- July 15, 2020
- Posted by: Pat Riot
- Categories: CyberSecurity, Healthcare, Security Operations
A SOC can mean a couple of things depending upon the context you are using it in. Specifically, in our case, we are talking about cybersecurity. A SOC in cybersecurity means Security Operation Center. A security operations center is a centralized location/function in which there is a team that utilizes software, engineering, and technology to continuously monitor an organizations network. They are typically made up of at least 5 people, consisting of a manager, an analyst, an engineer, a compliance officer, and HR. More specifically, a SOC in relation to healthcare becomes especially beneficial when talking about HIPAA, HITECH, CCPA, GDPR, and other compliance regulation standards as they are constantly being changed, updated, and added to.
Surprisingly, the very structure of the SOC doesn’t have to depend upon the needs and structure of the organization. For instance, a small to medium sized dentist or private practice office would greatly benefit from an outsourced virtual SOC. That would be a 3rd party company responsible for managing, updating, patching, and educating the organization and their networks on the more advanced and complex attacks, threats, and vulnerabilities it could face. The office would be able to operate every day and not notice a thing. Yet, at the same time, have the peace of mind knowing their patient’s data is being managed and secured in the background. A large-scale hospital system on the other hand probably has an inhouse IT and/or security team to manage their networks and devices. However, they still could benefit from outsourcing to a SOC because outsourcing in today’s world can save A TON of money while simultaneously boosting productivity. Your IT team, who is responsible for keeping you connected to the internet, could not only focus better on their actual role but, would also have an abundance of resources to pull from if they ever needed additional data. With more eyes looking and checking the operations are running smoothly, a direct correlation is made between the productivity and the turnaround time, god forbid anything were to go wrong. More eyes mean faster solutions, less downtime, better resilience, and fewer vulnerabilities for something to go wrong in the first place.
Why would I pay for a SOC? Well, there is an old tale that is spoken around Silicon Valley in the metropolis of startups and everything tech that goes: If you’re not paying for it, then you become the product. I read an article on Forbes by Scott Goodson and he summarizes the idea perfectly… “in this digital age we have sacrificed our privacy in order to access all manner of free stuff on the web. It’s a movement that most of us have come to accept. Or have we?” The same can be said with all of the cyber regulations and compliance rules, especially in healthcare. Compliance is an ongoing, everchanging landscape in which adaptability is imperative. Even though most of the regulatory and compliance rules build upon one another, sort of like foundational steppingstones for your security posture, they can become daunting if you were not always up to date. That is exactly where a SOC comes into play, HIPAA violations alone can range from up to $50,000/record – $1.5M annually for violations of an identical provision. A SOC mitigates the regulatory and compliance risks, headaches, and changes. They stay up to date, so you don’t have to.
So how do virtual SOCs do it? It doesn’t seem to make sense to be able to pay less than the average cost of an entry level employee for a fully robust, machine learning piece of artificially intelligent software that is still manned, managed, and supported by a team of specialized security engineers. But that’s exactly what we do. The best part is that as time goes along and our community of cyber security partnerships grow, the software grows with us. Because nothing is stronger than a group, and as a group we can learn together, grow, evolve, and become stronger than ever. As our systems begin to pick up threats and vulnerabilities, they begin to think. Just like the human body creates anti-bodies after an illness or disease in order to defend itself against any future attacks. The artificially intelligent software we deploy will be able to do the same thing. Think of it as one big biosphere and the software is the immune system. With multiple industries merging together, attracting various threats on their own, we are able to defend against them together. It turns into one massive symbiotic relationship. One in which it truly is a community fight to strengthen our security postures. Everyone is a target, but we can all defend ourselves – it’s even better together. If you are intrigued by any of the topics covered in this article, please feel free to reach out via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or via our contact page! We would love to hear your feedback, your thoughts, or talk about your security posture. If you would like to talk to someone (a real human) you can reach us at (855) 578-7272.