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Unlocking the Power of Co-Managed SOC: A Strategic Solution for Maximizing SIEM Effectiveness and Cybersecurity Success

Security information and event management (SIEM) systems play a pivotal role in cybersecurity: they offer a unified solution for gathering and assessing alerts from a plethora of security tools, network structures, and software applications.

Yet, the mere presence of a SIEM isn't a magic bullet. For optimal functionality, SIEM systems must be appropriately set up, governed, and supervised round-the-clock.

This situation creates a challenge for many businesses, given organizations often lack the in-house security expertise to efficiently manage and oversee their SIEM, let alone provide uninterrupted monitoring, especially during a talent and skills shortage.

This deficiency often leads to underuse of the SIEM, resulting in missed opportunities to maximize both its potential and return on investment. According to Trustwave, a co-managed security operations center (SOC) is the solution for many businesses. 

SIEM management has historically relied on one of two approaches:  

  • The first is managed SIEM services, which support clients in handling the SIEM and often encompass deployment, setup, and management. These frequently exclude round-the-clock alert monitoring 
  • The second is SOC-as-a-Service, where a service provider takes ownership of the SIEM infrastructure and licensing. A co-managed SOC instead prioritizes a collaborative approach and involves both the organization’s internal IT team and external security analysts working in tandem to ensure round-the-clock monitoring and swift responses to security threats.

Traditional, in-house SIEM system management can be resource-intensive and require significant investment in both personnel and infrastructure. The co-managed model lets businesses share responsibility and better distribute the operational load. This leads to enhanced system performance and financial savings, which can be diverted towards other critical business functions, promoting growth and innovation. 

A co-managed SOC demonstrates a strategic alliance between an organization and an external security provider, combining the strengths of both parties for a robust approach to cybersecurity.

One of the fundamental tenets of a co-managed SOC is the division of responsibilities.

For example, while an external service provider might handle real-time monitoring and initial incident response by leveraging global threat intelligence and cybersecurity best practice, an in-house team can focus on long-term strategy or integrating the SOC's findings with broader IT and business goals.

It also blends tools and technologies from both the organization and the service provider, ensuring that the best and most relevant technologies are always in use, providing enhanced visibility and more comprehensive threat detection capabilities. 

The benefits of a co-managed SOC model extend beyond the rapid mitigation of cybersecurity threats. Organizations also benefit from immediate access to a pool of security experts without the need for extensive recruitment or training, which is particularly valuable in the current landscape where cybersecurity expertise is in high demand.

The collaborative nature of the model also fosters a continuous exchange of knowledge, letting in-house IT personnel upskill by working alongside seasoned security professionals, enhancing the organization's internal capabilities consistently.  

It is also flexible and scalable to adapt as an organization grows, or its security needs change, without cumbersome and costly overhauls. And, fundamentally, a co-managed SOC model lets organizations significantly reduce the costs associated with running a full-fledged, in-house SOC, without compromising on the quality of security monitoring by sharing responsibilities. 

For the best results, a comprehensive co-managed SOC approach should adopt a systematic four-step methodology:  

  • Consult and plan: dedicated security specialists assess the organization's current capabilities and security goals before developing a customized transition strategy and optimizing the SIEM based on set priorities and predictable budget forecasts.
  • Build and onboard: using industry-best practices, this phase ensures swift implementation, reducing the time to realize tangible benefits.
  • Manage and monitor: the service provider will integrate as an extended arm of the organization's security team to amplify productivity and guarantees 24x7 incident scrutiny, paired with actionable recommendations informed by global threat intelligence.
  • Fine-tune: the SIEM should be adjusted regularly to refine its efficiency in identifying critical alerts, which can significantly reduce alert noise.

Other than immediate security enhancements, the co-managed SOC model offers strategic advantages for businesses, from bridging talent gaps to promoting a culture of continuous learning across the board.

In an age of digital transformation, ensuring robust cybersecurity is more than a necessity; it’s a strategic imperative for sustained growth and success. Taking a co-managed SOC approach to cybersecurity can help businesses fortify their defences and do more with less in the face of ongoing talent and skills shortages.

Implementing a SIEM is a logical step for organizations seeking to fortify their cybersecurity posture. Yet, to truly harness its potential, it’s critical to partner with a service that amplifies both the value derived from the SIEM and the efficacy of internal resources.


A version of this article originally appeared on

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