Today’s SOC analyst has a lot to deal with. All kinds of challenges await these cybersecurity professionals, who undertake the critical task of keeping organizations safe. Some of these challenges are related to the changing cybercrime ecosystem and ever-evolving threat landscape, while others may be related to organizations’ cybersecurity approaches. Overlapping harsh conditions can inevitably lead to errors and security weaknesses. Be fair, and consider the situation in which a SOC analyst is just trying to do their job well amid all this mess. In this article, we aim to do just that.
The SOC analyst is a human being, like all of us. They have primary human motivations, such as feeling good, being happy, and reaching a better standard of living, and to achieve these, they must be able to work in a healthy work environment. What we mean by “healthy” is actually the provision of helpful tools that will facilitate the work of the SOC analyst and prevent it from being exhausted because there are so many threats but not the same number of security personnel.
How Many Burdens Can a SOC Analyst Take?
We know how things work. There is a process based on the principle of “maximizing profits.” When this is the most fundamental thing that affects the managers’ decisions, the organizations go to budget cuts in some departments. Unfortunately, even in large companies, one of these departments becomes the SOC (assuming an ideal situation with such a department).
Much Work, Not Enough Staff
It’s a very common problem that prevents the SOC analyst and the entire cybersecurity team from doing their best work. Staff shortage drives the SOC team to burnout. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, we cannot even compare the number of threat actors with security teams. In addition, a successful attack once is all it takes for cybercriminals to breach an organization, while the SOC team must be successful every time. What a stress!
A natural consequence of the excessive workload of SOC staff. According to the Second Annual Study on the Economics of Security Operations Centers, published by the Ponemon Institute in 2021, the average tenure of a SOC analyst in an organization is just over 2 years. 75% of these employees resign because they work under high stress. This skill gap inevitably arose as the increased attack surfaces due to digitalization also increased the need for SOC analysts.
Too Many False Positives
A SOC analyst working in the cybersecurity department of a large organization struggles with hundreds of security alarms a day. This clutter of alerts, caused by the absence of contextual intelligence, can sometimes cause critical situations to be overlooked. Here is another factor that can cause you undue stress. It is necessary to get them out of this chaos so that they can detect a real threat and take preventive actions.
Research and analysis are among the critical duties of a SOC analyst that prioritize the protection and prevention processes. The fact that the tools they use for this cannot cover their needs causes a waste of time. SOC analysts must examine social media, dark web forums, Telegram channels, published threat reports, etc., and go to a separate source for all of these. When you add many technical details like IOCs, TTPs, CVE, and CWE codes, things start to get out of hand. The SOC analyst needs a handy platform to use time efficiently.
How SOC Analyst Get Rid of This Mess?
SOCRadar’s new stand-alone CTI solution CTI4SOC is a next-generation threat intelligence platform designed to simplify the work of SOC analysts. A unique assistant to SOC teams with 12 functional modules it contains.
Powered by big-data, unlike traditional threat intelligence platforms, CTI4SOC presents all the data that analysts can obtain using several tools in an organized and contextual manner.
Research, Investigate and Identify
Thanks to CTI4SOC, SOC teams do not need to search for accurate and useful information by navigating various information sources. The information selected by the analyst’s eyes comes to you through the platform. So, as you begin your research, you start with the right assumptions.
The platform not only compiles useful intelligence but presents it in an actionable context. It also gives you one-click access to threat reports published by SOCRadar analysts and published by other trusted sources.
In today’s cybercrime environment, some threat actors can only target specific industries and have their own distinctive characteristics. The SOC analyst’s learning of these adversaries’ TTPs, motivations and behavioral patterns directly contribute to the investigation process by supporting them to form a perspective. With CTI4SOC, you can add threat actors to their watchlist so you can stay up-to-date on what they’re doing.
Keep Track of Cyber Threats
Threat Hunting module is the SOC analyst’s biggest assistant after the research phase. From here, security personnel can expand their work by searching for critical information such as command and control center, malware, IP, and domain. CTI4SOC is an API-ready solution that allows enriching all this data in case of a possible attack.
CTI4SOC has millions of IOCs in its big-data, such as IP addresses, file hashes, or domain names, that can be used to identify malicious activity on a network. By using IOCs, SOC analysts can more easily identify which alerts are related to known threats and focus their investigations on those.
The problem is that on its own, an IOC may not provide enough context for SOC analysts to understand the nature of a threat and its potential impact. Enriching an IOC means adding additional context and information, such as the threat actor behind it, the specific malware associated with it, or the potential impact of an attack. This additional context can help SOC analysts prioritize their investigations, respond more effectively to potential threats and make more informed decisions regarding protecting their environment.
IOC enrichment can be done with CTI4SOC. It can correlate multiple data sources and provide analysts with a more complete and accurate picture of the threat landscape.
Get Proactive Threat Defense
YARA and Sigma rules can be shared and reused within the community, which can help organizations improve their overall security posture. SOC analysts can automate identifying and investigating potential security incidents, which can help them respond more quickly and effectively to these rules.
CTI4SOC has a rules library containing thousands of YARA & Sigma rules. SOC analysts easily use these to quickly identify known malware families and variants as well as to detect new and unknown malware.
Events that have already occurred, log data from intrusion detection systems, firewall logs, and security alerts… SOC analysts use rules to detect and correlate events indicative of a security incident, such as a brute-force attack, a data exfiltration attempt, or a malicious command and control communication.
SOC Analyst’s Ultimate Ally: CTI4SOC
Some of the dozens of modules help SOC analysts accomplish their job at best.
- Vulnerability intelligence: Provides SOC analysts with the information they need to prioritize their efforts, identify new threats, improve incident response, detect and track threats and meet compliance and regulatory requirements. It can also aid in the remediation process by providing actionable intelligence about the vulnerabilities that need to be addressed to reduce the risk of a successful attack with SVRS (SOCRadar Vulnerability Risk Score).
- Dark Web News: Provides SOC analysts with the information they need to identify compromised credentials, detect advanced threats, identify insider threats, meet compliance and regulatory requirements and enhance incident response. It can also aid in the remediation process by providing actionable information about the sources of threats and the techniques used.
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