As global internet users continue to increase, cyberthreats are becoming more sophisticated and frequent. For example, in 2021, the average number of cyberattacks and data breaches increased by 15.1 percent from the previous year (ThoughtLab, 2022). Other surveys revealed that cybercrime cost U.S. businesses more than $6.9 billion in 2021 (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2021), and only 43 percent of businesses feel financially prepared to face a cyberattack in 2022 (Brin, D. 2022).
Cyberthreats are expected to become even more of a threat in the coming years, making it necessary for organizations to have strong cybersecurity controls in place. This is where SOCs come in. In this article, let’s look at what SOCs are, SOC 2 certification, and how you can become an SOC analyst.
What Is SOC?
A security operations center (SOC) is a team of security professionals responsible for monitoring, detecting, and responding to security incidents (Check Point, 2022). SOC teams consist of analysts, engineers, and other security specialists and are required to have a strong understanding of cyberthreats and how to defend against them. Your organization can choose an in-house SOC team with a cybersecurity certification, outsource its SOC services to a managed security service provider (MSSP), or use a combination of both.
The Five Trust Principles
According to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), for a security operations center to be effective in protecting an organization from cyberthreats, it must adhere to the five trust principles, which are:
- Security: The system is protected against unauthorized access, use, or modification.
- Availability: The system is available for operation and use as committed or agreed.
- Processing integrity: System processing is complete, accurate, timely, and authorized.
- Privacy: Personal information is collected, used, retained, disclosed, and disposed of per the commitments in the entity’s privacy notice and with applicable laws and regulations.
- Confidentiality: Information designated as confidential is protected from unauthorized disclosure.
What Does an SOC Tier 2 Analyst Do?
The SOC 2 certification is becoming increasingly important as more companies collect and store customer data. SOC tier 2 analysts are responsible for thoroughly analyzing and investigating the nature of the attack, where the threat came from, and which areas were affected. They can then develop a plan to prevent future attacks.
SOC tier 2 analysts investigate the root cause of the incident and work on long-term solutions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. They develop solutions to prevent attacks and work on projects to foster a more secure environment. They also play an essential role in incident response, working to contain and resolve cybersecurity incidents.
To become an SOC tier 2 analyst, one must earn a security operations certificate. This cybersecurity certification provides the skills and knowledge necessary to perform SOC analyst duties. The coursework covers topics such as network security and intrusion detection.
The Difference Between SOC Tier 1 and Tier 2 Analysts
- SOC tier 1 analysts
- SOC tier 2 analysts
- SOC tier 3 analysts
- SOC tier 4 analysts
- SOC tier I analysts are responsible for analyzing and investigating incidents. They work to identify the incident’s root cause and develop a plan to prevent future attacks. They are also responsible for documenting incidents and analyzing data to help SOC tier 2 analysts prevent future attacks.
- SOC tier 2 analysts are responsible for investigating the root cause of incidents and developing long-term solutions to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. They also play an important role in incident response and work to contain and resolve cybersecurity incidents.
The Advantages of a Certificate in Security Operations
An SOC 2 certification can provide many benefits, both professionally and personally. These are some of the advantages of a certificate in security operations:
- It can help you get SOC analyst jobs: Recruiters often pay attention to SOC 2 certification holders over those without a certification. The certification demonstrates that you have the necessary technical skills and practical knowledge to perform your duties efficiently.
- It can help you develop a deep understanding of security controls: A certificate in security operations covers network security, intrusion detection, and incident response. This can help you develop a deep understanding of security controls and how to implement them effectively.
- It can help you get promoted: By earning a certificate in security operations, you can demonstrate your commitment to your career and show that you are willing to invest in your professional development. This can help you get promoted to a higher position within your organization.
How to Become an SOC Analyst
SOC analyst jobs are among the most in-demand jobs in the cybersecurity field, with the average salary for an SOC analyst in the U.S. being $95,887. The salary range typically falls between $81,208 and $114,202 (Salary).
To become an SOC analyst, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity or a related field. Next, you need to obtain a relevant certificate in security operations, such as the Certified SOC Analyst (C|SA). Finally, you need to have several years of experience working in IT security.
If you want to enhance your security skills and knowledge and become an industry-ready SOC analyst, then EC-Council’s C|SA is the perfect program! The course provides in-depth knowledge of SOC operations and trains you to recognize attacker tools, tactics, and procedures to identify indicators of compromise, incident response, logging and monitoring, and more.
Visit the C|SA program page for information on the course, and contact EC-Council today to learn how to get certified.
ThoughtLab. (2022, July 8). Cybersecurity solutions for a riskier world. https://thoughtlabgroup.com/cyber-solutions-riskier-world/
Brin, D. J. (2022, May 2). 2022 study: 50% of smbs have a cybersecurity plan in place. UpCity. https://upcity.com/experts/small-business-cybersecurity-survey/
AICPA. Trust services and information integrity. https://us.aicpa.org/interestareas/frc/assuranceadvisoryservices/trustdataintegritytaskforce
Salary. SOC analyst salary in United States. https://www.salary.com/research/salary/listing/soc-analyst-salary
Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2021). Federal bureau of investigation internet crime report 2021. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). https://www.ic3.gov/Media/PDF/AnnualReport/2021_IC3Report.pdf
Check Point. (n.d.) What is security operation center (soc)? https://www.checkpoint.com/cyber-hub/threat-prevention/what-is-soc
About the Author
Shelby Vankirk is a freelance technical writer and content consultant with over seven years of experience in the publishing industry, specializing in blogging, SEO copywriting, technical writing, and proofreading.