January 25, 2021
A centralized body in an organization, the Security Operations Center, or simply SOC is responsible for a company’s human resources, processes, and technical inputs to keep track of and draft plans for improving security. Working around the clock, the SOC aims to track, detect, investigate, and counter cyber threats that may compromise the integrity of the company.
However, the pandemic gave birth to numerous challenges regarding cybersecurity operations. Advanced persistent threats, malware, and other malicious attacks forced a sudden transformation to the global business landscape. To fight these hitches, SOCs use sophisticated security technology and threat intelligence.
Although organizations are investing their energies in protecting their employees and serving their customers in the best way possible, the paradigm shift is continually putting pressure on cybersecurity operations. Therefore, CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) must take informed, strategic steps to fight through this time of crisis while also learning to adapt to the new normal.
Challenges Faced by Security Operations Centers
According to a Gartner research, 52% of legal and compliance leaders are concerned about third-party cyber risks due to remote work since COVID-19. Cyber resilience requires combined efforts and strategic leadership with an integrated and aligned multi-disciplinary approach to lead as a cohesive business that is digitally enabled as well.
Increase in cyber-attacks
With a sudden transformation from on-site to remote work, working from home has increased the risk of cyberattacks substantially due to the dependence on residential networks and personal devices with 47% of employees citing distraction as the underlying cause for a phishing scam.
Large amounts of irregular data
Designed to detect and discern irregular behaviours, SOCs now fail to work with clarity as there are large amounts of irregular data, making detecting anomalous behaviour tricky.
Vulnerable organizational functions and assets
Organizational functions and assets are substantially more exposed now which gives opportunistic cyber attackers a chance to exploit data and sow the seeds for future attacks.
Rise in ransomware attacks
Multiple industries have experienced a hit by ransomware attacks and disruption in the flow of services provided. In April 2020, ransomware groups targeted aid organizations, medical groups, educational software and many more, as reported by Microsoft.
5 SOC Principles for the New Normal
Ever since the advent of 2020, businesses have increasingly been working to incorporate cyber resilience into their business models to tackle the ever-increasing operational cyber risks.
Let’s take a look at a few principles that security operations centres can adhere to in the new normal:
Cultivate Cyber Resilience
Depending more on strategy and culture, resilience is a leading matter of leadership. It puts the highest leadership levels to detect, accept and pan out strategies to fight the problem at hand by acknowledging the importance of risk management while believing in the potential of the organization to withstand, and rise from, disruptive cyberattacks.
A study revealed that ever since the coronavirus led to heavy e-mail communication, 21% of e-mails were found to contain malicious attachments with a tenfold increase in phishing levels. It is, therefore, crucial that businesses remain vigilant and train their employees to deal with such circumstances.
Prioritize the Protection of Critical Assets
Business leaders must have a systemic view of their assets and services along with the probable ramifications in case of a threat. Protecting cyber health is crucial to shield the business assets and services which can be done by ensuring cyber hygiene that mitigates the majority of the attacks. Limited access to critical assets should also be ensured that deploys a multi-layered defence system for restricted access approval.
Make Informed Decisions
As hackers attack the weakest link in the chain and make their way into the system, a zero-trust approach should be implemented to secure the value chain. There has been an 11% hike in security breaches since January 2020 according to Accenture. Therefore, cybersecurity and resilience should be woven into the business strategy to ensure the devising of informed decisions regarding the development of qualitative and quantitative metrics during and post-crisis.
Upgrade According to the New Normal
It is important to have a business continuity program as a part of crisis management now and for the times to come. The first step is to employ a cross-functional team that has the aptitude for crisis management. This team devises detailed plans during times of crisis with invaluable information for the solution.
In addition to that, remote work continues post-pandemic, and thus preparing to offer secure, cloud-empowered tech is vital along with AI-integrated systems. Google Trends show a 42% increase in searches related to removing a virus, making upgrading an essential.
Join Forces to Strengthen the Broader Ecosystem
Collaboration among CISOs is a wise decision to make that aims to eradicate cyberattacks by strengthening the broader system against potential threats. Curating cyber threat intelligence by increasing regulatory protection for victims by joining forces with the government and law enforcement bodies through information sharing can help improve the narrative greatly while strengthening the ecosystem on the whole.
Organizations around the world have been faced with unprecedented challenges as a result of COVID-19. Alarmingly, 58% of confirmed data breaches were reported to be in the healthcare industry along with IBM reporting that remote work has increased the cost of a data breach by $137,000. Although the worst is over, the coming months are likely to be uncertain. By employing effective risk management approaches and cyber-resilience practices in their business models, smarter and faster business growth can be the fate of your business.
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