Is Your SOC Caught in the Slow Lane?

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Everybody’s got a device. And the data on that device is moving into the public cloud. Massive amounts of data.  In a world of massive amounts of data, who’s the traffic cop? The Security Operation Center (SOC).

But these days the daily flow of data traffic resembles a Formula One race car going full out, and some traffic monitors are a single cop on the beat.

Research shows this analogy is not far off: 25% of security events go unanalyzed. And 39% of cybersecurity organizations manually collect, process, and analyze external intelligence feeds.

Think about this. At the dawn of the Digital Century, more than a third of all companies are approaching cybersecurity manually.

This is not sustainable.

In short, there are simply not enough people to keep up with the security challenges. But it’s not a question of training or hiring more people. The idea is for humans to do less and machines to do more. Automating threat defense has many advantages: speed, the ability to learn, and the ability to collaborate with other solutions. Integration of data, analytics, and machine learning are the foundations of the advanced SOC.

For about a year now McAfee engineers have been developing a new architecture for an existing SIEM tool called McAfee© Enterprise Security Manager version 11 (“McAfee ESM 11”), which can serve as the foundation of a modern SOC.

As cybercriminals get smarter, the need for SOC operations to evolve becomes more important. McAfee ESM 11 can help customers transition their SOC from silos of isolated data and manual investigations to faster operations based on machine learning and behavioral analytics.

What makes ESM 11 different from other SIEM tools is its flexible architecture and scalability.

The open and scalable data bus architecture at the heart of McAfee ESM 11 shares huge volumes of raw, parsed and correlated events to allow threat hunters to easily search recent events, while reliably retaining and storing data for compliance and forensics.

The scalability of McAfee ESM 11 architecture allows for flexible horizontal expansion with high availability, giving organizations the ability to rapidly query billions of events. Additional McAfee ESM appliances or virtual machines can be added at any point to add ingestion, query performance, and redundancy.

ESM 11 also includes the ability to partner. An extensible and distributed design integrates with more than three dozen partners, hundreds of standardized data sources, and industry threat intelligence.

By deploying advanced analytics to quickly elevate key insights and context, analysts and members of a security team tasked with examining cyberthreats can focus their attention on high-value next tasks, like understanding a threat’s impact across the organization and what’s needed to respond.

This human-machine teaming, enabled by McAfee’s new and enhanced security operations solutions like McAfee Investigator, McAfee Behavioral Analytics, and McAfee Advanced Threat Defense, allows organizations to more efficiently collect, enrich and share data, turn security events into actionable insights and act to confidently detect and correct sophisticated threats faster. The strategy was outlined in my last SOC blog.

We’ve been testing these products together at the new McAfee Security Fusion Centers, located in Plano, Texas and Cork, Ireland. These facilities were built last year and are designed to support full visibility and global management of risks, in a simulated environment. The Security Fusion Centers give customers a blueprint for building out their own SOCs.

In short – we are revving up the SOC: critical facts in minutes, not hours. Highly-tuned appliances to collect, process, and correlate log events from multiple years with other data streams, including STIX-based threat intelligence feeds. And the storage of billions of events and flows, with quick access long-term event data storage to investigate attacks.

Let your security travel as fast as your data. And get your SOC out of the slow lane.

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