Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Cloud

4/12/2019
10:50 AM
Steve Zurier
Steve Zurier
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

8 'SOC-as-a-Service' Offerings

These new cloud services seek to help companies figure out what their traditional SIEM alerts mean, plus how they can prioritize responses and improve their security operations.
Previous
1 of 9
Next

Image Source: Adobe Stock: tonsnoei

Image Source: Adobe Stock: tonsnoei

At the RSA Conference in San Francisco last month, several vendors were on hand touting security operations center (SOC)-as-a-service.

But Anton Chuvakin, distinguished vice president and analyst at Gartner, summarily dismisses the term as vendor hype. He says he was first intrigued when pointed to the websites of several companies that market SOC-as-a-service. So Chuvakin took an informal poll of Gartner security analysts and found each thought SOC-as-a-service was either vendor hype or another way of positioning a managed security service provider (MSSP) or managed detection and response (MDR) services.

"My mini-research here on SOC-as-a-service confirmed what I told you: There is no such well-defined technology or market," Chuvakin says.

Interestingly, vendors offering SOC-as-a-service echoed the same sentiment: Traditional security information and event management (SIEM) systems create too much noise, and companies are left figuring out what all of the alerts mean. In addition, the industry had to do more to help enterprises figure out what the alerts mean, prioritize what they need to focus on, and help them create a plan to improve over time.

Christina Richmond, a principal analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group, says she has seen two types of companies that offer this. The first uses a SaaS-based – usually multitenant – approach that focuses on monitoring/alerting in a cloud environment. The second type is a consulting-based company that builds a SOC on behalf of the client and then runs it. But Richmond sees the SaaS-based model as the one that has caught on in the market.

"I do think this is a niche and a 'feature' of the [MSSP] market, but I wouldn't call it a buzzword," Richmond says. "The feature is that it's more hands-off, providing automated detect/alert capabilities."

Most of these vendors have people monitoring security alerts and information, she says. "Will it become a full part of the [managed security services] market? Likely," Richmond says. "Some of the reason that this feature is useful is that it provides a platform for machine learning and algorithmic detection in the cloud environment."

SOC-as-a-service offerings may well become just another element of the managed security services sector in the end, but the concept resonates for many organizations that don't have or can't afford to build their own SOCs. According to recent ESG research, 53% of enterprises report a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills at their organizations.

Check out these eight companies touting SOC-as-a-service, and let us know what you think in the Comments section.

 

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 9
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
seven_stones
50%
50%
seven_stones,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/20/2019 | 2:09:36 PM
Re: SOC-as-a-Service is critical for mid-market
"Figure out what their traditional SIEM alerts mean"? The meaning is usually fairly clear from the default alert text. What the vast majority of organisations need is help with first configuring meaningful alerts (not just the defaults) and then how to respond to them - and this is only possible after gaining intimate knowledge of the environment. Is this part of the offering also? I doubt it because that wouldn't be economical - it does actually take time and skilled resource.

SIEM cannot be outsourced aside from the first level response of a SOC capability - and then only after the aforementioned use cases are configured and the capability is tuned - 18 months at least.

These services do little more than add to the problem.
AaronB633
50%
50%
AaronB633,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/15/2019 | 5:30:14 PM
SOC-as-a-Service is critical for mid-market
Glad to see SOC-as-a-Service highlighted as a practical solution for the masses that don't have the wherewithal to staff, resource, and retain an in-house SOC. It's also interesting to see the debate over the definition of this as a defined market. As a side effect of a fast-paced growing market, the phraseology of what's what is very nuanced. What's the difference between an MSSP, a co-managed SIEM, or a SOC-as-a-Service? Depends on who you ask. It would be interesting for sure to see a detailed and agreed-upon definition for each.

Vendors, such as ourselves, can easily see ourselves fitting all three of those categories. At Netsurion, we deliver what we call a co-managed SIEM. I would say that it easily aligns with the concept of a SOC-as-a-Service as well. It includes a fractional SOC team (EventTracker SOC) to fit the needs of the organization, that operates a SIEM platform (EventTracker SIEM) complete with managed security services like vulnerability assessment service, managed EDR (EventTracker EDR), and even managed threat deception service (EventTracker Honeynet) to name a few.

I think regardless of where you land on MSSP, co-managed SIEM, and SOC-as-a-Service markets, most would agree that more technology alone is not going to cut it for 90% of organizations with a security team of 1... or none. All of these solutions address the need for cybersecurity convergence, but are different in what degree do they provide product, people, and process to solve the problem. What layers of defense are within scope? How is it deployed and maintained? How are responsibilities aligned between vendor and customer? 
Data Privacy Protections for the Most Vulnerable -- Children
Dimitri Sirota, Founder & CEO of BigID,  10/17/2019
Sodinokibi Ransomware: Where Attackers' Money Goes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  10/15/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
2019 Online Malware and Threats
2019 Online Malware and Threats
As cyberattacks become more frequent and more sophisticated, enterprise security teams are under unprecedented pressure to respond. Is your organization ready?
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-18214
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
The Video_Converter app 0.1.0 for Nextcloud allows denial of service (CPU and memory consumption) via multiple concurrent conversions because many FFmpeg processes may be running at once. (The workload is not queued for serial execution.)
CVE-2019-18202
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
Information Disclosure is possible on WAGO Series PFC100 and PFC200 devices before FW12 due to improper access control. A remote attacker can check for the existence of paths and file names via crafted HTTP requests.
CVE-2019-18209
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-19
templates/pad.html in Etherpad-Lite 1.7.5 has XSS when the browser does not encode the path of the URL, as demonstrated by Internet Explorer.
CVE-2019-18198
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
In the Linux kernel before 5.3.4, a reference count usage error in the fib6_rule_suppress() function in the fib6 suppression feature of net/ipv6/fib6_rules.c, when handling the FIB_LOOKUP_NOREF flag, can be exploited by a local attacker to corrupt memory, aka CID-ca7a03c41753.
CVE-2019-18197
PUBLISHED: 2019-10-18
In xsltCopyText in transform.c in libxslt 1.1.33, a pointer variable isn't reset under certain circumstances. If the relevant memory area happened to be freed and reused in a certain way, a bounds check could fail and memory outside a buffer could be written to, or uninitialized data could be disclo...