What is SecOps & How Do I Maximize Its Effectiveness?

By Wesley Mullins

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The best tools are ones that you actually use. The best strategies are ones that you actually put into action. The best solutions are ones that fit problems you have.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed in cybersecurity with all the technology and tools and techniques that exist out there, but when it comes down to it, the best ones are the ones that you use, work well for you and are designed to fit the needs of your specific business. Methods and metrics that service your business on the micro and macro levels should be the cornerstone of your SecOps program. 

What is SecOps?

Defined simply, SecOps means “security operations.” It is the combination of security and IT professionals dedicated to hunting, detecting, preventing and mitigating cyber threats. These teams work in a Security Operations Center (SOC) — you’ve probably seen that term floating around SecOps discussions, too — and are set up so that someone is always monitoring and logging an organization’s activity and assets. 

For example, Deepwatch’s Cloud SecOps platform integrates our proprietary technology with industry leaders like Okta, Splunk, Palo Alto, CrowdStrike, Tenable, ServiceNow and others for a compact, comprehensive, competitive base for all our clients’ cybersecurity needs from MDR to Vulnerability Management. Our teams of analysts watch over our client’s interfaces 24/7/365 at our two SOC physical locations in Denver, Colorado and St. Petersburg, Florida and via cloud operations nation-wide.

Read more: Defining a “Modern SOC”

What are the benefits of SecOps?

While a fair question, asking “What are the benefits of SecOps?” is basically like asking “what are the benefits of having cybersecurity?” Improved threat detection, a better understanding of how you can strategically and tactically use your budget and what processes should be used and in what order are only some basic benefits of a well-run SecOps. 

Other, more specific, benefits include:

  • 24/7/365 protection from threats
  • Active threat hunting and threat prevention
  • Consistent security expertise without the need to maintain staff
  • Increased productivity and more effective time allocation for internal IT departments 
  • Smoother auditing 
  • Quick and effective responses to incidents and assistance when mitigation is required
  • A trusted and respectable reputation 
  • Return on security investments 
  • Etc, etc, etc.

Read more: Why Aren’t You Outsourcing Your Cybersecurity Operations?

How do I maximize the effectiveness of SecOps?

You can begin maximizing your SecOps effectiveness by following these four steps. 

  1. Identify what effectiveness means
  2. Understand your goals, risk and objectives 
  3. Find the right metrics 
  4. Build for flexibility 

1. Identify what effectiveness means

First off, effectiveness means different things to different people. What is effective for your CEO may look different from what’s effective for your IT guy or gal. Understanding everyone’s different definitions of “effective SecOps” and what methods and techniques are useful for each interested party is the first step in making your SecOps “effective”. 

With a different definition of “effective” comes different expectations and assumptions on what’s important. Nail down these few things before you dive in:

  • Standards and benchmarks 
  • Metrics 
  • How to balance vulnerabilities 
  • Budgets, expectations and how to determine ROI
  • How teams want to collaborate
  • Where it might be best to outsource 

2. Understand your goals, risks and objectives 

Similar to understanding everyone’s definitions of “effective”, you also need to come to an understanding of what everyone involved is trying to get out of SecOps and what they’re concerned about. This may change based on whom you’re talking to (and how much they know about SecOps in the first place). 

Things like company size, age, primary industry or when you first started implementing cybersecurity measures weave in and around corporate and client objectives, key success factors, goals and risks. Priorities based around these key factors play a huge role in determining the strategy and resource allocation of a well-run and effective SecOps. Get those sorted before you start changing things. 

Read more: What is CIA (in Cybersecurity)?

3. Find the right metrics 

It’s hard to tell a comprehensive cybersecurity story with just numbers and figures. “28 ransomware attempts were stopped this month.” Great. But that alone doesn’t do a good job demonstrating all the training your employees went through, all the adjustments you made to your email server or all the security software you installed leading up to the prevention of those incidents. 

When figuring out what metrics to use as you optimize your SecOps, remember that your metrics should be realistic, valuable, quantitative AND qualitative. Learn how to tell the story of your security program, not just how to format the spreadsheet of it. 

4. Build for flexibility

I don’t need to tell you that the cybersecurity landscape changes almost daily with new threats popping up just as you think you’ve gotten a grip on the ones that popped up yesterday. I don’t need to tell you that. But I will anyway. Because it’s important. 

Keeping up with the latest technologies, trends, threats and general developments in the world of cybersecurity might seem like an impossible task, but it’s a really important one. If you don’t know a kind of attack exists, how do you expect to be able to defend against it? Your security program needs to be flexible so that it can adapt as the world changes. If your program is only designed to fit a certain situation and stay as-is until the end of time, all the effort you put into building it might be for nothing when someone eventually comes along and figures out how to break it. 

This means that the end goal of “effective security operations” can be something of a moving target. Staying up to date with the latest threats, staying aligned to current company goals and staying current with client/customer expectations are all important and all change all the time. You’d better change with them.

Read more: Maximizing Your Security Operation Effectiveness

How can Deepwatch help me get started with SecOps?

One of the most important things to remember when maximizing effectiveness is that security operations is not an island and your team can’t do it by themselves. Whether it’s working with your internal teams or getting support from a third party, security needs all the help it can get. 

When you partner with Deepwatch, you not only get best of breed technology, 24/7/365 monitoring and all the other benefits of a quality SecOps, you also free up your internal teams to focus on what they need to focus on, running your organization. We’ll set up your new program, run it and let you know when something needs to be done. 

Stop wondering what SecOps is and let us help you use it to its fullest. Get in contact with us today. 

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