What are Security Operations?
Security Operations (SecOps) is a term regarding the collaboration between the security and operations teams within an organization. The SecOps approach combines the processes, tools, and highly skilled staff from both the security and IT departments into a unified team. The SecOps team is primarily tasked with monitoring and assessing risk and managing proactive and reactive responses to security threats or security incidents. The SecOps team can more effectively protect infrastructure and digital assets because they streamline communication and processes, unlike what happens in a traditionally organized company with security and IT in different departments. SecOps can be developed internally, or it can be a solution provided by your managed service provider. Important SecOps functions include:
Threat intelligence. SecOps teams are responsible for gathering threat intelligence from multiple sources, such as third-party providers, and integrating it with security processes. Threat intelligence can be used by both human analysts and other security tools, such as lists of known malicious IP addresses to be blocked by a firewall.
Triage and investigation. SecOps teams have another advantage over traditionally separate security and IT departments, as they can develop threat detection, investigation, and response processes that are more comprehensive, thorough, and well-understood by the teams who need to monitor and use them. This makes it easier to detect and triage threats that are the most critical.
Security monitoring. SecOps teams are responsible for monitoring activities across the organization including networks, endpoints, applications, and cloud environments.
Incident response. SecOps teams implement incident response plans that define how the organizations detects and responds to cyberattacks. The SecOps incident response process involves: 1) preparing for incidents by maintaining clear incident response plans 2) detecting and analyzing incidents 3) containing and eradicating threats and recovering systems 4) conducting post-incident activities to learn and improve security processes.
Forensics. SecOps teams use specialized software tools to perform root cause analysis and to respond to the threat before it does more damage.
SecOps are critical in today’s security environment due to:
- Increase in number, type, and sophistication of security threats
- Impacts of cyberattacks on business continuity and reputation
- Transitioning from legacy environments to the cloud
- Need for improved communication between IT and security
- Need for improved coordination in the incident response process
- Opportunities to increase automation of repetitive tasks
- Reducing mean time to repair (MTTR) after security incidents
- Integration of security tools into a centralized platform to unify monitoring, investigating, and response