether your environment is on-premises or in the cloud.
The Visibility Factor in Cloud Security ➞
If you’re using multiple tools, automation can help you make sense of all the disparate data coming through. It organizes and aggregates, so you don’t have to, saving you time. Some tools also use automation to run detection and response playbooks. Ultimately, automation allows you to do more with less and speeds up the little tasks so you can run lean and save your cyber talent for the big jobs.
A SIEM processes hundreds of thousands of events per day. An overwhelming number of those are false positives. Automation can save your security team time and sanity by immediately discarding unimportant alerts before they reach a human. The result? Your team can go through more alerts faster, letting them spend time on just the important ones. Some platforms can even result in an 89% reduction in noise. Imagine how much your teams could get done then?
Multi-Vendor, Multi-Cloud Support
Some security operations platforms require you to work within a specific set of security tools they support, but others are tool agnostic, so if you want to avoid a rip and replace, find one of those.
Also, find a solution that allows you to collect data across your ecosystem, whether it’s on-premises or in one or multiple clouds. This is critical to having full visibility into your security stack. According to one 2022 industry study, 94% of respondents will be multi-cloud in the next two years – and 72% still admit to having separate security strategies per cloud. Get ahead of the game with a vendor-agnostic solution that works across all your cloud assets and scales with your hybrid environment.
Most security operations solutions leave something to be desired when it comes to metrics. Metrics matter because they’re the baseline against which you know how to improve your security posture. And, without them – how do you know if your tooling is keeping up?
Traditional metrics cover things like number of vulnerabilities patched, events per day, or infections to date. These are great, but they don’t often give the full picture or let you know the state of your security posture holistically. The ideal security operations platform should provide metrics that matter to help you understand the impact of your initiatives, how efficiently your strategy is working, and where to plug gaps.
You paid a bunch of money for your existing security toolset. Shouldn’t you know how it’s working for you? That’s hard to do if none of your security solutions integrate or if you’re unable to integrate them all fully. A recent study found that 71% of enterprises are currently underutilizing their tool stack. That’s a lot of investment wasted.
To get the full picture, you’ll need to find a solution that can aggregate your existing security investments and display the data on a single pane of glass. Get a platform that can give you visibility across each one and let you see how they’re doing, making the most of all your existing solutions while providing a control panel to bring them all together.
Team performance should be one of your top three most important cybersecurity metrics. While it is important to track mean time to resolution (MTTR), more important questions a CISO could be asking are “Where are teams spending their time?” and “How well do they understand their environment?”
You can track this partly by finding the anomalous safe rate, or the amount of safe-looking activity that reveals itself to be malicious upon further investigation. You can also look at the number of true positives, or accurate threat alerts. Those indicators will give you insight into how efficiently your team is running or if they’re mired in data analytics when they should be acting. A good SOC platform will take that data-mining element away.
Mapping to security frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK allows you to gauge how well you are protected against industry-standard stages of an attack. The only way to truly test your cybersecurity posture is to put it in the ring and see how it does against the real threats that companies are facing today.
That’s what MITRE ATT&CK is for. It presents a list of the most current threats facing organizations and provides a way to test yourself against them. In doing this, you can see if your SOC has done its job and is as effective as it’s going to need to be. A good security operations platform will make it easy to see where your organization stands against the MITRE ATT&CK methods.
ReliaQuest GreyMatter: The Most Advanced Security Operations Platform Yet
ReliaQuest GreyMatter is the ultimate security operations platform. A cloud-native, Open XDR–based solution, it unifies threat detection, investigation, and response. Some of its key benefits include:
It’s vendor agnostic, allowing it to integrate across best-of-breed tools and multiple vendors. No silos here.
It automates security tasks from visibility to resilience, utilizing machine learning to speed the detection and response process and optimize threat hunting.
The Security Model Index reports against measures like Cyber Kill Chain and MITRE ATT&CK, letting you identify gaps in real time and take immediate action to fix them. Plus, you get regular updates of field-validated automation packages delivered by our experts, so you’re always one step ahead of emerging threats.
Using a security operations platform like GreyMatter leverages the power of Open XDR technology to force-multiply your people, not replace them. They could be doing more than sifting through security alerts and performing perfunctory (and duplicatable) security commands for each tool from each vendor. GreyMatter will save you time, manpower, and security investments as it cuts noise, combines tools, and lets your people do the expert tasks for which they were hired.