Virtual SOC for Businesses: Benefits, Differences, Components, and Best Practices

Businesses face ever-increasing cybersecurity threats that can jeopardize their sensitive data and operations. This is why organizations are turning to virtual SOC for businesses to combat these risks.

A Virtual Security Operation Center (VSOC) is a centralized cybersecurity hub that remotely monitors and manages an organization’s security posture. Unlike traditional physical SOC setups, VSOCs leverage advanced technologies, cloud-based tools, and remote collaboration to deliver robust security monitoring, incident response, and threat detection services.

Let’s explore the definition, functionalities, and importance of VSOCs, highlighting their importance in mitigating cyber threats and ensuring continuous security operations for businesses.

Difference Between SOC And SECOPs

A SOC (Security Operations Center) is a centralized unit that monitors and responds to security incidents and threats. It operates 24/7 and employs cybersecurity professionals who use technology to analyze events and protect the organization’s assets.

SecOps (Security Operations) is a broader concept that integrates security practices into an organization’s operations. It aligns security objectives with business goals, promotes collaboration between security and operational teams, and emphasizes proactive measures and continuous monitoring.

While a SOC focuses on incident response and threat monitoring, SecOps takes a more holistic approach by embedding security throughout the organization’s operations.

10 Key Functions Performed by the SOC – Standard SOC Operations

A Security Operations Center (SOC) is critical to an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure. It is the central hub for monitoring, detecting, and responding to security incidents. The SOC operates through a set of key functions that enable it to effectively protect the organization’s assets and data. Each function plays a crucial role in maintaining a strong security posture and mitigating risks. Let’s dive into the details of each function and its significance in SOC operations.

Take Stock of Available Resources

One of the key functions of a standard SOC is to take stock of the available resources. This involves assessing the infrastructure, tools, technologies, and personnel necessary for effective security operations. By understanding the resources, the SOC can better plan and allocate them to address potential threats and incidents.

Preparation and Preventative Maintenance

Preparation and preventative maintenance are essential functions of a standard SOC. This involves implementing security measures, such as installing firewalls, conducting regular vulnerability assessments, and applying patches and updates to systems. By being proactive and addressing vulnerabilities before they are exploited, the SOC helps minimize the risk of security breaches and protects the organization’s assets.

Continuous Proactive Monitoring

Continuous proactive monitoring is a critical function of a standard SOC. It involves monitoring the organization’s network, systems, and applications in real-time to detect any suspicious activities or anomalies. By constantly monitoring for potential threats, the SOC can promptly identify and respond to security incidents, reducing the impact and minimizing potential damages.

Alert Ranking and Management

When security alerts are generated, the SOC assesses their severity and prioritizes them based on the level of risk and potential impact on the organization. By effectively managing alerts and focusing on the most critical ones, the SOC can allocate resources efficiently and respond to incidents promptly.

Threat Response

When a security incident occurs, the SOC promptly responds by investigating the incident, containing the threat, and mitigating its impact. This involves identifying the source of the attack, assessing the damage, and taking appropriate actions to eliminate the threat and restore normal operations.

Recovery and Remediation

After a security incident, the SOC focuses on recovering the affected systems, restoring data, and ensuring business continuity. Additionally, the SOC performs remediation actions to address the incident’s root cause, implement preventive measures, and strengthen the organization’s security posture.

Log Management

Log management involves collecting, analyzing, and storing log data from various sources, such as network devices, servers, and applications. By effectively managing logs, the SOC can identify patterns, detect anomalies, and gain insights into potential security incidents or breaches.

Root-Cause Analysis:

When investigating security incidents, the SOC conducts a thorough analysis to determine the underlying causes and contributing factors. By identifying the root cause, the SOC can implement corrective actions to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future and enhance the organization’s overall security posture.

Security Refinement and Improvement:

The SOC continuously reviews and assesses the organization’s security processes, policies, and technologies to identify areas for improvement. By refining security measures and staying up-to-date with the latest threats and trends, the SOC ensures that the organization’s security capabilities remain effective and resilient.

Compliance Management:

Compliance management is particularly important for organizations that operate in regulated industries. The SOC ensures that the organization complies with relevant industry regulations, data protection laws, and security standards. By monitoring and enforcing compliance requirements, the SOC helps the organization avoid legal and regulatory penalties and maintain a strong security posture.


A Security Operations Center (SOC) and a Network Operations Center (NOC) are two distinct entities that play critical roles in an organization’s operations. While both centers focus on monitoring and management, they have different areas of expertise.

A SOC primarily focuses on cybersecurity, monitoring, and responding to security incidents and threats. It is responsible for threat detection, incident response, vulnerability management, and maintaining the organization’s security posture. The SOC’s primary goal is to protect the organization’s systems, data, and networks from cyber threats and ensure a secure environment.

On the other hand, a NOC is primarily responsible for managing the organization’s network infrastructure. It focuses on monitoring network performance, ensuring network availability, troubleshooting network issues, and optimizing network operations. The NOC’s main objective is maintaining smooth network operations, addressing network-related incidents, and minimizing downtime.

While there may be some overlap in certain tasks, the key distinction lies in their primary focus areas. A SOC is dedicated to cybersecurity, while a NOC is focused on network infrastructure management. Both centers are crucial for maintaining an organization’s overall functionality and security.

Global SOC vs. Traditional SOC

A Global SOC (GSOC) and a Traditional SOC refer to different approaches to the setup and operations of a Security Operations Center.

A Traditional SOC typically operates within a physical location, such as the organization’s premises. It consists of a dedicated team of cybersecurity professionals who monitor the organization’s security posture, detect threats, and respond to security incidents. The Traditional SOC often relies on on-premises infrastructure and tools to carry out its operations.

In contrast, GSOC security takes a more geographically dispersed and flexible approach. It leverages cloud-based technologies, remote monitoring capabilities, and virtual collaboration to provide security operations across multiple locations. A Global SOC can centralize security monitoring and incident response activities, allowing organizations to scale their security operations globally while maintaining a consistent level of protection.

The key advantage of a Global SOC is its ability to adapt to the evolving needs of a distributed organization, accommodate remote work environments, and provide round-the-clock security coverage. It enables organizations to leverage the benefits of cloud computing, automation, and remote access to enhance their cybersecurity capabilities.

Cloud SOCs

Cloud Security Operations Centers (Cloud SOCs) are specialized security teams or service providers that focus on protecting cloud environments. As organizations increasingly adopt cloud computing, there is a need for dedicated security measures to safeguard cloud-based assets and data.

Cloud SOCs offer monitoring, threat detection, and incident response services tailored specifically for cloud-based infrastructure, platforms, and applications. They leverage cloud-native security tools, advanced analytics, and machine learning capabilities to identify and mitigate potential threats in the cloud environment.

By partnering with a Cloud SOC or establishing an internal Cloud SOC team, organizations can benefit from specialized expertise and resources that understand the unique security challenges and considerations of cloud-based environments. Cloud SOCs play a crucial role in securing cloud assets, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and providing visibility and control over cloud security incidents.

The adoption of a Cloud SOC enhances an organization’s overall security posture in the cloud, addressing concerns such as unauthorized access, data breaches, and misconfigurations. Cloud SOCs help organizations effectively manage and mitigate cloud-specific risks, allowing them to leverage the advantages of cloud computing while maintaining a strong security foundation.

SOC Types

When it comes to Security Operations Centers (SOCs), various types exist to cater to different organizational needs and cybersecurity requirements. Let’s explore four common types of SOCs:

Virtual SOC

A Virtual SOC operates remotely, utilizing advanced technologies, cloud-based platforms, and virtual collaboration tools. There are numerous benefits of Virtual SOCs providing cybersecurity monitoring and incident response services without the need for a physical location. Virtual SOCs offer flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, making them suitable for organizations with distributed environments or those seeking to outsource their security operations.

Are you wondering, ‘What are VSOC types?’ Here are three:

  1. Managed VSOC
  2. Co-Managed VSOC
  3. Fully-Managed VSOC

Some main challenges for VSOCs include receiving timely alerts and notifications, tracking security events, detecting anomalies in the environment, responding to cyber threats quickly and efficiently, and providing comprehensive reporting.

Combined SOC/NOC

A Combined SOC/NOC integrates the functions of a Security Operations Center (SOC) and a Network Operations Center (NOC) into a single unit. This integrated approach allows for seamless coordination between security and network management activities. By combining both functions, organizations can achieve efficient incident response, optimize network performance, and enhance overall operational effectiveness.

Dedicated SOC

A Dedicated SOC is an in-house security center dedicated solely to an organization’s cybersecurity operations. It consists of a specialized team of cybersecurity professionals focused on monitoring, detecting, and responding to security incidents. Dedicated SOCs provide organizations with direct control over their security operations, allowing for customized security measures and closer alignment with the organization’s specific needs and requirements.

Global or Command SOC

A Global or Command SOC serves as a centralized hub overseeing multiple regional or local SOCs. It coordinates and manages security operations across different locations, ensuring consistent policies, procedures, and incident response capabilities. A Global SOC provides a unified view of an organization’s security posture, enables global threat intelligence sharing, and facilitates efficient communication and collaboration among regional teams.

SOC Components


A firewall is a network security device that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules. It acts as a barrier between internal and external networks, preventing unauthorized access and protecting against malicious activities.

Intrusion Detection System (IDS) / Intrusion Prevention System (IPS)

An IDS detects and alerts the SOC about potential security breaches and suspicious activities within the network, while an IPS takes proactive measures to block or mitigate those threats. Together, they provide real-time monitoring and protection against unauthorized access, malware, and other network-based attacks.

Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) Tool

A GRC tool enables the SOC to manage and track compliance with regulations, industry standards, and internal policies. It helps streamline risk assessment, policy management, and compliance reporting, ensuring that the organization adheres to relevant security requirements.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Tool

An EDR tool monitors and responds to security incidents on endpoints like workstations, laptops, and servers. It detects and investigates suspicious activities, provides incident response capabilities, and helps with containment and remediation of threats.

Log Management System (LMS)

An LMS collects, stores, and analyzes logs from various sources, including network devices, servers, and applications. It enables the SOC to track and correlate security events, identify anomalies, and perform forensic analysis to detect and respond to security incidents effectively.

Vulnerability Scanner

A vulnerability scanner identifies and assesses weaknesses in systems, networks, and applications. It helps the SOC proactively identify and patch vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of exploitation and unauthorized access.

Penetration Testing

Penetration testing involves conducting controlled security assessments to identify vulnerabilities and evaluate the effectiveness of security controls. It helps the SOC uncover weaknesses that attackers could exploit and provides insights for strengthening the organization’s security posture.

Application Security Tool

An application security tool assists the SOC in identifying and addressing vulnerabilities and security flaws specific to applications. It helps ensure that software and web applications are secure against common attack vectors.

Asset Discovery Tool

An asset discovery tool assists the SOC in identifying and inventorying all devices and systems connected to the network. It provides visibility into the organization’s digital assets, helping to ensure comprehensive security coverage.

Data Monitoring Tool

A data monitoring tool helps the SOC track and analyze data flows within the network, detecting anomalies, unauthorized access, and data exfiltration attempts. It helps protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) Tool

A SOAR tool enables the SOC to automate and streamline security operations, including incident response, threat hunting, and workflow management. It helps improve efficiency, reduce response times, and enhance overall security effectiveness.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

UEBA tools analyze user and entity behavior patterns to detect anomalies and potential insider threats. They provide insights into unusual activities and help the SOC identify suspicious behavior that could specify a security incident.

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)

A TIP aggregates and analyzes threat intelligence data from various sources, enabling the SOC to proactively identify and respond to emerging threats. It helps in threat hunting, incident response, and improving overall situational awareness.

Best Practices for a Successful Security Operations Center

Here are four best practices for VSOCs, or SOCs in general, to ensure successful operations:

Set Up the Right Team

Build a skilled and diverse SOC team comprising cybersecurity analysts, incident responders, and threat intelligence experts. Invest in continuous training and professional development to stay updated with the evolving threat landscape.

Align Strategy with Business Goals

Ensure the SOC’s strategy and objectives align with the organization’s overall business goals and risk tolerance. This alignment helps prioritize security efforts, allocate resources effectively, and demonstrate the value of the SOC to key stakeholders.

Leverage the Best Tools

Invest in advanced cybersecurity tools and technologies that align with the SOC’s requirements. These tools should include robust security information and event management (SIEM), threat intelligence, and automation tools to enhance detection, response, and overall efficiency.

Enable End-to-End Visibility

Establish comprehensive visibility across the organization’s infrastructure, networks, applications, and endpoints. Implement robust monitoring, logging, and analytics capabilities to detect threats and anomalies, enabling timely response and effective incident management.

In Conclusion

Building a Virtual Security Operations Center, or SOC, for your business is essential. It has many advantages, including comprehensive security management, increased visibility into security threats, and better compliance. It’s also important to note that implementing a Virtual SOC has some key differences from a traditional SOC. This includes combining AI-driven technologies with manual control to ensure optimal results, along with the knowledge of best practices.

The overall goal should be to create an automated system that powers visibility, detection, response, and prevention processes so you can gain centralized control of your assets while keeping all your data secure. And don’t forget — the best way to ensure 100% success from start to finish is by having an experienced vendor like CXI Solutions help you implement the right processes and components of VSOC. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us now and get started on building your Virtual Security Operations Center!