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How Often Do SOC Audits Need To Be Conducted?

Updated: Apr 30


How Often Should a Service Organization Schedule a SOC Audit?

Most SOC reports cover 12 months, but there are times when service organizations perform this audit semi-annually, depending on the customer's preference and ongoing concerns in the operational control environment.SOC Security Operations Center (Security Operations Center) is the location or facility of an information security team that continually monitors an organization's security and is responsible for the analysis of security incidents. This team makes good process management using technological solutions and provides the detection and analysis of cyber security incidents. Takes action against cyber-attacks. With a more detailed definition, SOC is a system that aims to prevent cyber security incidents with the help of well-defined processes.

It creates a professional team in the detection, analysis, and response ages of cyber security incidents. This team, which constantly monitors the security posture of the institution and is organized to improve it, also has business processes consisting of detailed procedures. The purpose of the SOC is to protect the company from security breaches by identifying, analyzing, and reacting to cyber security threats.

A SOC acts as a central command post by considering an organization's IT infrastructure, including networks, devices, and information stores. The SOC is a point of similarity for each event recorded in the monitored organization. The SOC must decide how to manage and act for each event. Making these decisions enables the attacks to be detected in advance. Security operations centers typically consist of security analysts, engineers, and managers overseeing security operations and working with managers overseeing security operations. The SOC system was once believed to be only suitable for large organizations. Today, many smaller organizations are installing lightweight SOC, such as a hybrid SOC based on a combination of part-time in-house staff and outsourcing specialists or a virtual SOC without a physical facility and a team.

SOC Team

The success of cyber security operation centers depends on the team. SOC team; has level 1, level 2 level 3, and level 4 positions. There is also a cyber threat intelligence team.

Level 1 Security Analyst:

It is at the lowest level. Has system administrator competencies, programming, and security capabilities.It checks the accuracy of alarms and determines their priority. It creates a ticket for alarms that signal an attack and notifies level 2, that is, the top manager. Performs vulnerability scans and evaluates reports. Manages and configures security monitoring tools.


Level 2 Security Analyst:

In addition to the tasks that the Level 1 analyst should do, he should be able to get to the root of the problem, work under pressure and manage the crisis. Examines tickets created by a level 1 analyst. Evaluates the threat intelligence and determine the affected systems and the scope of the attack. It collects information on systems that may be attacked for future attacks, and determines and manages the remediation and recovery plan.

Level 3 Expert Security Analyst

In addition to the competencies of Level 1 and 2 analysts, they should master data visualization tools. Review the identified vulnerability assessment and asset inventory data. Considering threat intelligence, it finds hidden threats and detection methods located in the corporate network. By performing penetration tests on systems, they find resilience and vulnerabilities that need to be fixed. They optimize their security monitoring tools with the help of threat hunting.

Level 4 SOC Manager:

It is the top layer. Must have strong leadership and communication skills in addition to the competencies of Level 1,2 and 3 analysts. It should keep the team spirit alive. The SOC manager manages the operations and the team. Oversees the activities of the SOC team. Makes the training processes, recruitment, and evaluations for the team. Manages the processes of attacks and reviews incident reports. Develop and implement the communication plan for communication with the team. Publishes compliance reports. Closely monitors and supports audit processes; SOC transfers its importance to the business world.

Cyber Threat Intelligent Team:

Cyber threat intelligence is a type of intelligence that is used to detect the goals and methods of attackers as a result of analyzing the identified, collected, and enriched data about threats that may harm the security of institutions through a process. Cyber threat intelligence is the field of cyber security that focuses on collecting and analyzing information about current and potential attacks that threaten the security of an organization or asset. Large SOC teams can make specific assignments to threat intelligence. Smaller SOC teams may implement a method such as obtaining information from a trusted threat intelligence service incident reports. Develops and implements the communication plan for communication with the team. Publishes compliance reports. Closely monitors and supports audit processes; SOC transfers its importance to the business world.

Objectives of SOC

In today's world, information technologies are incredibly interconnected. Of course, this commitment also comes with many costs. A part of almost every organization is in cyberspace brings additional risk to them. Being the target of attackers can affect the reputation of the institution, its work disciplines, and even salary information depending on the importance of the leaked information and the type of attack. With so many organizations taking risks and entering the cyber field, the terms cyber security is now more used than the term information technology. Such organizations need cyber security risk management knowledge to meet their business and cyber security goals. This is precisely why SOC came into existence.

The purpose of the SOC is twofold;

Phase one: Provide central monitoring capabilities to discover and identify security vulnerabilities. The second stage: responding to security incidents that can harm an organization's structure, services, and even customers. In general, SOC aims to detect attack and infiltration events that occur in the organization (which may also be its organization), to which it provides monitoring and response services as soon as possible. To this end, it limits the potential impact and damage an event can cause, with simultaneous monitoring and analysis of suspicious circumstances. If the SOC can stop an attack while in progress, it will save the organization it already serves time and money, prevent data loss, and even protect the brand's reputation.

Duties of SOC

Cyber security operations centers monitor and analyze activity on networks, servers, endpoints, databases, applications, websites, and other systems, scanning for an abnormal activity that may indicate a security incident or compromise. It is the responsibility of the cyber security operations center to accurately identify, analyze, investigate, and report potential security issues. If we look in more detail; To establish a trouble-free infrastructure that will allow the logs of essential information systems to be monitored by the analysis tools and to configure and learn the security monitoring devices and tools very well. To manage the important processes required to detect malicious activities such as editing and reviewing SOC rules, investigating attack notifications, investigating alarms, determining the criticality of alarms and ranking them according to their importance, and identifying attack sources in the best way with the help of security monitoring devices. We are planning incident steps and acting accordingly. To carry out investigations and studies about the attacks and to recover them. To make forensic analysis processes. To learn from the attacks or events, work, and get security for future episodes. To take measures and update policies according to monitoring and detection systems results. All members of the team should have an awareness of the mission and strategy of the cyber security operations center. Therefore, effective leadership is critical. The manager of the cyber security operations center should be a person who can set up the team and motivate the members. It is not an easy task as the structure has to operate 24x7, and stress will, therefore, be a possible risk factor.

What Cyber Security Operation Centers Work?

For the SOC team to work, it must have the appropriate hardware and software infrastructure. Some SOC teams include advanced forensic analysis, cryptanalysis, reverse engineering, and malware analysis technical capabilities to analyze incidents. The first step in establishing an organization's SOC is to clearly define a strategy that includes the input and support of managers and business-specific goals from various departments. After the design has been developed, the necessary infrastructure should be implemented. A typical SOC infrastructure includes firewalls, IPS/IDS, DLP, Endpoint Security, and SIEM systems. To correlate and analyze data activities by SOC personnel, it is necessary to collect data streams, network records, device logs, and records deemed essential according to need. The basis of SOC operations is the log records sent from the devices and systems owned by the institution, namely the digital motion data of the system and the SIEM and SOAR systems that analyze this data and produce appropriate results and responses. SOC controls and analyzes the information security systems of a central organization and protects against cyber security threats. A SOC team includes the manager, security analysts, and security engineers.



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