SOC It to Me – Why You Need a SOC Partner

3 min read

The threats organizations face from cyber-attacks are constantly changing, and criminals are continuously probing defenses for weaknesses. Cybersecurity protections must be adaptable to new threats and provide 24x7 monitoring, detection, and response. The attackers do not follow business hours, and defenders can't either. A fully staffed 24x7 Security Operations Center (SOC) is required to deliver cybersecurity.

What is a Security Operations Center?

A SOC (Security Operation Center) is a dedicated cybersecurity monitoring and response center staffed 24x7 by experienced security professionals who know the attack methods criminals use and how to respond. SOCs monitor multiple data feeds, system logs, alerts, and security tools in real-time to hunt for anomalies that are indicators of compromise on networks. Procedures agreed in advance are triggered by automated security tools to isolate potentially compromised systems. This prevents the spread of malware or other attack tools used by cyber attackers. Then cybersecurity experts analyze the event to determine the cause, decide if it was a cyberattack, and what access the criminals gained if it was.

Why You Need a SOC Partner

Building and maintaining a SOC staffed around the clock by a team of experienced professionals is beyond most organizations. This will be true for organizations in the health sector, the public sector, and all but the largest private sector companies. Even those with the resources and desire to set up and staff their own SOC will run into the problem of hiring and retaining the skilled staff needed to operate 24x7 and 365 days a year. And that's before factoring in the day-to-day management of a SOC to cover staff sickness, holidays, and other people management topics.

A single SOC is a classic single point of failure that organizations should avoid. All the issues organizations have in creating and maintaining a SOC will be multiplied by at least a factor of 2 if they want to build resilience into their SOC provision.

Working with a trusted external SOC partner removes the logistical and management problems that accompany SOC delivery. Using SOC services from external cybersecurity providers transfers the provision of SOC delivery to business partners who have this as a core focus.

Outsourcing SOC services to an external trusted partner is a standard business practice for organizations of all sizes in the private and public sectors. The term SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) gets used to describe the provision of external SOC services.

Many benefits flow from engagement with an external SOC partner. They include:

Trusted partnership - SOC service providers work closely with organizations to get to know their business and the typical traffic on their on-premise and cloud-based networks. SOC providers can advise the clients they work with over time as trust builds and understanding flows both ways about the organization's goals.

Proactive interaction - The trust that builds up between SOC providers and their clients fosters proactive interaction. If experts working for the SOC see issues that could pose a security or other IT-related problems in the future, they can work with management in the client to highlight the potential issues and on plans to eradicate or mitigate them.

Expertise and pooled knowledge - SOC providers work with many clients, allowing them to see a broader section of the cybersecurity threat landscape. This shared knowledge and experience strengthen the protection across all their clients. Transparency and information sharing about threats across organizations are vital to protect everyone. SOC providers deliver this benefit to all their clients.

People who know your issues - Experts who work in SOC providers have diverse working histories. Many will have worked in multiple private sector businesses, others will have public sector IT and security experience, and many will have worked for healthcare providers of all sizes. This experience means that the staff working in partnership with clients to protect IT systems will know their day-to-day issues. This experience from both sides of the outsourcing model flows into better communication and empathy for the client's needs.

Predictable costs - Using a SOC partner or a SOCaaS model provides predictable costs to the organization using the SOC service. These costs are also Opex expenditures rather than the Capex expenditure that organizations would need to build SOCs of their own. A Capex cost that would likely run to 7-figures.


Using a SOC partner is how most organizations deliver the 24x7 monitoring, detection, and response required in the modern IT environment. Critical Insight has geographically separated state-of-the-art SOC facilities that are continuously staffed 24x7 with enough cybersecurity professionals available to cover staff sickness, holidays, or other staffing factors. The geographic separation of the Critical Insight SOCs provides resilience from natural disasters or other issues that might temporarily render one SOC inoperable.

Our SOCs are a part of the broader Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service portfolio that we provide.