Christopher Rodman, Breanna Kraus, Justin Novak (SEI/CERT)

Organizations come in all shapes and sizes, serve myriad purposes, and exist in different security environments. But they all have one thing in common: they need security operations. How should an organization determine which services and functions its Security Operations Center (SOC) should provide? This paper identifies five factors that influence an organization’s SOC service priorities. It then describes a workflow that complements standard security frameworks to efficiently determine and prioritize the services that a SOC should perform for an organization. The services that the SOC offers should complement the organization’s overall cybersecurity program and align with higher level cybersecurity assessment frameworks, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework. The workflow is repeatable and can be used regularly to evaluate whether SOC services continue to align with an organization’s priorities in a changing world. This work will interest those responsible for the design, coordination, and implementation of security operations teams in organizations of any size.

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