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Security Operations Center: Building, Operating, and Maintaining your SOC

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Security Operations Center: Building, Operating, and Maintaining your SOC

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  • How to organize IT security for an era of unprecedented, fast-changing, and increasingly complex threats
  • Thoroughly introduces SOC roles, technologies, and use cases
  • Helps students systematically assess the maturity of existing security operation environments, and then improve them
  • Guides students through developing their own SOC "playbook"


  • Copyright 2016
  • Dimensions: 7-3/8" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 448
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-405201-3
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-405201-4

Security Operations Center

Building, Operating, and Maintaining Your SOC

The complete, practical guide to planning, building, and operating an effective Security Operations Center (SOC)

Security Operations Center is the complete guide to building, operating, and managing Security Operations Centers in any environment. Drawing on experience with hundreds of customers ranging from Fortune 500 enterprises to large military organizations, three leading experts thoroughly review each SOC model, including virtual SOCs. You’ll learn how to select the right strategic option for your organization, and then plan and execute the strategy you’ve chosen.

Security Operations Center walks you through every phase required to establish and run an effective SOC, including all significant people, process, and technology capabilities. The authors assess SOC technologies, strategy, infrastructure, governance, planning, implementation, and more. They take a holistic approach considering various commercial and open-source tools found in modern SOCs.

This best-practice guide is written for anybody interested in learning how to develop, manage, or improve a SOC. A background in network security, management, and operations will be helpful but is not required. It is also an indispensable resource for anyone preparing for the Cisco SCYBER exam.

·         Review high-level issues, such as vulnerability and risk management, threat intelligence, digital investigation, and data collection/analysis

·         Understand the technical components of a modern SOC

·         Assess the current state of your SOC and identify areas of improvement

·         Plan SOC strategy, mission, functions, and services

·         Design and build out SOC infrastructure, from facilities and networks to systems, storage, and physical security

·         Collect and successfully analyze security data

·         Establish an effective vulnerability management practice

·         Organize incident response teams and measure their performance

·         Define an optimal governance and staffing model

·         Develop a practical SOC handbook that people can actually use

·         Prepare SOC to go live, with comprehensive transition plans

·         React quickly and collaboratively to security incidents

·         Implement best practice security operations, including continuous enhancement and improvement


Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Overview of Security Operations Center Technologies

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 2 and Index)

Table of Contents

Introduction xx

Part I SOC Basics

Chapter 1 Introduction to Security Operations and the SOC 1

Cybersecurity Challenges 1

    Threat Landscape 4

    Business Challenges 7

        The Cloud 8

        Compliance 9

        Privacy and Data Protection 9

Introduction to Information Assurance 10

Introduction to Risk Management 11

Information Security Incident Response 14

    Incident Detection 15

    Incident Triage 16

        Incident Categories 17

        Incident Severity 17

    Incident Resolution 18

    Incident Closure 19

    Post-Incident 20

SOC Generations 21

    First-Generation SOC 22

    Second-Generation SOC 22

    Third-Generation SOC 23

    Fourth-Generation SOC 24

Characteristics of an Effective SOC 24

Introduction to Maturity Models 27

Applying Maturity Models to SOC 29

Phases of Building a SOC 31

Challenges and Obstacles 32

Summary 32

References 33

Chapter 2 Overview of SOC Technologies 35

Data Collection and Analysis 35

    Data Sources 37

    Data Collection 38

        The Syslog Protocol 39

        Telemetry Data: Network Flows 45

        Telemetry Data: Packet Capture 48

    Parsing and Normalization 49

    Security Analysis 52

        Alternatives to Rule-Based Correlation 55

        Data Enrichment 56

        Big Data Platforms for Security 57

Vulnerability Management 58

    Vulnerability Announcements 60

Threat Intelligence 62

Compliance 64

Ticketing and Case Management 64

Collaboration 65

SOC Conceptual Architecture 66

Summary 67

References 67

Part II: The Plan Phase

Chapter 3 Assessing Security Operations Capabilities 69

Assessment Methodology 69

    Step 1: Identify Business and IT Goals 71

    Step 2: Assessing Capabilities 73

        Assessing IT Processes 75

    Step 3: Collect Information 82

    Step 4: Analyze Maturity Levels 84

    Step 5: Formalize Findings 87

        The Organization’s Vision and Strategy 87

        The Department’s Vision and Strategy 87

        External and Internal Compliance Requirements 87

        Organization’s Threat Landscape 88

        History of Previous Information Security Incidents 88

        SOC Sponsorship 89

        Allocated Budget 89

        Presenting Data 89

        Closing 90

Summary 90

References 90

Chapter 4 SOC Strategy 91

Strategy Elements 91

    Who Is Involved? 92

    SOC Mission 92

    SOC Scope 93

    Example 1: A Military Organization 94

        Mission Statement 94

        SOC Scope Statement 95

    Example 2: A Financial Organization 95

        Mission Statement 95

        SOC Scope Statement 95

SOC Model of Operation 95

    In-House and Virtual SOC 96

SOC Services 98

SOC Capabilities Roadmap 99

Summary 101

Part III: The Design Phase

Chapter 5 The SOC Infrastructure 103

Design Considerations 103

Model of Operation 104

Facilities 105

    SOC Internal Layout 106

        Lighting 107

        Acoustics 107

    Physical Security 108

    Video Wall 108

    SOC Analyst Services 109

Active Infrastructure 110

    Network 111

        Access to Systems 112

    Security 112

    Compute 115

        Dedicated Versus Virtualized Environment 116

        Choice of Operating Systems 118

    Storage 118

        Capacity Planning 119

    Collaboration 119

        Ticketing 120

Summary 120

References 120

Chapter 6 Security Event Generation and Collection 123

Data Collection 123

    Calculating EPS 124

        Ubuntu Syslog Server 124

    Network Time Protocol 129

        Deploying NTP 130

    Data-Collection Tools 134

        Company 135

        Product Options and Architecture 136

        Installation and Maintenance 136

        User Interface and Experience 136

        Compliance Requirements 137

    Firewalls 137

        Stateless/Stateful Firewalls 137

        Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance ASA 138

        Application Firewalls 142

        Cisco FirePOWER Services 142

Cloud Security 152

    Cisco Meraki 153

        Exporting Logs from Meraki 154

    Virtual Firewalls 155

        Cisco Virtual Firewalls 156

        Host Firewalls 157

Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems 157

    Cisco FirePOWER IPS 160

    Meraki IPS 161

    Snort 162

    Host-Based Intrusion Prevention 162

Routers and Switches 163

Host Systems 166

Mobile Devices 167

Breach Detection 168

    Cisco Advanced Malware Prevention 168

    Web Proxies 169

        Cisco Web Security Appliance 170

    Cloud Proxies 172

        Cisco Cloud Web Security 172

DNS Servers 173

    Exporting DNS 174

Network Telemetry with Network Flow Monitoring 174

    NetFlow Tools 175

        StealthWatch 177

        Exporting Data from StealthWatch 179

    NetFlow from Routers and Switches 182

    NetFlow from Security Products 184

    NetFlow in the Data Center 186

Summary 187

References 188

Chapter 7 Vulnerability Management 189

Identifying Vulnerabilities 190

Security Services 191

Vulnerability Tools 193

Handling Vulnerabilities 195

    OWASP Risk Rating Methodology 197

        Threat Agent Factors 198

        Vulnerability Factors 198

        Technical Impact Factors 200

        Business Impact Factors 200

    The Vulnerability Management Lifecycle 202

Automating Vulnerability Management 205

    Inventory Assessment Tools 205

    Information Management Tools 206

    Risk-Assessment Tools 206

    Vulnerability-Assessment Tools 206

    Report and Remediate Tools 206

    Responding Tools 207

Threat Intelligence 208

    Attack Signatures 209

    Threat Feeds 210

    Other Threat Intelligence Sources 211

Summary 213

References 214

Chapter 8 People and Processes 215

Key Challenges 215

    Wanted: Rock Stars, Leaders, and Grunts 216

    The Weight of Process 216

    The Upper and Lower Bounds of Technology 217

Designing and Building the SOC Team 218

    Starting with the Mission 218

    Focusing on Services 219

        Security Monitoring Service Example 220

    Determining the Required SOC Roles 223

        Leadership Roles 224

        Analyst Roles 224

        Engineering Roles 224

        Operations Roles 224

        Other Support Roles 224

    Working with HR 225

        Job Role Analysis 225

        Market Analysis 225

        Organizational Structure 226

        Calculating Team Numbers 227

    Deciding on Your Resourcing Strategy 228

        Building Your Own: The Art of Recruiting SOC Personnel 229

        Working with Contractors and Service Bureaus 229

        Working with Outsourcing and Managed Service Providers 230

Working with Processes and Procedures 231

    Processes Versus Procedures 231

    Working with Enterprise Service Management Processes 232

        Event Management 232

        Incident Management 233

        Problem Management 233

        Vulnerability Management 233

        Other IT Management Processes 233

    The Positives and Perils of Process 234

    Examples of SOC Processes and Procedures 236

        Security Service Management 236

        Security Service Engineering 237

        Security Service Operations 238

        Security Monitoring 239

        Security Incident Investigation and Response 239

        Security Log Management 240

        Security Vulnerability Management 241

        Security Intelligence 241

        Security Analytics and Reporting 242

        Breach Discovery and Remediation 242

Summary 243

Part IV: The Build Phase

Chapter 9 The Technology 245

In-House Versus Virtual SOC 245

Network 246

    Segmentation 247

    VPN 251

    High Availability 253

    Support Contracts 254

Security 255

    Network Access Control 255

    Authentication 257

    On-Network Security 258

    Encryption 259

Systems 260

    Operating Systems 261

    Hardening Endpoints 262

    Endpoint Breach Detection 263

    Mobile Devices 264

    Servers 264

Storage 265

    Data-Loss Protection 266

    Cloud Storage 270

Collaboration 271

    Collaboration for Pandemic Events 272

Technologies to Consider During SOC Design 273

    Firewalls 273

        Firewall Modes 273

        Firewall Clustering 276

        Firewall High Availability 276

        Firewall Architecture 277

    Routers and Switches 279

        Securing Network Devices 280

        Hardening Network Devices 280

    Network Access Control 281

        Deploying NAC 282

        NAC Posture 284

        Architecting NAC 285

    Web Proxies 290

        Reputation Security 290

        Proxy Architecture 292

    Intrusion Detection/Prevention 295

        IDS IPS Architecture 295

        Evaluating IDS IPS Technology 296

        Tuning IDS/IPS 298

Breach Detection 300

    Honeypots 301

    Sandboxes 302

    Endpoint Breach Detection 303

    Network Telemetry 306

        Enabling NetFlow 308

        Architecting Network Telemetry Solutions 310

    Network Forensics 312

        Digital Forensics Tools 313

Final SOC Architecture 314

Summary 317

References 318

Chapter 10 Preparing to Operate 319

Key Challenges 319

    People Challenges 319

    Process Challenges 320

    Technology Challenges 321

Managing Challenges Through a Well-Managed Transition 321

    Elements of an Effective Service Transition Plan 322

    Determining Success Criteria and Managing to Success 322

        Deploying Against Attainable Service Levels 323

        Focusing on Defined Use Cases 325

    Managing Project Resources Effectively 328

    Marching to Clear and Attainable Requirements 329

        Staffing Requirements for Go-Live 329

        Process Requirements for Go-Live 330

        Technology Requirements for Go-Live 331

    Using Simple Checks to Verify That the SOC Is Ready 332

        People Checks 332

        Process Checks 336

        Technology Checks 340

Summary 346

Part V: The Operate Phase

Chapter 11 Reacting to Events and Incidents 347

A Word About Events 348

Event Intake, Enrichment, Monitoring, and Handling 348

    Events in the SIEM 349

    Events in the Security Log Management Solution 350

    Events in Their Original Habitats 350

    Events Through Communications and Collaboration Platforms 350

    Working with Events: The Malware Scenario 351

    Handling and Investigating the Incident Report 353

    Creating and Managing Cases 354

        Working as a Team 355

        Working with Other Parts of the Organization 357

        Working with Third Parties 359

Closing and Reporting on the Case 362

Summary 363

Chapter 12 Maintain, Review, and Improve 365

Reviewing and Assessing the SOC 366

    Determining Scope 366

        Examining the Services 367

        Personnel/Staffing 369

        Processes, Procedures, and Other Operational Documentation 371

        Technology 372

    Scheduled and Ad Hoc Reviews 373

    Internal Versus External Assessments 374

        Internal Assessments 374

        External Assessments 374

    Assessment Methodologies 375

        Maturity Model Approaches 375

        Services-Oriented Approaches 376

        Post-Incident Reviews 378

Maintaining and Improving the SOC 381

    Maintaining and Improving Services 381

    Maintain and Improving Your Team 383

        Improving Staff Recruitment 383

        Improving Team Training and Development 384

        Improving Team Retention 386

    Maintaining and Improving the SOC Technology Stack 387

        Improving Threat, Anomaly, and Breach-Detection Systems 388

        Improving Case and Investigation Management Systems 391

        Improving Analytics and Reporting 392

        Improving Technology Integration 392

        Improving Security Testing and Simulation Systems 393

        Improving Automated Remediation 394

Conclusions 395

9780134052014    TOC    10/12/2015

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