Security Operations Center (SOC)

What Is a SOC?

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is a dedicated unit comprised of IT security professionals responsible for monitoring, detecting, investigating, and responding to cyber threats and breaches 24/7. It acts as a virtual, in-house, or outsourced hub for unifying and coordinating cybersecurity operations, equipped with advanced technologies, skilled personnel, and comprehensive processes and procedures.

Organizations must prioritize securing their digital assets and sensitive data in today’s interconnected world and ever-expanding threat landscape. One crucial component of a robust cybersecurity strategy is a Security Operations Center (SOC).

Components of a SOC

People: A SOC comprises a team of cybersecurity professionals specializing in various areas, such as incident response, threat intelligence, security analysis, and vulnerability management. SOC personnel typically includes a SOC manager, analysts, engineers, threat hunters, and other IT security specialists with expertise in identifying and mitigating cyber threats.

Processes: A well-designed SOC operates based on established processes and procedures. This systemization includes routine maintenance and preventative measures such as applying software patches and upgrades and ensuring up-to-date security policies and procedures. It also creates incident response plans, standard operating procedures, and workflow management.

Technology: SOCs leverage a range of advanced cybersecurity technologies to monitor and defend against potential threats, including Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS), Cyber Threat Intelligence platforms, and Endpoint Protection solutions, which enable real-time monitoring, detection of anomalies, and proactive threat hunting.


Critical Functions of a SOC

Monitoring and Detection

The primary role of a SOC is to continuously monitor an organization’s networks, systems, and applications for signs of potential security breaches. This process involves collecting and analyzing security logs, event data, and network traffic to identify suspicious activity, indicators of compromise, or abnormal behaviors that could signify a cyberattack.

Incident Response

The SOC team investigates cyber incidents, determines the extent of the breach, and takes the appropriate steps to mitigate the impact. This process could also involve isolating affected systems, containing the threat, removing malware, and restoring affected services

Threat Intelligence

SOC teams gather and analyze threat intelligence from various sources to stay ahead of emerging threats. This process includes monitoring industry-specific threats, zero-day vulnerabilities, and indicators of compromise.

Vulnerability Management

A SOC is critical in identifying and managing an organization’s infrastructure vulnerabilities. It identifies system, network, and application weaknesses by conducting regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. The SOC team then works with the relevant stakeholders to remediate these vulnerabilities and enhance an organization’s security posture.


Organizations with data or an internet-exposed edge must adhere to cybersecurity standards and regulations such as ISO 27001x, the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF), and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). A SOC is vital in helping organizations achieve and maintain compliance with such industry regulations and standards, recommended best practices, and conformity to security policies. 

Benefits of a SOC

Continuous Protection: A SOC operates 24/7/365 and provides round-the-clock monitoring for anything suspicious activity. 

Improved Incident Response: A SOC provides a rapid response to security incidents, minimizing the impact and reducing the time to detect and contain threats, which helps prevent data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.

Enhanced Threat Detection: With advanced monitoring tools and skilled analysts, a SOC can detect sophisticated threats that may go unnoticed by traditional security measures. SOC teams can identify patterns, anomalies, and indicators of compromise that could signify a potential attack.

Proactive Threat Hunting: SOC teams go beyond reactive incident response. They proactively hunt for threats, analyzing data, logs, and network traffic to identify potential risks and vulnerabilities before a threat actor can exploit them. This proactive approach helps organizations stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and safeguard an organization’s network environment.


SOCs and MSSPs (Managed Security Service Providers) are robust security solutions that rely on dedicated professionals to detect and respond to security threats continuously. While they often work together to enhance security and resources, their approach differs.

An MSSP is an outsourced service provider that offers security to numerous clients, whereas a SOC is an internal team that monitors security events within an organization. SOCs are composed of skilled security professionals who observe network traffic, systems, and other data sources to identify potential breaches and threats proactively. They promptly contain and resolve security incidents, leveraging their expertise to ensure minimal impacts on organizations.

Protect your organization with expert cybersecurity guidance. The BlackBerry® Security Services team can help you secure your people, information, and network from whatever cybersecurity challenges you face—whether your environment is on-premise, cloud-based, or part of the Internet of Things.