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What is Security Operations (SecOps)?

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The SecOps framework bridges the gap between an organization’s security and operation teams to improve infrastructure and information security. The new wave of cyberattacks in this era severely threatens organizations’ sensitive information worldwide. The growing trend of remote work has further fueled cyberattack activities significantly. It has made threat detection and prevention more critical and challenging for organizations. Therefore, it becomes mandatory for organizations to stay ahead of attackers to survive in the digital world.

This blog post will help you discover what SecOps is and how it improves the organization’s security with an agile approach.

What is SecOps?

In a SecOps framework, security and IT operations teams collaborate closely with transparent workflows. They share responsibilities involved in maintaining the security of the organization’s valuable digital assets and information. It helps evaluate cybersecurity vulnerabilities more profoundly and share insightful findings that may help improve security-related issues. The process of monitoring, detecting, and resolving network vulnerabilities is repetitive and agile. It increases the functional efficiency and productivity of SecOps teams.

How SecOps Work?

Most organizations have dedicated SecOps teams that work as SecOps centers (SOC) to ensure network and information security. The SOC is the most integral part of the information security framework within an organization. The SOC often works 24/7 in different shifts to turn the process of monitoring, detecting, and countering cyber threats into more efficient, automated, and aligned with other IT departments. The SecOps teams help maintain and improve information security by

1. Security Monitoring

The first and most vital activity is to monitor all the cyber activities and possible points of intrusion throughout the organization. It includes monitoring the data centers, networks, user devices, and applications deployed on private, public, or hybrid cloud infrastructures.

2. Threat Intelligence

Evaluating the type and potential of threat actors is mandatory to implement the best cybersecurity strategies and tactics. Threat intelligence helps discover the origin, interests, tactics, and approach of hackers and threats for a more robust response.

3. Incident Response

The purpose of incident response is to lay out SOPs and plans to detect and counter a cyberattack in the future. It includes the SOPs related to post-incident activities, timely detection of intrusions, containing the intruder, recovering the network, etc.

4. Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Root cause analysis helps the security and operations teams to gather insights into what possibly caused a breach, intrusion, and unlikely events. It helps organizations limit the spread of impact and eliminate security loopholes to avoid such attempts in the future.

5. Security Orchestration

It helps integrate all the security systems and processes into one system for the automated and optimized management of all resources. It enables individual security processes to achieve their objective without hindering the other processes.

Why is there a Need for SecOps?

After the sudden hike in cyberattacks in the last decade, SecOps has become a growing need for organizations. It offers some notable advantages such as:

  • Improved ROI – SecOps framework returns more value on capital investment compared to traditional security practices.
  • Automation – It helps automate the security and operations workflows by breaking silos within the organization.
  • Reduced resources – It helps organizations to spare their resources from putting effort into repetitive workflows that can be automated.
  • State-of-the-art security – Security and operations teams significantly improve the security of information, network, and the cloud by eliminating any likelihood of network breaches or intrusions.
  • Strict Security Compliances – The security and operations teams formulate and implement strict security compliance to maintain the higher security benchmark for organization data and networks.
  • Research & Development (R&D) – By continuous efforts in R&D to discover new methodologies and solutions, security and operations teams can help businesses curb the potential risks of cyberattacks. It involves implementing state-of-the-art threat detection systems, such as SIEM platforms (Security Information and Event Management) and behavioral analytics software, to assess suspicious activities.
  • Fix hidden loopholes –  The SecOps professionals find and fix the hidden vulnerabilities in network infrastructure and maximize the efficacy of preventive measures against evolving cyber threats.

Challenges in Implementing SecOps

There are multiple challenges and roadblocks in effectively implementing the SecOps framework, such as

  • Integration of security and IT operations teams with different objectives, job roles, expertise, and priorities
  • Turning traditional processes and repetitive workflows into the automated and well-structured process
  • Finding the right resources, talent, and tools to get the job done effectively
  • Difficulty in getting more profound insights into an organization’s existing security due to irrelevant company policies
  • Staying ahead of attackers by updating the outdated processes in accordance with the latest industry standards
  • Training and equipping employees with the right knowledge and tools so they can cope with the evolving challenges

How to Implement SecOps?

The following strategies can help organizations in addressing the challenges mentioned above effectively:

  • Gradually change organizational culture – Educate and inform people through different sessions to prepare them for the new and agile culture of SecOps. It helps organizations seamlessly eradicate outdated practices and get the entire team on board to implement SecOps effectively.
  • Provide necessary training – Train all your employees and stakeholders to help them understand their new roles and responsibilities with the merger of security and operations teams. If organizations invest in training employees, it not only helps employees adapt to new practices but also boosts their confidence.
  • Provide the right tools – Choosing from various development tools is a bit overwhelming. It is recommended to omit the ones that do not align with the security tools. Try introducing tools that automate most repetitive tasks so the team members can focus on core processes.
  • Artificial Intelligence – AI has found its way into SecOps, enabling organizations to streamline as many workflows as possible. Automation using AI-driven tools can be fully implemented in threat detection, threat alerts, response triggers, analyzing activities, threat mitigation, etc. Modern threat vectors like Internet-of-things (IoT) give the security and operations teams the proper perspective and direction with AI.

What to Expect in the Future?

In the future, SecOps will embrace more AI and machine learning practices as an integral part of the framework. Most existing processes will automate, evolve, and become more responsive with intelligent and robust practices in AI. With most of the processes being automated, research and development (R&D) will be the core area of focus for security and operations teams. R&D will help security and operations teams to focus more on discovering and setting up robust threat detection and prevention techniques to stay ahead of hackers.

To learn more about how AI will impact the IT industry and what to expect in cybersecurity in the future, check insightful blogs on unite.ai.

 

Haziqa is a Data Scientist with extensive experience in writing technical content for AI and SaaS companies.