With the increasing number of threats online, organisations are now building robust SOC teams to safeguard their data from the outer world. This is because most of the company data is stored online for easy access. Hence, the demand for SOC experts is on the rise.
In this article, let's dive into understanding the job responsibilities and skills required to become a SOC expert and how they have come as a boon to the cybersecurity community.
Who is a SOC analyst?
The full form of SOC is Security Operations Centre. A SOC team is a centralised team within a business that monitors threats, incidents, and suspicious illicit activities 24 hours a day. The SOC analyst team takes immediate action to mitigate these threats from their roots. They also provide remediation efforts to avoid such mishaps in the future.
A SOC analyst uses the SIEM tool to monitor cybersecurity threats. This tool captures logs from a variety of servers to monitor real-time threats. The tool is also responsible for identifying unusual behaviours throughout the networks based on these logs. Once a suspicious activity is logged, the tool takes necessary actions to report this issue for further investigation.
Job roles of a SOC analyst
In simple words, the job role of a SOC analyst entails monitoring and auditing a company's cyber threats. But other than that, there are much more responsibilities of a SOC analyst to look out for. They are:
- Surveillance of systems of the organisation: Primarily, the main job role of a SOC analyst is monitoring the network infrastructure of the organisation. This includes monitoring applications, networks, logs, and cloud data for any irregularity that might hint at a breach.
- Mitigate security threats in real-time: When the SOC analyst identifies a security threat, the threat is passed to the team to determine its causes to take up preventive measures.
- Respond and investigate the incidents: The SOC analyst of an organisation not only protects their network from threats but is equally responsible for investigating the threat and reporting it to authorities if necessary. Once the investigation is complete, the SOC analyst gathers data about the cyber threat and plans effective prevention.
- Collaboration with team members for implementing preventive measures: SOC analysts have to possess the soft skills of being able to collaborate with team members to ensure server safety. This procedure would include implementing new systems or updating the old ones if deemed necessary.
- Know the latest security threats: SOC analysts should always have a dynamic approach to combat threats by educating themselves on preventive measures. They should have the capability to act in an agile manner before any potential issue becomes a threat to the company.
- Actively participating in security audits: The SOC analyst has to be a team player. Hence it is pivotal that they take part in security audits. This not only helps in upgrading and maintaining the organisation's security but also helps to identify the vulnerability of the servers before the hackers exploit them.
Skills required to become a SOC analyst
Being a SOC analyst is exciting, but is a challenging process. Here are some requirements that would help the candidate take a leap and become an effective analyst.
Education and certification
The candidate can have a bachelor's degree in computer science or other STEM-related subjects to become a SOC analyst.
Along with this, getting these few certifications can also help the candidate to get a job in leading organisations easily.
Certificates like CompTIA Security+, CompTIA CySA+, and Certified SOC Analyst certificate would help the candidate to be ahead in the race.
A SOC analyst has to be well versed in certain technical and soft skills that would facilitate them to switch companies in the future based on their skill set. Let's take a look at those skills.
- Technical Skills: The candidate should have ample knowledge about intrusion detection, ethical hacking, incident response and risk management to work in an organisation. This would help them to protect the organisation from the vulnerabilities of a cyber-criminal.
- Soft Skills: The SOC analyst has to possess the necessary problem-solving skills, and organisation skills with agile thinking to facilitate the growth of themselves and the organisation. These skill sets would not only facilitate them presently but would also come in handy when they take up leadership roles in the future.
The job of a SOC analyst is proven to be cumbersome and challenging. However, the career progression of a SOC analyst is substantially efficient and a candidate can perform leadership roles in no time.
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