The unseen can become our deadliest enemy. Who is to know what is a threat unless it becomes obvious- at which point it may be too late. The recent pandemic has taught us a lot about silent killers. COVID-19 for starters, being a virus and all, was an intimate reminder of what the world looked like before we were able to hunt down and contain diseases like polio or tuberculosis, which are now all but eradicated pathogens to the populace. But nowadays humanity is faced with an onslaught of new pathogens, just as the pandemic has taught us all that happens when everyone in the world quits their commuter job for a computer job. Since, the exponential increase in online traffic, demand for more thorough IT maintenance/debugging has exploded. You take just about any system and try increasing its energy or speed of output and you will start to see hang-ups or flaws forming where said system is the weakest.
The Internet is Like A Shopping Mall
The same thing will happen at a shopping mall if you multiply the population in the surrounding city; now those squeaky old cash registers become a problem, perhaps old pipes burst due to an unprecedented amount of flow, and of course, trash starts to build up in every corner. This situation is analogous to the problems today faced by Managed Service Providers (MSP) as Internet traffic has reached a maximum since the pandemic. On top of this, with more human traffic comes more crime and theft, as it is either easier to go unnoticed, or the one out of ten people committing crimes now becomes 100 out of 1,000. And as you might have already guessed, it is no different with the Internet. The only difference, you could imagine, is the fact that save for the various types of social media, no one ever really sees each other. One can easily turn off their webcam and microphone, and even use a different (or encrypted) IP address to further obscure their actions from other online users.
So then, shouldn’t it be as easy to commit a crime online as walking into the Gucci on Main Street in an invisibility cloak, filling up a shopping bag, and leaving? Well if it was, then it would surely be the fault of Gucci’s IT department. Like theft itself, hacking and cybercrime arose purely as an opportunistic pursuit, if you take a look at its history. After all, the only way for someone to go so far as to steal from an online store is for the site’s programming to have the necessary flaws or loopholes leaving them open to such manipulation. But believe me when I say that the pandemic left much of the world with nothing better to do than rigorously pinpoint and exploit such opportunities. The FBI even reported over one million cases of alleged cybercrime between May 2020 and May 2021, with over 3,000 complaints a day in April 2020 alone. Most of these cases feature the latest tricks invented by computer geeks and scammers alike, such as ransomware or remote-job scams.
Your Managed Security Service Provider
So there we have it; we’ve got hackers, scammers, and issues resulting from website foot traffic that make up the need for both business and personal security when it comes to interfacing with the internet for our everyday needs. And by now you should have a good idea of how the pandemic has given the cyber security industry a good old kick in the rear. But what are those IT security services that are being offered today? It might relax you to know that nowadays, over 82% of IT professionals already are or plan to be partnered with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). This is essentially an MSP only instead of data networking and customer service, their specialty service is security. Especially if you do business online, you want to hire an MSSP with a dedicated Security Operating Center (SOC), as there is never a time when automated malware won’t barge in and attempt to pick all the locks.
The SOC And Its Role
Your SOC is classically depicted as the room full of surveillance screens and engineers that online businesses rely on to monitor their network 24/7 and respond to any breach of security or system malfunction. The types of professionals found in a SOC are security analysts, malware experts, forensics specialists, and cryptographers. If in case of an incident, SOC engineers must be able to quickly track and contain a threat, and make changes to the necessary software or network infrastructure to make sure that the vulnerability is patched. Incident reports must also be logged, and it may even be necessary for SOC’s to seek outside consulting to determine if a security threat demands archiving case evidence to law enforcement.
SIEM; A Counterpart to SOC In order to track or receive notifications of an impending threat, an adequate SOC must have a top-of-the-line Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system in place. Whether it is a software application or a collection of components, SIEM is basically the automated counterpart to a SOC. Please visit https://www.splunk.com/en_us/form/top-5-siem-trends.html to see the latest trends in SIEM technology. The online platform is basically the central dashboard displaying to SOC engineers the proper alerts whenever there is a potential threat or general suspicious activity in the network. A SIEM should also be able to manipulate that network so as to contain the threat and provide all necessary statistics, figures, and other visualizations of data pertaining to cyber security. The SIEM is essentially the first line of defense for an MSSP, while its big guns are the individuals working in its SOC.
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