The idea of a hybrid security operations center (SOC) is a combination of operating models. On one side is the historical managed security services provider (MSSP), which largely provides a solution that allows you to the MSSP your data for them to monitor it according to their operational processes and procedures. At that point, they alert you only when there’s something to worry about. It’s a very much outsourced approach that offers less flexibility and visibility, but a great model for companies that don’t have a low-risk tolerance or have high demands surrounding the sophistication of security technology.
On the other end of the spectrum, large organizations—or those that have a very low appetite for risk—build their own SOCs which require huge investments in buying their own technology and staffing their own teams to conduct actions such as monitoring activity and analyzing cyber threat intelligence.
These organizations face a tremendous amount of pressure given the investments they’ve made, so many have opted to take a hybrid SOC approach—which is a mix of these two models.
In this case, the organization may have already made some investments into their security operations capabilities, be it a SIEM they’ve purchased and a small team they’ve built. However, they still need help, says Jesse Emerson, Vice President, Americas, Managed Security Services at Trustwave. This is where supplemental assistance from an MSSP comes in.
“It ends up being more flexible than the traditional MSSP model because you can customize it more because it’s the organization’s technology and a lot of their processes and procedures are being used, but you can leverage the scale of the partner at the MSSP,” Emerson says.
In the full video interview below, Emerson discusses the capabilities that would make a hybrid SOC partner most successful and key items organizations should focus on if they’re thinking of embarking on a hybrid SOC journey.
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Marcos Colón is the content marketing manager at Trustwave and a former IT security reporter and editor.