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How to choose a SOC partner - 8 things to consider

Posted on: 13th June 2024

Cyber attacks remain an ever-increasing threat to every organisation.  You and your IT team work in the knowledge that a security breach can result in financial, legal and reputational damage.  

Choosing a Security Operations Centre (SOC) partner – one that is powered by the latest AI and machine learning capabilities along with certified expertise - is critical. An even greater return on that investment (ROI) is unlocked by finding a SOC partner that can offer an end-to-end security service too, supporting you through design, implementation, ongoing service management and delivery 24/7/365. 

With so many potential partners to choose from, all with varying degrees of expertise and ability, here are our top tips for success. 

Qualify your specific needs

Are you a small organisation looking to safeguard sensitive client information, a large enterprise needing top of the range 24/7 threat detection and response service, an organisation looking for a ‘UK only’ operation model, or something inbetween?  Once you’ve identified what you want, you can start to look for a partner who can meet your security needs.  

Check delivery flexibility

Every organisation is different, and so is the way you need to secure it. Make sure you choose a SOC partner that can adjust its scope and customise its services according to your individual needs, as they grow and adapt.  

24/7/365 monitoring

Check your SOC partner offers a round-the-clock service, if that’s what you need. A highly qualified, expert team proactively monitoring your environment and able to provide a fast incident response, containing malicious activity (threats) before they can escalate.  

Advanced technology tools

One of a SOC’s key strengths lies in the technology it uses. Your partner should be using the latest security tools to detect and respond to incidents or threats. It’s no exaggeration to say that automation is transforming the management of security operations. AI and machine learning technology can significantly enhance monitoring, detection and handling and free up your team’s time by handling routine tasks, reducing false positives and removing unnecessary alerts you don’t need to review.  A next generation SOC provides the ability to reduce the total time from spotting to containing a threat using pre-configured rules. The result is reduced noise, a streamlined incident response and an ability to quickly focus on critical issues.  

Proactive approach

Your SOC partner should never sit idle and simply wait for a threat to emerge. Its team should be up to date with the latest attack techniques and be actively hunting for threats, looking for any weak points in your systems and dealing with them to help you stay protected. 

Good communication

This should be a given. You need regular open channels delivering reports, updates, and any necessary consultations about changes to your threat landscape. You need to be kept in the loop, so you have confidence you are making the right security decisions.  

Compliance and regulation

Your SOC partner should have the relevant cyber security accreditations, such as ISO 27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus as a minimum along with relevant technology and analyst certifications. The provider should understand the regulatory framework and standards within your industry supporting you to achieve compliance. Look for evidence that the provider has the knowledge and expertise to deliver what you need to keep you legally compliant, reduce risk and maintain best practice. 

Balance cost with value

While budget constraints are real, don’t let the cheapest quote be the deciding factor. While reduced cost of operation is a powerful driver, keep your focus on value. Investing in a top tier SOC partner that can provide an end-to-end managed security service will result in long term savings as well as ensuring the operational stability and reputation of your organisation.  

Conclusion

The right SOC partner for you depends on a number of factors, but they should be qualified, using the latest smart automation tools, and ready to help you stay secure through a cost-effective approach that will bring insight and new ideas to the table.  

If you need any help making the right choice, or have any questions about our capabilities and track record, get in touch for a chat with our security experts. 

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