In the past, security and operations were treated as two separate functions with most projects being passed between the two with little to no collaboration. This led to some inherent difficulties in operation, with either security, performance, or both suffering from the lack of communication between departments. Now, it is more important than ever to ensure that security is a priority from day one, which is why SecOps is becoming increasingly prevalent in a variety of industries. So what is SecOps and how does it help?
Security operations, or SecOps, is when IT security and IT operations teams merge and collaborate to improve security and mitigate risks without negatively impacting performance. Inspired by the success of DevOps, SecOps is meant to encourage different departments to work together and align their goals so that the end result is both more efficient and secure.
With improved collaboration, SecOps can reduce the likelihood of dysfunctional structures and decrease conflicts between security and operations professionals. It also helps security teams to prioritize and resolve threats as they arise based on the potential impact on the organization, which means resources can be used more effectively and IT operations can expect improved performance overall.
SecOps vs SOC
Although there is some overlap between SecOcs and SOC, there are a few notable differences that can help differentiate the two. Both aspects of IT security are focused on identifying and mitigating security risks, but SecOps is more about the processes, and SOC — or Security Operations Center — is where and how it all gets done. A Security Operations Center is often a physical operation of security professionals that are responsible for network monitoring, incident response, forensics and root cause analysis, and threat intelligence. It is where security professionals can work together to identify security threats, as well as develop ways to mitigate the associated risks.
The SOC is where security and operations teams can monitor the entire IT environment of an organization and watch for unexpected activity. When potential threats are identified, they can then implement the response protocol and take steps to mitigate the damage — or prevent any damage from occurring in the first place.
The SOC is also where teams can focus on threat intelligence, which means gaining knowledge about potential threats and developing methods to respond to or prevent future security events. Basically, the SOC is where SecOps teams can collaborate to align their goals and mitigate security risks to the company. SecOps, on the other hand, is the blending of two teams in order to utilize the threat intelligence gained and integrate more effective security tools.
What Are the Goals of SecOps?
SecOps was implemented with the primary goal of ensuring organizations do not compromise the security of different applications and software during the development and operation phases. This overarching goal can be broken down into a few specific areas and goals, including securing IT operations. Due to the nature of the two teams, IT security and operations naturally have different priorities when looking at any application, especially since operations teams are often encouraged to roll out new applications quickly at the risk of security. Without SecOps, the security team can only work on ways to mitigate risks after the applications are in use, which means more areas of vulnerability to watch out for.
To combat these conflicting priorities, SecOps allows security and operation teams to improve the security of new applications right alongside programming and operational aspects of development. With clear security goals from the beginning, there is less chance of potential vulnerabilities slipping through.
Another goal, as briefly mentioned above, is encouraging collaboration across teams. This collaboration leads to more cohesive results, more efficient processes, and better IT infrastructure overall. This leads to the next goal of SecOps: to increase the visibility of security infrastructure. When security and operations teams work together, they can create and implement stronger security practices from the very beginning.
Finally, SecOps helps with proactive threat detection and prioritization. By focusing on threat detection for smaller segments instead of entire programs, it is easier for security teams to effectively detect real threats and prioritize those that will have a larger impact on the security of the organization.
What Are the Benefits of SecOps?
Ultimately, effective SecOps results in fewer breaches, vulnerabilities, and distractions because the necessary security features can be built into the development process and have minimal impact on the performance of new applications. With increased security, teams are able to streamline processes and better manage priorities. All of this means fewer security breaches overall and less damage from the breaches that do occur.
SecOps also allows for better vulnerability mitigation and management. The code for new applications and software is more secure when input from security professionals is incorporated into the earlier stages of development and allows for fewer vulnerabilities to make it into the final result.
This also means there are fewer security distractions. With fewer configuration errors, security teams can automate threat detection and alerts with less risk of false positives, so they can focus on the real threats when they arise. When there are fewer distractions, security professionals can implement more effective incident response methods because it is clearer which situations will need a response.
Non-Stop SecOps with Ontinue ION
Whether you are looking for increased security, fewer distractions, or increased collaboration between your security and operations teams, Ontinue ION is an effective tool that can transform the way your organization responds to threats. With ION, you can improve SecOps efficiency since it works continuously to monitor the system. With careful monitoring and exceptional automation, ION quickly detects threats and then responds just as quickly.
Ontinue ION is also easy to implement with your security controls since it is made to work with the Microsoft security stack. The accelerated detection and response, as well as ease of collaboration, means ION is more effective at preventing incidents with less burden to your team.
Ready to experience the benefits for yourself? Request a demo and learn more about non-stop SecOps support with Ontinue ION.